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Salifert Phosphate Test Dry Regent Consistency 8/23/05 Hello WWM Crew, I recently purchased a Salifert Phosphate test kit from my LFS. The dry regent in it does not seem totally dry or at least it seems to clump together a little.  I am wondering if this is what you have experienced? Other dry Salifert regents have been bone dry as in the Ca test.  If your experience has found it to be sugar smooth I am going to take mine back.  I am concerned because my LFS's air conditioner has been out all summer and the store has had it's share of 90 degree days with 70% humidity.  I'm just wondering if the regent has been compromised.  Sorry to ask you guys but the Salifert website doesn't have any contact information. <Peter, the reagent should be free flowing as sugar.  I've used Salifert Phosphate Test Kits and the reagents were dry and not clogged as you say.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks Peter Williams Test Kits Hi, just needed to know what types of test kits I should use for an established tank. Do I need a low range nitrate or hi, and do I need ammonia, ph, calcium, phosphate, or nitrite? I plan to keep fish only and maybe a few mushrooms or anything else that might be able to survive under a power compact lighting system. My tank is about two weeks old, but I can just get free tests during the nitrogen cycle at the LFS. I was looking into the Fastest brand or perhaps the Salifert. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again. <For a fish-only tank, I like the Dry-Tab Master Test kit from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. It contains pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests. They are reasonably accurate, inexpensive, easy to use, and difficult to contaminate. -Steven Pro>

Nitrate test kits 7/25/05 I have been caring for saltwater aquariums for many years now and have recently (about two years ago) started to maintain reefs. I have used a variety of different test kits from dry tabs, to liquids, to strips. I know that it probably depends on the brand but which kind is considered "the best" or the most accurate? <I like Aquarium Systems test kits.  Reasonably priced and reasonably accurate for our needs.>Also, I remember reading something about multiplying the number you get by three or four or something like that to get the true nitrate level. It had something to do with what the test kit was actually testing for. Do you know of anything like this? <You need to know what the test kit is measuring, nitrate as an ion or as nitrate nitrogen.  Total nitrogen is the result of the 4.4 multiple.> I am very confused on that subject. Now any time I get a reading of any nitrate I feel that it is to much especially if a reading of ten really means forty.<For our purposes, a reef tank should not exceed 20ppm of NO3-N.  For fish only 20-40 is acceptable for most species, although we don't like to keep nitrates that high as they do increase nuisance algae growth.  Hope this helps.  There are FAQ's on this subject on the WWM, keyword "nitrate testing".> Thank you for your help, Andy <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

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