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Old 04-09-2020, 05:04 PM   #1
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Zero Nitrates After Cycling

So I have a 10gallon planted tank I plan to stock with a Betta that appeared to complete the cycling process a few weeks ago. Since the tank is planted and some small snails hitched a ride on my new plants I let that be my starter ammonia source and let the tank run. I used an API master test kit to test the water every week and saw a spike in ammonia and nitrates, but eventually I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and about 10-20 nitrate. Just as the tank cycled my state imposed a stay at home order so the tank has still been running unstocked with weekly water changes, and Flourish and Neutral Regulator added. Since I need to go to the pet store now to stock up on cat food I thought I might pick up a Betta while I'm there, but when I checked my water just now I got 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. Can my tank still be cycled with 0 nitrate? With the plants growing in and snail poop accumulating I find it hard to believe the tank is no longer cycled, especially since my ammonia is still 0.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-09-2020, 09:01 PM   #2
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if it is fairly heavily planted it is possible the plants are using the nitrate up. I have a 10 gallon not what I consider heavily planted, but quite a few. I have 1 betta and about 10 shrimp and numerous ramshorn snails. My test has been 0,0,0 for awhile to where I started adding an all in one fertilizer with nitrogen in it to bring up Nitrates for the plants.

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Old 04-11-2020, 02:36 AM   #3
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As above.

The bacteria should of just gone dormant (eg like over winter pond ice-over). My sister has restarted tanks sitting with no fish months later and gone ok.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:13 AM   #4
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My hundred gallon regularly tests at 0, 0, and 0. Lightly stocked with a bunch of small fish and lots of plants, a combination of fast and slow growers. The plants eat everything.
100g planted community tank
75g planted goldfish tank
29g planted betta community tank
5g planted Betta tank
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:16 AM   #5
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Do test your ammonia after adding fish though, since itís been sitting understocked some bacteria may have died back. Have you been feeding the tank?
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ate, cycling, nitrate, nitrates

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