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Old 06-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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Is there a better Nitrate test??

I have an API master test kit for my freshwater tank. Regarding the Nitrate test, no matter how hard I shake the bottles, and no matter how much or often I change my water, the test always shows approx. 20 ppm. I am starting to think my test is bogus. Is there a better Nitrate test out there?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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First have you checked your tap water to see if it has nitrates in it? Second if a filter is left dirty for too long it will also keep your nitrates higher. Same for a big build up of detris in a non-planted tank. There can be a lot of reasons. Also what size tank and stock?
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
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I have a 38 gallon planted tank with 1 angel fish, 3 cory cats, 5 red minor tetras, 2 platys, 1 dwarf gourami, 1 molly and 1 swordtail.

When I test the water, the ammonia and nitrites are always at zero, but the nitrates are always at 20 ppm. In three days I did a 40 percent water change, followed by two 25 percent water changes. The nitrate level always stays exactly the same.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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It's very likely your tap water has a nitrate level, it's not uncommon at all. In my experience, if the test is done improperly the reading will show a 0 instead of 20. If I were in your shoes, I would buy some distilled water and check that just to verify your test is working correctly. If you get a 20 nitrate reading with distilled water then something is very wrong
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