Hi everyone - sorry for the long post I just want to make sure I provide as much info as possible as I'm still a beginner. Thanks in advance!
tested my water and said I only have trace Nitrates however my API liquid test kit (I shook the bottles for like 3 minutes) shows 40ppm and the API test strips show 40ppm if I let it sit a minute or 2. They mentioned that the API test kits were sometimes inaccurate. They suggested I dose some nitrogen for the plants but Iím really nervous about adding nitrogen. I plan on getting slowly more high tech with the plants and fertilizers but I donít want to do too many things at once. Just want to make sure the tank is stable for the fish first. Should I buy a different brand test kit to see what I get? I plan on doing a 50% water change tonight to bring the Nitrates down if they are in fact that high.
API liquid tests:
API test strips:
40ppm nitrate if the strip sets for more than a minute but at their 30 seconds according to the directions <20
test (I think theyíre using Fluval or Hagen liquid)
Trace nitrate - they didnít give a number but said it was lowest on their scale
Did a complete tear down of the tank (except the filter) 1.5 weeks ago and changed substrate to eco complete. I have 8 different live plants and a moss ball. Since I didnítí change the canister filter I figured I had a good amount of BB left and only did a 10% water change a few days ago. I did add purigen to clear up the tank from the cloudiness of the new substrate.
29 Gallon Freshwater
Eco complete substrate
Marineland 160 canister
Fluval 3.0 plant LED
sterilizer(I use this since I give the fish away I want to avoid sickness)
2 Amano shrimp
1 assassin snail
18-20 juvenile platys (I have a guy that picks them up every time they breed so theyíll be gone tomorrow)