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Old 04-25-2013, 09:02 AM   #1
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I don't trust my nitrate readings

This is just driving me crazy, I just started the nitrites phase of my cycle but my tank shows anywhere between 20 and 80 Nitrates, I which is also what my tap water reads, I have tried 2 different api nitrate test kits, and get the same results.

When I checked local water quality it said 2ppm nitrate, I even called and talked to the head chemist who said 2 ppm max.

I also took a sample of tank water to the LFS where they tested it using dip strips and it showed almost no Nitrates.

Could I really have such high nitrate out of tap water? Could both my test kits be bad due to improper shaking? The combo of what the water quality report and the LFS test showing no Nitrates.

So what gives? What could be going on here?
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Can you please post a pic of what your tank and tap are showing for nitrates (exactly at the 5min mark)? Theres a big difference between 20 and 80ppm. Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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Yea, I will do it soon as I get home.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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Lemme guess... API nitrAte kit?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Yea, api nitrate test kit, first one I had I didn't shake hardly at all so it threw the chemicals all off in the bottles, my newest test kit I shakedown as per the instructions but have heard you literally need to beat the bottle and shake it for about 5 minutes which I didn't do so it may have threw it out of whack too.

Is there an alternative to the api nitrate test?
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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API test kits always test high as far as I'm concerned. Switch to a more reliable kit such as red sea or salifert there more expensive but very accurate.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
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I use API for everything EXCEPT nitrAte readings. I use Red Sea
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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are strips at all reliable? since my api liquid kit always gives me wonky results I took a sample of tank water into my LFS and had them test it and they used API test strips and it showed only 15-20 ppm nitrates.

the test strips are supposedly wildly inaccurate, but I just cant see how my test kit is at all accurate.

I think my cycle is done, but since I cant really test my nitrates there is no way to tell.

I am planning on picking up a different brand of test kit next weekend, probably the red sea one, is the red sea test kit hard to use? I was reading about it, and if you have more than 4ppm nitrates you have to dilute the tank water etc?
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