Yes, that's the way it works
Maybe you didn't put in enough food or whatever to cause enough of an ammonia spike.
Maybe you put in enough parts of the nitrogen cycle bacteria that you didn't see a spike, or waited a few days in between testing and missed it.
Maybe the rock you put in is releasing nitrates
Yes daily, also I have seen a few videos of people putting macro algae in their protein skimmers as a way to further absorb nitrates. Since I am not running a sump, does anyone have any experience in doing this?
What I always do to start a tank cycle is to add about 2-4 ppm of pure ammonia and wait until it goes down. Once the tank is able to get rid of 4ppm ammonia in 24hrs you'll be able to fully stock the tank. In he end you want 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and some nitrate then Do a water change and start stocking.
I have been running this tank now for a little over 2 weeks waiting for it to cycle. After testing today my results were ph - 8.2, ammonia - 0ppm, nitrite - 0ppm and nitrate 20 ppm. Do you think it is time to do a water change and begin stocking the tank? Also how much of a water change is recommended?