Ammonia And Nitrites Cycle In 24 Hours, But No Nitrates?

Caffee

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So I have been cycling my tank for 42 days now and at day 39 I had my nitrite drop after a long, excruciating battle of trying to get them down. But, one thing I am confused about is that even after my nitrite drop I have 0ppm nitrates. For the past 3 days I have been continuing to supplement ammonia and my nitrites and ammonia are able to drop down to 0ppm in 24 hours. But I still have not seen nitrates (note that I have seen nitrates before earlier in my cycle, they just didnt sky rocket like I expected after my nitrite drop). Before my nitrite drop I was doing daily 30% water changes, but then stopped as soon as my nitrites dropped. I did this for 5 days. Could this be why I'm not seeing any nitrates now?
 

JessicaSwanlake

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Yeah, you should bang the 2nd nitrate bottle on a hard surface instead of just shaking it for 30 seconds and shake the test tube for at least an entire minute otherwise it will often show zero or very low nitrates.
 

mattgirl

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You definitely should be seeing nitrates. Be sure you are following the nitrate test instructions to a tee. If both ammonia and nitrites have gone to zero time after time there has to be nitrates.

If you have used a lot of the testing solution, specially bottle #2, without breaking up the sediment in the bottom of the bottle your results may not be accurate even if you break it loose and shake it well enough to mix it well now.

If you have only used it a few times just go ahead and tap the bottle against a hard surface a time or two and then shake really really well just before dispensing into the test tube.

Just a thought: If this is a very heavily planted tank filled with very fast growing plants and you aren't adding ferts that could conceivably be why you aren't seeing nitrates. That is the only thing I can think of that would remove the nitrates that are being produced. That or daily huge water changes but if the tank has been processing the added ammonia every day for 5 days in a row with no water changes the nitrates should be in there.
 
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Caffee

Caffee

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mattgirl said:
You definitely should be seeing nitrates. Be sure you are following the nitrate test instructions to a tee. If both ammonia and nitrites have gone to zero time after time there has to be nitrates.

If you have used a lot of the testing solution, specially bottle #2, without breaking up the sediment in the bottom of the bottle your results may not be accurate even if you break it loose and shake it well enough to mix it well now.

If you have only used it a few times just go ahead and tap the bottle against a hard surface a time or two and then shake really really well just before dispensing into the test tube.

Just a thought: If this is a very heavily planted tank filled with very fast growing plants and you aren't adding ferts that could conceivably be why you aren't seeing nitrates. That is the only thing I can think of that would remove the nitrates that are being produced. That or daily huge water changes but if the tank has been processing the added ammonia every day for 5 days in a row with no water changes the nitrates should be in there.
Actually, it is pretty heavily planted. I totally forgot that plants suck up nitrates. I will test the water again more precisely, but if it shows 0 again then I'm pretty certain its the fact its heavily planted.

EDIT: just tested the water again and NOW I'm seeing nitrates. Guess I was just testing the water incorrectly. Thanks for the help guys!
 

Mongo75

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JessicaSwanlake said:
Yeah, you should bang the 2nd nitrate bottle on a hard surface instead of just shaking it for 30 seconds and shake the test tube for at least an entire minute otherwise it will often show zero or very low nitrates.
Agreed. I shake solution #2 for a full minute, banging on my palm, add solution #1, shake #2 another 30 seconds then add, then wait the full 5 minutes.
 

mattgirl

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Mongo75 said:
Agreed. I shake solution #2 for a full minute, banging on my palm, add solution #1, shake #2 another 30 seconds then add, then wait the full 5 minutes.
You probably do it but just for clarity. After adding drops from both bottles shake the test tube for a full minute and then wait a full 5 minutes for the test to be complete.

The liquid in the test tube may continue to darken after the 5 minutes but the color at the end of 5 minutes is the color one goes by for the proper reading.
 

Mongo75

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mattgirl said:
You probably do it but just for clarity. After adding drops from both bottles shake the test tube for a full minute and then wait a full 5 minutes for the test to be complete.

The liquid in the test tube may continue to darken after the 5 minutes but the color at the end of 5 minutes is the color one goes by for the proper reading.
Oops, yes, shake the tube one full minute, then wait the full 5 minutes. I use the countdown timer on my phone. Beats counting in my head, lol.

To clarify, shake #2 1 minute, add #1, shake #2 another .5 minute, add #2, shake tube 1 minute, wait 5 minutes.
 

Gone

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JessicaSwanlake said:
Yeah, you should bang the 2nd nitrate bottle on a hard surface instead of just shaking it for 30 seconds and shake the test tube for at least an entire minute otherwise it will often show zero or very low nitrates.
I get a kick out of this. Slamming the bottle on a hard surface, or throwing it at the wall, or running over it with a car are all results of a an old wives tale. I'd love to see folks submit videos of the antics of trying to beat the bottle into submission to get an accurate nitrate reading! LOL

Yeah, just regular shaking of bottle #2 for 30 seconds, then shaking the test tube for 60 seconds are all that's necessary. You don't need to tie the bottle to a stick of dynamite to activate it.
 

JessicaSwanlake

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GuppyDazzle said:
I get a kick out of this. Slamming the bottle on a hard surface, or throwing it at the wall, or running over it with a car are all results of a an old wives tale. I'd love to see folks submit videos of the antics of trying to beat the bottle into submission to get an accurate nitrate reading! LOL

Yeah, just regular shaking of bottle #2 for 30 seconds, then shaking the test tube for 60 seconds are all that's necessary. You don't need to tie the bottle to a stick of dynamite to activate it.
When I just shake the bottle for 30 seconds I get a nitrate reading of less than 5. When I actually really shake the bottle thouroughly and hit it against a table top a couple of times it goes up to 10-20ppm where it should be.
I didn't have to shake it like that when I was cycling my tanks and testing and shaking the bottle every day but now that I am testing only once a week I absolutely do before I test the first tank.
Even here OP just retested her water and now shows nitrates, so how is that an old wives tale?
 

mattgirl

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Caffee said:
EDIT: just tested the water again and NOW I'm seeing nitrates. Guess I was just testing the water incorrectly. Thanks for the help guys!
This happens quite often so don't feel bad. I am glad we could help.
 

Gone

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JessicaSwanlake said:
When I just shake the bottle for 30 seconds I get a nitrate reading of less than 5. When I actually really shake the bottle thouroughly and hit it against a table top a couple of times it goes up to 10-20ppm where it should be.
I didn't have to shake it like that when I was cycling my tanks and testing and shaking the bottle every day but now that I am testing only once a week I absolutely do before I test the first tank.
Even here OP just retested her water and now shows nitrates, so how is that an old wives tale?
I had a relative who worked in a lab where they tested water for pools and spas. Out of curiosity I sent a water sample with her to measure pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates so I could compare with the readings I got with an API Master Test Kit. Testing for all was close using laboratory-quality testing equipment, and nitrates were spot on. No hammers, no explosives, no drama.
 

JessicaSwanlake

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GuppyDazzle said:
I had a relative who worked in a lab where they tested water for pools and spas. Out of curiosity I sent a water sample with her to measure pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates so I could compare with the readings I got with an API Master Test Kit. Testing for all was close using laboratory-quality testing equipment, and nitrates were spot on. No hammers, no explosives, no drama.
Cool, but that's just with your test kit unless your relative tested every single kit in an API warehouse or something against countless water samples. I haven't been on this forum that long and have come across A TON of people who have the same issue with the #2 nitrate bottle, so that expirience is neither isolated nor does it have a population sample of one.
 

Mollieworld

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JessicaSwanlake said:
Cool, but that's just with your test kit unless your relative tested every single kit in an API warehouse or something against countless water samples. I haven't been on this forum that long and have come across A TON of people who have the same issue with the #2 nitrate bottle, so that expirience is neither isolated nor does it have a population sample of one.
This is why I use tetra test strips. API test strips are garbage but tetra will give same reading as master kit (if master kit is done correctly lol) cory from aquarium coop has done an awesome YouTube video showing the accuracy of both, tetra being the simplest and faster with a lot less work.
 

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