I set up my tank almost 2 months ago and it has been doing very well. I have a 39 gallon with 3 young angels, 3 otocinclus and 10 neons. I test the water at least
once a week before I do my weekly water changes.
My question is - I have never had a nitrate reading. When I initially started my tank my pH was high, and ammonia went up, followed by nitrite going up, then ammonia going down and nitrite going down, but nitrate never did a thing. I bought a brand new test kid (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit) because there was some question with my old tank if my old test kit wasn't working properly.
Each week I do a water change, I try for about 20% but I always wind up with more because a lot comes out when I try to get the excess debris off of the gravel, but never more than 50%. I then test my water again about 24hrs after the water change if I have replaced a large amount to make sure that my levels are all still OK.
Is it normal/OK to not have any reading for nitrate? Considering it is a waste I would think this was OK, but is it abnormal? I have some live plants in the tank, a canister filter and what I would think to be a large colony of bacteria as I add some whenever I add new fish and I add small amounts when I do water changes just in case I remove too much.