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NO Nitrates

426 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Lew93b
So, I set up a 55 gallon for a local school with zebra danios. mollies, guppies, kuhilli loaches, cherry shrimp, and neon blue gourami's, the other day the teacher told me that the shrimp were dying. I had them test the water with a master test kit and they reported to following, 0 ppm Ammonia, 0 ppm Nitrite, and 0 ppm nitrate. this shocked me as i know that they have been topping the tank off and rarely doing actual water changes so i asked them to test it again expecting to see nitrates. They retested and sent me a picture of the test and still got 0 across the board, at this point I went down to the school with a new master test kit and tested the parameters and got the same thing twice and got a ph of 8.6. is it possible that without plants something in the tank is eating nitrates? Also, there is a large piece of driftwood in the tank so i expected a lower Ph reading any ideas on what's going on with that?
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I’m gonna suggest that both test kits are faulty. If it was a liquid test kit the reagent #2 bottle needs to be banged against something solid as well as shaken.

Wood will only reduce the pH in very soft water. At a pH of 8.6 it’s unlikely to be soft.

Is the filter media porous? If so it’s possible that it contains anaerobic bacteria that are consuming the nitrates.

No nitrates may be possible if your bacteria are mostly heterotrophic. The tank inhabitants would be more prone to disease which would also explain the shrimp dying.
Heterotrophic bacteria produce ammonia so there would still be nitrates. Also the tank inhabitants would not be more prone to disease if there are no nitrates. They would be less prone to disease. Nitrates are a stressor and the ideal level for shrimp and fish is zero.
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