Question Saltwater v. freshwater test kits

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KevinS

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Hi all, first post. We've only had our tank for a couple of months. I've been lurking / learning on here for the last 3 or 4 weeks.

Shortly after we got our tank, 20g, that originally housed 2 guppies (from a teaching getting rid of stock in her classroom tank at school) I found out the need to test the water. Not knowing much, I purchased a Red Sea Marine test kit (ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrage and alkaline tests). It is a liquid test kit.

My question is, is there a difference between a marine test kit and a freshwater test kit? I know the ph range may be slightly different. I supplemented the Red Sea kit with a single API liquid ph test kit because my ph never moved off of the lowest mark of 7.4 on the Red Sea card. I guess my real question is, can measuring freshwater with a saltwater ammonia or nitrite test throw off my results significantly enough that I have bad data?

Thanks, Kevin
 

harpua2002

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Hello Kevin and welcome to FL!

I cannot speak for the Red Sea kits, as I have never used them, but I believe that for the API kits the reagents are the same for freshwater and saltwater kits. BUT- the color cards are different. I think what's probably going on here is that you are getting accurate readings with your saltwater test kit for your freshwater tank, but the freshwater color charts are going to prevent you from interpreting those results correctly.

Again, this is just an educated guess, since I do not have direct experience with the Red Sea kits. Hopefully someone else who uses this kit will see this post and be of more help to you.
 
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KevinS

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I found another post in a different forum. They said that sw test kits could be used with freshwater but the opposite is not true.

Thanks, Kevin
 
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