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Nitrate Tests?

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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1,710
Location
Minnesota, USA
Thanks Michael I bookmarked you recomendation, currently out of stock but will keep on it.
I tried your salt mix and came up with these way off readings, 137 (old meter ) and 106 (new meter). Obviously not good so both are heading for the bin. .
Hi @Kelvin12 You need an accurate scale (milligram resolution) to measure out the 1 gram of pure NaCl and an accurate measure for the 1 liter of distilled water, make sure the salt is throughly diluted and ideally making sure the solution is at room temperature when you measure. If both probes comes out close to 100 ppm I suspect the solution mix is off, so I wouldn't toss the probes just yet.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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2,842
Location
Bracknell
I now have Pro JBL Aqua test.

The Nitrate reading is between 15 and 30.

Clearly this is a huge difference.

Point is which do I go with.
Hi @tdc999

I use JBL test kits and they serve me well. Just ensure that you store them as JBL recommends. And, although manufacturers don't explicitly state this, it may be advisable to use the kit within six months of starting to use it. An expiry date will be stated on the box but this will likely be in excess of six months. I suspect that the JBL Test Kits are produced by Macherey-Nagel.

JPC
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Location
Minnesota, USA
Hi @MichaelJ

Is it worth pointing out that some Table Salt is not pure sodium chloride (NaCl) but may contain other substances to enable the salt to flow readily?

JPC
Yes, thats key... it needs to be +99% NaCl - we call it table salt, but there can be all sorts of other ingredients in regular kitchen salt. My wife prefer to cook with "table salt" that has a vintage merlot flavor :)
I don't think it would skew the measurement an order of magnitude though...

Cheers,
Michael
 

Kelvin12

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16 Nov 2020
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174
Location
NSW Australia
Unfortunately neither of these TDS meters are adjustable so calibrating is not an option. I have ordered another TDS, X1AOMI Mi (not the same as above) from an aquarium dealer I have used before for a number of items and been happy with the service and quality of their stuff. If this turns out OK I am happy. It will do at least for the time being until the Hanna one is back in stock. stock.

About the only thing I can find about this salt is that its potassium iodate??

Dirk
 
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MichaelJ

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Minnesota, USA
Unfortunately neither of these TDS meters are adjustable so calibrating is not an option. I have ordered another TDS, X1AOMI Mi (not the same as above) from an aquarium dealer I have used before for a number of items and been happy with the service and quality of their stuff. If this turns out OK I am happy. It will do at least for the time being until the Hanna one is back in stock. stock.

About the only thing I can find about this salt is that its potassium iodate??

Dirk
Sounds like iodized salt to me. Perhaps look into buying a calibrated NaCl solution as suggested by @Nick potts above.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Kelvin12

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16 Nov 2020
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Location
NSW Australia
Yes I think that is a very good option for sure. I found your recomendation here in AU which is good. Thanks everyone for the assistance.
Dirk
 

harryH

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18 Oct 2013
Messages
343
I was going to ask the question about high nitrates but found this thread.
I just have a 10 gallon tank, running a couple of months. Plants are great (heavily planted) and responding well to the CO2 and after battling algae for the first few weeks I'm struggling to find any at all, water is gin clear. Fish are in rude health.
I've been using Tetra 6 in one strips and while they are very convenient I find they can be difficult to read with any confidence.
The strips show my nitrates from the tap at 80 -100 and exactly same in the tank. I went onto Anglian water site and found their readings which say Nitrates in the 30's. There is a caveat however stating farmers using fertiliser may up the nitrate readings from time to time and I do live in Lincolnshire which is very agricultural and has hard water.
From the strips my other readings are PH 7.5, GH 8-10 and KH 10 -18, again KH is difficult to read. Needless to say Nitrites 0 .
My thoughts are to trust my eye as regards nitrates as it doesn't appear to be having any adverse effects and I don't want to start messing with water parameters..
Thanks guys for all the information you post on here and any comments on my situation would be most welcome. hope I've added to rather than hijacked the thread.
 

bazz

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24 Jan 2009
Messages
335
Location
Lincoln
Hi,
I may be wrong but living in Lincolnshire I would imagine your GH is most probably around twice as high as 8-10. I'm in Lincoln and I've just this moment tested my tap water which is GH19, although this too will be an inaccurate reading it has always hovered around this value whenever I've tested it over the last 45 years.
Cheers!
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
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Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Table Salt is not pure sodium chloride (NaCl) but may contain other substances to enable the salt to flow readily?
It does, added as an anti-caking agent. It used to be magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), but now it is usually sodium hexaferrocyanide (Na4Fe(CN)6).
Yes, thats key... it needs to be +99% NaCl - we call it table salt, but there can be all sorts of other ingredients in regular kitchen salt. My wife prefer to cook with "table salt" that has a vintage merlot flavor :)
I don't think it would skew the measurement an order of magnitude though...
I don't know exactly how much is added, but I'm going to guess "not very much" and that it makes less than 5 microS difference.

cheers Darrel
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
The strips show my nitrates from the tap at 80 -100 and exactly same in the tank. I went onto Anglian water site and found their readings which say Nitrates in the 30's. There is a caveat however stating farmers using fertiliser may up the nitrate readings from time to time and I do live in Lincolnshire which is very agricultural and has hard water.
The EU limit (which we are adhering to) for drinking water is 50 ppm NO3. It is sometimes breached, but all breaches should be reported on the <"Anglian Water web site">.
I would imagine your GH is most probably around twice as high as 8-10. I'm in Lincoln and I've just this moment tested my tap water which is GH19, although this too will be an inaccurate reading it has always hovered around this value whenever I've tested it over the last 45 years
That sounds about right. Approximately 18 dGH & 18 dKH are the equilibrium values for water <"saturated with calcium carbonate"> from a limestone aquifer. The workings are in Larry Franks very useful article on <"water hardness at the Krib">.

cheers Darrel
 

harryH

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18 Oct 2013
Messages
343
Thanks for that Bazz yes I think I am reading what I'd like it to be rather than what it is😉, as I say the strips are not easy to read and the subtle colour changes coupled with the smudges the water can give on them doesn't help. Your figures sound much more plausible,. I'm out on the coast near Cleethorpes where Anglian water say the tap water is 16.302 dH.
 

harryH

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Joined
18 Oct 2013
Messages
343
Hi all,

The EU limit (which we are adhering to) for drinking water is 50 ppm NO3. It is sometimes breached, but all breaches should be reported on the <"Anglian Water web site">.

That sounds about right. Approximately 18 dGH & 18 dKH are the equilibrium values for water <"saturated with calcium carbonate"> from a limestone aquifer. The workings are in Larry Franks very useful article on <"water hardness at the Krib">.

cheers Darrel
Cheers Darrel, there's no breaches reported and ave fig. is 39.1 nitrates. Hardness is reported as Calcium Carbonate 287 mg/l, Calcium 114.8 mg/l, German Hardness 16.303 dH.
 

bazz

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24 Jan 2009
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335
Location
Lincoln
Thanks for that Bazz yes I think I am reading what I'd like it to be rather than what it is😉, as I say the strips are not easy to read and the subtle colour changes coupled with the smudges the water can give on them doesn't help. Your figures sound much more plausible,. I'm out on the coast near Cleethorpes where Anglian water say the tap water is 16.302 dH.
What I was trying to suggest is that test strips and entry level titration kits are notoriously unreliable and sometimes difficult to correlate with the provided colour charts.
Cheers!
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
yes I think I am reading what I'd like it to be rather than what it is😉, as I say the strips are not easy to read and the subtle colour changes coupled with the smudges the water can give on them doesn't help.
That was partially why I went to using
  • plant leaf colour and health and
  • conductivity
as my <"test strip">. There is <"little margin for error"> and <"the plants are providing">, what I now know, are <"ecosystem services">.
........ Plant/microbe filtration provides a negative feedback loop where enhanced levels of fixed nitrogen lead to enhanced plant growth, which leads to <"higher oxygen production">, which leads to the ability to process more fixed nitrogen. When you remove that plant growth you've exported that nitrogen from the system.......
cheers Darrel
 
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harryH

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18 Oct 2013
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343
This is my little aquarium as it looks, I've been out of the hobby quite some time but not too bad, I am 81 years young after all but once bitten🤣. I just want something to keep me occupied and trying to do it right but keeping it enjoyable.
Thanks for replying guys
 

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sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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Plants are great (heavily planted) and responding well to the CO2 and after battling algae for the first few weeks I'm struggling to find any at all, water is gin clear. Fish are in rude health.
I wouldn't wory about anything else. :)
My thoughts are to trust my eye as regards nitrates as it doesn't appear to be having any adverse effects and I don't want to start messing with water parameters.
That sounds good.
 

jaypeecee

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Joined
21 Jan 2015
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Location
Bracknell
This is my little aquarium as it looks, I've been out of the hobby quite some time but not too bad, I am 81 years young after all but once bitten🤣.
Hi @harryH

If, and when, I get to 81*, I hope I can have tanks that look as good as yours! Well done!

* I've got 13 years to go! o_O:rolleyes:

JPC
 

harryH

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18 Oct 2013
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343
Hi @harryH

If, and when, I get to 81*, I hope I can have tanks that look as good as yours! Well done!

* I've got 13 years to go! o_O:rolleyes:

JPC
Hi mate and thank you, I retired at 60 and the only thing I regret is time has flown. I can't do half the things I could in the garden but keeping a planted tank is just another kind of gardening and as long as I don't end up with all the tanks I once had I should be okay at keeping the Mrs sweet.😂
 

Kelvin12

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16 Nov 2020
Messages
174
Location
NSW Australia
MichaelJ, I took your advice here and bought the Hanna TDS meter you recommended. It took a while butb worth it Its brilliant and came with 4 sachets of test solution for future calibration. I checked the Hanna reading against 3 cheap Chinese TDS and the difference in reading on the cheap meters was way out and I mean way out and this despite one seller assuring me his meters are always tested before they leave the wharehouse. I wonder in what they were tested.

Thanks again Michael and everyone else here for the advice it was appreciated. This truly is a great forum.

Dirk
 
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