I made a big mistake when I added ammonia I was using the tester wrong and kept getting back 0 for ammonia and kept adding and adding ammonia
When I finally tested it correctly it was sky high!
Should I start all over with new water?
Or should I just let it run and the ammonia levels will go down?
I would do a water change and try to bring that ammonia level down a little. I've heard around 4ppm?
Since you have no fish and your system is so small I would change your water and start over.
star over, add sea weed. ...shop for a larger set up.
Yeah man, start over...or at least "over" enough to where you've diluted the NH4 to between 2 and 4ppm. Beyond 6ppm you really make it tough for nitrifying bacteria to 'go forth and multiply'...At only 30 US Gallons, it's not gonna take much to get you on the range...You could sure stand a bigger bio-filter R.K...it's gonna be the most important component of your particular set-up...So don't skimp on it...
How much bigger Vlad? Another couple of buckets?
Well, there's a couple of ways to look at this (usually I think it's a good idea to design your system around your bio-filter, since it will pretty much determine everything else)...Using the rule of thumb; 1 cubic foot of media per pound of fish maximum...might not be wholly applicable since your running NFT and will be removing a good deal of solids (or at least you should be with NFT) There is much plant essential elements locked up in those solids, so in essence by removing them, your removing nutrients from the system as well...I'm taking a wild guess in thinking your fish tank is 30 gallons? So 4-5 lbs of fish is probably max...How many holes do you have exactly? I imagine you'll be keeping short term crops like lettuce and some greens eh?...
So how many plants were you planning?
A couple in each bucket and lettuce in each hole in the NFT pipes.
I've done the same thing, but in 60l ! Readings of more than 8ppm, after two 50% WCs. there're already plants in there too, feel such a doof! continuous WCs now until down to less than 6ppm..
Its best to chuck 2/3 the water out hopefully into a garden. Its going to take more than a few weeks to bring the ammonia levels down in your system, just letting it run. In all fairness you could keep running the system, it will simulate your fish.