Why don't I have any -ites or -ates?
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Why don't I have any -ites or -ates?

This is a discussion on Why don't I have any -ites or -ates? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have had my 20 gallon with 4 bettas (with dividers) set up for about two months. In that two months, I have changed ...

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Why don't I have any -ites or -ates?
Old 03-18-2010, 03:43 PM   #1
 
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Why don't I have any -ites or -ates?

I have had my 20 gallon with 4 bettas (with dividers) set up for about two months. In that two months, I have changed the fake plants around and added/removed some decor. I have vacuumed the gravel twice. I change 50% of the water on a regular basis. However, I have had absolutely no nitrIte or nitrAte readings. Why could this be??? I have had only had 3 bettas in the fo the past 3 week due to fin probs on one of the guys. I have not changed the filter. I did unplug it to do a WC and forgot to plug it in for 3 days. So I emptied the sitting water and rinsed the filter pad in the discarded water after a WC.

Is my tank simply too big for the number of bettas?? I am in the process of cycling another tank and will seed the 20 gallon with that, but I find it odd that I have absolutely no nitrites at all after two months?!?!?! I am considering downsizing to a 10 or getting a 20 gallon long so I can fit more boys in there and that may help with the cycling??
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
 
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You need to go buy a kit that tests for ammonia, then tell us what your ammonia levels are.

Without knowing your ammonia, there's no way for us to know if your tank is uncycled and dangerous or somehow blessed by
God to be nitrite and Nitrate free.

Do you have any life plants?
Do you have any Algae growth?
What is your ammonia level?

I suppose, theoretically, the nitrates and nitrates could be at a level too low to be read.

If you're using strips to test the water, there's also a good chance the strips are simply past their expiration date or inaccurate.
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:22 PM   #3
 
i would say that if you have removed decor and cleaned the gravel and done water changes you might have removed all the benificial bacteria because thats where it grows on decor and on the substrate as redchigh said i would test for ammonia as soon as possible incase there is a high ammount i would carry out water changes every 3 days too keep levels low hope this helps
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
 
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I use the API master test kit, not strips.

Most silk plants. Added some java moss two weeks ago.

I am not sure if I have algae. I have attached a picture. Found it today and am assuming it is algae?

I have also attached a pic of my NH3 reading. In daylight it is reading between 0 and .25 . Much more yellow than any green.

I change the water 50% every 3 days. Changed it on Tuesday.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg algae?.jpg (96.4 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg nh3.jpg (103.0 KB, 27 views)

Last edited by kuklachica; 03-18-2010 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
 
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I would say no, your tank is not cycled.

Although, with such a light stock, and 50% changes every 2-3 days, there's no need for a cycled tank.

There's no need to change your water that often though... Just let it cycle and change it every week or so.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #6
 
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I was changing it because on guy had what looked like ammonia burns, and I didn't want to risk it. I don't want to have to do changes every 3 days :-/

Why would I have algae without nitrates???
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:59 AM   #7
 
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50% water changes every three days on a 20g tank with only 3-4 bettas could very well result in essentially zero nitrate. What's the nitrate reading coming out of your tap?
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:19 AM   #8
 
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hmm not sure. I will check later today. I checked nitrates late last night in the tank and it looked like a 0.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:25 AM   #9
 
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Algae is common in a cycling tank. Even if NO2 and NO2 are 0 that does not mean that algae will not appear.
You have several imbalances in that tank. BTW you do need NO3 for the plants and also PO4, here is a link that pretty much tells you abot it: http://www.xs4all.nl/~buddendo/aquarium/redfield_eng.htm
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