I have no nitrates Question

  1. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I have a 40 gallon recently cycled freshwater planted aquarium with dirt. I test the water about every day or every other day the numbers have come down I'm zero on everything but I'm also zero on nitrates. Aren't I supposed to have some nitrates in there?
     
  2. fishnewbie33 Well Known Member Member

    How did you cycle the tank and what fish are in it?

    I looked at your profile and you state "easy keepers" ???

    If you started cycling on July 3, you probably aren't cycled unless you used Tetra SafeStart or Dr. Tim's One & Only.

    How are you testing the tank water? If you are using the API Master Test Kit, you really have to shake/bang the #2 nitrate bottle to break up the crystals to get accurate test results.
     

  3. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I have 3 Rasbora & 1 regular Pleco that came with the tank. I took out the UGF & put API simply clean 50 HOB. Everything else is as it was and just moved it to my house and filled it up with water again. I believe it cycled so quickly because it had all of the old media. I do have the master test kit. I also watch the video about the nitrate solidifying so I hit it very hard & shook it a long time.
     
  4. ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    I am sorry, but I don't quite follow you.
    I believe that you said that you removed the undergravel filter and replaced it with ' API Simply Clean 50 HOB filter'?
    In removing the UGF, you did remove by far the greater part of your bio-filter; as I have no idea of what an API simply clean 50 HOB really means, I would still venture a guess that you are under filtered, if the '50' refers to the tank volume that that filter is intended for--most people filter their tanks using filtration rates far in excess of what is advertised on the filter in question.
    I agree with you that you should show nitrates, and the lack of them would indicate a tank not yet fully cycled, which is not a disaster, in that tanks are often cycled 'fish in', but the addition of another filter and bacteria in a bottle would likely help.----rick
     
  5. renthus Well Known Member Member

    If it's heavily planted that's completely normal. If you just took out all your cycled media, congrats, you get to cycle again. The good news is that a 50 gallon tank isn't going to be burdened *too* much by 3 rasboras and a small pleco.
     
  6. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I've been using API Stress Zymes for bacteria and kept the gravel and everything under it just remove the UGF grids.
     
  7. renthus Well Known Member Member

    Did you remove your UGF filter media, and put on brand new filter media in this new filter? If so, you lost your cycle. Keeping the gravel isn't especially relevant.
     
  8. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    The UGF only had powerheads. What do you mean by filter media?
     
  9. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    If you planted heavily like you would for a Walstad method, than the plants would absorb that bio-load.
    Switching from an empty UGF to a HOB wouldn't have filter material to transfer, the bacteria would be growing on the actual filter plastic.

    The biggest thing is that with a "dirted" tank, you would have needed to mineralize the soil before putting it in the tank. If you skipped this part, than you can have toxic ammonia spikes.
     
  10. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    What about the stuff under the plastic?
     
  11. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Stuff under the plastic is filter media....
    Which is where your biological filtration occurs. Removing it removes the bacteria, restarting your cycle.
     
  12. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I didn't remove any of the stuff underneath the plastic grating I just put dirt there and then gravel
     
  13. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I didn't remove any of the stuff under the plastic grating I just put dirt and then gravel. We didn't clean the fish tank at all We drained the tank and broke it down brought it to my house took this grading out up for the UGF and filled with water.
     
  14. fishingdeep Member Member

    If your tank cycled you would have nitrates unless you waited to add any fish beyond the bb life
     
  15. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    At first I had a high pH and high ammonia but now everything is down but I still don't have nitrate but I do have a lot of plants and I waited until two days ago to add any fish
     
  16. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    What is BB life?
     
  17. fishnewbie33 Well Known Member Member

    BB is beneficial bacteria. If you did keep the old media, you should be cycled, as long as the media didn't dry out or starve (if no ammonia source, i.e. fish). Since you have a very low bioload (I think, but not familiar with these fish), you would, or should register low nitrates.

    Please post your API test results...thanks. :)

    At this point, I would just add some Tetra SafeStart, just to make sure you have viable BB. Otherwise, you could always monitor daily until you see 0 ammonia and nitrites and >5ppm nitrates (and no spikes) for a while, then taper off monitoring to every few days-->weekly.
     
  18. Linda4088 Well Known Member Member

    I test my water everyday and I posted the results to my profile yesterday.