Hello all, first post here!
I'm a newbie to fishkeeping (aside from a brief, ill-fated attempt at goldfish in primary school- now I know better!)
Anyway I am in the process of cycling my first tank and have a few questions on things I'm not clear about.
I have a 30-litre tank with an Aqua-One300 hang-on filter. The (unheated) temp has remained at about 25-27'C regardless of whether our a/c is on or not.
I realise the tank size is smaller than ideal however it's all I am able to work with due to living in shared accommodation. All being okay with this tank I would surely look to upgrading to larger tank, but my housemates have said I need to know I am going to stick with it before having to put up with "fish stuff" everywhere!
I've gone for a fishless cycle, but due to not being able to find pure ammonia ANYWHERE, have had to go for the "meat method".
Items in the tank are: medium gravel, small pebble bed with a river rock border. 4 artificial plants, one bridge and an artificial driftwood log. My heater is on order since they only had 200-watt in stock and I think that is too much for the tank size, correct?
The water in Dubai is desalinated, however the guy at the fish store said so long as I use dechlorinator/chloramine remover it would be fine (all their fish appeared healthy)
I'm currently on day 6, but am confused by my test results.
24hours after starting the filter and adding the fish meat, I got:
I had changed 50% of the water prior to testing (because of the smell) however I believe this might have not been a good idea.
Day 2, all same except Nitrate was 0 and pH dropped to 6.4 (no water change)
Day 6 (i was away for work for days 3-5)
Tonight when I tested I got:
Nitrite: between 25 & 50
I am using test strips for everything except Ammonia, which is the liquid drops kit.
Am I doing something wrong, or are these readings normal? And would the CI be due to using the desal tap water? Also I am not sure when/if I meant to remove the 'fish meat'. Just in case I also added one tiny pinch of fish food to the tank just now after testing, to see if it makes any change tomorrow.
Any advice/tips/suggestions MOST WELCOME, and thank you so much!!!