Alright let me post an update... So I went out and bought some Tetra Safe Start and poured it in the tank. I also bought a better water condition test kit vs. the strips. Water in Upstate NY has a high hardness to it but an average carbonate hardness to it as an FYI. Now after a few weeks...here's my conditions... Ammonia = 0 Nitrites = 0 Nitrates = 0 pH = 7.4 I haven't cleaned out my Fluval and I only have one fish in the tank currently until this all gets sorted out so I'm not too concerned about that. What should my next steps be? Should I be concerned about my pH rising? Is that normal after the Safe Start which I put in two weeks ago? Why have my Nitrates not moved? What is the optimal level of Nitrates? As always...thanks to all of you for the advice.