NitrAte and plants
Is it normal to get a 0ppm nitrAte reading with live plants in the tank? I am showing 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, but now I'm also showing 0 nitrAte. This is my 5g tank with 4 live plants.
Thanks guys! I feel a whole lot better. Just wanted to make sure my cycle wasn't thrown off as this is my first planted tank :-)
Yup like Kym said they consume it, you'll only then get a reading if they're SO sky high that even all your plants can't consume it, which in my tank-lifetime never had happens :-) Which is WHY planted tanks are AWESOME lol
Yes it is normal, but I must just correct something. It is ammonium, not nitrates, that the plants are mainly consuming as their preferred source of nitrogen. I explain this in Part Two of the 4-part stickies at the head of this section. What little ammonia/ammonium the plants might miss, the nitrosomonas bacteria will grab, but this is very little in a well-planted tank with few fish since the plants are quick to assimilate it.
For plants to use nitrates as their nitrogen source, it costs them considerable energy to convert nitrate back into ammonium; this is why they use ammonium by preference.
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