Originally Posted by reefrunner69
According to Randy Holmes-Farley, who writes chemistry articles for reef keeping magazine and advanced aquarist. We test for nitrate ion, NO3
This is what I read from his article entitled "The “How To” Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners,
Part 4: What Chemicals May Detrimentally Accumulate":
"For these reasons, most reef aquarists strive to keep nitrate levels down. A good target is less than 0.2 ppm
nitrate. Reef aquaria can function acceptably at much higher nitrate levels (say, 10-20 ppm
), but run greater risks of the problems described above. Measuring nitrate is more complicated than many aquarists assume. Test kits are surprisingly inaccurate. No sophisticated scientific testing is needed to verify that fact. Many aquarists have found that using several different brands of nitrate test kits leads to several very different reported nitrate concentrations in the same aquarium. These levels can range from no nitrate detected (often less than 0.5 ppm
) to 50 ppm
or more in the same tank.
American Marine (Pinpoint) has recently come out with an electronic nitrate detection probe based on a nitrate selective electrode. I have used it and find it fairly easy to use (although it does not detect nitrate continuously the way a pH meter detects pH), but I have not verified its accuracy. Nevertheless, in principle it seems sound (it is an established method in other industries) and may become an important tool for reef aquarists in the future.
At the moment I do not have a good answer to how to proceed with nitrate testing, aside from noting that many successful reef aquaria do have some nitrate, so aquarists should not obsess on nitrate levels, in my opinion."
I'm sorry, not to dispute what you stated, but I'm trying to find his statement regarding measuring Nitrate Ion.
On his article "Aquarium Chemistry: Nitrate in the Reef Aquarium", he stated that:
"Measuring Nitrate In Aquaria
Nitrate is fairly easily measured in marine aquaria at levels higher than about 0.5 ppm
. I have found the nitrate kits from LaMotte and Salifert to be quite easy to use, and in my limited testing appear to be accurate enough for aquarium purposes. Below 0.5 ppm
, quantitation is difficult with existing kits. Habib Sekha, the owner of Salifert, has indicated that it may not be difficult to make kits with lower detection limits if there is a demand for them. So if you want such a kit to be produced commercially, you might contact him."
So he's saying that Salifert test kit is good.
Looking at Amazons' description of the Salifert test kit for nitrates, it says:
"Salifert Nitrate Test Kit boasts a nitrate detection range starting as low as 0.2 ppm
. Both serious reef aquarists and beginning saltwater hobbyists will find the Salifert Nitrate Test extremely easy to use. The Salifert Nitrate Test Kit does not suffer from amine interference for quick and reliable measurement of nitrate-nitrogen. 50 tests. Saltwater aquarium use only. Low range: 0.2 - 10 ppm
Medium range: 2 - 100 ppm
Please click on "More Information" for instructions"
Based on that, Salifert measures Nitrate-Nitrogen.
Am I reading it right that we should be monitoring Nitrate-Nitrogen?