Nitrate problem - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Nitrate problem

Hi, this is my first planted tank and I'm having trouble getting my nitrates up. I'm using a Red Sea test kit and whenever I test it shows 0 ppm. I'm dosing with Flourish Nitrogen and I have added enough to raise my nitrates to at least 5 ppm, but my test kit still says 0. I've tested the kit with a known amount and it works fine. Any ideas? Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 11:05 PM
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If you did dose then the nitrates are there, just believe it. The overall purpose of testing is to monitor fast your nitrate levels are being consumed (days) after dosing and then using that to create the proper dosing regimen.

When you tested a known amount, was it a very high reading? How much fluorish nitrogen did you dose and what is your tank size?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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I tested my nitrate about an hour after I dosed. Does that mean all of the nitrate was consumed in an hour?

And when i tested the known amount, it was 5 ppm.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 11:44 PM
 
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How big is your tank? May be the nitrates haven't distributed evenly yet?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's a 29 gallon tank.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 03:38 PM
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Good nitrate kits are hard to come by. I've had two bad Red Sea kits and now have another bad kit (can't recall the name). To test the kit, use Chuck Gadd's calculator to mix up a 1 gallon stock mix using distilled water. Use that to test the kit. If you added enough to get the tank to 5 and the kit is showing 0, suspect the kit.

I'm currently researching either a Hach or a LaMotte test kit,
Brian.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 06:00 PM
 
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IMO, your test kit is wrong. My red sea kit did the same to me. I got the Seachem kit which gave me a reading of +30ppm while me red sea kit still shows 5ppm .... piece of crap-o-la.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2004, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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hrm, well what would you recommend for a reliable nitrate test kit? i think lamotte is a little bit too expensive...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2004, 12:18 AM
 
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A lot of people on here seems sold on the LaMotte kit but, like you, I just couldn't justify the bucks for it. My Seachem kit seems to work fine for now but I've read that it isn't exactly that great either. I'm slightly color blind (or something) so I find it sort of hard to really differentiate the identical shades of reds on the readings on my Seachem kit but it'll have to do for now. If I could do it over again, maybe I would have gone w/ the Lamottes.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-2004, 01:53 AM
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I originally used an AP Nitrate test kit that came with the Master Kit I purchased. It seemed to work quite well. But, after trying a few others (mostly due to ease of access), I've been researching the LaMotte. I can get one from http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_....asp?ast=&key= for around $44, plus $8 for shipping. From what I've read, the replacement reagents are in the $10-$20 range, so future 'refills' should be closer to other hobbiest kits.
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