0 Nitrates?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Newtofish1, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Newtofish1New MemberMember

    Hi Everyone, I have 2 tanks - one is a 10 gallon with only a betta and the other is a 55 gallon with 2 keyholes, 1 gold severum, 3 rainbows, and 5 black neon tetras (I am switching tetra types and just letting the school die out - so I don't want to add to it - would love to get a rummynose school - we'll see). I have an aquaclear 100 in the 55 gallon and an aquaclear 20 in the 10 gallon, but I also have a lot of extra media in both. Have had both tanks for about 1 1/2 years. I do water changes between once every week and half to once every two weeks. Not really planted but I do have 1 plant in each tank and they are very healthy. My question is, why do I keep getting 0 amonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates? The nitrates are especially concerning. Yes, I shake the nitrate bottle number 2 for up to 3 minutes and I even bought a new test kit thinking maybe the older one was just too old, but readings are the same. Fish look healthy. What could it be? Mini cycle? I've been getting these readings for a while now, a couple of months. To be honest, before that I had not tested since I knew the cycle had been established. Any thoughts???? Thanks!!!!
  2. KittyFish62Well Known MemberMember

    What test kit are you using? Usually, kits like test strips aren't very accurate. You should use API master freshwater kit. If you are not using test strips, then your tank must not be cycled. Also, what is your pH? if it is under 6.5, it will not produce ammonia, but ammonium. While ammonium isn't harmful, you cannot get the nitrogen cycle running. Also, most fish don't live in pH under 6.5.
  3. Newtofish1New MemberMember

    Thanks for replying! I use the API master kit. Never had any problems with it. If the tanks are not cycled, wouldn't they have ammonium? There is plenty of fish waste, especially in the 55 gallon. I just can't figure it out. There is no way there is 0 nitrates. I will test the PH.
  4. Newtofish1New MemberMember

    I meant "wouldn't they have ammonia?"
  5. KittyFish62Well Known MemberMember

    Wait, i just realized the master test kit tests ammonium too. Try putting a bit of fish food in and see if any ammonia appears.
  6. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    So for nitrates try shaking bottle 1 a bit, them banging bottle 2 against something hard for 30sec (not 2-3 min). After adding the drops, be sure to agitate the test tube for a full minute. Then start the five minute timer.

    What media do you have in the 55?
    If the tanks have been up for 1.5 years, and the stocking in the 55 has been the same, it's unlikely you're not cycled... then, with a wc only every 1.5 to 2 weeks it's also unlikely you wouldn't have nitrates in the 55.

    Only two possible explanations would be doing test wrong or the media is processing the nitrates for you....

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