Salifert nitrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Salifert nitrate

So, since the API test isn't exactly the best measuring nitrates for a couple reasons...I decided to try the salifert test. It's weird though, some sites list it as a freshwater test, and some say saltwater only. Similarly on forums and comments about it, some say they use it for freshwater all the time and like it and some say it doesn't work for freshwater.

Does anyone here have a more definitive answer on the reasons why it would or would not work?

The last couple days it's been measuring my nitrate at 10ppm and the API test is showing either 10 or 20 since the colors are exactly the same on the chart.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 01:45 PM
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I imagine the color chart would be off if using a saltwater test in freshwater. I know that API includes two different cards with their phosphate test kit. They are differently shaded.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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well, I'm gonna keep using both tests to see if I ever get drastically different readings
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 12:30 AM
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Another possible reason for the colors being a little off is that your lighting maybe affecting the results. Indoor lights have a rating called color rendering index. The scale is 0 to 100. If the number is low color can appear different indoors than they do outside. Good bulbs will have a CRI of 80 to 100 and will probably not cause a color shift. When in doubt compare the colors outside. The CRI in sunlight is 100.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Another possible reason for the colors being a little off is that your lighting maybe affecting the results. Indoor lights have a rating called color rendering index. The scale is 0 to 100. If the number is low color can appear different indoors than they do outside. Good bulbs will have a CRI of 80 to 100 and will probably not cause a color shift. When in doubt compare the colors outside. The CRI in sunlight is 100.
Yes, I commonly open all the shades in the room to read my test results using as much daylight as possible. I'm actually not having many problems distinguishing the colors of my test sample....its just that on the API test kit, the colors on the sheet that you're supposed to compare your sample to, are literally the exact same color (for the 10 and 20ppm readings only). Which is what lead me to try a different test. The salifert test is MUCH nicer, much easier to read and not as prone to error....the issue is that it may or may not be only for salt water.....depending on what site you read lol.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 12:56 AM
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Does anyone here have a more definitive answer on the reasons why it would or would not work?
Not definitive, but I tested both API and Salifert with various calibrated NO3 solutions, and the Salifert was pretty much spot on every time. API not so much. More on page 56 of my journal.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Not definitive, but I tested both API and Salifert with various calibrated NO3 solutions, and the Salifert was pretty much spot on every time. API not so much. More on page 56 of my journal.
ok good to know!

so it seems even though the salifert test is most likely a saltwater test, it still gets it right with freshwater nitrates..unless you made up those standard solutions using saltwater lol.
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