Update: I purchased the Seachem Tidal 35 and so far am very happy with it. I have it running right now at the same time as my Aqueon 20 LED. The cartridge filter is a joke on water flow compared to this new filter. I think that caused a lot of problems with scum on the water's surface due to poor circulation. I have noticed though that even with better flow, circulation is still only occurring throughout half the tank when running the Tidal solo. I've never had this happen before. When looking at the bubbles on the top of the water, they only swoop to the middle of the tank, then right back to the back. Odd.
As to my ammonia readings, I went ahead and picked up one of Seachem's alert deals. I've had it for several days and it still reads safe, so presumably my test kit was indeed picking up ammonium and not free ammonia. My fish are in good health, very active, with a great appetite. I guess "don't panic" is worth remembering!
"What we learn to do, we learn by doing." - Aristotle (385-325 BCE)
Last edited by WaterWelder; 05-13-2020 at 11:31 PM.
Reason: Because my browser is dumb and auto corrects "kit" to "kid"