New tank water readings - question

Palerider

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HI Everyone,
Started my 15 gallon tank 4 days ago with 3 kg's (+/-11 pounds) of LR, live sand, and replaced filter media from a well established tank instead of starting it from scratch. Shop supplied me with pre-mixed water.
I have the following test readings after my first test today:
PH 7.5-8
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite 0 (maybe 0.1)
Nitrate 50ppm

My question is, I was expecting to see ammonia, and perhaps some nitrite by now and not nitrate yet... Should I expect the cycle to still start or is this cycle fairly advanced after such a short period? I don't have any fish in the tank. I did see two snails and a little brittle star from the LR. I did use a conditioner on day-2 to get things started...

Will appreciate feedback

Cheers!


 

utkgreg

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Welcome to FishLore!

So, you might have to talk a little more about what type of media you're using and what type of filter you have... tradition filters aren't always recommended in a saltwater tank. Saltwater tanks a loooonnnngggggg time to get established. Also, depending on what you're planning on putting in there, saltwater inhabitants are much more sensitive to nitrates. The 50 is going to be really dangerous for some inhabitants, so you'll need to work on getting that down by doing partial water changes. It sounds like things are off to a pretty good start, but I would definitely recommend watching it for at least another week before moving forward.
 
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Palerider

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Yeah, I wasn't planning to stock the tank any time soon.
As for a description of the system - it has a built in filter -first compartment has a pump drawing water through a sponge ( I left this as is but added some of the finer wool/floss type media between as I believe the sponge could let some particles through). The water then goes through a small UV sterilizer (currently running, not too sure if it's good or bad at this stage). The water is then fed through a protein skimmer in compartment-2 (I've closed the valve for now, don't think I need to run it just yet). The water then passes through (compartment-3) noodle-type (ceramic) filter media. This is the stuff I got from the shop owners tank (well established). I replaced about 3/4's of the kit's filter media with this. Last compartment is empty apart from a heater and pump that moves the water back into the main tank. I have about an inch to 1.5 inches of live sand.
Additionally, I run the lights approximately 4 hour a day. The tank is 15G (claimed on the box) but I think excluding the built in filter, sand and LR it's probably 10-11G.

I'll test again tonight and update.

Again thanks for help / advice...

Cheers!


 
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Palerider

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Also, I have a small power head behind the rock to increase flow (wasn't part of the kit)....


 
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Palerider

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Update
PH 7.5
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate +/- 35
I guess the only reason the nitrate is down could possibly be the fairly thick sand bed (1-1.5").

Again, advice will be appreciated...


 

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