I am trying to cycle my tank. Ten gallon. One betta and two otos. My betta has successfully recovered from fin rot, so I decided to try cycling my tank.
I was cleaning my tank. Had a 3 for nitrites. Trace of nitrate (less than 20 but more than 0, do not have a liquid test for that one). Ammonia is still high, though it is coming down (3 two days ago after a partial change. 1.5 today after a partial change-nitrites went down to 1). It freaked me out to leave the ammonia at 3, but my fish did not seem too bothered by it. Figured if I left it alone for a day, the cycle would continue and the nitrites would take care of the ammonia. I am not comfortable with the ammonia at 1.5, but it's a heck of a lot better than 3.
Anyways, I noticed two things: my filter has some remains of freeze dried shrimp in it. Could that account for my ammonia problems? On the opposite side, it has some brown on it. Should I leave it alone? And, when I was cleaning my tank, I noticed several clear strands. Not poop, just clear strands about an inch long. What is that? I got as much poop and uneaten food out as possible with my gravel cleaner.
Also, my otos do not seem to be interested in algae wafers, zuccinni or seedless cucumber. They just "groom" the tank. Should I be providing something for them? They are the only creatures I have had that I have not had to actively feed. That just does not sit well with me. Not used to it.