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post #1 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question about my new tank

hi guys, I am a new aquarium hobbyist, came into this hobby quite reluctantly but ended up loving it.
I just upgraded my 5 gallon tank to the Fluval Edge 12 gallon tank about 3 weeks ago. However, I've found that my fluval edge tank is cycling in a strange pattern....
Here is the water parameter tested today with API kit:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
PH: around 7.6-7.8, this one never come out exactly like the color on the chart
Currently the tank has 3 guppies, 1 guppy fry (1 week old), 2 platy, 1 sword tail, 2 otos.
The tank is planted with 4 javafern, 1 small anubias barteri, 1 huge anubias nana each attached to a piece of driftwood (still leeching tannin, but the carbon is keeping it down)

I got impatient and moved my fishes from the old 5.5 gallon tank to the new one after only 2 week fishless cycling, I was worried the old tank is getting too crowded for 8 fishes. I was lucky that I didn't lose any fish in the transition. I used to test my old tank and there are always 5-10 ppm nitrate in there. However, I've tested my new tank with the 8 fishes and 1 fry in there many time and there is still no sign of nitrate. There was a slight ammonia spike on the first day of transition, today is the 6 days, the ammonia is gone, no sign of nitrite or even nitrate. I'm getting worried that without nitrate my plants will die (I'm a bit of a tree hugger) . Used to have an amazon sword plant but it didn't last in this tank due to the low amount of nutrient. I know Java fern and anubias don't require much but I'm still quite worried.

My question is: Is it normal for a seemingly established tank to have no nitrate?
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicune View Post
hi guys, I am a new aquarium hobbyist, came into this hobby quite reluctantly but ended up loving it.
I just upgraded my 5 gallon tank to the Fluval Edge 12 gallon tank about 3 weeks ago. However, I've found that my fluval edge tank is cycling in a strange pattern....
Here is the water parameter tested today with API kit:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
PH: around 7.6-7.8, this one never come out exactly like the color on the chart
Currently the tank has 3 guppies, 1 guppy fry (1 week old), 2 platy, 1 sword tail, 2 otos.
The tank is planted with 4 javafern, 1 small anubias barteri, 1 huge anubias nana each attached to a piece of driftwood (still leeching tannin, but the carbon is keeping it down)

I got impatient and moved my fishes from the old 5.5 gallon tank to the new one after only 2 week fishless cycling, I was worried the old tank is getting too crowded for 8 fishes. I was lucky that I didn't lose any fish in the transition. I used to test my old tank and there are always 5-10 ppm nitrate in there. However, I've tested my new tank with the 8 fishes and 1 fry in there many time and there is still no sign of nitrate. There was a slight ammonia spike on the first day of transition, today is the 6 days, the ammonia is gone, no sign of nitrite or even nitrate. I'm getting worried that without nitrate my plants will die (I'm a bit of a tree hugger) . Used to have an amazon sword plant but it didn't last in this tank due to the low amount of nutrient. I know Java fern and anubias don't require much but I'm still quite worried.

My question is: Is it normal for a seemingly established tank to have no nitrate?
With plants, yes. Even though Anubias and Java Fern are relatively slow growing, they will likely (and seem to be) handle the ammonia.

Most aquatic plants prefer ammonium as their nitrogen, not nitrates. The ammonia produced by fish and bacteria is grabbed and changed into ammonium by the plants. Therefore very little gets handled by bacteria to become nitrite and then nitrate. It is common to have zero or very low nitrates in well planted tanks. The ammonia spike you witnessed the once bears this out. Eventually you may see nitrates, as you did in the other tank, but don't worry either way.

And by the way, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 10:12 PM
Byron is of course correct, but I'm unsure that the number of plants is enough relative to the bio load for zero nitrates. One thought comes to mind regarding the API nitrate test. API indicates that an element in regent #2 tends to come out of solution and when this happens it almost always results in a false low nitrate reading.
You must shake regent #2 very well, even bang it against a table to ensure it is thoroughly mixed before use.

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post #4 of 4 Old 05-06-2012, 10:14 PM
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+1 to the nitrate test, shake the #2 bottle extremely well for 2 minutes before you add it to the test tube.

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