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Re: nitrate/nitrite measurements

On Wed, 5 Jan 2000, Stephen Lindsay wrote:

> Does that mean that when individuals test for nitrate, they may well
> end up with a result for nitrite along with nitrate level?

Yep.  The tests are showing nitrate+nitrite as nitrate so if there's
nitrite in the tank, but no nitrate, the tests will show nitrate anyway.

I may have been hasty implying that *all* nitrate kits test for
nitrate+nitrite.  On further reading it appears that I overlooked a
standard method (using brucine) that can be used to test for nitrate
without analysing nitrite.  It looks to me like it would be real hard to
adapt the brucine method for general aquarium use, but it does open up the
possibility that there are other methods that analyse nitrate exclusively.

I checked on the Hach site and most of their nitrate kits use the cadmium
reduction method, which would be used to analyse nitrate+nitrite. The
exceptions are a test strip (I can't even imagine what the method is) and
a kit that uses salicylate, which I'm not familiar with.  LaMotte doesn't
make it obvious which method they use.

Roger Miller