New 55 Gallon Cycling Help (Ammonia 0.25; Nitrites 2.0 - When Can I Add Fish?)!

JSkeleton

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I've been cycling my 55 Gallon for a couple weeks starting with Dr Tim's Ammonia Chloride (brought to 2.0ppm) and Brightwell MicroBacter XLM 15x nitrifying bacteria (I put 2-3 times the amount recommended) and yesterday my Ammonia looked closer to 0.50ppm and Nitrites closer to 5.0ppm; today Ammonia looks closer to 0.25ppm (maybe slightly higher as colour is hard to read?) and Nitrites seem closer to the 2.0 range.

I'm using API to test (I heard they can get inaccurate at lower Ammonia ranges, so how do I know when it ACTUALLY is safe to add livestock?), I have Arragonite (42lbs), about 20lbs of the white dry rock Big Al's sells in Canada, about 8lbs of that purple LifeRock, I have 2 sicce pumps on each end that are rated for about 530 gp/h flow, a 70 gallon HOB Filter with Biomedia + sponge and also a 30 gallon HOB filter with biomedia + sponge (reason for 2 HOB filters is cause I was told just my 70 gallon one was not enough and instead of buying a bigger one right now I had an extra 30 gallon one kicking around).

I know it's debated to the moon and back, but is there a general (evidence based?) consensus of when it would be safe to add any livestock? Should I be 100% sure my Ammonia is 0 since it's a new tank or is 0.25 safe? Nitrites I heard aren't a big deal in Saltwater setups? Should I be doing somewhat of a water change and would that help (I heard some people say doing a water change can set you back in some instances)?

Worth noting: Livestock I want to add is maybe 2 Clowns, few Nassarius snails + Trochus snails (maybe 3-5 each to start since tank is new and maybe supplement them with Nori or something?). The Clowns would be going into a 20 Gallon QT which I would be using probably at least 10ish Gallons from my setup 55 Gallon; the inverts I heard don't need to go in a QT(?) and was going to put them in the 55 Gallon right away. (Fish store has a sale too so that's enticing but ends today...I could put a note not to ship them for a few days or a week but that could still be a risk idk).

Sorry for the lengthy post, but really don't want to mess this up being new to saltwater and then end up getting so discouraged I just bail completely on the hobby!
 
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JSkeleton

JSkeleton

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By the looks you're using API tests which aren't the best. What is your nitrate?
Yeah API cause that's what I got from someone who sold some stuff they had left over haha

Nitrate was about 60ppm when I checked yesterday but I heard that if Nitrites are present that it could give false Nitrates numbers?
 
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Jekyl

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Yeah API cause that's what I got from someone who sold some stuff they had left over haha

Nitrate was about 60ppm when I checked yesterday but I heard that if Nitrites are present that it could give false Nitrates numbers?
Your tank is cycled. No need to test Nitrite ever again and ammonia only when a situation presents itself. Do a large water change to get your nitrate in order, 75 or 80% or more would be best. Afterward get a fish or 2.
 
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JSkeleton

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Your tank is cycled. No need to test Nitrite ever again and ammonia only when a situation presents itself. Do a large water change to get your nitrate in order, 75 or 80% or more would be best. Afterward get a fish or 2.
Oh okay, perfect, thanks! As for the Ammonia showing still around 0.25ppm though, what do I do about that?
 

Jekyl

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Oh okay, perfect, thanks! As for the Ammonia showing still around 0.25ppm though, what do I do about that?
Nothing. There's always going to be some ammonia in the water as the conversion to nitrate isn't instant. From my understanding that's what the test is showing you, that or it's like a false positive.
 
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