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Old 07-27-2005, 12:38 PM   #1
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Confusing Test Results

I need some advice/help please.

I have a 55gal unplanted fw aquarium that just last week cycled (after 7 weeks) now today I have the following test results. Where are my Nitrates at and what needs to be done.

AP Reagent Kit
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
PH- 6.6
Temp- 78
Tap Water PH 7.2


Jungle Strips 5-1
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 40
PH-6.8


Thanks I'm confused as to what has happened with the Nitrate's on the reagent test kit. Last PWC was 7 days ago. Water looks clear. Fish seem fine. What do I need to do


As always thanks AA!!!
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
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IME the test strips show nitrates higher than what they probably are. I always have a reading of 20 ppm nitrate with the strips, and 0-5 with the AP reagent kit (my tank is planted, so the 0-5 result is probably the correct one). Did you ever get a nitrate reading with the AP kit? Make sure you have followed the directions carefully - shake the reagent bottle and the test tube just as they say - yes, it is hard to shake for that long but according to the directions, it's essential for an accurate result.

Since your last water change was 7 days ago, it wouldn't hurt to do another one today or tomorrow. BTW, have you done a nitrate test with the AP kit on your tapwater? Although your nitrate reading with the strip kit isn't unusually high (especially since you haven't done a water change in a week), I think it's a good idea to get an initial nitrate reading on your tapwater.

How old is your AP kit? I'm guessing it's new since your tank is newly cycled. Since the strips are not known for accuracy, I would try to test again with the AP kit, making sure to follow the directions.
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:35 PM   #3
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Yes I have had a Nitrate reading on the AP test kit of 5 before. The color on the AP kit looks a little darker than the yellow but not up to the 5 on the color chart.

I tried real hard to follow the directions on the AP kit (Shaken not stirred ) but it could be the way iamb doing it.

I have not tested my tap for Nitrate with in the past month I will do that but last time it was 0

iv had my test kit for about 6 weeks but I have no way of knowing how long it was on petsmart self prior to that.

This is the same results that I had 3 days ago. I'm just concerned that something is going on.
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:39 PM   #4
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Try shaking the bottles longer and make sure you test it to the T in regards to the directions. It is easy to mess up the test. One time I forgot to shake the second bottle and I did all the tanks and looked at the results and thought, hmmmm....something is WEIRD with these tanks. It took me hours to figure out what I did. I agree that the reagent tests are more accurate than the strips. What was your last Nitrate reading?
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:42 PM   #5
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On 07/24/05 it was 0
0n 07/22/05 it was 5

I've never seen it over 5 with the AP kit.
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:48 PM   #6
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And it could just be that you have a light load in the tank. What is your current stock?
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:52 PM   #7
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On the bottle(s), there is a lot number. The last digits correspond with the date it was manufactured.
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:02 PM   #8
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Current load
8 Zebra
3 White Cloud
6 Tetra = 3 Black Skirt / 3 Red Heart
1 bala
3 clown
1 postomus

I will have to look at the dates tonight
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:08 PM   #9
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How long are the reagents good for? When are they considered old?
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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There is no expiration date on the bottle, so I just get a new kit in a year, or year and a half. I write the date on the box when I get the kit. Usually, by that length of time, there is very little reagent left in the bottles anyway, so I throw the kit out and get a new one.

My ammonia test kit will be a year old in December, but I may have to buy a new one before then. I cycled 4 tanks using that kit!
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:59 PM   #11
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They are considered old once they have been open for 1 year.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:36 PM   #12
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Ok well since my reagents are not 1 year old what is my problem with my testing. I'm worried that something is going on with my tank. I would feel better if I could get a reading on something and know what is going on.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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Are you using a bio-media like cell-pore?
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:57 PM   #14
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I'm running a AC 500 with bio-rings, Poly Bio Filter Pad 4" X 8" (see link below for picture), and a sponge on the bottom

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=2603

Could the poly filter cause this issue?
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:17 PM   #15
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A media that filters out NO3 is far from an issue.. its a freaking blessing!
If the hagen/fluval bio-rings have low enough flow they will start filtering out NO3.. they have extremely high porosity.. Im not so sure that the poly bio-filter pads are helping with this.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:22 PM   #16
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Do I need to be concerned about this or just continue on as I'm doing? I've read that Algea will eat it up also. How do I know if I have an algea issue?
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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If you dont see any algae or green in the water its your bio-rings doing this.. And you are fine.. less NO3 is a good thing
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:48 PM   #18
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The code on the bottle of Nitrate reagent is 0305. Is this to old to use?
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:49 PM   #19
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March 2005 is a very good date.
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:01 PM   #20
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Thanks Group!!!!

Just retested and followed everyone's advise and followed the instructions exactly now I've got a more reliable reading of:

Nitrate- 10

Thanks again!!
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