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Is it possible to have zero nitrates?


hollyh

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I never get a nitrate reading when I test my tank, is this possible? My cycle is fairly newly completed (no ammonia or nitrates now). I use the API drops and they're good till 6/2016. I am mixing the reagents for 30 seconds and the water tube for a minute once they're added.

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I never get a nitrate reading when I test my tank, is this possible? My cycle is fairly newly completed (no ammonia or nitrates now). I use the API drops and they're good till 6/2016. I am mixing the reagents for 30 seconds and the water tube for a minute once they're added.

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Bottle 1 add 10 drops to tube

Shake bottle two for 30 seconds and then add 10 drops

Shake tube for 1 minute and let it sit for 5 minutes. Hold it up against white.

What size tank do you have? How many fish? Fish size? How many plants?

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Its a 20 gallon tank with 3 1.5-1.75" fish. Been cycled a little less than a month, I'd say. It has some plants, 4 anubus and a couple of small pieces of hornwort. And what Mikey lists is what I do for the test. I do weekly 75% water changes.

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Its a 20 gallon tank with 3 1.5-1.75" fish. Been cycled a little less than a month, I'd say. It has some plants, 4 anubus and a couple of small pieces of hornwort. And what Mikey lists is what I do for the test. I do weekly 75% water changes.

Do you test after water changes?

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You wrote you "never get a get a nitrate reading when I test my tank." When you cycled, did you get nitrates? What about nitrites?

(I know, I know, more questions. :) )

Edited by LisaCGold
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I did get nitrite and ammonia reading when the tank was cycling. They're both zero now. Just haven't seen any changes in nitrates. Looks like zero to me, just seems odd not to have any. I tested the tank on Thursday before last week's water change on Friday and today. Zero. Just starting to wonder if that's possible. I should probably just pick up another nitrate kit to double check. And another cabinet to store all the fishy stuff I'm starting to collect!

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That is quite odd..... I like your idea of getting another test. You can buy individual nitrate tests; you don't have to buy the whole kit. It just makes no sense to have no nitrates after a week without a water change with three fish in a 20.

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Bring a sample of your water to your LFS (It should be free) and see what there results come back as. I find it odd you are getting 0ppm with 3 fish in a 20 gallon tank.

Ask for numbers when you go.

Edited by Mikey
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How much are you feeding your fish and how often?

I just realized I've been underfeeding a bit, and working on getting a floaty fish fixed, so feeding has been really light lately. 1/16th teaspoon of frozen shrimp and 8 pellets of the small hikari lionhead.

Its a 20 gallon tank with 3 1.5-1.75" fish. Been cycled a little less than a month, I'd say. It has some plants, 4 anubus and a couple of small pieces of hornwort. And what Mikey lists is what I do for the test. I do weekly 75% water changes.

Do you test after water changes?

I don't usually test right after a water change. I've been doing it before and a few days later. The nitrate test is far to irritating for me to test it a lot, especially since I've not been getting any readings.

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It seems like testing it right before the water change would be the best time. Can you take pictures next time? Maybe you are color blind :) But seriously, those are some small fish. Maybe they just dont make much "pollution".

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I think its possible especially since you have three small fish and have hardly been feeding them anything. The anubias are probably consuming alot of that small amount of ammonia they are putting out so the nitrates wouldnt really rise much with the 75% water change. I have two big fish (6-8 in) and one medium in my 40 but about 8 anubias plants and my nitrates only go up about 5ppm a week. You could get another test kit to be safe though.

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I seriously hope I'm allowed to post a link to another forum... http://www.Not Allowed/fishforum/test-kits/6439-important-information-api-freshwater-master-test-kit-users.html

I think this article may explain why this is happening. Try following the steps outlined and see if that works. It seems as if you're not the only one having this problem.

Edited by Justin
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I seriously hope I'm allowed to post a link to another forum... http://www.Not Allowed/fishforum/test-kits/6439-important-information-api-freshwater-master-test-kit-users.html

I think this article may explain why this is happening. Try following the steps outlined and see if that works. It seems as if you're not the only one having this problem.

Thanks for that information hun. but in all honesty the problem in the problem is that the fish are small and she has cut back on feeding... Which will lead to no signs of Nitrates... plan and simple :)

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I seriously hope I'm allowed to post a link to another forum... http://www.Not Allowed/fishforum/test-kits/6439-important-information-api-freshwater-master-test-kit-users.html

I think this article may explain why this is happening. Try following the steps outlined and see if that works. It seems as if you're not the only one having this problem.

Thanks for that information hun. but in all honesty the problem in the problem is that the fish are small and she has cut back on feeding... Which will lead to no signs of Nitrates... plan and simple :)

If that is the case, why was she seeing nitrates when the tank completed the cycle but now she is not?

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I seriously hope I'm allowed to post a link to another forum... http://www.Not Allowed/fishforum/test-kits/6439-important-information-api-freshwater-master-test-kit-users.html

I think this article may explain why this is happening. Try following the steps outlined and see if that works. It seems as if you're not the only one having this problem.

Thanks for that information hun. but in all honesty the problem in the problem is that the fish are small and she has cut back on feeding... Which will lead to no signs of Nitrates... plan and simple :)
If that is the case, why was she seeing nitrates when the tank completed the cycle but now she is not?

"she has cut back on feeding" meaning less waste

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Seems like it is possible for me to have no nitrates, I'll be keeping an eye out for more when I feed everyone more.

I did order a different nitrate test as well. Different brand which I can no longer remember th name off.

I had seen a similar article about really shaking up the 2nd bottle of the test. I'll give it a couple of good whacks on the counter and shake really well next time too.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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One of the nitrate tests actually has a positive control, for a known concentration of nitrates. I think this is a good test to get.

One of my frustrations with the API test kit is the lack of positive controls.

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I did get the Seachem MultiTest Nitrite and Nitrate Test kit, which has a control. When I tested the tank with the Seachem it was about 2 ppm. I suppose there must have been some change in the color of the API test, but it looked closer to the zero yellow to me than the 5 yellow.

Good to know the API one is probably reading fine and the tank really was in a safe range. Not sure its any easier to run, but I like that it has a wider range of readings.

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