Lake Malawi Species • Nitrate level

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Nitrate level

Postby PDX Fishhead » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:59 pm

My 125 g tank has been stocked with about 40 juvy mbuna for about 3 weeks now. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, but also 0 nitrates. I know this isn't a problem, but is it unusual. Weekly 25% water changes, but about 9 days since the last one, and still 0 nitrates. I have a fair amount of charcoal in the filters if that makes a y difference. Maybe it's because the fish are young and not taxing the system that much yet? No plants in tank. My heavily planted tank has never had nitrates.
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby ha77 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:26 pm

Very unusal. Perhaps something is wrong with the test kit itself?
55g Cyno Sp. Nkhata Bay, Nkali, Maingano
55g Demasoni, Caeruleus, Ruawre
40g Msobo, Mpanga
33g Hara
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby noddy » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:37 pm

Sounds like the tank hasn't started cycling yet.
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby DJRansome » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:44 pm

Plants can consume all nitrates.

My first 72" tank (with established filters) had no nitrates for the first 2 weeks after filling but then I started getting a nitrate reading in week 3. I did not change water until I had nitrates though.
125G Borleyi, Maleri, Astatotilapia, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Maingano, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Petricola
55G Chrysonotus; 38G Demasoni
33G Hara; 33G Kwanga; 33G Maingano; 33G Cobue
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby PDX Fishhead » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:48 pm

noddy wrote:Sounds like the tank hasn't started cycling yet.


Did fishless cycling. I got two weeks of ammonia readings and three weeks of nitrites before I started getting zeroes, and before I added fish.
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby PDX Fishhead » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:53 pm

DJRansome wrote:Plants can consume all nitrates.

My first 72" tank (with established filters) had no nitrates for the first 2 weeks after filling but then I started getting a nitrate reading in week 3. I did not change water until I had nitrates though.


I knew about plants, which is why I mentioned it. I will keep my eyes on the nitrates. I'm going to stick with the water changes as a sort of test.
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby noddy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:29 am

PDX Fishhead wrote:
noddy wrote:Sounds like the tank hasn't started cycling yet.


Did fishless cycling. I got two weeks of ammonia readings and three weeks of nitrites before I started getting zeroes, and before I added fish.


Ha, didn't realise that. That is weird then. Sometimes I test for nitrates and it measures 0, so I re test and get the right reading. I obviously messed something up.
Is it possible that you did also? Other than getting another test kit or having your LFS test the water for you, I'm not sure what else you could do.
I personally wouldn't be doing water changes until I saw nitrates. At least then you know that they are being produced.
Are you using Purigen by any chance?
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Re: Nitrate level

Postby BuckeyeTez » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:59 pm

Confirm you are really shaking the bottle number 2 for a good minute and tapping it on the counter a few times? Some of the chemical tends to adhere to the bottom of the bottle and really needs broken loose and mixed back in before it will show a reading.

Also check the dates on the bottle. If it's past the expiration date you will need to replace it.
125g 6' w/FX6, AC100, 2x eheim heater, inkbird temp controller, 48" Finnex planted 24/7+ LED, Hydor power heads. 18x All male Peacock/Hap tank. 4-7", 6x Syno Multi.
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