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Thread: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

  1. #1
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    Don Speers

    Default Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    First of all I hate color strips
    Second, I am somewhat bizarre, ask my kids.

    With that known, has anyone tried to use the Hanna marine high range nitrate checker? It is a very easy 4 step test which I would think would work with fresh water with two additional steps: Take ~ 1 cup of sample and then add sufficient sea salt to target SG as measured by hygrometer. Then usual 4 steps and viola a value between 0-75. Accurate? Who knows, Hanna has not tried this and does not intend to despite my pleas to test the method with the possible outcome of accurate results and potentially massive sales.... did ask for royalties. Anyone else tried this or have any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    Never had one. My experience with Hanna meters is that you get what you pay for. If it cost enough to make you think a time or two it's a good meter. Why not call or email Hanna and get someone with a lot of experience with these Nitrate meters. BTW Don, color strips are crap and drop tests can be hard for some men to read because a good percentage of men have a degree of colorblindness they are unaware of.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    Actually had an email discussion with the Hanna rep. He forwarded my question to the lab techs and indicated that they did not want to test this method and I can kinda understand why. May work with certain ions/stuff in the water but not others which would vary water source to water source. I will probably try this anyway though I don't know what I will use as a gold standard. API 40-160 is indistinguishable to me. But, I just realized that I can get stuff down below 40 with serial dilutions if required and then correlate the checker to the api test. Problem solved because if I am over 20 I need to change water anyway. I just want to be able to test periodically and accurately to ensure that my water change schedule is adequate aka nitrates < 15 just prior to water change (for adults) or 10 for juveniles if I decide to run a grow out tank. Also will need to ensure whether my source is NO3 contaminated.

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    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    The thing with api tests is you have to put the vial over the color chart. If you can see the color through the vial that ain’t it. It’s the last color you can’t see through the vial. Yes this works. Any other way your just guessing.94DCA136-61B9-4235-90E2-56110B0EF15F.jpgBA912702-1DA5-4E92-B339-CC6E2511F415.jpg. With the nitrate the last color not seen is 20 ppm. That’s what it is .

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    Tom, thanks that's a great method. I am just constitutionally adverse to qualitative measures when a quantitative digital readout is or at least might be available.

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    Also I like the granularity of a digital system rather than 10,20,40. Really don't need it but vastly prefer.

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    Hanna has dedicated devices for freshwater- HI96786
    If you want something cheaper, why not to get TDS meter (device might cost 10$) and do WC based on that reading. You do WC not only to bring NO3 down but also phosphates and various different chemicals. Measuring TDS might be even better than limit reading to NO3.

    Personally I don’t measure water often, just do water change as scheduled.

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    That's the old one, the new one HI97728, costs a little more, 300+ with reagent kit is a tad pricey.
    My situation is that I will be running 5 tanks, plan was 3 but was given 2 more so of course have to use I am disabled and really need to minimize grunt work so will be using an APEX system to do the majority of my water changes daily but given flow restrictions anticipate the need for supplemental (probably weekly) changes and intend to use both Nitrate and TDS values to determine the volume/frequency of these changes. The cost is not really the issue as much as figuring out whether I can accurately use a simpler faster system, (less steps and time even with adding salt) see second point first post. Once I have validated the volume/frequency plan my testing frequency (assuming no evidence of stress, illness) will go way down.

    Do have 1 question, at what TDS % relative to your source do you recommend changing the water?

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    Default Re: Mad Scientist Nitrate Test

    I keep Stendkerís and they have strange water requirements.
    My tap water is 70ppm. After each water change Iím bumping GH with salts. After water change (weekly 60%0 I have ~220TDS and I do a water change somewhere around ~280ppm.
    Discus and plants are happy about that B712068E-06C2-4F31-BC1D-92AB047472F5.jpg

    Another tank is slightly different. I might add fertilizer and donít change water , TDS would be on 70ppm level, as plants consume all nutrients in no time (see http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...ium&highlight= ).
    I guess you need to check with your specific setup as there is no golden rule
    Last edited by pablos; 09-22-2021 at 01:37 PM.

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