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Old 01-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
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API Nitrate test directions

I recall seeing a post about the nitrate test from API. So sorry, but now I can't find the thread .... : (

Anyway (as the person stated in the post) the directions clearly state that the color chart for test results is for "... freshwater aquariums to which SALT has been added ".

HUH? Forgive my novice status, but wouldn't the addition of salt make it a marine tank?

How am I to correctly interpret the results for my freshwater tank? I'm sure that any nitrate reading > 0 is bad and requires immediate corrective measures. But how am I to accurately relay my numbers?

Thanks, and sorry if this is covered in other threads. I did try to search
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
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I believe the solutions are the same but the color chart is different. So if you have a color chart for freshwater you're all set. Also, a little bit of nitrate in freshwater is acceptable, so it doesn't have to be at 0.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ac30fan View Post
I recall seeing a post about the nitrate test from API. So sorry, but now I can't find the thread .... : (

Anyway (as the person stated in the post) the directions clearly state that the color chart for test results is for "... freshwater aquariums to which SALT has been added ".

HUH? Forgive my novice status, but wouldn't the addition of salt make it a marine tank?

How am I to correctly interpret the results for my freshwater tank? I'm sure that any nitrate reading > 0 is bad and requires immediate corrective measures. But how am I to accurately relay my numbers?

Thanks, and sorry if this is covered in other threads. I did try to search
They say salt because they make salt for freshwater. Not to be confused with saltwater tanks. The purpose of making salt for freshwater:
1. It helps with treating ICH.
2. Some freshwater fish like to have salt added to their water, mollies for example do.
I know it's confusing, but it has nothing to do with a saltwater tank.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mrs.h2012 View Post

They say salt because they make salt for freshwater. Not to be confused with saltwater tanks. The purpose of making salt for freshwater:
1. It helps with treating ICH.
2. Some freshwater fish like to have salt added to their water, mollies for example do.
I know it's confusing, but it has nothing to do with a saltwater tank.
You want nitrates in a freshwater tank. Only having nitrates present in the tank tells you your tank is cycled. Also plants need nitrates to grow in aquariums.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:16 AM   #5
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Simple misunderstanding of the directions, that's all. There are two color charts for the nitrate test- one for sw and one for fw. The directions simply indicate that you can use the fw chart even if you are adding aq salt to a fw tank. Aq salt is a different creature than marine salt and adding aq salt to a fw tank will not make it a marine tank.

Ideally, you want to keep your nitrates as low as is reasonably possible although if your venturing into a well planted tank, you will need some amount of nitrate for your plants but that's another topic for discussion. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:23 AM   #6
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Not sure I fully understand, but that just means I must read/research some more.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Not sure I fully understand, but that just means I must read/research some more.

Thanks everyone.
Well what is it that you don't understand?
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:29 AM   #8
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The nitrate test for freshwater says:
"Testing Tips
This test kit reads total nitrate (NO3–) level in parts per million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per liter (mg/L) from 0 ppm to 160 ppm, in freshwater aquariums. The Freshwater Nitrate Test Color Chart is the appropriate chart to use for testing freshwater aquariums to which salt has been added."

Which, as said above, just means that you should use the freshwater test if you've added aquarium salt to the tank, as opposed to the saltwater test which is different.

So if you've added salt to the tank for whatever reason (treating Ich, for example) you can still use the freshwater test. If you're not adding salt, just ignore what it says and use the test.
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