Okay, I purchased an aquarium "multi-test" kit today and tested my water. It showed no nitrate or chlorine, but it did give a reading in the "caution" level for nitrite (around .5) a high pH (about 8.4), and very hard water (which I knew about our water here already). The test didn't say anything about ammonia. Should I buy a separate test for that?
So where do I go from here? (Remember that I already have the fish in the tank). Should I just keep changing the water frequently? If so, how often and what % of water? Or is there something I need to add to the water to reduce the nitrite level? Do I need to do something to lower the pH and the water hardness?
I thought I would ask the experts here rather than the pet store employees, as they never mentioned anything about cycling the tank to begin with!