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Old 02-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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New From Lincoln, NE! Need Help Already.

First I'd like to stay new here from Lincoln, NE. Been planning a salt water aquarium since early December and have been reading books on salt water aquariums and browsing the hell outta of these forums and finally on January 28th I started her. And now I've come across a problem.

Have been letting it cycle for just over two weeks. I got live rock from the fish store and have been keeping track of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates since I got a testing kit 8 days ago and before then I'd just take it to the lfs.

The first week saw ammonia rise and then return to 0ppm 9 days ago. Since February 4th these are my numbers

02-04-2012:
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 2-5ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
ph 8.1

02-06-2012
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
ph 8.1

02-08-2012
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
ph 8.0

02-10-2012
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 1ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
ph 8.1

02-11-2012
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite .25ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
ph 8.0

So, is my tank cycling or what? I have a crap API test kit (Somebody recommend a better one) and I noticed that all of the test are sensitive to about .25ppm and on the nitrate it won't change until 5ppm so I'm not sure if that's why I get 0ppm reading on the nitrate? I'll include pics from this last time's check but, the nitrates don't look bright yellow like the card suggests 0ppm would look like (Maybe my eyes are playing tricks because I want it to cycle so badly) who knows.

I'm not sure what to do at this point beyond waiting more and praying that some nitrates show up. Also tank temperature has been between 78-83 degrees since it's been setup, and salinity has been in check throughout as well.

Thanks!

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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To me, it looks like you do have nitrates! Not zero, but not quite 5 PPM. So they're probably between 1-5 PPM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by George9 View Post
To me, it looks like you do have nitrates! Not zero, but not quite 5 PPM. So they're probably between 1-5 PPM.
Thank you that's indeed what it was as I checked today and my numbers are:

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10-15ppm
Salinity and Ph are in check

didn't think I'd make it to this point

So, what should I do next? Most people suggest a water change of about 80-90%, would a 20% daily water change for three or four days work? Or should I just do one?

Also, should I be adding an ammonia source? Didn't read too much past the initial stages of a tank.
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