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Old 06-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #1 
Join Date: May 2012
API test kit question

Checked the water with the API fresh water test kit after being out of town for 4 days- ammonia .5, nitrites were 2, nitrates were 60, pH 7.6. Yikes! I did a 50% water change yesterday(did the 5x amount of PRIME to detoxify nitrITE), did a 70% water change today. Ammonia .25, nitrites 1, nitrates 40. I have the water setting up for a 70% change tomorrow and was planning on 50%-70% water changes daily until the levels get to where they are supposed to be.

Now, the fish seems to be OK and I read not to do a 100% water change when nitrITES are too high. Hopefully that's correct info and everything will be OK in a few water changes. PRIME is supposed to detoxify high nitrITE for 48 hours and the test kit doesn't distinguish between toxic and detoxified nitrITE.

What I found out was my fish was greatly overfed in while I was away...even though I left instructions.

Now for my question. When comparing the colors to the chart do I hold the vial slightly away from the white card(which makes it a lighter shade+lower reading) or against the white card(which makes it a darker shade=higher reading)?
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #2 
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I always put it against the card... Better safe then sorry
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #3 
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I'm honestly not too sure. That might be a question to email to API. But I do know that you need to stick to the schedule that they give you for when to add things and when to read things (which I'm pretty sure explains your high nitrAte reading). And that you get the most accurate reading if you observe the tube in indirect natural sunlight.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:33 AM   #4 
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I'd be willing to bet that a good part of that high nitrAte reading comes from not having shaken the #2 bottle well enough.

I put a pea-sized bead in my #2 bottle, making a rattlecan type bottle for thorough mixing. My nitrates read significantly lower since I've done this.

I get my must trustworthy readings by holding the vial vertically on the card. I'm sure any method would work if practiced consistently.

@ ILB I'm interested in where you got the information regarding smaller water changes to guard against rapid nitrIte changes. Thanks

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-05-2012 at 01:39 AM.
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