[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Test Kit Blues

It was interesting to see Steve Dixon post about the expensive iron
test kits. I just assumed that these would work and I was about to 
post the results of my tests to see if the $5 Red Sea iron test kit 
would really tell me what I needed to know about iron levels in my 
aquarium.  After running several tests I believe that it does.  In 
running these tests I found that having two test vials to make side 
by side comparisons is very helpful and setting the vials in a white 
cup makes determining the color a lot easier. The first test I ran 
was to compare RO water with water from a recently setup tank to 
which I hadn't made iron additions but did have laterite in the 
substrate.  This test very clearly showed no iron in the RO water and 
a definite indication of iron in the aquarium water.  My tap water 
also showed no indication of iron. The next test I ran was on a series 
of solutions of iron I had made ranging from .1mg/L to 1mg/L
 My results on the low end were

Soln(mg/L)	Reading(mg/L)
.1		.1
.15		.2
.2		.2  -  .5

At .2 there was a big change in color as it went from the
blue/aqua/gray on the low end to a brownish color. There is no way 
you would miss this change. I think if people are having problems 
with this kit it may be that they perceive the gray color at .15 as a 
light aqua color or < .1mg/L of iron.

Concerned that this kit might  not be able to detect chelated iron  in
my actual aquarium water  I ran a test where I diluted a 1mg/L test 
solution  10/1 with both DI water and my aquarium water. I believed 
the aquarium water to contain somewhat less than .1mg/L  of iron.  
The results clearly showed the sample diluted with the aquarium water 
to be higher in iron than the sample diluted with the DI water.   I 
assume most of this iron came from the Flourish additions I had been 
making to my aquarium and it appears that  the kit detected this 
iron.  My guess is that this kit  could have alerted Steve to the 
.3mg/L Fe in his tank. Once I find a  chelated iron source with a 
know iron level I plan to make test solutions to test for  it 

My tests with the Red Sea CO2 test kit however were not very
encouraging as it didn't seem to works very well at all.

Jim Spencer   Sayre, PA