Confused with my water test results?! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-16-2013, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Confused with my water test results?!

I've had my tank set up since late September, it's planted and home to a single betta. Since 11 November all my water test readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate have read 0ppm. In fact, I've never seen nitrite or nitrate. I use Seachem Prime and API Master Freshwater Test Kit. Does this mean I have cycled my tank?
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-16-2013, 05:31 AM
Not unheard of in a plantsd tank with activity growing plants and a light bioload (like a Betta tank) to show triple 0. I would like to see at least some nitrate to call it cycled. In both my planted betta tank, I could most likely go 2 or 3 weeks with not a water change and almost no nitrate. I still do weekly water changes to keep the DOC in check, but more out of habit than necessity. When I first set up my two betta tanks I had a really hard time getting control of both aquariums.
I had a few things working against me:
First these were the only planted Nano I had ever tried and I'm not really a plant person.
Second I'm a Goldfish person were huge bare bottom aquarium and huge water changes are the norm.
I would say that if you can keep the numbers stable for a period of time without spiking ammonia or nitrite then you can call the tank cycled regardless of the nitrate readings.

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post #3 of 3 Old 11-16-2013, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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It does seem odd, even to a novice like me. I've had a suggestion that perhaps my nitrate levels are so minute that they won't register on the test. Or that I'm not shaking the test bottle enough (apparently you need to shake until your arm almost falls off).

I'd love to add some nano type fish and shrimp at some stage but I'm not sure when it's safe to do so.
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