No Nitrite or Nitrate reading? after months?
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No Nitrite or Nitrate reading? after months?

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No Nitrite or Nitrate reading? after months?
Old 08-15-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
 
No Nitrite or Nitrate reading? after months?

Hi All,

I'm not sure what is going on with my 60l tank. I am a new fishkeeper, but i am not sure what it is that i am doing wrong.

In my 60l tank i originally began with 2 platys, to begin the cycling process back in february! i know bad advice, should have done fishless cycling, but i took the advice from my local petsmart store thinking who better to advise. I know better now thanks to reading this forum. All is generally well in the tank and the platys gave birth of which one survived? so now i have three all females, all seem happy.

However, i have never had any nitrate or nitrite readings in the tank ever! i want to add some other fish but not without the tank not being cycled properly. The only readings i do get is for ammonia, which i do a one third water change and gravel clean every 2 weeks. It was suggested i fed them too much, so i now feed them every two days and make sure all flakes are eaten, and only feed for a minute a tiny pinch. I have been doing this for a month now and still i dont have any nitrite or nitrate levels?

I use the API master dropper testing kit, PH levels are stable as well as temperature. There are no living plants in the tank, all plastic, with a gravel substrate.

Can anybody shed any pearls of wisdom on my problem?

Thanks,

Velios.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velios View Post
Hi All,

I'm not sure what is going on with my 60l tank. I am a new fishkeeper, but i am not sure what it is that i am doing wrong.

In my 60l tank i originally began with 2 platys, to begin the cycling process back in february! i know bad advice, should have done fishless cycling, but i took the advice from my local petsmart store thinking who better to advise. I know better now thanks to reading this forum. All is generally well in the tank and the platys gave birth of which one survived? so now i have three all females, all seem happy.

However, i have never had any nitrate or nitrite readings in the tank ever! i want to add some other fish but not without the tank not being cycled properly. The only readings i do get is for ammonia, which i do a one third water change and gravel clean every 2 weeks. It was suggested i fed them too much, so i now feed them every two days and make sure all flakes are eaten, and only feed for a minute a tiny pinch. I have been doing this for a month now and still i dont have any nitrite or nitrate levels?

I use the API master dropper testing kit, PH levels are stable as well as temperature. There are no living plants in the tank, all plastic, with a gravel substrate.

Can anybody shed any pearls of wisdom on my problem?

Thanks,

Velios.
Hello and welcome to TFK
A few questions, are you using tap water for your tank? What type of filter do you have on it and what is your maintenence shedule like for the filter? Are you using any type of chemicals in the tank other than a water conditioner? If you have not read the following article it would be good to check outhttp://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/#post757735 Also with the nitrate regent bottle 2 you want to shake it for two minutes, for it to be more accurate instead of the 30 seconds that is said in the directions.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:55 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by BarbH View Post
Hello and welcome to TFK
A few questions, are you using tap water for your tank? What type of filter do you have on it and what is your maintenence shedule like for the filter? Are you using any type of chemicals in the tank other than a water conditioner? If you have not read the following article it would be good to check outhttp://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/#post757735 Also with the nitrate regent bottle 2 you want to shake it for two minutes, for it to be more accurate instead of the 30 seconds that is said in the directions.
Hello, and thank you.

I use tap water for my tank, the filter i use came with the tank i purchased which is a Juwel Bioflow Mini. This is a link to the kit i bought.

Juwel Korall 60 Tropical Aquarium

I have just cleaned the filter once in June, it seemed fairly clean at the time. i'm not using any chemicals in the water apart from the conditioner, i used tetra safestart when i first got the tank in feb/march. not since then. I have tried the bottle after 2 minutes just now and i have the same reading.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Velios View Post
Hello, and thank you.

I use tap water for my tank, the filter i use came with the tank i purchased which is a Juwel Bioflow Mini. This is a link to the kit i bought.

Juwel Korall 60 Tropical Aquarium

I have just cleaned the filter once in June, it seemed fairly clean at the time. i'm not using any chemicals in the water apart from the conditioner, i used tetra safestart when i first got the tank in feb/march. not since then. I have tried the bottle after 2 minutes just now and i have the same reading.
I am not sure, with using tetra safestart I would have expected that you would already be seeing nitrate readings. I have used this product twice myself in two of my tanks that I needed to get going quickly. On the last tank that I used this I was already getting nitrate readings of 5ppm after 5 days. From what I have read on additional information on the product they do say that it can take two weeks for it to help cycle the tank. Some people have had good results with this product while others have not. Hopefully someone else will have some ideas of why your tank is not cycling
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
 
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I would suspect it is cycled. SafeStart is 100% live bacteria and very effective at establishing the nitrifying bacteria colony.

While live plants usually mean no nitrates or very low nitrates, it is also possible in non-planted tanks if the bioload is very low, as it is here. Two/three fish in 60 litres/15 gallons is not much. Algae in the tank will also consume ammonia/ammonium so less nitrates. And sparingly feeding the fish is likely not adding much from that source. There may also be denitrifying bacteria in the substrate and/or the filter, especially if it was only cleaned once since February, and these use nitrate.

Which water conditioner are you using? And, what is the pH in the tank, and the temperature? All these are related of course.

Byron.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
 
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I would suspect it is cycled. SafeStart is 100% live bacteria and very effective at establishing the nitrifying bacteria colony.

While live plants usually mean no nitrates or very low nitrates, it is also possible in non-planted tanks if the bioload is very low, as it is here. Two/three fish in 60 litres/15 gallons is not much. Algae in the tank will also consume ammonia/ammonium so less nitrates. And sparingly feeding the fish is likely not adding much from that source. There may also be denitrifying bacteria in the substrate and/or the filter, especially if it was only cleaned once since February, and these use nitrate.

Which water conditioner are you using? And, what is the pH in the tank, and the temperature? All these are related of course.

Byron.
Hi Byron,

I am using Tetra Aquasafe, The pH in the tank is about 8, and the temperature is 70 degress fahrenheit.

Does that give a clue?

Thanks,.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:10 PM   #7
 
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Hi Byron,

I am using Tetra Aquasafe, The pH in the tank is about 8, and the temperature is 70 degress fahrenheit.

Does that give a clue?

Thanks,.
This doesn't change my previous suggestions. I was just curious. Some water conditoner may interact differently, I doubt Tetra AS does.

If you read my article that Barb linked earlier you will have come across the part that mentions optimal pH and temperature for nitrifying bacteria, and your pH is spot on and the temp is a bit under but not enough to be a problem. Not that it is a problem, the point being that with near-optimal conditions bacteria get going much faster. I still say the tank is cycled.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
 
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The only readings i do get is for ammonia, which i do a one third water change and gravel clean every 2 weeks.
do you mean that you are getting ammonia still? how much? because that is the only thing that would make me doubt your tank is actually cycled.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
 
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Like Byron said the tank may actually be cycled. Have you checked your tap water source for any levels of ammonia present there?
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
 
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do you mean that you are getting ammonia still? how much? because that is the only thing that would make me doubt your tank is actually cycled.
I am getting ammonia readings, usually it gets to about 1.0 before i change the water sometimes it has been at 2.0 ppm.
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