API nitrate NO3 test kit – tap water result…

The message is very simple. Do not buy API NO3 test kit. No. Do not do it. The reason is simple, let me explain.

The reason of buying a separated test was I do some experiments with liquid nitrogen so I need to measure results. I do not need a extremely accurate results, but a rough idea of the water in my fish tank could help. So I use NT Lab set of 8 different test, but because I use a lot of NO3 test, I started to run out of the test liquid. So I decided to but a big NO3 test. I chosen API.

First issue I found straight away is the chart. They printed the scale for 10/20 and then for 40/80 ppm using the same colour! How stupid it is!

Look at the picture:

Colours for 10/20 and then for 40/80 printed using the same colour.

Anyway, regardless the problem with the chart, I decided to do the water test straight away. Result was very scary. It told me that the water in my aquarium contains 160 mg/L of NO3. NT Lab test showed results of around 10ppm. Which one was lying then? I decided to do the tap water test. I know, my water supplier declares not more than 10ppm. In reality it means 10ppm of NO3 may happen, but usually it should be much less. I did tap water NO3 test and NT Lab showed what I expected: 0ppm, and result shown by the API Nitrate NO3 kit is… 40 or 80. No way.

One more time: DO NOT BUY API NO3 test. No. Do not. 🙂

Edit: 20.06.2020. Just to make the API test are really crap, and NT Lab test was OK, I decided to spend extra £15 and buy another NO3 test – this time I decided to buy JBL. It is actually a brilliant test with amazing idea of using a dummy test tube.

As a confirmation JBL and NT Lab test showed very similar result for a tap water: 5mg/L@JBL, 0mg/L@NT Lab.

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