Inaccurate Nitrate tests??? A WARNING TO NEWBIES!!
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
fedge
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Inaccurate Nitrate tests??? A WARNING TO NEWBIES!!


http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...?article_id=96

This article almost completely scares me.... MAN AM I WASTING MY MONEY OR WHAT?????

None of the nitrate test kits are really worth a poop.. it looks like... I ordered more Red Sea tests... man what a waste...

How am I supposed to trust that thing now..?

There is no REAL way of keeping an accurate Nitrate concentration in your water... you just have to dose a tad here and threre and watch what happens over a week or more....

SUCKS!!!! lots of companies put so much empasis on these "kits" and they really don't work worth a S**T! I think I accidentally overdosed my tank with KNo3...(mostlikely)...cause of this inaccuracy. Ohh well Ill watch it, and tomorrow I have to change water anyway.

Just a warning to everyone... don't think your test kit is 100% accurate... unless you can afford a real LAB test then you are just getting a best guess!!!! The best thing to do is to LEARN YOUR TANK! Or, in-other-words, learn what is the best dosage to make you tank flourish. If the plants grow good up to a point then stagnate.. test and make a guess... and take it slow when dosing higher levels.
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:08 PM   #2
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I JUST spoke to RED SEA about this test kit. They said that if the kit is kept around high heat areas(maybe like a airvent??) or if it is near its experation date it may be bad. HMM... 0285 10.... anyone know what date that is..looks like star date 0285.10 to me... what year is that anyway?? I told them that reagent A had sediment in the bottom that never went into suspension!! HMM... that could cause the problem The clincher was when I took about 1ml of my KNO3 fert (2tsp to 100ml) and added that to 5ml of water and let it set for 15 mins. It only read about a 10ppm!!! That CAN"T BE RIGHT!

I sent them my proof of purchase and etc and hopefully I will get a new test kit out of it...maybe
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:02 PM   #3
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thanks. good link.

i received the seachem test kit from mops a few days ago since mops didn't have the red sea one in stock. looks like the seachem kit didn't fare too badly.

do you subscribe to this mag? i think it's a good one, from what i've seen. of course the deterrents would be the price and the existence of this forum...
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:21 PM   #4
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Good article. Scary, but good. Thanks for the link, Fedge.

I just skimmed it quickly (supposed to be working right now ), but it didn't look like the author offered any recommendations. Do we just have to read through the results and draw our own conclusions? Doesn't look like any of them did well, does it?
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:48 PM   #5
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Fedge, so what's your particular experience? What are you finding wrong with your Red Sea kit. What kind of nutrients are you dosing? When do you test in relation to dosing?

I've used Red Sea NO3 kits and have had 100% success with them.

I read that article a long time ago and yeah, it points out that many NO3 kits suck (which is definately what I've been reading on many forums), but it does suggest that Red Sea is great, on which I hardly ever read complaints about.
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:31 PM   #6
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WELL... to rolo...

I am JUST starting my dosing...so im a little in-experianced thus far. I JUST got my big al's shipment today (all the test kits PO4, FE, NO3(replacement) , more Kh(was on-sale). Looks like most of my water is depleted. I got tons of hair algae growing on my back walls.. and on some plants(I did a bleach dip a couple of days ago..most plants are just NOW bouncing back!)

I dosed KN03 cause I knew nitrates were low..or thought so anyway. I got it up to about 10ppm+ (according to my NEW Red Sea test kit)!! What I did was I shook and shook and shook, and had my wife shake and shake and shake the bottle... then I took the dropper topper off(like that name) and physically crushed the sediment to powder...now it works great (new test kit though)

I contacted Red Sea today and sent them a complaint about the regents not working, in my old test kit..(head to head test of old and new kit showed a BIG difference!!) They are sending me a replacement. I am very satisfied with that...they could of just blew me off!.. not much I could do about it either. BTW it read about 45% off from other test kits and the coloration was about 1/3 as deep.

Now I got to figure out how to dose my other nutrients... I got some skrimps to deal with the algae (hope they and the ottos can deal with it a little).

Some further warnings.. the red sea people said that keeping your test liquids in a warm area may ruin them!! Also, those bottles are not hard to open and re-stir...hell, Ill pry use them for dosing once im done with 'em (Yah i know Ill have to rinse the crap out of them.. I plan to use only the least toxic chemical bottles)

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Old 05-27-2004, 08:27 PM   #7
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Default Test Your test kits! UPDATED

I just found this on an older posting.. but I think it is very helpful to those who REALLY want to know if what they got is too old to be trusted..



http://www.akca.org/kht/testkit2.pdf
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:50 AM   #8
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"A final thought"

It was my test kit that was bad.. bad from the store?...bad from storage at my house by the heater vent?... who knows.. i think a combination of both. Now I got a new test kit. Same brand Red Sea, I DID have to take the dropper cap off and manually stir the reagent in the A bottle and use something to crush all the precipitate up to fine powder so that it worked well. I also don't completely trust the test kit. However I DO trust the plants and the algae growth. After I apperntly got my ferts back in balance the algae growth appears to have haulted... at least not gaining ground.. it appears to anyway. ALso, the plants are pearling even more now..

SO TRUST WHAT YOU SEE IN YOUR TANK FIRST.. not what a colored liquid tells you.. if in doubt retest.. or get a new test kit
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