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Well first, what are you using to test the tank? If it is the test strips, don't trust the results. They could be alot lower or even be a lot higher. Get a liquid regeant test kit like aquarium pharmaceutical or tetrafin (i think). This will give you a better reading. If you are using a liquid kit then it is time to do some massive water changes! 50% right now with dechlorinated water, 50% again tomorrow and again and again until you can get the nitrates down. Also, make sure you shake the living daylights out of the nitrate test kit if you have a liquid kit, it can make a huge difference.

It sounds like there is a lot of left over detritis and nitrates from when it was set up before or there is a major problem with something. All I could recommend right now is to dose Melafix to help the fins heal until you can identify the culprit for certain. Add the recommended amount every time you change the water.
 
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