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Nitrate test kits

The current issue of the UK magazine Practical Fishkeeping reviews the 
various nitrate test kits available over here. Seven testers each measured a 
series of standard samples using each of the kits and a consensus value that 
most agreed on was reported. The results were generally wildly inaccurate. 
The lowest level standard solution tested (and closest to the range aquatic 
gardeners would be interested in) was 12.1 mg/m1. The consensus values 
measured with the kits varied from 0-25 mg/ml with individual testers 
estimating the level at anything up to 40 mg/ml (85 mg/ml for one pond test 
These were all broad range tests. Only three of the kits could be used at 
lower ranges (it would seem by using a greater concentration of the 
reagent/s). These kits were made by Red Sea, Salifert and SeaChem. 
Interestingly, all three of these test kits under-estimated the 
concentration of Nitrate in the 12.1 mg/ml sample when used as broad-range 
tests (consensus values were 2.5, 0 and 5 mg/ml respectively). The level was 
re-measured using the low-range procedure only with the Salifert kit and, 
again, gave a unanimous reading of zero mg/ml.
I have never seen the Hach or Lamotte kits that are regularly recommended on 
the list for sale in this country. If anyone knows whether they are 
available in the UK I would be grateful if you could let me know. Also, does 
anyone have any experience with the other low-range kits? I have read 
adverse comments on the Red Sea kit on this list before, but what about the 
Salifert and, in particular, the Seachem kits?

Regards, Roy Wadey.

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