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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #3
In a message dated 1/2/2000 00:52:45 Pacific Standard Time,
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:
> I notice people testing for nitrites as quite different (it seems to me)
> testing for nitrates. When I had a nitrite test kit before, the
> mentioned multiplying the resulting nitrite value by a certain number to
> determine the nitrate value. Hence, only the nitrite test kit is needed to
> measure both. This seems to make sense since nitrite changes to nitrate
> A handy tip?
I don't think so. Nitrites can (and should) be zero, but nitrates can be
anywhere from zero to sky high. In a well cycled tank with few plants and a
heavy fish load, nitrites can be zero, but nitrates can be markedly elevated.
In a well cycled, heavily planted tank with a reasonable fish load, both
nitrites and nitrates are frequently zero. Although nitrates do descend from
nitrites, there would be no practical way to measure nitrites and produce a
viable nitrate value. Nitrate levels depend on so many factors: water
changes, plants, etc. I think both kits are still necessary, but once the
tank is cycled, only the nitrate value is of much interest as a rough
indicator of overall water quality.