Posted: 2010.11.19(Fri)1:05 Post subject: Test Kit Question
I've noticed a couple of funny things with my nitrate test kit in the past couple of uses.
1- Two weeks ago, the last time I used it, I got a zero reading on the nitrate test. I shake both bottles very, very well and I shake the vial for a count of thirty, add bottle #2, shake for a count of sixty. I never get a zero reading. I attributed it that time to me messing something up, and was too lazy to redo. Today when I went to use it, it did the same thing, and once again... I did all of the steps very carefully just to be sure that I didn't get a zero.
2- When I was rinsing the test tubes out, I noticed a sulfur/rotten egg stink coming from the nitrate tube. None of the other tubes smelled, but the nitrate one was raunchy. The solutions themselves don't really seem to stink.
I use the API test kit, and I bought it last November, so it is right at a year old. I'm assuming that these things mean that the nitrate solution is expired, but I wanted to check to be sure. The nitrate solution is almost gone anyway, so I will be ordering a new kit soon, so really, I'm just curious!
try bleaching and soaking that tube, and then, of course, rinse rinse rinse!! see if you can get any lingering smells out of there.
The smell doesn't seem to be lingering in the tube. I rinse them very well with hot water, and then I rinse them again to be sure. The smell came when I opened the test tube up to dump out the solution. As soon as the cap was off, there was the smell, and once I'd rinsed out the tube a couple of times, the smell was gone.
You use the same tube for each test? I never know which is which when they are empty.
No, no... I definitely don't. I'm not organized enough to keep up with that. Though I suppose you could mark on the outside of the tube... but I'm not sure that it matters that much.
I think I'll order a new test kit next week. _________________ - Rachel
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Your solutions are not expired. Each reagent bottle has a Lot # printed
on the bottle. The last four digits are the month and year of
manufacture. Example: Lot # 28A0102. This is a pH reagent manufactured
in January of 2002. Pond Care Wide Range pH, ammonia, High Range pH,
Nitrate, phosphate, Copper, calcium and GH all last for three years.
nitrite and KH will last for four years. Freshwater pH(low range) and
Pond Care Salt Level will last for five years. I would not trust these
kits after they have expired.
Liquid Nitrate Test Kits from any manufacturer can have a common problem
with their last test solution. For some companies, it is bottle number
3, but for us it is bottle number 2. One of the ingredients wants to
solidify out of liquid solution. If the test bottle sits for any period
of time, this can happen. If this does happen and the test is performed
without Bottle # 2 mixed properly, then you can get a falsely low
reading. I have never heard of falsely high readings with Nitrate Kits.
I would try tapping your Bottle # 2 a few times on a table or counter
top. This should loosen-up anything that has solidified. Then I would
shake this bottle for about 2-3 minutes, to really mix it up. Try the
test again and hopefully this will fix your problem. With regular weekly
usage, this bottle should only need to be shaken for 30-60 seconds.
Always check results at the recommended duration of time. Letting the
tubes sit longer can result in falsely high levels."
Also, in addition, nitrate test kits are often prone to error, unless they are calibrated with nitrate standards. _________________ Anthony
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