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2+ Year Old Tank


bubblegoose

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I've had my tank set up for more than 2 years now and haven't had a problem with my water parameters since the first few months. I've currently got one goldfish in a 20 gallon tank.

My question is with regards to my nitrAte level....or lack there of. I've never really had a nitrAte spike...or at least I've never tested it above 5. I've read that a tank isn't cycled until nitrAtes are present (as they are the "good" bacteria), but I don't seem to have any (or at least so few that my tester doesn't pick them up), and I don't seem to have a problem with ammonia or nitrites.

My tank is currently decorated with some river stones (only a single layer) and a few pieces of driftwood. I've got a Aquaclear 300, and I clean the tank (vacuum and clean algea) every 2-4 weeks.

I don't have a problem right now (my fish seems perfectly healthy) but was wondering if it's possible to have a cycled tank with no nitrAtes?

Thanks for the help!

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What kind of test kit do you have? I was having this problem too but I wasnt testing correctly. I have the drops. You have to literally shake the 2nd bottle for 30 seconds, no less, before adding to the test tube. Following the directions EXACTLY is very important. After I did that, the nitrAtes showed up. :)

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It's possible to keep the nitrAtes in an aquarium low, but it takes either a lot of live plants or a lot of water changes. And since you don't mention having live plants, and you only change the water every 2-4 weeks, I can just about guarantee that you have nitrAtes in your aquarium water... Very high levels probably.

Glitterfish gave you some good advice about using test kits. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS EXACTLY. If you haven't been following the instructions exactly, chances are good that you will need to replace your test kit before you get a true reading of the nitrAtes in your aquarium.

The reason test kits specify shaking a bottle before use is because the chemicals in the bottle separate when the bottle sits. If you don't shake the bottle long enough the chemicals don't get remixed, so when you do the test you're not getting the correct amount of each chemical.

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Thanks for all the help!

The fish is about 5-6 inches including tail (which is about half the length). I would say I change the water more like every 2 weeks, with a really thorough vacuum and I usually clean the filter too (as I find that it tends to overflow if I don't). And while I don't have plants, I do have lots of algea (as my entire one wall is windows and I get tones of light).

I think I follow the instructions pretty closely...I shake the bottles and the test tube pretty long, but I guess it's possible that I'm doing something wrong.

I'll try again tomorrow and let you know if I have any luck....though I just did a water change today, so that may affect it.

Thanks again!

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Hi there,

I think the nitrAte test kit referred to in the previous posts is the Aquarium Pharmeceuticals test kit as you have to shake the #2 bottle for 30 seconds before adding to the test tube and then shake the test tube for 1 minute, then you can wait another minute for results.

Is your fishie active and breathing ok? You can always salt the water if your concerned while waiting to figure this out...

S~

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Thanks for all the help!

I just retested it....shoke the heck out of eveything and waited awhile before checking. The reading was around 5....but than again, I did just change the water, vacuum and clean the filter, so I wasn't expecting much.

Saivite, thanks for the concern, but the fish is actually fine. I was just asking out of curiosity.

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