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Old 03-09-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
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Nitrate Question

I've been cycling around 10 days and I tested my nitrAtes this morning and again around 5pm. Both times they were around 40-60.

I went to the LFS this evening to pick up my AI Sol and had them test my water while I was there. They used the same test as me (API test) and they had my nitrates through the roof! It was blood red and it turned that color instantly.

I told him it can't possibly be that high because I just checked it. He tested it again, but I noticed he only shook the 2nd solution bottle for about 2 seconds. The directions say to shake it for at least 30 seconds and that it is extremely important. Could that be why it turned blood red so fast?

I got home and tested it again, following directions to the letter. Again, they came out to about 40ppm.

Do I have a bad kit, or is the lack of shaking making it that dark? Perhaps I'm doing something wrong?? The kit i have is brand new.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:34 AM   #2
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well the directions say to shake the second bottle for 30 sec. but you also have to shake the vial for 1 min. after adding the second solution. I used that test kit and switched to a salifert test kit I think there more accurate but there also a little more expensive.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:36 AM   #3
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He shook the vial for just a few seconds. I did it for the prescribed minute. I think I'll take a water sample to another LFS and get their opinion.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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I ran the test again this morning. I did it the correct way and nitrates were around 20-40. Then I did it without shaking the solution bottle and it was dark red. So I think it safe to assume that my nitrates really aren't that high.

It sucks that people come I to that LFS asking for tests as they are performed that way. Then the customer rushes home to perform an unnecessary 50% water change.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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If you used the API nitrate without shaking you pretty much made that kit useless now. There are 2 parts in the #2 bottle . If not shaken enough you end up using more of one part and whatever is left in your bottle is in unequal parts.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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Well crap! Thanks for the notice though. I'll pick up another kit today .
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Gotta Shake shake shake bottle # 2

Also be sure to hold the bottle vertical when adding drops. It's proper lab technique and gets you a more accurate volume.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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Might want to find another LFS, or at least inform them that they're using their tests wrong. If you don't give that bottle a hefty shake for 30 seconds each time you test, you're going to get skewed results.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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I told the guy that I thought he was doing it wrong, but being a noob to this hobby, I wasn't comfortable debating him too much. I'll just go to the other LFS for water testing from now on.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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I mean, if it comes down to the only thing they're doing wrong is not reading directions before using a test kit, and the other store doesn't have as healthy of stock or is a big chain store, definitely stay with the store you're using. Support local independently-owned businesses whenever possible, and all that.
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