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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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