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Old 12-08-2005, 11:09 PM   #1
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Relibale Test Kit?

What is the most reliable brand of test kits for nitrates, ph etc. I've been using a Tetra Laborett Kit and more recently changed to Seachem for nitrate and phosphate testing. I'm getting conflicting readings on NO3, SC test says <1 and the Tetra kit reads 25ppm. My ph controller is set at 7.1 and was recalibrated last week, but my Tetra kit gives me a reading of 7.5. I have injected CO2 so I'd really like to know where I'm at. BTW my Kh is 14. I have a heavily planted tank so its pssible my NO3 could be depleted (my tap NO3 is 13.3 and I do 50% PWC weekly). Any input appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:16 PM   #2
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I believe the seachem kit is a nitrogen test, and you have to multiply by 4.4 to get a nitrate reading.

My suggestion, mix up a small batch of NO3 solution, that per mixing should be 10ppm. then test with both kits to validate them.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:35 PM   #3
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The Seachem kit is a Nitrite/Nitrate test and I tried the reference test (value 10). The refernece test seemed to read just under 10. My Tetra NO3 has always been off, its always way higher than any water I've had lab tested. Most of my plants have really taken off, do you think they could be eating up all of my tap NO3?
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:39 PM   #4
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They very well could be. How many fish and what kinds are in the tank?
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:02 AM   #5
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Its a 90 gal with 3 big angels, 2 GN plecos, 2 clown loaches, 2 corys, 8 neons, 1 RT shark, 1 dwarf gourami, 1 lemon tetra. Plants include 4 compact swords (that are not so compact, hygrophilia- 5, dwart sagit. 6 cryps, and 2 rangeri swords. I also have a bunch of baby swords that I've cut form runners. Because are water has fair amounts of postassium, I've only been dosing a wee bit of phos and giving the bigger plants a chunk (I divide them) flourish tab.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:14 AM   #6
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That is not a huge bioload your nitrates could be bottoming out. Have you had a LFS test your water?

By the way do you have pics of your angels? I love angels.
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Old 12-09-2005, 12:27 AM   #7
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I've just been using the Sechem and Tetra tests, but I did have my tap water (rural well) tested in Oct. by two separate labs, so I kind of know what i'm starting with before I add water to the tank. I'll probably repeat some tests tomorrow if I have time, hafta get the tree up you know! BTW, sorry not pics of the angel but they spawn about every 3 weeks.
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:31 PM   #8
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Plants can definitely bottom out nitrates, especially in lightly stocked tanks.
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:52 AM   #9
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If your really intrested in accurate testing.. check out hach's site and marine depot has good pricing on LaMotte testkits..
links..
http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_...te.asp?CartId=
they have NO3 and PO4 testkits at marinedopot in the LaMotte brand..
Hack's homepage.. www.hach.com/
LaMotte is arguably the best testkit on the market.. Hach is suppose to be equaly accurate..
Travis is a LaMotte convert if Im not mistaking.. maybe he will resopond.. :P
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:14 PM   #10
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Thanks GM. I've retested with my Seachem kit a couple of times now and I'm fairly certain that my nitrates have bottomed out. I dosed NO3 yesterday and my test results afterwards showed 5ppm. I've ordered a full range of ferts from Greg Watson. I know I really need to be adding potassium at this point to keep things in balance. I'll look into the Lamotte kits.
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:08 AM   #11
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good luck..
I've heard once you go LaMotte you dont turn back easily so watch out.
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Old 01-01-2006, 04:17 PM   #12
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Well, I bit the bullet and ordered a Lamotte kit. Its a higher range kit that goes from 2-15 ppm. I found it at a forestry supply place that was listed under Lamotte's distributors, it was www.forestry-suppliers.com. The kit was $45 and has 50 tests. I'll let you know how I like it. LaMotte has a nice site featuring all of their products BTW.
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