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05-23 1440
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 2.0 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm 
pH 6.6 

05-25 0900
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 0.5 ppm 
Nitrate 80 ppm
pH 7.2

05-27 1010
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm
pH 7.6

Just weird. Ammonia remains at zero, that's great. However Nitrite is up slightly. Nitrate is constant, no decline at all and my pH actually increased and I haven't had time to add my crushed coral. New plants are going to have to soak until Saturday morning when I get off work. 

20210525_124233.jpg

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16 hours ago, Rudles said:

05-23 1440
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 2.0 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm 
pH 6.6 

05-25 0900
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 0.5 ppm 
Nitrate 80 ppm
pH 7.2

05-27 1010
Ammonia 0 ppm 
Nitrite 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm
pH 7.6

Just weird. Ammonia remains at zero, that's great. However Nitrite is up slightly. Nitrate is constant, no decline at all and my pH actually increased and I haven't had time to add my crushed coral. New plants are going to have to soak until Saturday morning when I get off work. 

20210525_124233.jpg

So, at what point in the set up process was the tank on 5-23? Are you trying to ascertain whether or not it is cycled enough to add fish? Or just journaling with parameters in view? I suspect that until you have a really large colony developed, your Nitrite might still occasionally register. Are you opposed to trying to add something like FritzZyme 7 -- beneficial bacteria - and then adding fish? If you buy a piece of wet wood from inside a tank at your LFS, you're good to go. That will bring in a ton of bio.

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Looks great! I doubt you'll see a decline or much of a change in nitrates, since the test kit doesn't get very granular after 80ppm and it's a huge leap between 80 and 120 (is that the highest on the test? I've forgotten). It's normal for Nitrites to skip around while the bacteria colony is building. The ammonia-consuming bacteria are produced first, keeping ammonia levels undetectable even with added ammonia, and then the nitrite-consuming bacteria have to build and catch up. 

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2 hours ago, laritheloud said:

Looks great! I doubt you'll see a decline or much of a change in nitrates, since the test kit doesn't get very granular after 80ppm and it's a huge leap between 80 and 120 (is that the highest on the test? I've forgotten). It's normal for Nitrites to skip around while the bacteria colony is building. The ammonia-consuming bacteria are produced first, keeping ammonia levels undetectable even with added ammonia, and then the nitrite-consuming bacteria have to build and catch up. 

Thank you very much! That's definitely a load off. Still a bit stressed though because I don't want to risk adding fish with that much Nitrite and Nitrate. 

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12 minutes ago, Rudles said:

Thank you very much! That's definitely a load off. Still a bit stressed though because I don't want to risk adding fish with that much Nitrite and Nitrate. 

Absolutely! Wait until both nitrite and ammonia read 0. Then do large water changes to reduce nitrates — after fish less cycling I had to do two 75% water changes in a row to reduce nitrates to an acceptable level. After that it’s safe to add some fish!

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@Fish Folkthere is no LFS here so I'm having to set everything up via Amazon, Aquarium Co-op and Aqua Huna. I set it up on 05/18. Took my first reading on the 05/19. What's really weird is the pH shot up. All I added was Flourite Red, which I forgot in the rush to get set up before my first plant order arrived. I started it up with a canister filter that's been running for three years and five gallons of water from my 20 high. I ran my HOB on my 20 high for four days before switching it over to this 29 just to get it seeded. I was running bio balls and whatever media came with it ( Tidal 55). I'm currently running the original sponge from the bottom of the basket and filter floss but I am keeping the filter media in the tank so that it accumulates bacteria. I'm thinking of switching from boo balls to ceramic bio rings. Getting a bit anxious though as I have an 8 pack of Siamese algae eaters coming from Aqua Huna. If worse comes to worse I could put them in my 20 high until my 29 fully cycles. There's plenty of algae in it.

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I do believe I'll try a 75% water change on Sunday or Monday, probably Monday. I'm going to finish my planting on Saturday morning after work. I see algae growing on the inside of the tank and on my plants. Since I have used two heavily seeded filters I'm sure that I have a fair amount of beneficial bacteria by now. It will be interesting to see if my pH will come down a bit. Still a mystery as to why it spiked in the first place. I know that Flourite Red has a high CEC value but I thought it was inert.

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Agree with @tonyjuliano. No need to do any water changes until your cycle is complete, then the goal is to bring nitrates down to between 10 to 20 ppm via water changes. I wouldn't worry about pH. It jumps around during cycling and it will stabilize to where it will stay once cycling is complete. Keep pH stable once cycling is complete, don't bother worrying now.

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