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Old 08-29-2005, 07:32 PM   #1
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Acceptable NO3, NO2, and NH4 levels.

Hi all,
I just wanted to know what the acceptable levels of nitrate, nitrite, & ammonia are in a salwater aquarium. I have a water test kit but it doesn't really say when the levels start to become lethal or just start to stress the fish. I know that zero is the magic number but this is a new tank so the cycles may not be 100% yet. I am going to do a small water change anyways but I just want to know for future reference. Keep in mind this is a new tank.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:35 PM   #2
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Nitrate: 40ppm, water change, water change if it ever gets above this.
Nitrite: 0ppm, if it ever raises, water change, and inspect for causes.
Ammonia: 0ppm, will cause your fish to start to breathe heavily. Just think of what it does to humans 8O (Ammonia gas causes you to choke to death).

My nitrite and ammonia levels have never risen above 0 (at least long enough for me to notice from random testing). Nitrates have never been above 30 save for when my carpet anemone died
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, my ammonia and my nitrates are near zero (small change in indicator solution) and my nitrates were 10-20ppm. I did a water change anyways. How long can I expect until my tank starts to fully cycle? My rocks are about 10weeks old and only 2weeks in the aquarium with fish. Also I have a 7gal capacity refugium that I plan to put some bio balls in.

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Chris
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:46 PM   #4
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That sounds about the right amount of time. Two months up and running with no fish save for rock. What test kit are you using? Do another small water change and then another in a couple days to see if you can thin out your nitrates.
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Old 08-29-2005, 07:54 PM   #5
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I am using a saltwater master test kit by aquarium pharmaceuticals. It tests high pH, NO3, NO2 and NH4/3. I have done another water change (5gal) last week as well. I have a 29gallon tall with 7gal cap refugium. So I am on the right track with these nitrates right? Any other help would be appriciated. I also have plants in the aquarium and the refugium but they have not completly settled in yet. I am assuming once they start to grow more they will help keep these levels under control. Correct me if I am wrong.

thanks again,
Chris
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