i am currently fish-lessly cycling one of my tanks. I am at the middle-end of the process but am unsure if my nitrate test kit is working properly (I have the API master kit). When I put the FIRST set of drops in, it turns a brown tea color. Then I shake the SECOND set of drops for the 30 seconds, put them in, shake the tube for 1 minute, and it becomes a light orange. It looks like I have 5 ppm of nitrates but is not changing. And it is an orangish color, but not really a "clear" orange.
My question is:
Is the first set of drops SUPPOSED to change color right away? And is this compromising the integrity of the test?
Other params are:
Amm ~1 (after adding 3 drops); nitrIte ~2
Any thoughts are appreciated!