Is it weird to always test 0-0-0?

  1. fbn Well Known Member Member

    Hello everyone! I hope you all have a great Easter!

    Anyways, I never register nitrites or nitrates. In fact, I never have, even in tanks with few live plants. I use an API Master test kit.

    Is this a usual thing?
     
  2. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    Just to double check, that includes 0 ammonia to.... you didn't specifically say ammonia above. If I assume you really test 0 for ammonia too, then it is almost impossible to test 0 0 0 all the time. If you always test 000 then your fish have no waste bi product to be turned into nitrite and nitrate respectively. You look like you know what you are doing. Maybe it is a miracle??
     

  3. QQQUUUUAADDD Well Known Member Member

    Do you have any live plants?
     

  4. fbn Well Known Member Member

    Yes, I do have some live plants. But, it still tests the same in lightly planted tanks..

    Wendy: When I do have water quality issues, it is ammonia testing at the lowest possible level. Never nitrites or nitrates, though.

    Also, I did test an aquarium yesterday. I REALLY shook the bottles of solution, but stil 0-0-0 in an unfiltered, heavily planted 10 gal ramshorn tank.
     

  5. Echostatic Well Known Member Member

    Bad test kit maybe? Though for all three tests to be bad would be some really high odds...
     
  6. toosie Well Known Member Member

    Instead of just shaking the bottle, try banging it for a full minute. A carpeted floor helps protect the bottle. When a bottle sits around one of the elements in the solution can really go quite hard so shaking it really hard may still not be enough to break it all up. Get mean with it, just don't break it.

    What is your stocking like in your lightly planted tanks? If you have the tanks stocked very lightly and have enough nitrate loving plants in it, (some use more nitrates than others) then it may be possible to have zeros across the board. In a heavily planted tank, it isn't uncommon to have 0 nitrates.

    Are any of these tanks newly setup tanks?
     
  7. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    When my 75 gal looked like a jungle and before I started using fertilizers the tank was always 0-0-0, once I started adding fertilizers then the nitrates came up some but that was because I was adding them.
     
  8. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Its not a bad thing but plants do use Nitrates. What plants do you have? Is your tank stocked lightly with fish?

    Have you tested the KH and GH; calcium and magnesium? That's another way to know if your plants are sucking up the nutrients.

    I too dose Nitrates in my planted tank. Its moderately planted but nitrates stayed around 5 but was told to dose nitrates to keep it around 10. I pretty much nailed it down.

    Lighting plays a part in it. More light = faster growth = faster nutrient uptake
     
  9. ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi all,
    Low bio-load + live plants + regular water changes can give 0,0,0

    My 16G never tests 'positive' for nitrate, unless I am dosing Seachem Nitrogen into it. I have used API nitrate tests, and Sera tests - never got a reading above 0. That doesn't mean to say that no nitrates are present, it's just the level (ppm) is below the lowest resolution of the chosen test kit (typically 5ppm in FW tests)

    One thing to watch for in low nutrient systems is algae - a number of algaes thrive in low nitrate environments (BBA is one of them that I'm battling at the moment)
     
  10. fbn Well Known Member Member

    The tank has gotten heavier planted. When the tank was lightly planted, the stock wouldn't have been considered "light", I doubt. I don't remember the exact stock, though.

    Plants: 4 Amazon Swords, 1 Dwarf Clover, 1 Val, and 2 balansae. I don't usually dose with fertilizer. Sometimes I dose to help new leaves grow more healthily.

    Alyeska: No, I have not tested any of those.

    Toosie: I'll try that. The tank that I most recently tested was a newly set up tank, but it is unfiltered, so I doubt it would matter when it was set up. I have a lot of plants in it; they are the "filter".