Hello everyone! I am a relatively new fish-keeper, at least as far as trying to do it right! I recently purchased a 10 gallon tank - I filled it with dechlorinated water about a week ago, and added plants as well. I am using a small canister filter (approx 80 GPH) and am using Seachem Matrix, Purigen, as well as filter floss and sponges in my filter. I purchased an LED lightning system made for planted tanks. I am also using Carib-Sea EcoComplete as my substrate, put root tabs in, and have been giving the plants Flourish every other day. So far I haven't noticed substantial growth but the plants seem green and fine.
I also introduced a piece of driftwood as my main hardscape - it has begun to grow a white algae on it but from what I've read that is normal and it should take care of itself once the bacteria catches up.
Yesterday I tested the water for the first time and was surprised to see high levels of ammonia despite having no fish in the tank - but I have also heard that the Eco-Complete substrate can jump start the cycling process, so maybe that has something to do with it? Ammonia was about 8 ppm, PH of 7.0, nitrite about 0.25ppm, and nitrate between 5-10 ppm. I'm a little confused based on my understanding cycling as I did not expect these results.
So - does it seem like I have a problem here? I had planned on getting a couple amano shrimp and maybe some white clouds to cycle the tank but it seems like maybe it's already happening? I have NOT introduced any ammonia into the tank other than what may have come with the substrate so I am concerned that not having a regular input of ammonia may cause a problem. I definitely don't want to put in shrimp and fish just to have them die on me either