Nitrates reading 0 after following instructions with API test kit nitrate test

CatLaFae

So, I did a water change of about 70% a week or so ago on my cycled 10 gallon tank which houses a Betta and a mystery snail.

Just did a parameter test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate with a new API master test kit to make sure my cycle hadn't crashed for some reason and all three read 0 ppm... The one I'm confused about is nitrate. I did the test twice, the first time shaking bottle two for the thirty seconds recommended, and the second time for several mins after tapping it on the floor pretty vigorously several times, and both times I got a reading of 0 ppm. Also shook the test tube for the recommended amount of time. There should definitely be nitrates in there by now I'd assume... I just want to know how big of a water change to do...
 

StarGirl

How long has your tank been running?
 
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CatLaFae

So yes, any insight into what could be going on with my test kit would be greatly appreciated, it's not expired till 2025 so I have no clue what could be going wrong...
 
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Nickguy5467

So yes, any insight into what could be going on with my test kit would be greatly appreciated, it's not expired till 2025 so I have no clue what could be going wrong...
answering the question would be a good start. Stargirl knows everything fishy and welcome to fishlore

a 70% change is a lot . maybe you just vaccumed all the readable nitrates? i dunno
 
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CatLaFae

answering the question would be a good start. Stargirl knows everything fishy and welcome to fishlore

a 70% change is a lot . maybe you just vaccumed all the readable nitrates? i dunno
Oh I'm sorry, I didn't see your question... The tank has been running for well over a year. And thank you for the welcome ,I just thought even with a big water change, a week later some nitrates should be showing...
How long has your tank been running?
Sorry, I was on fishlore on my phone and got confused, thought it was Nickguy who asked the question so I replied to him... Not sure if you would have gotten the notification. But to answer your question, the tank has been running for well over a year.
 
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StarGirl

answering the question would be a good start. Stargirl knows everything fishy and welcome to fishlore

a 70% change is a lot . maybe you just vaccumed all the readable nitrates? i dunno
Thanks but I know some and definitely not everything.....
Oh I'm sorry, I didn't see your question... The tank has been running for well over a year. And thank you for the welcome ,I just thought even with a big water change, a week later some nitrates should be showing...

Sorry, I was on fishlore on my phone and got confused, thought it was Nickguy who asked the question so I replied to him... Not sure if you would have gotten the notification. But to answer your question, the tank has been running for well over a year.
I agree if you do that big of water changes maybe there isn't much Nitrates.
 
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CatLaFae

Thanks but I know some and definitely not everything.....

I agree if you do that big of water changes maybe there isn't much Nitrates.
I don't always do that big of water changes, but I had a bit of an algae problem going on so I scrubbed it off as well as I could and then had to do a bigger than usual water change to get rid of most of the algae floating in the water after scrubbing the glass and such. I mean, I guess it's not a bad thing if my water is actually that pristine, but it freaks me out a bit that no readings of anything could mean my cycle could crash since the BB have nothing to feed on? Or perhaps they do, and nitrate levels just haven't reached 20 ppm... I guess that'd make sense considering there is only a single fish and a snail in a ten gallon. I was just surprised is all...
 
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StarGirl

I don't always do that big of water changes, but I had a bit of an algae problem going on so I scrubbed it off as well as I could and then had to do a bigger than usual water change to get rid of most of the algae floating in the water after scrubbing the glass and such. I mean, I guess it's not a bad thing if my water is actually that pristine, but it freaks me out a bit that no readings of anything could mean my cycle could crash since the BB have nothing to feed on? Or perhaps they do, and nitrate levels just haven't reached 20 ppm... I guess that'd make sense considering there is only a single fish and a snail in a ten gallon. I was just surprised is all...
You only have a snail and betta in a 10g so that isnt much for bioload at all. It probably is close to zero. Maybe it is so light of orange it pretty much looks yellow?
 
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CatLaFae

You only have a snail and betta in a 10g so that isnt much for bioload at all. It probably is close to zero. Maybe it is so light of orange it pretty much looks yellow?
That is quite possible! I just remember during the cycling process, the ammonia and nitrites building up super fast even with just the betta in there at the time, and having to do fairly big water changes every few days to keep the parameters safe. Also have heard about people having issues with the nitrate test due to the "powdery" substance in the liquid caking in the bottom of the bottle, which should if it had been the case been resolved by how intensely i shook and tapped the second bottle during my second test.

So appreciate the help ^_^ Makes me feel better knowing my nitrates are likely not dangerously high and I can most likely just take it easy for a bit.
 
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StarGirl

How often are you doing water changes still?
 
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CatLaFae

How often are you doing water changes still?
About once a week to week and a half, usually 30-50%... Is that too much?
 
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StarGirl

About once a week to week and a half, usually 30-50%... Is that too much?
No thats pretty much what I do too. I do 50% once a week but I have a lot more fish in there....lol
 
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CatLaFae

No thats pretty much what I do too. I do 50% once a week but I have a lot more fish in there....lol
So maybe a 25-30% change for my tank per week might be better then? I guess I could just keep testing the water every few days until nitrates show to see how long I should be going between water changes these days...
 
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StarGirl

I just stick to once a week not just for Nitrates but it also replenishes minerals and nutrients the fish and plants use up. My tank has stayed healthy since I have been doing this so ima keep doing it....lol
 
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Basil

Is the tank heavily planted? I did have my 10 g betta tank (has a half dozen ramshorns also) get to 0 nitrates when it became rather jungle like lol!
I had to start adding some fertilizer when the plant growth noticeably slowed down.
 
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CatLaFae

Is the tank heavily planted? I did have my 10 g betta tank (has a half dozen ramshorns also) get to 0 nitrates when it became rather jungle like lol!
I had to start adding some fertilizer when the plant growth noticeably slowed down.
I only have silk plants in there at the moment to be honest, although I've been planning on getting it live planted soon... I bought another bag of Seachem Flourite the other day because I was hoping to get started with the live plants soon, which was why I was so eager to change the water today... So I could add the extra substrate haha.
I just stick to once a week not just for Nitrates but it also replenishes minerals and nutrients the fish and plants use up. My tank has stayed healthy since I have been doing this so ima keep doing it....lol
That's so true in regard to the minerals/nutrients.
 
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Nickguy5467

I only have silk plants in there at the moment to be honest, although I've been planning on getting it live planted soon... I bought another bag of Seachem Flourite the other day because I was hoping to get started with the live plants soon, which was why I was so eager to change the water today... So I could add the extra substrate haha.

That's so true in regard to the minerals/nutrients.
my 29 gallon has a bit of fish in there. count 7 or 8 cardinals , 5 black skirts, and an albino cory. medium planted?(whatever that is) i only do 30-50% water change a week myself. the target being 30% but most of the time im not paying attention or i need to glue an anubias somewhere else

picture incoming....well when the lights come on tomorrow

edit:
You must be registered to see images
 
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GuppyGal7

So, I did a water change of about 70% a week or so ago on my cycled 10 gallon tank which houses a Betta and a mystery snail.

Just did a parameter test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate with a new API master test kit to make sure my cycle hadn't crashed for some reason and all three read 0 ppm... The one I'm confused about is nitrate. I did the test twice, the first time shaking bottle two for the thirty seconds recommended, and the second time for several mins after tapping it on the floor pretty vigorously several times, and both times I got a reading of 0 ppm. Also shook the test tube for the recommended amount of time. There should definitely be nitrates in there by now I'd assume... I just want to know how big of a water change to do...
If you're tank is planted that's pretty normal. Plants absorb nitrates. I get 0 often on years old tanks.
 
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CatLaFae

If you're tank is planted that's pretty normal. Plants absorb nitrates. I get 0 often on years old tanks.
Unfortunately it's not planted yet, it's got silk plants only until I can figure out a proper plant quarantine situation. Thank you so much for your response though <3
my 29 gallon has a bit of fish in there. count 7 or 8 cardinals , 5 black skirts, and an albino cory. medium planted?(whatever that is) i only do 30-50% water change a week myself. the target being 30% but most of the time im not paying attention or i need to glue an anubias somewhere else

picture incoming....well when the lights come on tomorrow

edit:
You must be registered to see images
Your tank is amazing! Goalllls!
 
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mattgirl

Your numbers are actually great. Seeing no nitrates isn't a problem. With the very low bio-load in this tank seeing little to no nitrates isn't unusual 'specially since you just changed out 70% of the water.

These tests are fairly accurate as long as we follow the directions and you have. As long as you are seeing no ammonia or nitrites no worries. Seeing none simply means you have enough bacteria to keep both at zero. Seeing either would be a reason to be concerned with a tank that has been up and running for a year.

I change out at least half the water in each of my tanks each week. For the most part I no longer run the tests. I do occasionally run the pH test to see if it is time to add more crushed coral to keep my pH up and stable and occasionally run the others just for grins.
 
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CatLaFae

Your numbers are actually great. Seeing no nitrates isn't a problem. With the very low bio-load in this tank seeing little to no nitrates isn't unusual 'specially since you just changed out 70% of the water.

These tests are fairly accurate as long as we follow the directions and you have. As long as you are seeing no ammonia or nitrites no worries. Seeing none simply means you have enough bacteria to keep both at zero. Seeing either would be a reason to be concerned with a tank that has been up and running for a year.

I change out at least half the water in each of my tanks each week. For the most part I no longer run the tests. I do occasionally run the pH test to see if it is time to add more crushed coral to keep my pH up and stable and occasionally run the others just for grins.
That's such a relief, I was just shocked that it was still so clean a week after doing that big water change, I thought it would at least have been 20 ppm or something.... Definitely good to know that everything is normal ^_^
 
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Jaimelee64

I also have a 10 gallon tank with a betta and a nerite snail. It has been 6+ months in a brand new tank. My tank has not cycled yet, as far as I know, since my api readings are ALWAYS 0. I do 20% weekly water changes. I use prime and stability and on occasion I use flourish as i have 1 java fern in there that just keeps turning brown ‍♀️
 
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