I’m new to the hobby, so please go easy on me. I just set up a new biorb (a mistake, I know) and cycled without fish for 3 weeks with a biological booster. It went through bloom and the readings seemed good, so I went ahead and put a betta in there. Suddenly everything SPIKED and I tried to fix it with 50% water changes. After 4 water changes, the ammonia reading is between 0-0.25ppm. The nitrites are 0ppm. The nitrates are still really high, between 20-40ppm. I’ve added the tetra nitrate remover and it doesn’t seem to be decreasing them. I’ve also cut back on feeding significantly to try and prevent increase as much as possible. I’m worried about it affecting his fins, as they are already very “fluffy” and it’s hard to see if they’re fraying or not.
Thank you for your reply Fishlady. I added a few flakes of fish food during the cycling process. I just took another set of readings (including tap water this time), and I will include them here for confirmation. It seems the tap water is the culprit for the nitrates, as the ammonia and nitrite levels don't appear high to me.
If your tap water is under 40 there's nothing to worry about. However, the fact that tap and tank are the same is cause for concern as if the tank was cycled nitrate would be higher in the tank than it is from the tap. Test daily for the next week or so and watch out for ammonia or nitrite rising.