Red Sea Nitrate Pro Problems

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by Labido, 7 Nov 2012.

  1. Labido

    Labido

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    Hi,

    Never posted before on this forum, but I will start with a problem I'm having.

    I'm not a marine aquarist, but I'm sure I will be in the future. I keep malawi cichlids which are almost as nice as marine, but a little easier to manage.

    I like to monitor nitrates as I have well stocked tanks and I'm a bit of an analyst freek so I like to know accurate readings for my aquariums. A key parameter for my aquariums is nitrate. I've been using a Tetra kit for the past 6 months or so but I find it quite difficult to read the colour chart at times, so I bought a Red Sea Nitrate Pro kit. Although it is designed for marine water, it should still be accurate enough for fresh water from what I could make out (I did a comparison test between a salt water and fresh water standard solutions and they were very close).

    Anyway, when I tried the new Red Sea kit, I got very low readings. I was expecting around 10-15ppm but got around 1ppm.
    So I prepared a standard 25ppm solution from potassium nitrate (twice, once with fresh water and once with marine water) and the readings were not good. The Red Sea kit gave a reading of 2ppm while the Tetra kit was 50ppm. The good news is my old test kit is over reading, so my nitrates are lower than expected, but the bad news is the Red Sea kit, which is renowned for being much more accurate and reliable, is off by a factor of 10.

    I know nitrate test kits are notoriously unreliable, but I was expecting better from a reputable brand like this. At R375 for the kit I was hoping for better.

    Anyone had experience with this that could advice me? I suspect the reagents may be to blame, but this will require an new reagent set to test my theory. I may pop around to my reputable LFS and get their help to test my reagents.
     
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  3. Fanlie

    Fanlie

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    snaaks
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2012
  4. WarrenElvis

    WarrenElvis

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    Hey @Labido , sorry you are struggling with the red sea test kit. If you have a look at their new website it is explained there. so will retype here for you:
    From Red Sea's website http://www.redseafish.com/index.aspx?id=4392 on their FAQ's

    "Can I use the Nitrate Pro and phosphate Pro tests kits on R/O water? "
    The algae control test kits are calibrated to give accurate results for water within the physical parameters of seawater. The kits can be used to give a qualitative (not quantitative) result with R/O water. The colors achieved may be slightly brighter than the color scale and may have an error of approx +/- 5%.

    So i say can you use the kit for freshwater? Yes, but your true results may vary to the colour chart provided.
    For saltwater systems, higher resolution is required as we strive for less than 2ppm, preferably undetectable, so thats why i use red sea N03 test kit for my reef.

    Also am assuming you have followed directions to a T. I also liked to watch all the videos available for the red sea test kits, just to make sure i was doing everything right, not saying you are not but just for peace of mind;). Here's link for nitrate test
    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
    jacquesb likes this.
  5. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    salifert get salifert n ur issues are over
     
  6. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Saliferts always reads undetectable, while RSM pro is slightly higher, on my set up. It is safe to say that unless, we take our water samples to recognised water testers, and even the we could question results (and I say this because on Reefcentral, some forums have been dedicated to bad test from companies that supply this service), that a true parameter test would be difficult to obtain.

    I know how you feel @Labido, I too, like to have accurate tests and it can get frustrating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Labido

    Labido Thread Starter

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    @WarrenElvis, Thanks for the info, but I read this and watched in video before buying the kit and I did follow the instructions to the T.

    The kit is useless to me if it is reading 10x lower than the true value and a waste of R375.

    I will have better use from my old tetra kit that reads 2x actual reading.

    I suppose if you calibrate your kit with known standard solutions, any kit that gives consistent results will be suitable - but they key is consistency.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    How did you make up the standard solution and how did you verify that it was in fact 25ppm?
     
  9. Labido

    Labido Thread Starter

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    I used potassium nitrate (KNO3), 8 grams to 500ml water, then 1.25ml of this solution to 500ml water. Did the chemistry calcs to work it all out and even with my kitchen scale that weighs to 1 gram, the possible range for the std solution will be 23-26ppm. The KNO3 should be at least 98% pure so the solution should be good. But I have not verified it through any analytical test.
     
  10. WarrenElvis

    WarrenElvis

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    Labido did you used plain tap water or distilled water?
     
  11. Labido

    Labido Thread Starter

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    it was filtered de-chlorinated water (under-counter cartridge filter), not RO, but the nitrates in the tap water in my area a negligible, so there should be no problems there.
     
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