I've read all the cycling information. I had plain dechlorinated water in the tank for several weeks. No live plants or anything. Plenty of aeration. I bought Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride and followed directions. After a couple of times adding every few days I finally got an ammonia reading around 1.0. Meantime I had already added an old biomax bag from another aquarium as well as a sponge behind the filter pad. After I got the ammonia reading I poured the sludge from cleaning my other filters into the filter. Today I checked again. No ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate is maybe 5.0. The ph is a little high at around 8. So this tank has been empty for about 6 weeks. I started with the ammonia about 4 weeks ago. How will I ever know if/when it is cycled? I had the old filter media in there from the beginning (behind the charcoal filter pad) and added the sludge a few days ago? Any feedback would be helpful? Thanks--Shirley PS--I need to top off the water level again. I have been using Prime--is that okay?