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Old 02-04-2005, 12:35 AM   #1
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Are Mardel test strips any good?

I was showing ammonia levels with the Mardel test strips but practically 0 with the Red Sea test kit. I have now added 60 lbs of LR over the course of a few days and my ammonia is off the charts according to Mardel kit.

Can I trust this kit? How long do u think it will be before the ammonia spike goes back down? My nitrites are about .5 and my nitrates are about 20. This seems odd to me because my nitrates were 40 not long ago. Apparently I'm having no trouble converting nitrites to nitrates and nitrates to nitrogen but I cant seem to get the Nitrosomonas to grow. Whats going on?

JW
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:53 AM   #2
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Someone recently posted that they were having a problem converting ammo and turns out that their UV was preventing the bacteria bloom. If you have a UV, try turning it off.

In general you're not going to get an accurate read off a strip. I had higher trates on my strip than I got through my FasTest kit. General standard is Salifert test kits. I don't know a whole lot about the quality of the Red Sea brand. Have you tried taking it to the LFS? Are you adding any additives to your tank? Some additives cause a false Ammo reading.

If you added uncured LR there's a high likelihood that you'd see a cycle from the die off, so the Ammo spike isn't unusual in and of itself (if that's what you really have going on). How long it takes depends on how much bacteria is on your rock and how much die off you had. Everyone's cycle is different, every time!
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