New tank, nitrogen cycle?


New member
Hello everyone! :wave:
I am brand new when I comes to salt water aquariums so I was looking for a little bit of help as I had a few questions.

In December, I purchased a 125g aquarium with the idea to turn it into a future reef tank. I didn't add anything to the tank until January 2nd, when I added;

- 120lbs of Ocean Direct live sand
- Approx. 80lbs of live rock
- 3 (600 Hydor Koralia Evolution Pump)
- Seaclone 150 Protein Skimmer

I hopefully plan on just going off the live sand, rock and skimmer to keep everything clean, as my LFS told me that you do not necessarily need a sump as long as you don't add too many fish.

Anyways, the tank has been cycling for about 16 days and I tested the water today (API Saltwater Test Kit) my readings were;

PH - 8.2
Ammonia -0.25
Nitrite - 5.0ppm
Nitrates - 40ppm

Are my levels high just because it is still cycling or should I perhaps make some water changes? I don't want to do the wrong thing if it would interrupt the cycle.

Please let me know if I am doing anything wrong or if my tank isn't set up correctly. Thank you! :)


Premium Member

You can do some water changes if you like. They can't hurt anything, although they aren't necessary, either. Given that the ammonia is low, I'd just wait for a bit, for it to hit zero, and then do some water changes. Those number are all reasonable for such a new tank.