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Old 06-02-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Water Care question-test levels

Ok, I have done some looking throughout the forum and can't find a definitive answer. What should salt water levels read out at AFTER being cycled? Below is waht I have been able to find but unable to verify as correct:
Ammonia=0ppg
NitrIte=0ppg
NitrAte=?
ph= between 7.2-8.3???
Alkilinity=?
Salt=1.020-1.030?
These are the numbers I have found on the internet but I don't trust them until I get a confirmed aquatic pro's opinion.
Thanks for any help ladies and gentlemen.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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As long as your ammonia and nitrite went up and back to zero, you are cycled. There's no definitive answer on what the readings should be other than those 2 at zero. You'll likley have nitrates present and some ph adjustments to accomplish. Salinity should be constant at around 1.025.

What makes you think you may not have cycled?
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks for the help AD... I haven't yet set up my tank but when I do set it up, I want to know what levels to look out for when I start the cycling process. Any recommended test kits? My LFS has a salt water kit but I don't remember what brand it is.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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I like this kit. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit

Also, read this article from our collection of articles at this site.
Cycle your salt tank
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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After the tank cycles do a 30% - 50% water change with RODI water mixed to 1.023 - 1.026 SG. Wait a week and retest your water, this time for everything. If everything checkls out you can SLOWLY start adding livestock (1 -2 fish per month).
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice and articles AD. That test kit looks similar and has the same things as the one at my LFS, and the article was excellent at explaining the fishless cycling process. What is the time frame that a H2O test kit is good for? I have heard up to a year and also 6 months max, so I'm not sure which is correct.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:27 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice also cmor. That I never would have thought of. I would have probably just run off to my LFS and bought a few new friends and made a possible mistake.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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The experation date should be on the test kit.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:16 PM   #9
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Yes but as a well versed consumer, I have been taught to be skeptical about seller advertised expiration dates. So they tell the correct expiration dates, or they put dates on their packaging that will help move more units in the future?
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:37 AM   #10
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Different manufacturers deal with expiration differently. For example, API doesn't print expiration dates on their bottles, but the date of manufacture. Here's a recent post regarding the coding on API bottles...

API Test Bottle Expiration Date Question

On the other hand, Salifert test kits give an actual expiration date on the box. But on the bottles inside the box, lot numbers are given. The lot numbers *appear* to be a date of manufacture.

Would I use the kit after the expiration date? Depends on what test we're talking about and how sure I am of the value it's reporting. If your test kit is old and you're getting numbers that are showing a major shift in parameters - for no apparent reason - then it's probably time to get a new test kit before making any changes. My magnesium kit is nearly a couple years past it's expiration date - but the numbers it gives me make sense and I have no reason to doubt them... so I just keep using it!

Regarding your original question about parameters, here's a little chart:

http://www.peteducation.com/article....+1979&aid=3355

These are good levels to shoot for AFTER you do what cmor mentioned in his post!
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