Hello, I have been creeping on this forum for a while and decided to finally join due to necessity. First, I would like to introduce myself and give a little bit of background. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, and probably the thousands more that are similar on this forum. I am a 26 year old medical student who was given a Betta as a valentines day gift from my girlfriend. Me, being someone with no prior fish experience, and not wanting him to have a bad life decided to do some research. To start I was keeping my betta in a half gallon bowl.... quickly learned this is a horrible idea for the fish, and quickly tried to get him at least something slightly better. I learned about beginner maintenance for an aquarium, and being a science guy, decided to find out about the biochemistry of aquariums leading me to learning about the nitrogen cycle and its utter importance to the hobby. fast forward to present... My fish is currently in a 3 Gallon Tetra LED square aquarium, with the included tetra whisper filter (more on this a bit later). I purchased a master test kit to try and find out the quality of the water. I just needed a little bit of guidance through the cycle process, as i am forced to do a fish in cycle and would like to not have a casualty at the cost of cycling this tank.... you know Primum Non Nocere and all. testing my water quality today showed an Ammonium level 0.25 ppm, Nitrate 0.25 ppm, and Nitrite +5 ppm. My questions are as follows, 1. I am assuming this tank has started its cycle based on the elevated nitrate level. Is this correct? 2. I have read on the forum a great deal about doing frequent water changes and dosing with seachem to handle the existing ammonia and nitrite levels to protect the fish while the tank cycles. would this advice still stand in my instance? 3. Would anyone be willing to mentor me through this first fish experience? every time I read something online I get one answer and 5 more questions. This makes trying to come up with a finite strategy to fish keeping difficult for a beginner. 4. are there any other informative things I should know/purchase/read that would make my new hobby slightly less stressful? I currently have on order (should be arriving within the week) an Azoo Mignon 60 filter for the tank with aquaclear biomax, and aquarclear 20 gallon foam inserts to replace this apparently horrendous filter that came with my tank. I will be stripping the media cover off the old filter and putting it in with the new filter so as not to disturb the cycle to much.... hopefully. I want to say thank you in advance for anyone reading this post and hopefully responding, and helping a very new fish keeper to make his little buddy all he can be. If there are any questions, or things I did not include please let me know and I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge.