Seachem Dosing calculator question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Seachem Dosing calculator question

Alrighty so I'm trying to increase my nitrates from 0 to around 20 ppm using seachem nitrogen. Using seachem's dosing calculator, it says to divide the result by 5 if you're calculating using nitrate levels rather than nitrogen, which I am doing. And so with a 25 gallon tank going from 0 to 20 ppm it requires 25 capfuls of seachem nitrogen, but when you divide by 5 you only need 5 capfuls? So I dosed 5 capfuls and by next morning my nitrate readings didn't change. In short, I'm not understanding how the factor of 5 works and I want to make sure I dose the right amount.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 12:53 AM
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Firstly, nitrate test kits are notorious for false negatives, so you should ensure 100% that your kit is working correctly. Test/calibrate it with a strong nitrate solution.

Secondly, Seachem Nitrogen is not 100% nitrate, it contains a urea compound that is a nitrate-equivalent. So even if you add 20 ppm of nitrate equivalent through the calculator, you will not be able to test 20 ppm nitrate in your tank.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
Firstly, nitrate test kits are notorious for false negatives, so you should ensure 100% that your kit is working correctly. Test/calibrate it with a strong nitrate solution.

Secondly, Seachem Nitrogen is not 100% nitrate, it contains a urea compound that is a nitrate-equivalent. So even if you add 20 ppm of nitrate equivalent through the calculator, you will not be able to test 20 ppm nitrate in your tank.
So pretty much the test kit only works for nitrates produced by decomposing matter?

If I can't test the amount of nitrate I put in into the tank through Seachem Nitrogen, is it safe to just trust the calculator?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 11:10 AM
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I also use Seachem Nitrogen.

Stated on the bottle " you can get a reasonable estimate of nitrogen levels by doubling a nitrate reading"

When I started dosing I had 0ppm Nitrate reading.
It took many doses throughout the day to get a reading.
Now I dose so that API test has some orange tint to it.
I least I know it is there and available.
I test and dose this twice a week.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 02:14 PM
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So pretty much the test kit only works for nitrates produced by decomposing matter?
The test kit works for nitrates. It doesn't work for nitrite, ammonia or urea. Which is why you use nitrite and ammonia test kits. The urea compound is the only oddity here.

As the poster below said, your nitrate reading will be approximately half of total nitrogen, assuming no input from the fish.

So yes, trust the calculator, but confirm with the test kit that it isn't getting too high (once you actually have your test kit working - SHAKE BOTTLE #2).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I've tested today and I've gotten a 10-20 ppm reading. You're right, I totally forgot to shake bottle 2 smh...

Now I just need to figure out how fast the plants use it all up.

Thanks for the info and help.
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