Nutrafin teat kits

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Mar 27, 2011
I have a Nutrafin mini master test kits and for some old reason my nitrate reading seemed to be going crazy lately. I was just wondering if the kit expires or anything like that. Like how peroxide releases gases over time, is it the same?
Your Test Kit

Good morning Hob...

Unlike fast food french fries, test kits don't have an indefinite shelf life. So, yours may be expired and give an inaccurate reading.

On the subject of test kits, do you find those kits expensive? I've been on a tight "water keeping" hobby budget forever and am phasing the test kits out. Am thinking that since I'm changing more than half the water in my tanks every week, I won't have to test the water. Any thoughts on that??

Just curoius,

I actually don't test my "Stable" tanks after about a month or two of becoming "Stable", at least not all that regularly. Call it once a month(for fresh. every two weeks on my FOWLR salt tanks. With reefs I'd probobly keep testing, and my only reef is a five gallon pico which I test religiously) or if someone dies. I'd keep the tests on hand, but you can probobly streatch out the time between purchases, and the test kits should have a REASONABLE shelf life, something like two years I think though I could be mistaken there.
ShadoeFox said:
I think all of them can go bad. Also, I know the API kit, if you aren't shaking the Nitrate one enough it can start giving faulty readings.

It says for me to shake vigorously for 30 second so I go a bit longer. The API is for a minute a believe.

I haven't had my test kit for even a year yet. Probably 5 or 6 month I'd say. And the only reason why I am testing it is because of my fry I just wanted make sure it good for the fry I have now and for the ones on the way. In the 35 gallon, nitrates were like 5 ppm yesterday this morning it was so pink I'd say 50 or 60 at least. But maybe I am just not reading it properly. I also tested the water in the 110 and it came up to the same which is why it kinda seems fishy lol
Make sure to rinse the test tubes with a little tank water before testing, and the lids if they have them !
davePM said:
Make sure to rinse the test tubes with a little tank water before testing, and the lids if they have them !

I've just used tap water seeing as there is no chlorine in it but ya that makes more sense
Check the kit for dates. Usually, they put the manufacturer month/year on there.
How long would you say they are good for on average?
For API kits, Pond Care Wide Range pH, ammonia, High Range pH, Nitrate, phosphate, Copper, calcium and GH all last for three years. Nitrite and KH will last for four years. Freshwater pH (low range) and Pond Care Salt Level will last for five years.
It says on it 05/30/2014. I tested my water again and it came up as a little pinker then 5 but lighter then 10 so it seemed accurate.
Ok, so nutrafin puts the expiration date, rather than the manufacture date. Sounds like you should be good, but do keep in mind that even with kits that are no where near the expiration date, some components go bad. Can't remember which bottle we started having issues with. Got a new bottle, everything was fine.
Hmm.... Well I'm gonna test our tank today to see what the nitrates are at.
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