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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
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

ph: 6.8
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0ppm
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?
 

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A zero reading is pretty hard to screw up. Not much needed to "calibrate" that.

However, a zero reading isn't surprising. You aren't dosing any nitrate. Your plants are consuming what your livestock is putting out. Nothing crazy there.
 

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A zero reading is pretty hard to screw up. Not much needed to "calibrate" that.

Nothing crazy there.
never say never, deep breath :smile: LOL
my wife reversed the order on adding the chemicals (more than once) and results were 0.0 on a tank with 20ppm. totally failed kit (new) would be do the same
 

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I see you did shake the bottle #2 violently. :) Is time to add some Nitrate now. You only dose trace and add Excel (CO2 substitute only). Your aquarium isn't the nature. You should have "extra" nitrate. Considering your plants aren't doing well, you definitely need to add some nitrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedbacks! Calibrating on the surface (just by scrolling down the sticky) seems like an arduous procedure for newbies like me, but I shall look deeper into that as I get more experienced. I will be visiting the pet shop again soon and will bring a sample of my water for them to test, which will hopefully verify the accuracy of the test kit. If the water is lacking in NO3, would seachem nitrogen be a good choice?
 
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