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Old 12-20-2005, 02:42 AM   #1
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FW Nitrate Test Kit for SW Tanks

I apologize for bothering y'all with this question and it is embarrassing for me to ask this.

But can a FW Nitrate tester (drops) be used for SW (and I know they SHOULD be used in FW since it said it on the label:FW). This may help other newbies also.

Because if it is OK to use FW nitrate tester for Sw then I am clocking at 80 - 100ppms and I am freaking out right now if that's the case.

Thank you all for your patience with this question.
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:07 AM   #2
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you are not going to get an accurate reading with a fresh water kit in salt water.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:07 AM   #3
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At least in the case of the aquarium pharmaceuticals kit, they are the same kit. However, the color coding is different. For example, the color that corresponds to 10 on the FW chart is 20 on the SW chart.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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you are not going to get an accurate reading with a fresh water kit in salt water.
Also true with a SW kit used on SW.
NO3 is one of the hardest thing to test for in water. I keep 3 different brands of test so Ican cross check. I would stay away from the FW kit.
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:58 AM   #5
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Thanks y'all. I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. And a good friend of mine at an LFS gave me a used color chart for Aquarium Pharmaceuticals SW Nitrates. He also said that they're all the same between fresh water and salt water setup except for the pH.

I have a major nitrate problem then. Wow, what an eyeopener. I appreciate all of your responses.
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:17 PM   #6
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skimming and large water changes I see in your future.
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cplawrence
At least in the case of the aquarium pharmaceuticals kit, they are the same kit. However, the color coding is different. For example, the color that corresponds to 10 on the FW chart is 20 on the SW chart.
Does that mean his NO3 is really between 160 and 200


AMANIQU77
How new is your tank? Do you have any fish right now? Is your tank still cycling? Is this a converted tank from FW to SW? How are you other tests coming out like NH3 & NO2?

Looks like 20% to 40% every couple of days till you get your NO3 down to <5ppm.

Moderately high NO3 (like <40ppm for most fish) is not that bad for a fish only set up but you want to keep it as close to 0 in you have inverts/coral.

As Brenden said it’s better to have multiple test kits to make sure you have accurate readings. The two I use is AP & Salifert Nitrate Test Kits.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:45 AM   #8
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Had the tank for a year now, Salt from scratch fowlr with 50 lbs of live rock. I have a Prizm skimmer. I had this stupid notion that since I've been successful with my tank for a year that suddenly I don't need to test for nitrates anymore and just make pwc every three weeks. I mean, I dunno....arrogance....laziness...something. I just let myself down which eventually let all my peers here down.

The last time I test was two months after the cycle finished, which was close to a year ago. After that, I was just doing pwc. I have a counter top filtration system that I spent $700+ bucks last year before I had the tank. It's a ceramic/carbon filtration thingie from Carico. It always results in 20ppms of Nitrates. No more no less.

I was just....I dunno....I let you all down. Sorry guys. I will do the Nitrate Buster regimen that you guys advised me. What was I thinking not doing regular Nitrate tests like I was an exception?.....
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:57 AM   #9
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I just let myself down which eventually let all my peers here down
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I was just....I dunno....I let you all down. Sorry guys.
Geez if thats letting everyone down they are gonna be real disappointed with me
Don't beat yourself up over it....as you say in your signature
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:19 AM   #10
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Don’t beat yourself up to hard, you let your fish down more than anything. Once a tank is established you can usually get away with monthly testing if you have 55+ gal and not too large of a bio load but considering the consequences it’s smart to still test weekly or biweekly.

For the 20+ years I’ve been keeping fish I still test at least every other week for everything just to make sure I’m still in line. I haven’t ever seen any trace of nh3 or no2 once the tank is 2+ months old but I still test for it just to make sure.

Hopefully your experience will not only lead you to test more but educate others to keep being diligent as well. At least your fish pulled through it this time and it’s a FOWLR, you would have noticed a lot sooner had you had any corals.
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