Master Test Kit vs Test Strip results for NitrAtes

Terry

Member
Hi. One of my fellow workers has an established tank at work, and his nitrAte levels have been very high, even after partial water changes. He's been using the Jungle 5 in 1 test strips and his readings using the strips are:

Nitrite approx. 0.25
Nitrate 160 - 200
pH 6.8

When I test with the API Master Test Kit solutions I get (and he gets after just getting a Master Kit himself):

Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5-10
pH 7.0

(ammonia with both test kits is 0)

Has anyone else seen this kind of huge difference on nitrates between the test kit and the strips? As I said he now has a test kit also and gets the same low nitrate reading that I get with my test kit solutions. I've always considered the test kits to be much more accurate than the strips but I never expected to see this kind of difference! The other readings between the kit and strips are close to each other but the nitrAte difference has me wondering if the strips are any good, or if the test kits are at fault.

Thanks
 

chickadee

Member
This is why we recommend not using the strips and getting the liquid test kits. I would say that the majority of us that went the strip route got caught this way at least once.

Rose
 

Butterfly

Member
Yep me too only it was ammonia instead of nitrate, the strips are really unreliable. I love my API test
Carol
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
Well, we retested that tank yeterday (25% PWC the day before) and the API solution test showed:

0 ammonia
0 nitrites
0 nitrates

tested it twice & got the same results. Hard to believe a tank could have those 0 readings, especially on the nitrates. The tank is well established but I'd expect to see some nitrates, especially when the Jungle test strip still indicates 160ppm nitrates.

I sent an email to API yesterday about it and asked if they'd be able to test the Lot Numbers on my nitrate test solutions to see if they were manufactured properly. No reply yet. I had someone reply in another forum that he no longer trusts the API solutions, especially the nitrate test - he's seen some major inconsistencies with the API tests versus some high tech tests he can do. I'm starting to lose faith in the API test results.
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
By the way, the API solutions are supposed to have a shelf life of 3-5 years, and the manufacture dates on my solutions show they're less than 6 months old. The manufacture date is the last 4 digits on the lot number on the bottle (....1206 = December, 2006 manufacture)
 

gilly2402

Member
thanks for going that way and for posting the results it helped me decide to buy a test kit instead of the strips, I'm sorry if this sounded bad but I think if people make mistakes which we all do if we post them then its good for a beginner like myself which could have brought strips had results like your friends and panicked like ****. thanks again for posting
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
gilly2402 said:
thanks for going that way and for posting the results it helped me decide to buy a test kit instead of the strips, I'm sorry if this sounded bad but I think if people make mistakes which we all do if we post them then its good for a beginner like myself which could have brought strips had results like your friends and panicked like ****. thanks again for posting
Hi. I think you may have seen it? I did get a lot of good information on the nitrate test, and other information from API - it's now posted under Important Topics. Here's the link in case you haven't seen it:



Yes - the test strips are pretty inaccurate - thet may be good for a quick test, but the accuracy isn't very good in a lot of cases.
 

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