Temp is about 78 now. I've successfully cycled seeded tanks very quickly with lower temps than that. I don't think the temps dropping to 76 or 77 could prevent a cycle completely.
PH has been at about 7.6. I have other tanks with more fish in them that have cycled completely with the same water.
Feeding: He's generally fed every other day - in his betta jar (because it's so difficult for him to find his food, since he can't see it). I watch what he is eating, when; so nothing falls to the bottom. If by chance there is something that sinks, I do ensure that it does not get put back into the main tank when he goes back.