I am cycling a 10 gallon fish only. Added one shrimp in nylon about 3 weeks ago. Did one water change to bring down ammonia, and did another water change this weekend because nitrites and nitrates were getting high. Each 25%.
Tested this morning and nitrites on the API test were very hard to read. It was purple, putting it at mid range, but it was VERY purple, and given the stage of cycle I am in I assumed it was probably more off the charts even though it wasn't pink at all.
I also tested the nitrates using API. I shake and wait when I am supposed to, so assume I get a good reading. I use this same kit for my freshwater and have been able to match up results with the LFS
(although not for a while) The result came up about 20. No need for another water change yet.
So I go to LFS
to have water tested to make sure I match what they find. They use a TETRA kit. Not surprising, the nitirites were way high. I had guessed that. But...the nitrates were off the chart as well, over 100 and in the red. !!!! Way different than what I got with the API. So I bought a TETRA kit but have not used it yet. Will decide what to do with that based on what you tell me here.
I was confused by these results. So, I come home and again tested very carefully with the API kit and it barely registers over 10! When just an hour ago the LFS
said (and I saw) it was over 100.
I know I need to do another big water change, but I need to be able to trust my test kits. I live too far away from the LFS
to have them test it each week as I will need to do with new tank.
Any ideas for me?