Cycling a Quarantine Tank - Current Measurements Unsafe?

nickkohrn

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I recently set up a 50g all-in-one quarantine tank for the final two additions to my main system. Below is what the quarantine system is comprised of:
  • 50g all-in-one acrylic Lifereef aquarium
  • 50w Cobalt heater
  • Mag Drive 5 return pump
  • Tunze nano automatic top-off system
  • Tom’s Aqua Lifter & air stone
  • One quart of MarinePure spheres (seeded in main system’s sump for two weeks)
  • Seachem ammonia alert badge
I added a 4oz. bottle (rated for 100g) of Fritz Turbostart 900 two days ago, and I fed the bacteria with Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride. Since, I measured ammonia rise and fall down to 0ppm. The ammonia alert badge seems to indicate a safe level of ammonia. Nitrites have risen, and I am awaiting them to be consumed. Below is a photo of test results (API):
5B6BDA03-4581-4514-8816-53D27671A330.jpeg


My question about whether these levels are unsafe for fish are based on the following:
  • I have read in multiple threads that nitrites need to be at a much higher concentration to be toxic to marine fish.
  • It seems that majority of hobbyists don’t even test for nitrites when regarding quarantine system.
I would love your thoughts on whether my quarantine system is considered unsafe for fish. I don’t mind waiting to add fish; I simply want to gain some insight for future reference. For example, if I need to set up an emergency hospital tank in the future, I may see a similar increase in these parameters if an appropriately-sized bacteria population has not yet been established upon setup. At that point, would a product, such as Prime or Stability, or water-changes be the best recourse? Or would the fish be okay in a similar concentration of nitrites?
 
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EmdeReef

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Nitrites are not as toxic in saltwater unless at very high concentration. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Ammonia you want to keep at zero or at the minimum below 0.5ppm. Having bacteria on hand is always good.

Prime etc are ok if the tank is not dosed with copper. My preferred method for QT are water changes. Hope that helps
 

Ross Petersen

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Cycling a small 10 gallon quarantine tank myself (with microbacter7 and seachem stability) fed with Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It's been about 10 days and my ammonia is still sky-high (and no nitrites, more importantly). I chose the above products based on BRS and Marine Depot videos... but wondering if I'm missing something. Any insights?!
 

Manthanol

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Cycling a small 10 gallon quarantine tank myself (with microbacter7 and seachem stability) fed with Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It's been about 10 days and my ammonia is still sky-high (and no nitrites, more importantly). I chose the above products based on BRS and Marine Depot videos... but wondering if I'm missing something. Any insights?!
I've had issues with ammonia spikes in the past and what really worked for me is the sponge filter. The sponge has a very large total surface to size ratio and good to for bacterial growth. I have a 5, 10 and 20 g QTs and I use the largest sponge filters that fit in them. I use Biospira if I need the QT right away or use Stability if I plan it few days ahead. It's very inexpensive and kept my ammonia at 0 ppm. A powerhead is useful if medicating to maintain oxygen level. I hope this is helpful to you.
 

bluprntguy

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Cycling a small 10 gallon quarantine tank myself (with microbacter7 and seachem stability) fed with Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It's been about 10 days and my ammonia is still sky-high (and no nitrites, more importantly). I chose the above products based on BRS and Marine Depot videos... but wondering if I'm missing something. Any insights?!
I think both those bacteria need a carbon source. Drop in a little food (whatever you have on hand) and it should help kickstart the bacteria.
 

foxt

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How did the QT go? Did you add fish?
 

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