You can't tell by looking at the nitrates...
Erik Phillips said:
Ok so nitrites are almost gone and nitrates are slowly dropping. What is the optimal nitrate level I need to look for to tell e the system is done cycling?
A system is done cycling when ammonia levels are at zero 24 - 36 hours after dosing. You didn't do fishless cycling so you are going to have to play it by ear. Start feeding lightly at first to make sure ammonia and nitrites don't go out of control and then slowly increase feed rates as you go.
What does "dosing" mean?
It means adding ammonia to bring up the ammonia present in the water so that the bacteria can feed on it.