Hi fishlore fans , I am confused and ready to just empty and start at fresh. Wash the gravel and sand, get rid of my plants and buy fakes instead. My lfs told me not to do a fishless cycle they were deadset against adding ammonia to an aquarium to wich you later want to add fish too. So I can't really go to them. They cycle all their tanks with fish and tetrasafestart. The other pet shop that sells fish here are totally uneducated when it comes to fish and have tanks full of dead fish, and continiously medicating the fish. So appart from tank gear. def not worth asking their advice either..I am totally counting on you guys . OK so my tank info on the left is pretty much up to date but most important things just quickly. tank: 120l(30gl) planted tank with rocks & bogwood 2 airstones,pf interpet 3, co2 x2, heater, 2x15v daylight I'm in the cycling process and nothing seems to go the way it should.(or as I read and I read and still am reading bucket loads) Anyway I was messing about with them paper test strips when i started off (as per advice of my lfs....) and thought the readings we're odd and than I read more and more about them being inaccurate. So off to the store and got myself an API master kit. First off all the readings are indeed completely different with this test kit. That could ofcourse be because the water parameters have indeed changed but i don't think that is very likely. So today i started with just testing my tap water again and shock horror read this: PH low: 7.6 so test PH high 7.4 ???? how can this be?? nitrates40/80 some colour inbetween Nitrites 0.25/0.50 How come the ph does not match? Why are the nitrates in my tapwater so high? tested my aquarium water too. I'm day 7 of my cycle. PH 8 ever sinche i bought the master kit it has tested at 8 ammonia 1-2 (fed the tank half the amount of drops yesterday as my nitrites were of the charts. yesterday ammonia before adding was 0.5) Nitrites 1-2 (yesterday it was 5++) nitrates 0 (yesterday 5 ish) I am totally confused. Can Anyone make sense of this? O and all my plants seem to be dying too. As i kept the light on for 8 hours the first days i also got a nasty slimy gunk algae and the water smelss stagnant. Any and all help would be most welcome....Or should i just rip everything out and start all over again.....I do have a filtered goldfish tank 15 or 19l with a tiny filter all in one pad should i put that in my tank to help things along?