here is some info about my tank:
tank: 2 gallon fluval spec
filter: sump with large sponge and 2 packs of biomax (I took out the activated carbon)
light: 13w fluval 6400k cfl clamp-on lamp
flora: nesaea "red"
hc (Hemianthus callitrichoides)
fauna: 6 espe's rasboras
1 spiral horn snail
1 amano shrimp
fert: 5 drops of excel daily
2 drops of flourish (multi-trace) twice every week
substrate: fluval stratum
So today I tested my water parameters with API master kit (manufactured feb 2011) and everything is good except nitrate
nitrate: 0ppm ?????????
I did the nitrate test three time and each test showed 0 ppm. I banged test solution #2 hard against on my desk (so hard it scared my fish) and shook the bottle until I sweated and my wrist cramped. After adding the solution I shook the tube for 1 minute as instructed, and after 5 minutes my test result was still 0 (bright yellow)!??? I could not believe it since I overstocked my tank. Did I do something wrong or is api test kit just not accurate enough? In addition I realize the old leaves of hc are browning/yellowing and melting away but new growth still green, could this mean nitrogen deficiency?