Why am I not surprised that you aren't confused 1077?
So, the Nutrafin will be returned to Petco, since it apparently didn't do anything. Although, I will say that the water is crystal clear. This could be from the reduced feeding though, I guess.
Along with being impatient, I am finding it hard to stick to the small amount of feeding every other day. I have been feeding my betta one pellet, every other day. He is to the point where he will jump out of the water at anything hovering above it, in an attempt to get food. (I've been using a 5ml syringe from work (a dosing syringe for childrens Rx medication) to extract water for the water testing - he jumps up and nips at it...he'll do the same to my finger.)
I have a feeding ring for the flake food and one of my poor ghost shrimps "flew" up to it as soon as the flakes hit the water. He clung to the bottom of it, grabbed a piece of flake and proceeded to shove it in his mouth as quickly as possible. (It was interesting to see the digestion taking place, after he ate it, btw.) I accidentally dropped an extra betta pellet and it sunk to the bottom. The other shrimp bolted over to it and frantically dug it up from between the rocks to eat it.
One of my minnows is quit a bit larger than the other three and he seems to hoard the food from them, too.
So, I will BE PATIENT and wait for the ammonia levels to rise, then fall as the nitrites rise, etc. AND try to ignore the "I'M STARVING" messages from my fish/shrimp.
As stated previously, I should still do water changes to keep ammonia and nitrites under .25, correct? (Speaking of ammonia levels, based on the picture provided, am I reading it correctly? It looks to me like it is lighter than the .25 mark, but obviously not yellow.)
Also, should I really be using Prime, since it is more than just a water conditioner. It also "detoxifies nitrites and nitrates." Don't I need nitrites and nitrates as part of the "normal" nitrogen cycle?
So, in summary, since I tend to "blab" a lot:
1. Should I continue water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite below .25? How much water should I change at a time?
2. What do you think the ammonia reading is, from the picture in my last post?
3. Should I continue using Prime, or get a simple water conditioner?
4. Should I continue with one pellet, every other day, for the betta and a very small amount of crushed flakes for the others?