A few years ago I successfully maintained a FOWLR
aquarium with no losses (except a copper butterfly that I couldn't get to eat) - I used used lots of skimming and live rock but I didn't even own a test kit. I made regular water changes, stocked the tank on the lite side; and all was well.
Now, years later, I have set up a 210 gallon tank. Similar set-up; lots of skimming, lots of live rock (that I am curing IN the new tank, as I did before) but I've decided to give test kits a try. So - let's talk Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate --- and here is my issue and question:
A) I can't really tell the difference between the different shades of yellowish-greenish- or reddish-purpleish-whatever to match the color with the chart and determine the results
B) ' and now we get to my question: As I am mainly talking about the initial cycling/startup - is it fair to assume that if I see ANY reading on Ammonia and Nitrite that that is "too much" and it doesn't really matter how much/how high it is?
EG - Can I use the test kit as a pass/fail where almost any Ammonia/Nitrite reading tells me the tank is still cycling?