api test kit nitrate confusion

Discussion in 'Test Kits' started by michael68, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. michael68Valued MemberMember

    Hey gang just tested my water and got 7.8 ph ammonia 0 nitrites 0 and im not sure for nitrates. It could have been 20,40 or 80 not sure has anybody else had this problem.Maybe im color blind or is there a trick to getting this test accurate?
  2. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    How did you look at the test? Laying on the card beside the colors or looking at it with light shinning through it?
  3. michael68Valued MemberMember

    when i looked at it with light shining through it it looked like 10 with the tube against the white it looked like possibly 20 which way is correct?
  4. ppate1977Well Known MemberMember

    I have always held mine just off the frontof the white background on the card in good lighting.
  5. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I believe the instructions say to lay it on the white part of the card beside the colors(anyway this is what I do :) ) and then read it.
  6. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    That's how I do it as well.
  7. michael68Valued MemberMember

    When i lay it pressed against the card it looks very dark possiblly 20 when i pull it away a qaurter inch in light it looks like 10
  8. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Both are acceptable numbers but I would go with the one with the tube laid on the card.
  9. michael68Valued MemberMember

    Whats bad Carol anything over 40?I do a 25% water change once a week.Should i maybe do another small change mid week or what do you think?
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    What's good or bad depend on the fish you keep or if you have plants :) 20 or below is safe for just about anybody. Some fish are more tolerant and plants need the Nitrates to grow. So it's hard to give you a rock hard answer to that :)
    I try to keep mine right at 20-30. A 25-50% water change(depending on how messy you or the fish are) a week should be enough to keep every body happy.
  11. michael68Valued MemberMember

    Thanks Carol,your a huge help!!