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Bartman 03-22-2009 08:11 PM

Need help with test results
Alright so I have added my live rock and sand on Saturday. I have checked sg levels and they are sitting at 1.023 steady. I have checked ammonia levels and got a reading of 3.0. I have checked for nitrate and found that the levels were at 40 ppm. Checked for phosphorous and found that the reading was at 0.25 to 1.0. It was hard to compare the color on that test.

Just wondering if this is normal for day 2 of cycling and what I should be expecting. From what I understand the ammonia levels will first rise to a peak, then fall, then nitrite levels will rise to a peak and than fall and than nitrate levels will be present. Thing is, from the test of just nitrates, I have already found evidence of it being within the tank.

I will need to purchase some sort of nitrite testing kit. Is it necessary?

Thank you.

Pasfur 03-22-2009 08:16 PM

Yes, you need a Nitrite test kit.

Keep in mind, the cycling of ammonia and nitrite are just a formality. They do not determine when your aquarium is mature and ready for most fish. In a properly set up aquarium, you will also find that Nitrate begins to DROP. This is a great sign that the system is maturing. There are other signs to watch for:
1) a diatom bloom will come and go.
2) Coraline algae will being to cover your live rock and glass.
3) Copepods and amphipods will be visible and being to multiple.
4) Calcium and alkalinity tests will become predictable and dosing somewhat routine.

Each of these steps is necessary to ensure a stable environment. You can certainly BEGIN to add some livestock after Ammonia and Nitrite are zero, but the livestock you add should be simple. A few snails, some blue leg hermits, etc.

Please post some details of your setup so that we can provide the appropriate guidance.

Bartman 03-22-2009 08:33 PM

Okay thank you.

So here is the complete set up final.

I have two koralia 2 power heads
I have one tunze 9002 skimmer
I have an eheim canister filter with a carbon bag and crushed live rock in the compartments
I have argonite sand 1"
I have 50 lbs of live rock
I have one shatterproof submersable heater set at 76. Water temp is steady 78F, testing using digital probe thermometre.

I have purchased "stresszyme" which I have added to the water as instructed. Apparently speeds development of the biological filter, got it for free so I figured it would not hurt to add.
Two test kits and in total I can test for ammonia, kH, pH, calcium and nitrate. I will get a nitrite test kit tomorrow.

Tank is 40 gallon glass, no sump.

Bartman 03-22-2009 08:42 PM

Pasfur 03-23-2009 05:37 AM

Sounds like a nice setup. You are on the right track.

Bartman 03-23-2009 11:27 AM

Day 3 of testing, so here is the complete list of tests that I missed.

I have put together a calender to keep track of tests.

Ph - 7.8 (that is a bit low is it not?)
Nitrate - 20 ppm
Ammonia - 3.0 ppm
Nitrite - 1.0 ppm

Sound right for a day 3 cycling? Where abouts am I at in terms of the nitrogen cycle.

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