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Old 08-02-2008, 11:58 PM   #1
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need some help.. cycle/water testing

ok i started my cycle on the 16th of july. couple days ago i tested the water and thought i had a cycled tank. the problem was my nitrates were only reading 5.0. after 3 days the nitrates stayed at 5.0 and i thought i had a bad tester and took it to 2 fish stores to be tested. there test stripes showed high nitrates and high nitrite.

so i did some thinking and decided to do a 50% water change and see what happens. did the change and tested my tank, then thought why not and i tested my tap water at the same time.

this is where it gets interesting and where i have no answer. my tank water after 5 drops starts out at a deep purple color and after 5 mins changes to a light greenish blue color. my tap water after 5 drops changes to a crystal blue color and stays that after 5 mins. the tap water looks exactly like the test color, the tank water is a light color like that but with a easy to see light green tint. very easy to see the color diffrence side by side. but my problem is why did the tank water turn deep purple first and then change to a very light color?
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:07 AM   #2
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what type of test kit are you using?
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:24 AM   #3
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api with the water tubes
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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im wondering if im getting weird readings cause i have to hgih of a nitrite count for the kit to measure? the lfs were getting a 10+ reading with the strip and the test kit only reads to 5.0. so maybe its so high that its doing funny things that i cant read to the test?
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:52 AM   #5
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If you have nitrites in the tank the nitrate test is a waste of time. The nitrites will skew it anyway. As for your tap test I do not know, I do know the AP nitrate test is a tricky one.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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you can take a water sample to your local (non-chain) LFS and have them test it. My local (non-chain) LFSs also use the API so you can watch them, make sure you are doing it right, see what results they get, and decided whether it's you, the kit, or your water.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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my local non chain fish store uses the strips too and got the same result as petco. off the chart nitrites and nitrates. i could live with that if my test was showing the dark purple for nitrites but its not. its showing

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my tank water after 5 drops starts out at a deep purple color and after 5 mins changes to a light greenish blue color. my tap water after 5 drops changes to a crystal blue color and stays that after 5 mins. the tap water looks exactly like the test color, the tank water is a light color like that but with a easy to see light green tint. very easy to see the color diffrence side by side. but my problem is why did the tank water turn deep purple first and then change to a very light color
this is what has me totally confused.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:34 PM   #8
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I think I had my nitrite test stain the test tube a little when I left it sit for like 1 day w/o rinsing. So when I did my ammonia test in that tube I would get green on a 0 ammonia source. I guess make sure the tube is really clean, those test tube cleaner brushes would work good. have you tried it in a couple different test tubes?
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:43 PM   #9
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ya i thought that maybe i wasnt getting it clean too. i can use the same tube back to back. once on my tank and once from the tap and get the same results as above. tap crystal blue color exact match from test color. and from tank water a deep purple right after shaking it for 5 seconds and then a light clearish greenish tent color after 5 mins.

getting a perfect 0 test from my tap water and a diffrent result from my tank tells me my test kit is good. its just giving me some kind of reading that i cant read.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:52 PM   #10
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Why don't you do a 30-40% PWC.. let things settle, get your ammonia source in there (if it's not already) and start testing again. If your nitrites are really that high, a big PWC isn't going to do any harm
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