Please help interpreting test results - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Question Please help interpreting test results

I've set up a new 30 gallon tank and I'm running an Eheim 350 Classic canister filter. I've been running the filter 24/7 for two weeks. For the first week I used SeaChem Stability according to the directions. Half way through the second week I received my plant order and have planted the tank out with 7 different types. Most of the plants are medium size to full grown.

I am now thinking, finally, about a fish order so I figured I'd do my testing using a standard API Test Kit. Here are my results:

Temp - 77.5 (no heater)
pH (meter) - 7.2
pH (chemical) - 7.8
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0.4 ppm
Nitrate - 5.0 ppm

The little directions with the test kit said that any Nitrite level above 0 can harm fish so I'm a bit worried. Could anyone just peek at the numbers and give me some feedback?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 04:14 AM
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Hi Esteban,

With multiple tanks kick starting the nitrogen cycle is easy, I just move some filter media from an established tank to the new tank. With a new tank it can take several weeks to establish a nitrogen cycle.

If it were me I would add a couple of fish, maybe three maximum, and monitor the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates every couple of days. I wouldn't add expensive fish, maybe a couple of corydoras and one of whatever other species you are thinking of keeping in the tank; feed sparingly once a day and avoid overfeeding....if it is still uneaten after five minutes that is too much feed less next time. Your ammonia may return briefly, your nitrites may spike for a day or two, but the nitrogen cycle will kick in and take hold. If the fish show signs of distress do a 30% water change and use Seachem Prime dechlor - it will help bind up the ammonia.

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