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Old 06-19-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
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please explain my readings

I filled the tank on Saturday (6/14) with a mixture of tapwater and IO, added sand (Caribsea Ocean Direct, pre-rinsed with tapwater) and live rock (~25-30 lbs....had another large piece that I added a couple of days ago, bringing the total to around 45 lbs.) that was not pre-cleaned. I have since topped-off with around half a gallon of RO/DI water (now that my unit's working). Also this morning, out of fear, I moved around half the live rock back into the curing tub. I went home at lunch, stopping by the LFS to look for the API master test kit, which they did not have. I instead purchased the API tests individually: ammonia, NO2, and NO3. Here are my readings:
Ammonia: ~.375
NO2: off the charts, > 5 and very purple
NO3: ~15
What am I looking at?
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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The beginning primortic goo of the cycle. get all the rock you want in there now. once it cycles adding more could cause mini's along the way. Bite the bullet and do it now.

cya in 60 days give or take
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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Yup. Welcome to AquariumAdvice, and welcome to your cycle!

The NO3 readings are a bit unusual, but since you started with tap water my guess is that the some of those nitrates came in with the tap water. If you would've started the tank with RO/DI water, most likely your Ammonia and NO2 readings would be the same - you'd just have close to 0 for nitrates. As your cycle progresses, the ammonia and nitrite levels will spike up and eventually go to zero. All the while, your nitrate readings should continue to increase.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:42 PM   #4
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Yep, sounds like you are well on your way. Definitely add the rock during your cycle.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:10 PM   #5
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I agree cycle the tank and cure your LR at the same time.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
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It's done! I put the rock back in the tank last night. Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Yup. Welcome to AquariumAdvice, and welcome to your cycle!

The NO3 readings are a bit unusual, but since you started with tap water my guess is that the some of those nitrates came in with the tap water. If you would've started the tank with RO/DI water, most likely your Ammonia and NO2 readings would be the same - you'd just have close to 0 for nitrates. As your cycle progresses, the ammonia and nitrite levels will spike up and eventually go to zero. All the while, your nitrate readings should continue to increase.
I had the same suspicion about the tap water as well, but I tested it for both NO2 and NO3 and both were not detectable. Now that my RO/DI is up and running I've got a tank's worth of fresh water ready to mix and a tank's worth of salt water. Is there any harm in doing a 100% water change once the cycle is complete?
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:48 AM   #7
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I would just do a 33% PWC if it was me and then do smaller frequent PWC`s after that. I really dont think a 100% PWC is necessary. JMO
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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A 1/3 - Ĺ PWC at the end of the cycle should be all that's required. Then weekly pwc's (10% or more).
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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Even though I used tap water for the initial fill, but now have RO/DI water in good supply?
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:52 PM   #10
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I don't understand your question.
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