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Thread: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

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    Registered Member dagray's Avatar
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    Default who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    I am looking for a nitrate photometer (nitrate tester) that will read fresh water and not marine.
    I made the mistake of buying one for marine aquariums, and we all know our cichlids and tetras don't fit that bill.

    My marine nitrate meter came up with a 55.5ppm reading from my tap water, but the certified lab came up with a reading of 7.3 (still high, and at an actionable, yet still "safe" level).
    If I multiply my reading by 0.1315 I can come close to the 7.3 reading from the lab.

    Nitrate problems abound and our county is in the state and national news as there is a super high concentrate of nitrate in our ground water thanks to the practice of using water mixed with rotting potato/onion solids/sludge to water the crop circles.

    I grow black beard algae in my toilet bowl, and that is with the lights in the bathroom off and the toilet lid down.

    The reason I want a photometer is that I don't want to play the game of what shade of pink/red is the sample with the reagent added.
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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    Hanna instruments makes the best meters out there. They also have the cheap ones for marine aquariums but the one you might need is pricy.

    https://www.hannainst.com/nitrate-ph...r-hi97728.html

    I use their GrolLine PH meter for my aquariums and it works great. I been using their instrument on the job for over 25 years.
    Last edited by Charlyc11; 06-10-2022 at 11:11 AM.
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    Registered Member dagray's Avatar
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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    thank you.
    It is worth the cost as I can use it to test tap and drinking water since we have a nitrate problem for the wells around the county, and the city sent my water to a certified lab and came back with a result of 7.3ppm nitrate out of my unfiltered tap in the kitchen.

    My filtered water reads less on my marine meter, but being a marine meter it reads high when using with fresh water (enough so that I can't get a reading from the aquarium).
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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    I would get a Hach DR/890 off of eBay or a DR/900 then you can use the chromotropic acid method which is a lot less technique sensitive than the cadmium/zinc reduction method everyone else uses.

    They can also test ammonia, nitrite, chlorine and even pH and dissolved oxygen.

    You can buy generic reagents for Hach colorimeters (this is really 50 tests, not 25). This saves a lot of money because Hach charges way more shipping/tax and often a $50 hazmat fee and now a supply chain surcharge.

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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    I would get a Hach DR/890 off of eBay or a DR/900 then you can use the chromotropic acid method which is a lot less technique sensitive than the cadmium/zinc reduction method everyone else uses.

    They can also test ammonia, nitrite, chlorine and even pH and dissolved oxygen.

    You can buy generic reagents for Hach colorimeters (this is really 50 tests, not 25). This saves a lot of money because Hach charges way more shipping/tax and often a $50 hazmat fee and now a supply chain surcharge.

    Doesn't it need different modules for different test not just reagents. Colorimeters I been using over the years always needed to buy other modules.
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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlyc11 View Post
    Doesn't it need different modules for different test not just reagents. Colorimeters I been using over the years always needed to buy other modules.
    No, you only need to purchase reagents and the test tubes (if you buy used and they're not included).

    The previous generation had 3 models: the 820, 850 and 890 which I believe tested 20, 50, and 90 parameters respectively. The 890 has 4 LED wavelengths so I'm assuming the 850 has 3 and the 820 has 2. You need the 890 if you want to use the improved nitrate test method though.

    The next generation only has one model, the 900 which is exactly the same as the 890 but adds a backlight, USB, a better menu, better drop resistance, and data logging.

    Shortages have doubled the price of the 890 on eBay and some used 900s have been going for close to MSRP. I still think it's worth it though.

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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    No, you only need to purchase reagents and the test tubes (if you buy used and they're not included).

    The previous generation had 3 models: the 820, 850 and 890 which I believe tested 20, 50, and 90 parameters respectively. The 890 has 4 LED wavelengths so I'm assuming the 850 has 3 and the 820 has 2. You need the 890 if you want to use the improved nitrate test method though.

    The next generation only has one model, the 900 which is exactly the same as the 890 but adds a backlight, USB, a better menu, better drop resistance, and data logging.

    Shortages have doubled the price of the 890 on eBay and some used 900s have been going for close to MSRP. I still think it's worth it though.
    I guess if you want to spend $1920.80 it's a good one but I just find Hach products overpriced. I also used Hach products for years in our lab at work and price was not a deal breaker for a plating room lab. For personal that's another story Hanna is a bit more reasonably priced.
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    Default Re: who makes a good Nitrate photometer

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlyc11 View Post
    I guess if you want to spend $1920.80 it's a good one but I just find Hach products overpriced. I also used Hach products for years in our lab at work and price was not a deal breaker for a plating room lab. For personal that's another story Hanna is a bit more reasonably priced.
    You can buy a used DR/890 for $300 on eBay that tests 90 parameters or one Hanna nitrate photometer for $250 that tests one parameter and uses an inferior test method.

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