I apologize in advance for this long winded post.
But I have to ask……Are all EI fertilizers the same? That is, the same exact ingredients in the same proportion? At the risk of being of total fish nerd, here’s why I ask.
I recently purchased a new API Nitrate test kit. I’ve used these for many years, and understand the importance of vigorous shaking and following the directions precisely. From my tank, old kit reads 80+ppm, new kit reads about 20ppm. Tap water both read zero.
So after searching here I decide to make a reference solution, following Hoppy’s directions https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...-chemists.html
, which are very similar to those on other sites.
Basically ¼ tsp Kno3 to quart of distilled water, then dilute to concentrations of 100ppm, 50ppm, 25pp, etc.
So I set about like a mad scientist (wife was very amused), followed the directions precisely, and was getting pretty curious to see the results. Well, the experiment ended in a thud as all the vials were bright yellow zero Nitrates. Tank water still 80+ or 20ppm depending on the kit.
So I decide to do another test, and add 1 tbs instead of ¼ tsp (12 times as much), and, yep, you guessed it, every vial bright yellow, zero nitrates. Tank water once again 80+ or 20ppm.
So now I am getting kind of nutty, my wife thinks I have lost my mind, and I’m beginning to think there isn’t any no3 at all in my Kno3. So I mix 1 tsp to about ¼ cup of water (really, really strong), and do yet another test…..and lo and behold bright red there actually are some nitrates in there!
So I begin to think how can this be possible? My only conclusion is that Kno3 could be many different concentrations or blends (how much K? how much no3?) depending on who you buy it from. All my EI ferts are from GLA.
Now if that’s true, what effect does this have on EI dosing? If I’m dosing 1 tbs of Kno3, but my Kno3 is completely different than your Kno3…….??? And how do you have any hope of making a reference solution? You see where this could go? (or maybe not and you stopped reading three paragraphs ago).
Now as to my tank, it’s doing just fine. Fish and plants are healthy. I know I should just let it go, but I’ve gone this far and am hoping to figure this out??
Anyone any thoughts? Should I just forget it? Have I tortured myself enough already? Am I complete nerd now?