Nitrites on day 3?

Discussion in 'Water Parameters' started by Raamiah, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Raamiah Valued Member Member

    Hey all,
    I started my tank cycling on Monday and my first tests were about 12 hours after I started it.

    My results were:
    SG - 1.022 (need a refractometer not trusting the hydrometer)
    pH - 7.8
    ammonia - .25-.5
    nitrites - 0
    nitrates 0

    SG - 1.022
    pH - 7.8
    ammonia - .5
    nitrites - 2
    nitrates - 0

    I have about 12 lbs of live rock in there and some used sand that most likely had some dead stuff in it (found hermit shells and a frag in the sand as I washed it clean). I know this probably had plenty of ammonia in it to help get the process started but should I be getting nitrite readings so soon or could I have checked the tube too soon? It was clearly not the light blue the API marine test kit would show if it were at 0 like it was the other day.

    Anyway, anyone have any thoughts or ideas on the matter?

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  2. locoyo386 Well Known Member Member

    If you do not have any livestock, than you are fine. the nitrites are starting to show, than the ammonia will go to zero and nitrates will start to show soon. Than the nitrites will start to go to zero as your nitrates go higher. You will see a quick cycle if you are only using live rock to cycle the tank. Also note that you might not be able to add anything really big or more tham maybe one fish when you first start. This is because you had very small amount of ammonia to start the cycle with.
  3. Raamiah Valued Member Member

    Thanks for the input. I just always heard that the cycle would take about a month so I was just completely confused when I saw nitrites already. I think I will give the tank a long time before I add anything because I want the coralline algae to grow over the dead/base rock. Is there anything I can do/add to put helpful creatures in the tank that would inhabit the rock? The rock I got was cured by a guy in San Diego so I have no idea what is in it. I am just trying to do things right the first time around.
  4. locoyo386 Well Known Member Member

    Well the length of the cycle depends on how much ammonia you introduced at the beginning. By helpful creatures, do you mean like to critters that live in the rock or like bigger critters like shrimps or crabs?
  5. Raamiah Valued Member Member

    I was thinking of micro organisms but someone said that they will just appear through the process.

    My readings are more normal now. I guess I should have just waited but I was freaking out because I don't want to mess it up. :)
  6. locoyo386 Well Known Member Member

    That's good, that your tank is making more sense now. As far as what you can do to add micro organisms is seeding it with rock or sand that you already know that there are some in it. That's about the only thing I know of other than letting it sit for a long period of time in the tank.