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Is It Bad To Have No Nitrates?


npila1

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So a few members have recently commented on the fact that my 4.5-month tank has parameters of 0,0,0. I had 5 ppm until about a month ago and that point I started using prime (switched from stresscoat). I don't know if it's related at all to prime, but ever since I've had 0 ppm for nitrates. So my question is do I absolutely have to have nitrates for my tank to be established? And if yes, then why don't I?

Any ideas???

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Having 0 nitrates is unusual unless you have plants in your tank, I never have them as the plants eat it all. If you don't have any plants then it suggests there is a problem with your test kits for something, as they're always produced by a cycled filter and there isn't anything to consume them, so they should show up. Zero nitrates is actually desirable, but you should be able to tell why you're getting it, and if there doesn't appear to be a reason for them not being there it suggests that something's not working as it should, it might be your filter, it might be the test kits are too old or the wrong type, or maybe you just need to reread the instructions :idont

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Having 0 nitrates is unusual unless you have plants in your tank, I never have them as the plants eat it all. If you don't have any plants then it suggests there is a problem with your test kits for something, as they're always produced by a cycled filter and there isn't anything to consume them, so they should show up. Zero nitrates is actually desirable, but you should be able to tell why you're getting it, and if there doesn't appear to be a reason for them not being there it suggests that something's not working as it should, it might be your filter, it might be the test kits are too old or the wrong type, or maybe you just need to reread the instructions :idont

Hm... Well, first of all I don't have live plants... I'm using API drops which are supposedly quite accurate, they shouldn't be too old because I just bought them 3-4 months ago, and I'm positive I'm following the instructions right. That's why I can't figure out what's going on...

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I bought test kits that were already expired when I got them. I didnt realize that until I got home. They might be 3-4 months old but when do they expire? It might even be the ammonia kit that is out.

I have never had prime affect my nitrate levels that I know of. The bottle does say it detoxifies nitrate, I don't know of that means it makes it undetectable. Anyhow if you are using the reccomended dosage I cant see it eliminating nitrates.

Are you using any nitrate removers?

How often and how much water do you change? What is the volume of your tank?

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I'll check the expiration date and let you know. In terms of nitrate removers, I added easy balance (from Tetra) only once 1-2 months ago, but I never added it again just because I didn't trust it... I change the water once a week (sometimes twice a week), about 30% each time. It's 20 gallons.

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I am kind of wondering maybe it is the Easy Balance. Is it the Nitraban stuff? It says it last for 6 months amd settles into the gravel. Do you have gravel? However though with your water change regime I would assume it is all gone by now. Maybe another member has experience with this stuff? I was wondering the volume and you wc regime just to see if you were giving the nitrates enough time to build up, and you are.

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Yeah it's the nitraban stuff. And I added that because I had 5 ppm nitrates for a while and I couldn't get rid of them (at that time I thought that having nitrates higher than 0 ppm was really bad). I do have gravel and I vacuum it when I do water changes.

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If the test kits are fine then that Nitraban stuff would explain it. Given though 3 single tails in a 20 that must be some powerful stuff to eliminate the nitrates. Make sure the test kits are fine though especially your ammonia just to be sure the tank is fully cycled.

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If the test kits are fine then that Nitraban stuff would explain it. Given though 3 single tails in a 20 that must be some powerful stuff to eliminate the nitrates. Make sure the test kits are fine though especially your ammonia just to be sure the tank is fully cycled.

Ok thanks, I'll check when I go home and I'll post an update.

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also remember with the liquid api nitrate test kit you must really shake that container to get a accurate test reading :) I usually bang mine against my chair as I'm shaking the test tube ;) (LOL)

lol! I don't quite bang it but I do shake it as hard as I can... I guess I'll bang it on a chair too next time!

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I'm home but I can't find the expiration date of the API drops... Where is that written?

Here is the info I got from API a while back:

Each reagent bottle has a Lot # printed on the bottle. The last four digits are the month and year of

manufacture. Example: Lot # 28A0102. That means it was bottled in January of 2002.

API Wide Range pH, High Range pH, Ammonia, Nitrate, Phosphate, Copper,Calcium and GH all last for three years.

Nitrite and KH will last for four years. Freshwater pH(low range) will last for five years.

I hope this helps. :)

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I'm home but I can't find the expiration date of the API drops... Where is that written?

Here is the info I got from API a while back:

Each reagent bottle has a Lot # printed on the bottle. The last four digits are the month and year of

manufacture. Example: Lot # 28A0102. That means it was bottled in January of 2002.

API Wide Range pH, High Range pH, Ammonia, Nitrate, Phosphate, Copper,Calcium and GH all last for three years.

Nitrite and KH will last for four years. Freshwater pH(low range) will last for five years.

I hope this helps. :)

Thanks for the info! I did see those numbers and I was actually really worried because I thought that was the expiration date itself! All my bottles say 1109 which means that they shouldn't have expired... So the 0 nitrates remain a mystery...

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The only other reason why you would maybe show 0 nitrates are if you clean the filters a lot.

Since we don't know why you are not getting nitrates I would check the ammonia and the nitrites daily for the next little while. You could be getting a cycle bump for some unknown reason, it happened to me a little while ago. :)

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Ok I'll make sure to do that. It's strange though because they have been zero for a while (I just checked my little log book and it's been like this since late October). Anyway, hopefully nothing goes wrong :) Thanks everyone

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