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Better Nitrate Measurement?

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Hi everyone,

I am using the API Feshwater Master kit so far. It is good to get a general impression, however the nitrate reading is very hard to read. Personally, I have a big difficulty to see the differences between 10 an 20 ppm or 40 and 80 ppm.

What are better kits for more exact measures for nitrates? Any hints?

You wonder why I need this? Its because I want to calculate nitrate build up and clearance parameters for my aquaponics project.

Thank you,


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I don't know what might be better but just wanted to say that I totally agree with you, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between those.

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Obviously with 10ppm it's orange, with 20ppm it's abit darker orange.

40ppm is red and 80ppm is a different red...God!

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Check at your local fish store. There are definitely more precise tests than API, but I don't know whats available to you.

This one has some fans: http://www.amazon.com/Salifert-Nitrate-Test-Kit/dp/B001EHCDBW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346969510&sr=8-2&keywords=salifert+test+kits

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That one says its only for salt water aquariums, do you think they make a freshwater kit as well?

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Those things will certainly work if you can afford them. Sorry about the Salifert. It came up on a list of freshwater tests for nitrate. You might check with the company to find if it will work on freshwater.

Also check out this.

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Here some other products from Hanna:

Test Kist:

Nitrate Test Kit for Soil and Irrigation Water, HI 38050 | HANNA Instruments


Nitrate (as Nitrogen) Portable Photometer, HI 96728 | HANNA Instruments USA

Personally, I haven't really decided yet. I also need to check how to get one of those in Canada.

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Look for the 3 part test kits I am thinking they are easier to read

What do you mean by that?

I mean not all tests kits are equal.

Currently I am using a Tetra nitrate test kit with 3 bottles and on vial of powder.

I did find this about your test kit

Liquid Nitrate Test Kits from any manufacturer can have a common problem

with their last test solution. For some companies, it is bottle number

3, but for us it is bottle number 2. One of the ingredients wants to

solidify out of liquid solution. If the test bottle sits for any period

of time, this can happen. If this does happen and the test is performed

without Bottle # 2 mixed properly, then you can get a falsely low

reading. I have never heard of falsely high readings with Nitrate Kits.

I would try tapping your Bottle # 2 a few times on a table or counter

top. This should loosen-up anything that has solidified. Then I would

shake this bottle for about 2-3 minutes, to really mix it up. Try the

test again and hopefully this will fix your problem. With regular weekly

usage, this bottle should only need to be shaken for 30-60 seconds.

Always check results at the recommended duration of time. Letting the

tubes sit longer can result in falsely high levels."

I then asked if heating the nitrate test solution #2 would help get the material back into solution and got this reply:

"I don't think heating is necessary, plus I don't want to degrade the

chemicals in any way. Tapping your Bottle # 2 a few times on a table or

counter top and then shaking should be adequate, but you will

immediately know with the next test."

I then asked if the proper way to match the colors was to place the test tube directly on the card, or back it up a bit, since the color can get a little darker when placed directly on the card. Since the gentleman was being so honest with me, in admitting that there could be a problem with their test solutions (or anyone elses) I thought it would be courteous to ask if I could share this information in the forums I read:

"You do touch the test tube to the color card.

It will be ok for you to share the Nitrtae Test Information. It is a

problem that every manufacturer has and we are interested in the kit

working properly for the consumer. "

As I said, the nitrate test finally gave me an expected reading, and my faith is now restored in the test kits. And I am really impressed with any manufacturer that replies quickly, tells you that there could be a problem with their product, and tells you how to fix it!

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