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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

Read the articles in the Cichlid-forum Library in the Water Chemistry section about cycling your tank. Ideally you would add ammonia for six weeks before adding fish. The beneficial bacteria that grows during that period will handle toxins in your tank like ammonia and nitrites...but they need to grow first.
 

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Your tank is cycling. Do NOT remove the substrate. Do NOT replace until your nitrites are zero.

When you did the 50% change your nitrites should have gone down by 50%.

Keep doing 50% or even 75% water changes every morning and night. You want your nitrites below 1ppm. It will take a bunch of 2X daily water changes to get there and maybe 1X daily ongoing to maintain.

With the low KH just check your pH in the tank with every change to be sure you are not changing pH by more than 0.2 per day.
 
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