Test kit too old??????
Hello fellow fish and plant enthusiasts.....having just got back to being SERIOUS about my precious aquariums, Ive got back into my weekly routine......30% weekly water changes, testing, keeping every speck of dust off of my aquariums,talking to my fish and plants, etc.....I have an API Freshwater Master test kit that Ive had for about 7 years......Im wondering if the reagents go "bad" because of age......In the last 3 weeks, since I started the process of getting my aquariums back in show form,Ive done my water testing....ammonia,0....nitrite,0....nitrate,10,ph ,7.2,thats in my 55 gal. with the 1 lone Anglefish, clown loach, and kuhli loach,...... the other 55 gal aquarium has a significant load of guppies, which most of are fry....a few adults, but not what I would consider a huge bio-load for a 55 gal aqaurium, with 2 outside filters running.....I just tested for nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite in the :guppy" aquarium..ph,7.6......ammonia,0.....nitrite,0....B UT, its showing 40 on the nitrate chart. Now, does this sound normal??? I realize that my filters were so badly neglected that there wasnt probably any "good" bacteria left in them, so should I just be patient,do the weekly water changes, and let the beneficial bacteria develope?? Or, could my test kit be innaccurate, since its not exactly. new....the fish(guppies) seem as happy as can be.....good color, very active, and not showing any signs of disease, stress, etc.....and they go crazy at feeding time....please give me your input, as I appreciate all of your sound knowledge......and thank you, all, for making this site a part of my life.......AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!