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Okay, I'm new to the forum, but I have been reading and researching the establishing new tank information for several months. I had to replace a 46 gallon bow front back in February. I simply want to maintain a freshwater tank for goldfish. Unfortunately, its not that simple. I already had two goldfish that I kept in a 5 gallon bucket with a fliter attatched and an aerator operating while I was cycling my new tank. I lost all of the healthy media due to a faulty heater that fried everything. (At least I think that is what happened.) Anyway, I have an API master test kit and have been unable to get any readings of elevated nitrate levels. ( I read the post about shaking bottle #2 .) My gold fish have been in the new tank for over a month, probably closer to two now.(They lived in the bucket for over three weeks.) They look fine and are eating well. I started the tank with spring water adding aquarium salt. I have done one partial water replacement/change @7 gallons including suctioning the gravel bed(I have river rocks.) Now there is brown algae growing on the fake plants, rocks, and walls of aquarium. I've have two filters and have exchanged both several weeks apart. Still, I do not get any elevated readings for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. The ph reading is normal. I would like to add more fish when I can verify that the tank is cycled properly. Should I attempt to add biospira to initiate the process? If the tank isn't cycled, how come my fish are fine? The local fish store is no help in problem solving. When they test my water all the levels read normal as well. Suggestions? I keep a very close watch on the fish and how they are doing. They appear fine. I'm feeding them shelled peas every other day. I would have expected to have some elevation in the ammonia level since adding the fish, but I haven't. I would appreciate suggestions.