Im new here on this site and to sw
tanks. I have a Biocube 29. I bought it used and I also bought it with the live sand and live rock in it. I also took the water figuring I would have an established tank. However, when I picked it up he did not have it plugged in and I dont know for how long it sat that way. He did say he had fish in it a month or so ago. So I added another 5lb bag of CaribSea live sand to repopulate the lr
incase it had died off. It holds 15 gallons and I did a 5 gallon water change that I got from the lfs
. I brought it home Fri and did the ls
and water change Sat. I have modded the stock filter to accept poly-filter filter pad. I have changed it a few times to get rid of debris. Also on Sat I dropped 1 coctail shrimp in to get things started. It is now Mon and the water was super clear today. I did my first water test and the results are: pH-8.2, ammonia-1ppm, nitrites-.5ppm, (and now for the stunner) nitrates-160! Maybe more, but that was the last color on the chart. My salinity is a little high at 1.032. My temp is about 79. I think I know why my nitrates are so high. Probably because of a dirty tank, and Im sure the bioballs dont help. What would be the best course of action for me? Water change? If so, how much? Should I clean a portion of the bioballs? After the reading I looked at the sponge in chamber 3 and there was a ton of debris under it so I stirred it out and let it go into the tank and hopefully into the filter. If I do a water change should I clean the bottom of the chambers first and get everything stirred up so I can siphon it out with the water? Will this mess up the cycle of the new sand? Any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.