I have made my first attempt at a desktop setup, 20 gallon tank, doing a fishless cycle. No plants, no fish yet. Due to work schedule I've not been as attentive as I should have been for the last few days but today I'm sitting at the following .....
Nitrites - 5.0ppm
Nitrates - 10ppm
Ammonia - .50ppm
PH - 8.2
Can anyone advise where I might be in the cycle process and/or what I need to do to get my arms back around this?
I'm sorry for asking but my online availability is limited and I don't have a lot of time for due diligence as I'm sure the answers are here in this forum somewhere. I know that I want my nitrates measurable and nitrite/ammonia counts as close to 0 as possible but wasn't sure that I should see the counts this high at the same time.
I would give it more time. Unless you've manually added nitrite then the bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite (nitrosonomas) is always accompanied by the bacteria that converts nitrite to nitrate (nitrobacter). You just need your nitrobacter to further develop. Don't worry about it because nitrite inhibits nitrosonoma so the system will balance out on its own.
thank you - I'll continue to be patient then. should I be concerned with lowering the ph to more of a 7.6/7.8 level or just let that balance out as well?
depends on your fish and plants. There are plenty of fish and plants that do just fine in that pH and ammonia/nitrite is alkaline so I would expect your pH to level out maybe a small bit once things settle in.