Nitrate Test Instructions
Why Test For Nitrate?
Nitrate (NO3-) is produced in the aquarium by the biological filter. Beneficial bacteria in the biological filter convert toxic ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. A high nitrate level indicates a buildup of fish waste and organic compounds, resulting in poor water quality and contributing to the likelihood of fish disease. Excessive nitrate also provides a nitrogen source that can stimulate algal blooms. In the opinion of many aquarists, maintaining a low nitrate level improves the health of fish and invertebrates.
Directions for Testing Nitrate
Read thoroughly before testing. Do not allow Test Solutions to get into aquarium.
To remove childproof safety cap: With one hand, push red tab left with thumb while unscrewing cap with free hand.
- Fill a clean test tube with 5 ml of water to be tested (to the line on the tube).
- Add 10 drops from Nitrate Test Solution Bottle #1, holding dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to ensure uniformity of drops added to the water sample.
- Cap the test tube and invert tube several times to mix solution. Do not hold finger over the open end of the tube, as this may affect test results.
- Vigorously shake the Nitrate Test Solution Bottle #2 for at least 30 seconds. This step is extremely important to ensure accuracy of test results.
- Now add 10 drops from Nitrate Test Solution Bottle #2, holding dropper bottle upside down in a completely vertical position to ensure uniformity of drops to the water sample.
- Cap the test tube and shake vigorously for one minute. This step is extremely important to ensure accuracy of test results.
- Wait five minutes for the color to develop.
- Read the test results by matching the color of the solution against those on the Nitrate Test Color Chart. The tube should be viewed against the white area beside the color chart. Color comparisons are best made in a well-lit area. The closest match indicates the ppm (mg/L) of nitrate in the water sample. Rinse the test tube with clean water after each use.
What The Test Results Mean
In new saltwater aquariums, the nitrate level will gradually climb as the biological filter becomes established. It is important to keep nitrate levels as low as possible, especially in reef aquariums with invertebrates.
Monitoring Nitrate Levels
Regular testing for nitrate is an essential part of routine aquarium maintenance. Aquarium water should be tested for nitrate once a week to make sure the nitrate does not reach an undesirable level.
Reducing Nitrate in the Aquarium
Partial water changes help reduce the nitrate level, especially if the initial nitrate level is very high. However, because many tap water supplies contain nitrate, it can be difficult to lower nitrate levels by this method. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water Purifier will remove all pollutants, including nitrate, from tap water, making water changes effective. The Tap Water Purifier makes any tap water perfect aquarium water.