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Old 05-01-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Reading the API test kit results

Hi all...

Aquarium n00b here. We've been cycling our new 27 gal cube tank for almost six weeks now (although it seems more like a year) and I have some concerns about how well I'm reading the API test results. Primarily, I have trouble with the Nitrite test. I have found that anything above 1 ppm looks basically the same to me. Once we pass the light blue-lavender phase, I honestly don't see the difference between the various shades of dark purpley-pink. I understand that this won't matter much once we have the tank cycled and full of fish, since anything in that realm is a matter for concern. But right now, as I do these daily readings and hope that something will start to happen to bring the darn nitrites DOWN, I'm feeling a bit discouraged.

Also, I notice that my test results vary a lot within just a minute or two of the time I'm *supposed* to read them. So, at the five-minute mark, the test looks (sorta) like it's at 2 ppm but then, two minutes later it's more like 0.5. What's that all about? Is the test SO sensitive that two or three minutes can make such an enormous difference? I have actually had situations where I got distracted in the middle of timing a nitrite test and missed the five-minute mark by a minute or two. So, are those results totally inaccurate?

Anyway. I'm off to test my water again. I will post my results in a separate thread because I suspect our cycle has stalled and I'd love some advice. But, for now, I'd just like to know whether I'm even doing this right. Sheesh. I got an A in calc-based Chemistry in college. You wouldn't think this would be so difficult....

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:56 AM   #2
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I stoped using api a long time ago I found that they weren't very accurate. Try salifert or red sea pro their more money but I think their worth it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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It's possible your nitrites are so far off-chart that the test can't read it. When the tube starts changing funky colors quickly that could be a sign. Do the drops turn purple as soon as you put them into the tube? How long have you had nitrites? You could try doing a full water change, test nitrites again. Keep going until you can read them on the chart (<2 is ideal). Prolonged high nitrites can stall the cycle as well.
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api, test, test kit

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