At least they added a single point reference.......if you can read over 1,5, 10, 20, 40, ppm range, that's better than many can.
The range for the Nitrite is 0 to 25 ppm and the range for the Nitrate is 0 to 50 ppm.
Because it at least has a reference solution to check the validity of the test kit is one of the reasons that I use it.
For the $ it is better than the other "cheapies." Not everyone has the $ to invest in the higher quality test kits even though they should be used.
I was not pleased with the SeaChem kit personally.
Reading the colors was difficult.
I agree very much here. I was a colorist for an international textile company for many years and I know what you are saying.
Anything past 10 ppm on the Nitrite scale and anything past 20 ppm on the Nitrate scale is hard to tell any difference.
I break their color chart into four different areas to get any use out of the test kit. Any reading on the Nitrite scale is not good; so I'll just use Nitrate as an example:
1) 0 to 2 ppm - not enough Nitrate
2) 2 to 10 ppm - I can easily tell read these to know the ppm. It tells me that I'm in the lower limit of the EI Nitrate target range of 5 to 30 ppm.
3) 10 ppm to 20 ppm - it's in the middle of the EI target range
4) Anything past 20 ppm is very hard for me to tell much difference between the ppm readings on the color chart. I can't tell if I'm in the upper limit of the EI target range or if I have way too much Nitrate. This is a bad part of the test kit. But, I've found a way to get some use out of it anyway.
To have a proper ref solution, you need two or three points.
Just like a pH meter with a pH probe.
Do folks believe that they do not need to calibrate those as well? That it's good enough? Or that one point will do?
Here's some questions. Do you tell a newbie that they need a high $ test kit or do you tell them that a test test like the Seachem's does a good job and that the Brand X's kits are bad? If newbies are told to believe that the only way to go is with high $ test equipment; would they continue in the hobby? Many of the newbies are young people with little $.
Newbies have a steep learning curve just to start in this hobby. Concerning testing, this is some of what they have to learn:
- learning about the different variables and parameters in this hobby
- learning how to test
- what to test for
- when to test
- interpreting the test
- are the results telling me that it's OK or is there an adjustment that needs to made
- what changes need to be made
- what do I look for
- if this change is made, what other parameters should be monitored
- what to test for now
- what has the change done, is it the correct change or is the change wrong
- what now
...and so on.
That's a lot of information that needs to be learned, processed and then be interpreted. This isn't the easiest hobby around by any means. The challenge, science, technology and the possible beautiful results are an intriguing part of this hobby.
When I started listing all those "whats", two things came to mind.
1) I began to appreciate how very helpful and important your EI dosing regimen is. Thank you for the EI.
2) Again, thank you for pointing out the importance of quality test kits.
Lamott uses a similar method, but has a much better color gauge, something critical when measuring ppms etc.
Same for any colormeteric method.
Use a good scale or use a spec/colorimeter etc if you want real accuracy.
Test kits vary, cheaper ones more so.
I looked at the LaMotte Nitrate test kit. It is a low range test kit. It's range is from 0.25 ppm to 10 ppm. I wasn't sure if I could use it for higher amounts of Nitrate by diluting the sample with RO/distilled water. Is it possible to do this with this kit? I have LaMotte's Alkalinity test kit. I like it.
I can promise you that research folks do not suggest using a cheapo test kit without calibration. I'm not letting myself nor anyone off the hook here.
I agree. My college training and the fields that I worked in strongly verifies that.
I know Prime is stanky..............
I think what they are suggesting is that it chelates the NO3/NO2 perhaps, the
toxicity goes way down, I'm not sure about KNO3, because the toxicity of NO3 takes a heck of lot before symptoms appear. Richard messed up a decimal place and added 200ppm for a month, no fish deaths, I've added at least 160ppm with no fish issues, but did kill some shrimps, about 50%.
Takes a lot of NO3...............
It may bind and then the bacteria will have to cleave off the binding agent etc.
They use ETDA to test whether there is metal toxicity in water samples.
They add it and see if it reduces mortality vs a control.
If so, then they know they have a metal issue.
Similar deal with the NO3/NO2/NH4.
Bacteria will break down ETDA, or gluconate, Glycine etc and nab the NO2 as well, NO3=> N2 is anaerobic about 250mv or so.
So unless you have those conditions somewhere and a decent flow through etc, then that's not going to happen much.
While it may bind, I do not think it offers much reduction in NO3 toxicity because there is not much there over a vert large range to begin with, NO2? NH4?
You bet, but not NO3.
So allowing the bacteria to chop the more toxic stuff till the tank settles down sounds more like what is occurring.
Thanks for the info about Prime. Many people think that it is a very good product. I'm glad that you say that it binds with Ammonia and Nitrite and reduces the toxicity of these. Will Prime possibly skew Nitrate testing results?
I'm not SeaChem nor represent them though ....................I do suggest their products as they are the best in hobby, but Hach./Lamotte are at another level than aquarium companies when it comes to environmental monitoring.
SeaChem does very well in their market for $.
Thank you very much for your response.