Cycling Update *HELP* (<0.25 Ammonia; 1.0 Nitrites; 160 Nitrates)

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JSkeleton

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I apologize for all the cycling posts lately, just want to be sure I get all of this right!

ICYMI: 55 Gallon cycling for 2 and a half weeks having used Dr Tim's Ammonia Chloride to bring ammonia to 2.0ppm once and added Brightwell MicroBacter XLM 15x Nitrifying Bacteria. 42lbs arragonite, 20lbs white dry rock, 8lbs purple LifeRock.

Yesterday:
Ammonia was between 0.25 to 0.50 in morning and closer to 0.25 at night
Nitrites closer to 2.0 in morning and closer to 1.0 (just a bit over probably) at night
Nitrates were 80+

Today:
Ammonia is definitely under 0.25 but not perfectly yellow to be 0 yet (see pic)
Nitrites looks a lot closer to 1.0 than it did last night (was slightly darker last night but not quite 2.0, again see pic)
Nitrates seem to be 160+

1. At this point in time should I be doing a water change or not yet and if so how much % and if not then when?
2. Since the Ammonia is getting low, should I be dosing ammonia (either Dr Tim's or pellet food or something) to avoid starving bacteria?
3. When can/should I be adding livestock (was going to get 2 Clowns to QT using a piece of rock from this tank once it's cycled and a few Trochus & Nassarius Shrimp for the main tank right away and possibly a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp just to get something in the tank while Clowns quarantine...thoughts?)

Thanks! :)

0ammonia.jpg 0nitrites.jpg 0nitrates.jpg
 
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fishski13

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I personally never do a water change once my tank cycle unless my nitrates are very high like yours, but thats after it cycle.

You can add fish once the ammonia and nitrite is 0.

This being said the API test kit you are using is notorious for giving false results especially with ammonia and nitrate. For cycling using the API is fine as its only ammonia and nitrite you need to check that are zero after the cycle. And once your cycle finish you will never test for them again. However I would look into a different nitrate test kit. 160 ppm seems really high and it may be a false result. I would definitely start by getting a new nitrate kit.
 

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API kits never read as yellow as the 0 ammonia on the card. I'd call your ammonia 0. I'd say your nitrite is 5+. Nitrate is an invalid test as nitrite screws it up.

OOPS... I'd just wait to see a more definitive drop in nitrite, not add any ammonia. You could QT some Clowns now. Nitrite will be gone before that's done. I'd pass on the CUC and Shrimp until Nitrites are lower and you have done a water change.
 
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JSkeleton

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API kits never read as yellow as the 0 ammonia on the card. I'd call your ammonia 0. I'd say your nitrite is 5+. Nitrate is an invalid test as nitrite screws it up.
Gotcha! So how should I be proceeding then? Waiting it out longer, doing a water change, should I be adding any ammonia not to starve the bacteria, etc.?

Also, the reason I said I thought the Nitrites are 1.0 is cause that purple (at least in person) was darker 2 days ago and seemed more of the 5.0 shade, but I could be wrong since those last 3 purples are all so subtly different haha

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but if my ammonia is 0, could I not add some livestock soon then since I hear nitrites aren't much of a problem in Saltwater tanks?
 
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I personally never do a water change once my tank cycle unless my nitrates are very high like yours, but thats after it cycle.

You can add fish once the ammonia and nitrite is 0.

This being said the API test kit you are using is notorious for giving false results especially with ammonia and nitrate. For cycling using the API is fine as its only ammonia and nitrite you need to check that are zero after the cycle. And once your cycle finish you will never test for them again. However I would look into a different nitrate test kit. 160 ppm seems really high and it may be a false result. I would definitely start by getting a new nitrate kit.
I unfortunately have heard that about API. It was what I had from getting a bunch of stuff from someone who was getting rid of their tank and since I blew a ton of cash, I figured I could wait for another kit, but maybe not haha

So I should not do a water change until Nitrites are gone? That said, if it wasn't for the sky high Nitrates, could I not be adding livestock this week since I hear Nitrites aren't as serious in saltwater tanks or?
 

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Gotcha! So how should I be proceeding then? Waiting it out longer, doing a water change, should I be adding any ammonia not to starve the bacteria, etc.?

Also, the reason I said I thought the Nitrites are 1.0 is cause that purple (at least in person) was darker 2 days ago and seemed more of the 5.0 shade, but I could be wrong since those last 3 purples are all so subtly different haha

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but if my ammonia is 0, could I not add some livestock soon then since I hear nitrites aren't much of a problem in Saltwater tanks?
Sorry. I edited my original post but you read it first. It could be lower than 5 but it is pretty dark in the picture. No matter. Nitrite isn't terribly toxic and will drop in the nest week or two. You can fish. I'd hold off on snails and shrimp until the nitrites drop and possibly do a water change.
 
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API kits never read as yellow as the 0 ammonia on the card. I'd call your ammonia 0. I'd say your nitrite is 5+. Nitrate is an invalid test as nitrite screws it up.

OOPS... I'd just wait to see a more definitive drop in nitrite, not add any ammonia. You could QT some Clowns now. Nitrite will be gone before that's done. I'd pass on the CUC and Shrimp until Nitrites are lower and you have done a water change.
Just seen your edit (sorry for the double reply).

So for QT clowns though, I would need to take rock from my cycling tank, but if it's not fully cycled, could I even use rock (or filter sponge) from it right now for the QT? (Also, if I throw in an extra filter sponge, how long until it's colonized to use in a QT?)

As for CUC how low do I want the Nitrites for them and how much of a water change if my Nitrates are in fact that high? (I was gonna order the CUC with the Clowns since shipping is like $35 from the store I wanna get them from. My LFS' are not the greatest unfortunately)
 

fishski13

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I unfortunately have heard that about API. It was what I had from getting a bunch of stuff from someone who was getting rid of their tank and since I blew a ton of cash, I figured I could wait for another kit, but maybe not haha

So I should not do a water change until Nitrites are gone? That said, if it wasn't for the sky high Nitrates, could I not be adding livestock this week since I hear Nitrites aren't as serious in saltwater tanks or?
I would do a water change until nitrite are gone. The key is patience and not to rush anything, I would rather wait it out and have it finish before doing anything. And technically no, I am pretty sure fish can still get nitrite poisoning which can kill them off at very high levels of nitrite. But I would wait it out before adding any fish or livestock until it is 0. This is just the best for the fish and you so you dont have to worry about it.
 
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I would do a water change until nitrite are gone. The key is patience and not to rush anything, I would rather wait it out and have it finish before doing anything. And technically no, I am pretty sure fish can still get nitrite poisoning which can kill them off at very high levels of nitrite. But I would wait it out before adding any fish or livestock until it is 0. This is just the best for the fish and you so you dont have to worry about it.
Gotcha! I guess my only concern is that, IF the Nitrate reading is accurate (but I do understand it may not be), then wouldn't Nitrates being that high potentially stall the cycle and stall the Nitrites from coming down?
 
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Just seen your edit (sorry for the double reply).

So for QT clowns though, I would need to take rock from my cycling tank, but if it's not fully cycled, could I even use rock (or filter sponge) from it right now for the QT? (Also, if I throw in an extra filter sponge, how long until it's colonized to use in a QT?)

As for CUC how low do I want the Nitrites for them and how much of a water change if my Nitrates are in fact that high? (I was gonna order the CUC with the Clowns since shipping is like $35 from the store I wanna get them from. My LFS' are not the greatest unfortunately)
All of those questions have no exact answer. I am a very conservative reefer. I always choose the slower option... but... Rather than QT your Clowns, order them QT'd from Dr Reef https://drreefsquarantinedfish.com/. They have inverts also. Your tank would be ready to go by the time they were delivered. Look 'em up before paying an LFS for shipping. FYI, that is not a normal way for LFSs to charge for live stock.

Or put a sponge in your current tank and give it a week.
 
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All of those questions have no exact answer. I am a very conservative reefer. I always choose the slower option... but... Rather than QT your Clowns, order them QT'd from Dr Reef https://drreefsquarantinedfish.com/. They have inverts also. Your tank would be ready to go by the time they were delivered. Look 'em up before paying an LFS for shipping. FYI, that is not a normal way for LFSs to charge for live stock.

Or put a sponge in your current tank and give it a week.
Ah gotcha! Unfortunately, I'm in Canada so I'd assume fees would start to get pricey ordering from the U.S.?

As for the LFS I meant that my LFS are not so good, so I would be ordering from another city close by that I heard is a great store (Candy Corals). My only LFS is either Big Al's, Pet's Mart, or like Pet Value or something haha Big Al's used to be decent, but last time I went a few years ago for Freshwater fish, their fish didn't seem to be the best (it wasn't uncommon to see dead fish floating around and whatnot).
 

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I apologize for all the cycling posts lately, just want to be sure I get all of this right!

ICYMI: 55 Gallon cycling for 2 and a half weeks having used Dr Tim's Ammonia Chloride to bring ammonia to 2.0ppm once and added Brightwell MicroBacter XLM 15x Nitrifying Bacteria. 42lbs arragonite, 20lbs white dry rock, 8lbs purple LifeRock.

Yesterday:
Ammonia was between 0.25 to 0.50 in morning and closer to 0.25 at night
Nitrites closer to 2.0 in morning and closer to 1.0 (just a bit over probably) at night
Nitrates were 80+

Today:
Ammonia is definitely under 0.25 but not perfectly yellow to be 0 yet (see pic)
Nitrites looks a lot closer to 1.0 than it did last night (was slightly darker last night but not quite 2.0, again see pic)
Nitrates seem to be 160+

1. At this point in time should I be doing a water change or not yet and if so how much % and if not then when?
2. Since the Ammonia is getting low, should I be dosing ammonia (either Dr Tim's or pellet food or something) to avoid starving bacteria?
3. When can/should I be adding livestock (was going to get 2 Clowns to QT using a piece of rock from this tank once it's cycled and a few Trochus & Nassarius Shrimp for the main tank right away and possibly a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp just to get something in the tank while Clowns quarantine...thoughts?)

Thanks! :)

0ammonia.jpg 0nitrites.jpg 0nitrates.jpg
What’s happened to your hands, lol

Looks like it’s going to plan.
 
AquaSD

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I apologize for all the cycling posts lately, just want to be sure I get all of this right!

ICYMI: 55 Gallon cycling for 2 and a half weeks having used Dr Tim's Ammonia Chloride to bring ammonia to 2.0ppm once and added Brightwell MicroBacter XLM 15x Nitrifying Bacteria. 42lbs arragonite, 20lbs white dry rock, 8lbs purple LifeRock.

Yesterday:
Ammonia was between 0.25 to 0.50 in morning and closer to 0.25 at night
Nitrites closer to 2.0 in morning and closer to 1.0 (just a bit over probably) at night
Nitrates were 80+

Today:
Ammonia is definitely under 0.25 but not perfectly yellow to be 0 yet (see pic)
Nitrites looks a lot closer to 1.0 than it did last night (was slightly darker last night but not quite 2.0, again see pic)
Nitrates seem to be 160+

1. At this point in time should I be doing a water change or not yet and if so how much % and if not then when?
2. Since the Ammonia is getting low, should I be dosing ammonia (either Dr Tim's or pellet food or something) to avoid starving bacteria?
3. When can/should I be adding livestock (was going to get 2 Clowns to QT using a piece of rock from this tank once it's cycled and a few Trochus & Nassarius Shrimp for the main tank right away and possibly a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp just to get something in the tank while Clowns quarantine...thoughts?)

Thanks! :)
It takes months for nitrosomonas to starve - stop dosing ammonia. There is absolutely no benefit to it at this time.

You can't measure nitrates with nitrites present - most nitrate tests convert nitrates to nitrite at a set ratio and measure nitrite. Having nitrite in the sample already throws the test off by a factor of about 80:1.


That's a zero API ammonia - the tank is safe for fish.
 
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I would do a water change until nitrite are gone. The key is patience and not to rush anything, I would rather wait it out and have it finish before doing anything. And technically no, I am pretty sure fish can still get nitrite poisoning which can kill them off at very high levels of nitrite. But I would wait it out before adding any fish or livestock until it is 0. This is just the best for the fish and you so you dont have to worry about it.
It is exhausting dealing with the continued spread of misinformation from the freshwater hobby.

The level at which nitrite becomes toxic to marine fish is about 3-500 ppm. It is less harmful than nitrate in salt water. Nitrite is a chlorine antagonist and there's so much chlorine in salt water that it simply does not matter to anything. Things like shrimp larvae are perfectly fine in 200ppm nitrite.

Waiting until nitrites are zero is not going to make his tank any safer for anything. It is irrelevant.
 

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I apologize for all the cycling posts lately, just want to be sure I get all of this right!

ICYMI: 55 Gallon cycling for 2 and a half weeks having used Dr Tim's Ammonia Chloride to bring ammonia to 2.0ppm once and added Brightwell MicroBacter XLM 15x Nitrifying Bacteria. 42lbs arragonite, 20lbs white dry rock, 8lbs purple LifeRock.

Yesterday:
Ammonia was between 0.25 to 0.50 in morning and closer to 0.25 at night
Nitrites closer to 2.0 in morning and closer to 1.0 (just a bit over probably) at night
Nitrates were 80+

Today:
Ammonia is definitely under 0.25 but not perfectly yellow to be 0 yet (see pic)
Nitrites looks a lot closer to 1.0 than it did last night (was slightly darker last night but not quite 2.0, again see pic)
Nitrates seem to be 160+

1. At this point in time should I be doing a water change or not yet and if so how much % and if not then when?
2. Since the Ammonia is getting low, should I be dosing ammonia (either Dr Tim's or pellet food or something) to avoid starving bacteria?
3. When can/should I be adding livestock (was going to get 2 Clowns to QT using a piece of rock from this tank once it's cycled and a few Trochus & Nassarius Shrimp for the main tank right away and possibly a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp just to get something in the tank while Clowns quarantine...thoughts?)

Thanks! :)

0ammonia.jpg 0nitrites.jpg 0nitrates.jpg
To prevent nitrate spikes, during cycling, I use Nitrate Fx from Blue Life. It doesn't interfere or impact upon the nitrogen cycle while cycling since it does not affect ammonia nor nitrites. It keeps nitrates at bay enabling me to more easily cycle the tank without those nitrate spikes. Hope this helps!
 
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