Originally Posted by Pufferfish22
...one of the "Big Fishes" will come along and explain in more deatail hopefully.
Sorry, just small fry (get it?).
If your tank has been running for years with the toxicity at those levels, you are doing pretty good with fish maintanence. As pufferfish22 said, nitrates should be ideally below 20ppm, and ammonia and nitrite should not be present.
You don't have to know about the cycle to finish the cycle, but it sure is an important thing to know what is going on with your fish. Like Pufferfish22 said, API liquid test kits are the best. They are quite abit cheaper than dip tests, and they are certainly beyond a shadow of doubt more accurate. I recomend you get the ammonia and nitrate API liquid test kit if you don't have them already.
As far as the pH, 7.2 works for most freshwater fish, although fish like African Cichlids prefer a higher pH. What kind of fish do you have?
And don't be afraid to ask questions here! We are a good community, and will try to answer any questions we know the answer to. Ask all the questions you want to, it can only help
Hope this helps!