These test results have me Soooooo confused HELP!

FreshSaltyGuy

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Had 3 Nitrate tests one of them being at the LFS. So confused don't know which to trust! HELP!

API Nitrate - 5ppm

Salifert Nitrate- 50ppm

LFS test strips - 20ppm

Phosphates test only with Salifert- 3ppm

All other test from ph, salinity, alk all in perfect range.

Everything in the tank looks healthy the tank has only been running 2 weeks now no issues that I can see, my 2 Damsels seem happy and healthy.....Soooooo what the heck??
 
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Karen00

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API for saltwater is notoriously unreliable. Did you do a water change after your cycle finished? How big is the tank? If your tank is only 2 weeks old and you already have fish then I would say the Salifert is probably correct. Did you repeat the test? 50ppm isn't disastrous with just fish but I would keep an eye on it. If you plan on corals that will have to come down.
 

mdb_talon

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Do you have any nitrites in the tank still? I normally don't test for it and don't care about it personally, but it can throw off your nitrate readings and with a 2week old tank I wondering if that could be a factor.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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API for saltwater is notoriously unreliable. Did you do a water change after your cycle finished? How big is the tank? If your tank is only 2 weeks old and you already have fish then I would say the Salifert is probably correct. Did you repeat the test? 50ppm isn't disastrous with just fish but I would keep an eye on it. If you plan on corals that will have to come down.
Tank is 40 gallon tall with small sump with no skimmer and refugium with Chaeto, grape algae, sea lettuce, etc. Using live sand in tank and 40 lbs of live rock (10lbs of fresh Australian live rock, and 30 lbs Fiji Live rock from another hobbyist) so basically a no cycle tank. I do plan on putting corals obviously a couple month from now and that's why I'm working on trying to bring this down.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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Do you have any nitrites in the tank still? I normally don't test for it and don't care about it personally, but it can throw off your nitrate readings and with a 2week old tank I wondering if that could be a factor.
Nitrites are 0 test each time I test and I've tested several time throughout the last 3 days.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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When reading the Salifert results, are you looking top down into the vial, or through the side of the vial?
From the side with the white of the card behind it. Am I ready it wrong? Should I take cap off and look from the top down? Or? Thanks.
 
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mdb_talon

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From the side with the white of the card behind it. Am I ready it wrong? Should I take cap off and look from the top down? Or? Thanks.

You can read either way but when reading from the side u divide results by 10.
 
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FreshSaltyGuy

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You can read either way but when reading from the side u divide results by 10.
Oh crap gotta read this first thing tmrw morning lol....man that would be great would mean Nitrates at 5ppm lol.
 
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Instructions can be crazy sometimes. I dosed 1ml in KZ Coral Snow instead of .3ml and well it looked like a blizzard for about 3-4 days hahahah :face-with-tears-of-joy: but after it did clear it looked like I had no water in my tank it was so clear !!!

But yes,looking thru the side you definitely divide it. Just had to do this while dosing NeoNitro to get my nitrates up.
 

Treefer32

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Even if nitrates are 50 (which I'd question based on what others have said needing to divide the result). But, I have a 4 year old 340 gallon with Nitrates at 40-50 and Phosphates between .03 and .2 ppm. The more I read about nitrates is that there's really no ill effect on marine fish and corals. Phosphates will cause damages. I've had phosphates as high as .66 and lost some sensitive corals when they were that High. I also lost corals or saw corals recede when phosphates hit close to 0. Nitrates I've had anywhere from 10 to 50 and nothing really seems impacted. I do run an algae turf scrubber. I have no problems with any type of hair algae in the display. It stays in the turf scrubber! :)

Even if nitrates were 50. I woudn't worry too much. It's counter to what everyone will say. I'd like nitrates close to 20-30. As corals lose color and definition with higher nutrients, but it's mainly cosmetic!

Phosphates keep low. I don't regret purchasing the Hanna Testers. Takes some of the human error out for nitrate, alk and phosphate testing. That's the only three test kits I use now other than a refracometer for salinity.

I was always guessing at the colors for the nitrates and phosphates when I used other test kits. I know it's spendy, but so are some of the test kits.
 

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