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More on test kits

I've recently run into a problem that I feel would impact some of the people 
just getting into the planted aquarium hobby as well as some of the 

To test for NO3 levels I have been using a Seachem NO3 test kit and it has 
worked quite well. This was one of the older Seachem test kits with the 
black plastic box and a liquid reagent #1 and #2. I don't test for NO3 often 
as my main tanks are fairly well balanced and I can pretty much tell by the 
O2 bubbles from the plants how well they are doing.

Recently I started up some new tanks for my over growth out of the main 
tanks and nearing the end of my Seachem NO3 test kit, I purchased a new 
Seachem test kit. When I tested my new tanks for NO3 I was surprised to find 
no NO3 in the tanks even though I had dosed PMDD made from Green Light Stump 
remover KNO3. Going back to the old test kit I tested and got a reading of 
 >7ppm, I had originally dosed for 10ppm NO3, so the plants may have removed 
some NO3.The new Seachem test kit now contains a liquid reagent #1 and a 
powder reagent #2. I expressed my concern to Seachem over the telephone and 
through many e mails and have been unable to come up with an answer to this 
problem. I have tried Green Light, ACME, Ag grade KNO3 and finally Homegrown 
Hydroponics "six pack" KNO3, but have had no success in getting a reading of 
NO3 using the "new" Seachem test kit. Seachem has been very,very helpful in 
this problem and I do not intend this e mail as a slam to them, I think 
their products are 1st rate and use Seachem PO4, and Fe tests, which work 
fine. I also have used Flourish for years and never needed the trace 
elements called for in the PMDD recipe, great product.

The problem I see, is that with this test kit being often recommended and 
Green light stump remover or Homegrown Hydroponics "six pack" recommended as 
a fertilizer source, by this group, a situation where a novice to planted 
tanks is dosing for NO3 levels and using a Seachem test kit to monitor 
uptake could arise. The novice would keep dosing KNO3 trying to reach 5 - 10 
ppm NO3 and all the while over dosing way past 10ppm.

Has anyone else run into this problem, with the new Seachem NO3 test kit? 
Other than the LaMotte, which is overkill for our purposes, does anyone have 
a recommendation for a test kit for NO3 in the 2 to 20 ppm range?

Please feel free to contact me off list if you like.


Just trying to help out, and contribute back.

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