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Wade wrote:
>>>Several people have mentioned trying to maintain a level of 5 ppm nitrates 
in a planted tank, which I thought meant NO3.  The Lamotte nitrate kit 
measures nitrate-nitrogen[N-NO3-], so I thought I had to convert back to
NO3.  But now it sounds like I should actually be trying to maintain 5
nitrate-nitrogen?  Sorry, I'm not a chemist, so I hope I'm being

I think it's the other way around.  To maintain 5-10 ppm nitrate, with
Lamotte kit you want to be in the light pink range of 1-2 ppm
You multiply the Lamotte reading by 4.4 (if memory serves) to get the
nitrate level.  
Don't panic if your Lamotte reading is 5 ppm (nitrate-nitrogen).  A 20
ppm nitrate 
level is normally not a disaster if other parameters are okay.

Good luck, Steve Dixon