I'm going to try to include as much info as I can in the hopes that somebody can tell me why after 4 1/2 weeks there's no sign of establishing a cycle in my tank. Sorry it's kinda long....
So I put my betta in his new tank February 5. A 5.5 gallon tank, Aqueon quietflow filter, heater keeps it around 77-78 degrees. I switched from using Tetra bettasafe to Prime 2 drops a gallon with my water changes on Feb 19. Initially I tried to position the output on the filter toward the side of the aquarium and just below the water line to reduce the force of the flow and the sound of it (the tank's in my son's room and he didn't like the noise from the water), but even though I didn't think my betta minded the current much at first it seemed he was hiding more and more under the filter and he could never just swim slowly or float in the water because the current pushed him around. So about 10 or 12 days ago I put panty hose over the intake slots (I had seen his fins sort of stuck to it several times when he would try to lay under the filter) and also rubber banded a piece of filter foam to the output and raised the opening above the water level. We had a 5 hour power outage Feb 21, but otherwise everything seems to be working fine. I do a 50% water change every 3-4 days, and with the exception of one time on Feb 12 when it was 1.0, ammonia has always tested .50 on the day I change the water. Nitrites and nitrates have always been 0. I tested pH and it was 7.0/7.2. I use drinking water that I buy by the gallon at Walmart and have used this water since we bought our betta over a year ago and had him in his 1 gallon bowl. This was because we have well water and it would never clear up just by letting it sit and because it has quite a bit of iron and lime in it, so the petco guy just said it'd be safer to use the drinking water.
Besides the filter, heater, and thermometer, there's gravel on the bottom, 2 silk plants (one small one and one larger one), a decorative ceramic "vase" with holes, a little stonehenge type decoration, and a small rock and piece of shell for decoration (he had these last two in his bowl too).
Maybe I'm not reading the right information but I was thinking I should be seeing some sign of cycling after this much time. Am I doing something wrong? Is it because of the drinking water? Did the power outage cause a setback? Or is it just a very slow process with 1 fish?