API Nitrate Test help

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jmarks

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So I have the API liquid test kit and have been running pretty low on the nitrate test solutions. They havent expired, but are running extremely low. Just purchased new solutions and dida test with both sets. Equally shaking and pounding each set I did a test and the newer test showed roughly 5 or 10 ppm nitrates while the old set illustrated more like 30 or 40. I have been doing partial WC every few days because of the high nitrates that my old test kit was producing. Has anyone experienced something similar? Which test is correct?
 

Sticks

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I would rinse a couple of test tubes very well in tank water and try again. I'm just getting back into the hobby and I'm just now getting used to reading the API test results. If your test results come out the same I want to lean toward the new solution but would take a water sample to a trusted LFS.
 

Aquaphobia

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I wonder if the new test has been sitting on the shelf for a long time and the stuff inside settled out of solution while the old set, which has regular use and shaking, never really gets the chance to do so. Shake the snot out of it and see what happens!
 
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jdhef

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I can think of two things which could be causing the differing test results.
1) What Aquaphobia wrote above or,
2) If you didn't shake the old kit really well when you first started using, it could be that your percentage of liquid to percentage of crystals has changed. What I mean is that if when you first started using the old kit, you didn't mix the bottle well enough you may have been using too much liquid and not enough crystals. But then later learned that the bottle really neded shaking and now have too many crystals for the amount of liquid.
 
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jmarks

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Brought in a sample of water to work today as I work as an environmental engineer. Took the sample to our lab and ran actual tests. Test for nitrates came back at 6 ppm. Jdhef's point 2 above is my conclusion! Hope this sheds light for others.
 

Mom2some

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Thanks to reading this thread I banged the heck out of bottle #2 again today when testing - thanks!
 

jobeaux

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Yay science!
 
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