Re: Nitrate test kits

> - - any opinions on nitrate tests, and especially on Sera and Red sea
>   products?
> - - how long do they last and what does happen when they get old? Exp date
>   for Red sea test is Dec 96, I couldn't find any from Sera test.
> - - how many of you believe that 160 ppm is the right level, and who do
>   vote for 5 ppm? :-) My local shops can do water tests, but as far as I
>   know they don't carry nitrate tests, only pH, ammonia and nitrite.
>   By the way, I tested nitrite from one of the tanks, and it was zero,
>   like it should be in a well-established tank.
> Liisa Sarakontu                     INTERNET:    lsarakon at hila_hut.fi
> Helsinki University of Technology   WWW homepage http://www.hut.fi/~lsarakon/

Hi Liisa,

I have used the Red sea nitrate test kit in the past (my local shop hasn't
stocked in the the last 6 months though) and I thought it compared well to
my La Motte kit: given that my La Motte kit is low range (0-10 ppm) and the
on the Red Sea kit it was a little difficult to distinguish between 5 & 10 ppm
but it always registered in that range when my water was in that range.

A good way to see if your Sera kit is way off is to test distilled or RO water
& you should get a zero reading.

As to it being 160 or 5 - my heavily planted tanks constantly ran at less than
5 ppm even with no water changes for a month, so I'd tend to believe your 5 ppm
reading, especially since I've used that Red sea test kit before.  I'd also
think that if it was really 160 ppm you'd have a horrific algae problem (I did
when mine was over 60 when I had too many fish & not enough plants).