Help cycling a 75 gallon tank

electricblue

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I am currently trying to cycle a 75 gallon planted tank and have a few questions that hopefully some of you can help me with. I am using a Tidal 110 for filtration and used Turbo Start 700 to help get things going. The tank has been up for a week now and I am getting nitrates at about 5. After the first couple of days the water started to cloud up a little (I assume a bacterial boom) but it is starting to clear up now so hopefully the good bacteria are starting to out compete the other bacteria.

My pH is a bit high at 8.2 or so. Is this okay? I tried to get it down with a little vinegar which got it to around 7.6, but then it went back up. After researching a little I found this is only a temporary fix. We are on well water an recently had a softener put in so GH is low only about one degree hardness but the KH is about 10 degrees hard. I guess I have a good amount of buffer with this KH so I am not sure how I can get it down. I have driftwood in the tank. Could I add almond leaves to help? I would prefer not to have the leaves on the floor of the tank so could I put them in the filter basket without dying the water too much?

The company that put the softener in is coming back next week to add a RO unit for drinking water. Should I have them run a line so I can use this water for the tank as well? If I do this what should I use to put some of the hardness back.

The local fish store is holding 4 electric blue acara, 3 sunset gourami, a pair of orange flash apistogramma, 3 cory cats, and 2 clown plecos for me. Is it safe to put these in after the water clears up all the way or do I need to get the pH lower?

Thanks for any help in advance.
 
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electricblue

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Oh I forgot to ask about the UV sterilizer (coralife turbo twist). I know I can't use this for 5 days after using the Turbo Start, but is it okay to use this while cycling?
 

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