Could've been high nitrates, yes.
I miss Sesshy.
Fishy, temps to 86 if they can stand it. Watch for signs of oxygen deprivation (they would be at the surface gasping). I'm not going to recommend salt for that tank, it would be a major, major pain to dissolve 3 tsps per gallon for that size tank. You might want to try Kordon Rid Ich or one of those products though if the heat doesn't do it. Also, vacuum the substrate as much as possible every day to pick up parasites that have fallen off.
EDIT: Laki, first days are always hard, aren't they? Going into something unknown like that. I'm glad today is going better and yikes, I hope you can find a good pair of shoes.