Struggling to read nitrite level (and is it too high for fishless?)

tkoalas

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I am currently cycling (fishless) a 5 gallon tank with a HOB filter (TopFin) and Fluval BioMedia (BioMAX). That's not super relevant, but it's good to know and share.

I have been dosing with Stability and the nitrites just started to spike. What I am not used to is figuring out how concentrated the nitrites are, and I don't know if the current level is too high. I am looking for three things:
  1. confirmation/help reading my tests
  2. help knowing if the levels are okay or if I need to do a water change
  3. knowing if I should continue to dose ammonium chloride or wait until the nitrite spike goes down
Below are pictures. I believe the ammonia is at 0.5ppm, the nitrite is 2.0+ppm, and the nitrates are high (160? ppm).

I am hesitant to do a water change to bring the nitrates down because that will bring the nitrites down, but that might be what I need to do if it's too high (actually, thinking more on it, bringing the nitrites back up at this point in the cycle would actually be pretty easy, though, right? just add more ammonia?). I look forward to reading all your thoughts!
 

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Sgooosh

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I am currently cycling (fishless) a 5 gallon tank with a HOB filter (TopFin) and Fluval BioMedia (BioMAX). That's not super relevant, but it's good to know and share.

I have been dosing with Stability and the nitrites just started to spike. What I am not used to is figuring out how concentrated the nitrites are, and I don't know if the current level is too high. I am looking for three things:
  1. confirmation/help reading my tests
  2. help knowing if the levels are okay or if I need to do a water change
  3. knowing if I should continue to dose ammonium chloride or wait until the nitrite spike goes down
Below are pictures. I believe the ammonia is at 0.5ppm, the nitrite is 2.0+ppm, and the nitrates are high (160? ppm).

I am hesitant to do a water change to bring the nitrates down because that will bring the nitrites down, but that might be what I need to do if it's too high (actually, thinking more on it, bringing the nitrites back up at this point in the cycle would actually be pretty easy, though, right? just add more ammonia?). I look forward to reading all your thoughts!
how long has the cycle been going?
 
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OP
tkoalas

tkoalas

New Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
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Location
Marquette, MI
how long has the cycle been going?
Not that long. I set up the tank on September 19th (17 days ago), and installed the biomax media on the 23rd (13 days ago). Before that, I was just using the default floss/carbon filter that comes with the HOB, and the blue "biomatrix" that comes with the filter (just a plastic insert that is designed to allow bacteria to grow, according to TopFin).
 
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