Planted tank all readings 0

  • Thread starter

Jmarcus

Valued Member
Messages
152
Reaction score
0
Points
186
I started a new 55 gallon tank two months ago with eco compleat substrate, 260 watt coralife light fixture, pressurized co2 system, and plants taken from existing tank. I was going to try to do a fishless cycle with fish food but after three weeks ammonia 0. nitrites 0,nitrates 0. Added six zebra Dani's hoping to increase blood. After two weeks readings still no change but algae was a problem. Added three algae eaters and six starriest mollies (big mistake) did not know they bread so fast. Lost one zebra and one algae eater, gained at least 12 baby mollies. All readings still 0 after two months. I do 50% water changes weekly. Fish and plants look good, but still no nitrates. What am I doing wrong?
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
What test kit are you using to test the values? If you are using test strips then maybe you can (which is the one most of us recommend). I just can't imagine that with all of those fish in your tank, you would still be getting a reading of 0 ammonia if your test kit was working correctly. Maybe take some water to a local pet store and let them tell you what your readings are? If they are also getting 0 on everything then that's there is something strange going on here.
 

griffin

Well Known Member
Messages
773
Reaction score
3
Points
178
not necessarily anything strange going on. i have a planted tank, and if i don't add nitrates (among other things) my levels will read all zero and i'll start to get algae.

how heavily planted are you? with as much light as you have and pressurized co2, i'm a little surprised you're not breeding algae like crazy (i'm assuming you're not adding fertilizers or anything).

you don't need to "cycle" a heavily planted tank in the usual sense. depending on your fish load, you'll maybe go through a "silent cycle"
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
Ah good catch there Griffin. I completely neglected the whole "Planted" aquarium angle. That's very true considering your plants will consume some of the nitrates your tank produces. If you are only producing enough nitrates to feed your plants, then you very well won't ever get a reading when doing a nitrate test.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

Jmarcus

Valued Member
Messages
152
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Thanks for the replies. I use the API master test kit, The tank is moderately planted have to prune to keep plants from taking over. I do add ferts, algae was a problem but addition of algae eaters and weekly tank cleaning able to keep it in check. I do get nitrate readings on first tank that is heavily planted. Lights stay on 12 hours per day,130 watts the full 12 hours and 130 watt 10000K lamps for six hours per day. I'm just concerned that I still have 0 readings after two months.
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
Using that test kit, unless it's expired (which I doubt given it's pretty long shelf life) it should be correct. Also, Eco Complete substrate is said to have bacteria in it to help convert fish waste to nutrients for your plants. This very well could also have a lot to do with the 0 readings. It sounds like you have a pretty stable system there.

One thing that may help with the algae if your eaters start to slack off , is breaking up your lighting cycle. I'm not a planting expert so I will leave the time frames to someone that does. However, from what I understand, algae like a non-stop photosynthesis period. If you run your light for several hours and then cut them off for a few hours and then run them again for several hours, your plants will still get the light they need to grow, but the algae won't have enough time to get what it needs and will die off. I'm sure you'll find more info in the planting section of this forum, but it might be something to check into.
 

griffin

Well Known Member
Messages
773
Reaction score
3
Points
178
i think you're pretty much fine. maybe bump up the ferts a bit since 0 nitrate isn't too great for plants. are you having problems other than just 0 readings?
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom