funky levels in new freshwater tank
So I started a freshwater 29 gallon 3 days ago. I'm using a Penguin BioWheel. I seeded the filter with gravel from the Petco tank where I got my 4 glolite tetras, pleco, and corey cat. This morning, I noticed that the corey cat was dead... presumably killed by the pleco in competition for the one cave I put in the tank (stupid)... at least I think that's what happened. Anyway, that prompted me to double check the levels... amonia is still close to zero... it hasn't had time to build up (at least in my experience that's taken at least 5 days). BUT... I had NITRITES! I don't even know why I checked, but I did and I do. Between .5 and 1 ppm. Was this probably from the bacteria that transplanted from the gravel? If so, where did they get the amonia to make that much nitrite? Thanks.
The concentration values which you quoted are "observed" values (based on our fairly crude test kits) and differ somewhat from the actual concentrations.
You did have ammonia in your water and the digestion of this ammonia in your bacteriological filter generated the nitrites.
Yes, it is possible to already have nitrites since you added the gravel from an established tank. It is also possible to get an ammonia count very quickly after adding fish; you might even already have ammonia and/or nitrite in your tap water (if that is what you are using in your tank).
Just keep a daily check on your tank parameters until the tank has completely cycled.
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