03-09-2013, 10:51 AM
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First, if you didn't test your source water, it could very well (already) have nitrates as even municipal water supplies can have nitrates up to 20ppm (as I discovered testing area water supplies).
Second, ammonia gets oxidized into nitrites. In a new cycle, you have yet to develop sufficient nitrobacter bacteria to oxidize nitrites (with an 'I') into nitrates (with an 'A'). Slow down adding ammonia and perhaps do a partial water change and wait for nitrite levels to come down and nitrates to increase. Once this happens, you have cycled but will need a constant, albeit low ammonia level for a continuous N2 cycle.
Oh and remember that partial water changes reduce nitrates.
Also, conisider adding plants, even floating plants, that will indirectly keep tank nitrates low....and remember...
> don't over stock
> don't over feed
> DO weekly water changes to keep the fresh water fresh.
OH...and WELCOME to TFK!