New cycling tank


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Feb 28, 2021
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Been lurking on this forums for a bit and want to start by saying THANK YOU! This site has ben very helpful. I've wanted to get into saltwater for the longest time and i finally was in a spot to jump in!

That being said, want to get your opinions on if I'm on the right track or if i need to make some adjustments. So, Feb 7th i purchased a biocube 32. To go along with that, i grabbed 20lbs (i think that's the amount) of carribe sea live sand, dry rock and a small piece of live rock. Got the tank home and placed everything inside and filled her up with saltwater from my RODI system. Added Dr tims Ammonium per the directions as well as Aquavitro seed bacteria and let her go with the lights off, temp at 78 and salinity at 1.025.

The next day I did a water test just to see what my numbers looked like (and I was kind of excited to do something with it). Test results were:
Nitrite= 0

I continued adding the bacteria as instructed on the back of the bottle (1.5 tsp per day for 7 days) at which point I did my next water test (2/14):
Nitrite=slightly above 2.0
Nitrate= 10

Another week later (2/21) results were:

Around this water test is when I began noticing browning of my nice white sand and rock. I'm assuming this is the diatom algae I've read about. It haven't been a whole lot but noticeable and seems to easily(ish) come off with a toothbrush or using a turkey baster to blow it off. An acquaintance recommended a peppermint shrimp to eat the algae. Being it was only a couple dollars, I grabbed one at my local Petco and put him in. Seems to be doing quite well in there. I also found at night what to me seems like a very small bristleworm living on/around my liverock piece.

A couple days later (2/23), I added an Intank media basket that I bought online. To go with it, I placed Filter floss, Purigen and ChemiPure Elite. The next day I noticed the tank water was crystal clear! I also dosed the tank with Purple Up according to the directions.

Finally today (2/28). I was hoping to do a water test and see most of my levels exactly where they need to be. My plan was to test, do a water change, maybe test one more time and head to my LFS to "shop" (my plan is to have 2 clowns and a bunch of corals). My test results were:
PH= 7.8

I was kind of bummed seeing the nitrite STILL sitting exactly at 0 with no movement. I know that saltwater is a long waiting process and I shouldn't rush it. I guess my overall reason for this post is, am I on the right path or do I need a little straightening on my path? Should i continue to wait and keep testing? Should I be adding anything (or stop adding)? I will try to get some pictures posted as well.

Thank you all in advance!!

Tank.jpg bristleworm 1.jpg bristleworm 2.jpg bristleworm 3.jpg tank side 1.jpg tank side 2.jpg
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

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Apr 12, 2019
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Should be fine. That level of nitrite shouldn't cause any issues (it is toxic to clownfish at 20ppm). Nitrite is processed at a slower rate than ammonia so it is completely normal. Most people in the hobby just ignore it as it isn't really known to cause issues until it gets really high.
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