The last 3 weeks my freshwater 25g tank has been very cloudy when viewing from the side, and even a little from the front. Been testing the water and it is consistently .25 ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, and 5 ppm nitrates. PH was always around 8.2.
In an effort to clear up the water, i started doing weekly 25% water changes. This has not been helping the water clarity. Took readings this evening and after a 30% water change yesterday, I now have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5 nitrates and the ph jumped to 8.8. I have never seen a reading on nitrites above 0. I am using the API Master Test Kit.
How do i get the nitrogen cycle to start. I have 8 livebearers, 2 Corey's, and 4 Ottos. I don't overfeed the fish. I do clean the fake plants once they are fully covered in brown algae which takes around 3 to 4 weeks to occur. The aquarium is never in direct sunlight. I keep the led light on for about 9 hours per day.
During every water change i add some water conditioner.
I have been researching this and working on it and am getting very discouraged. Any assistance would be appreciated. The tank was setup on July 25, 2013.