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Old 08-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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I know acceptable levels and stuff my tank has been running a year and a half. Saltwater test on saltwater. I was just wondering how what tests should we be using? The total nitrate ones or the nitrate-nitrogen ones???? Having both tests is a little weird. Someone could say their nitrates are at 2 and someone else with the exact same parameters would say 8.8...... It just doesnt make sense.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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This is according to the manual that comes with the API Saltwater Master Test Kit: " Testing Tips. This test kit reads total nitrate level in milligrams per liter (mg/L) from 0 ppm to 160 ppm, in saltwater aquariums. This test kit measures measures nitrate as nitrate ion or "total nitrate" (Other nitrate test kits that measure "nitrate-nitrogen" will give readings 4.4 times LESS than this test kit"

We understand that our goal should be to have 0 nitrates but my question is : What do we monitor, total nitrates or nitrate-nitrogen?

This is important to me because I'm doing 25% pwc on a 150 gal tank with readings of 20 ppm ( direct reading without dividing by 4.4) If we need to divide our readings by 4.4, then what Im doing is doing pwc with my nitrate at 4.54 ppm which is still good if I'm just running a FOWLR tank.

It is obvious that we have 2 opinons on this. I need help to clarify this issue.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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Nitrate-nitrogen term is used to differentiate it from other forms of NITROGEN, not nitrates. That is to say there is:
Nitrate-nitrogen,
Nitrite-nitrogen, and
Ammonia-nitrogen.

That is compared to TOTAL-nitrogen which encompasses all 3.

As we are concerned about The various forms of nitrogen is the aquarium, we use the specific terms. However, in food industries they are concerned about only Total-nitrogen as they consider it all 1 evil entity in food as it may all break down to nitrates or be present as ammonia.

Why API says they use a different scale, idk.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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I test for NitrAtes Not NitrAtes-Nitrogen I would think it all boils to what test are you using If it's an API then test for NitrAtes
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #15
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But, for example, if API reads 80, than should someone not be concerned because it would be read as ~20 on another kit????
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #16
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If it was reading the same thing NitrAtes only then yes but if it's reading NitrAtes-Nitrogen then no This is why i have my LFS confirm my test results. What your doing is comparing inches to millimeters 1 in. = 25 mil. it's just two different ways to get the same thing.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crister13
But, for example, if API reads 80, than should someone not be concerned because it would be read as ~20 on another kit????
API is recommended everywhere on AA to all users, so we all give the same advice. Fact is, most other tests are not as accurate anyway. I know in f/w the number is total nitrates, I'm afraid I'm not sure about salt.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crister13 View Post
But, for example, if API reads 80, than should someone not be concerned because it would be read as ~20 on another kit????
This thread has made me do some more research. According to Randy Holmes-Farley, If testing for Nitrate-Nitrogen...multiply X 4.4. (see here for the thread on RC) Nitrate (not nitrate-nitrogen) is what we need to test for, however most resources, I have read, have said Salifert (which also tests for total nitrate) tests much lower than API.


I have to apologize for the confusion, and misinformation since I am probably the reason most are questioning what scale to use.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:41 PM   #19
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API is recommended everywhere on AA to all users, so we all give the same advice. Fact is, most other tests are not as accurate anywaysalt.
If this were correct, which I think is not the case, it would be the first time that the least expensive product was the most accurate product. That's not to say the most expensive is always the best, but IME, the least expensive is never the most accurate/best. Although it's most likely "good enough" and the least expensive, which is why it is recommended.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:50 PM   #20
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So...again...as to my question...do we monitor Nitrate Ion(Total Nitrate) or Nitrate-Nitrogen?
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