I just picked them up on Amazon. Might get to the Phosphate test today.Yes, in the API nitrate test chart, 10-20 have identical orange, 40-80 have identical red. It’s good enough for fish only tanks when red is bad, orange is OK, but not precise enough for planted tanks.
Same with API phosphate. It’s hard to differentiate levels between 0-1, or above 2. The matching shift if you look under outside or indoor light.
I’m waiting to see your phosphate comparison. Where did you buy the Salifert test kits?
Here is the API. 50 ppm on the right, 25 ppm on the left. The 25 ppm vial on the right clearly looks like at least 40 ppm, and probably higher. To the naked eye, they look almost the same.
Next is API with 4 ppm on the left, and 2 ppm on the right. With the naked eye, I would have called the 4 ppm 3 or 4, and the 2 ppm 1 or 2. In general, I guess not bad.
Next the Salifert with 4 ppm on left and 2 ppm on right. With the naked eye, I would have called the 4 ppm something more than three, and the 2 ppm I actually would have guessed 3. Once again, they are both really close in color.
With either one, it's pretty much an estimate at best.
Yeah all in all probably pretty much worthless drivel, and shows that any one of them is just kind of an educated guess. I do think they are useful to spot trends and relative measures over time.Nice looking Boes, Greggz. Now keep in mind you have more experience then most people using test kits and taking action based on their result. So if your difficulty in interpreting the results is so high, what should the starter hobbyist take from this?
Also worth mentioning that calibration solutions are perfect optimal conditions for test kits... pure water, little contamination of organics and little other ions for cross-reactivity. In real aquarium samples it will be much more difficult to maintain this level of consistency, more so for the NO3 test kit. Now I seem to recall somebody suggestion you adjust your dosing based on the levels of NO3 detected ....well good thing we have EI
Then I see that the PO4 test is a little more accurate. Even the low range one might work well. Of course you would have to dilute 50%/50% your aquarium sample with RODI water to get a better range.
However, across all the kits (and interpretation of results), I think the message is that they over-estimate the concentration of nutrients. As such , don't stop dosing because test kit told you so. But increase dosing if test kit says lower than expected. I think this approach is safe given the ranges we play in and will prevent many plants for starving.
Yeah all in all probably pretty much worthless drivel, and shows that any one of them is just kind of an educated guess. I do think they are useful to spot trends and relative measures over time.
Much better off to watch the plants and see what they are telling you. But that does take much time and experience to have any clue at all. In my tank I always feel that more is better, hence EI. More problems for me with too little than too much.
All in all, I will use Salifert for Nitrates, and API for Phosphates. If nothing else so I don't have to shake that Nitrate bottle like mad every time. Worth the slightly higher cost of the Salifert for me.
I remember a while back with an older tank I thought I had 80ppm nitrates with the API test kit. From your testing I realize it was most likely a lot less than that Thanks for putting that together, that took some work. Useful stuff.
I don't think I foresee that one in my future. However, it would be interesting to take all the readings you can, then send the sample out to someone who does have one. There is a member on TPT who can do it, and will give all kinds of very precise readings on anything you can imagine.Just looked at their web site - wow, impressive and expensive (guess those 2 go hand in hand)
Well I have no clue about that. I have been dosing a large micro dosing for several months now, but don't know if they are related.On completely unrelated note, in the picture of Cuba, what do you think about the counterclockwise twist of the leaves around the stem? I have always observed this when my micros were starting to get toxic. For example, using large amounts of CSM+B I would get crazy twisting like that, that it looked like a propeller.