Interpreting API 5 in 1 Test Strips
Okay, I know these are crappy, but I just wanted to get a ballpark of my tank parameters, primarily the GH and KH. So I tested, and this is what I got - the picture is of my used test strip and the chart on the bottle. I'm assuming it's basically saying that my GH and KH are super low, as is my PH. I know that we have very soft water here, so I think this is probably pretty accurate. I think the nitrite is essentially 0, so that's good. My question is the nitrate - before you use the test strip the pad for nitrate is blue, and it did not change color at all after I tested. The color chart doesn't have any blue colors at all, so I don't know what this means. No nitrates? Off the charts nitrates? I did three separate test strips, and they all came out the same.
The tank is a 40 breeder that has been set up for several years. Filtration is a Rena XP3 canister. Medium to heavily stocked with fish. Lots of java fern, no other plants. No CO2. Gets regular water changes. Tank seems healthy to me, haven't lost any fish in at least a year.
My questions are - can I assume my nitrates are okay? I am planning on turning this into a heavily planted tank and adding pressurized CO2 - will these low GH/KH/PH make managing CO2 a problem?