Video:How to Test for Nitrates in Freshwater Aquariumswith Dan Thornton
Nitrates are a part of a freshwater aquarium's chemical composition, which needs to be kept in balance for healthy fish. Watch this how-to video from About.com on how to test for nitrates in your home aquarium.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Test for Nitrates in Freshwater Aquariums
Hi, I am Dan Thornton, owner of Reef Encounters in Erie, Colorado. I am here today for About.com to tell you how to test for nitrates in fresh water aquariums.
Difference Between Nitrates and Nitrites
When you are testing for nitrates, you want to understand what exactly you are testing for. Nitrites should not be present in your aquarium. Nitrates always will be. Nitrites are as dangerous as ammonia, probably more dangerous, and you want them to be converted to nitrates through your biological filtration, and if you have enough filtration, that is done rather quickly. The nitrates then just continue to gradually climb, the only time they will come down is when you do water changes.
Nitrates in Aquariums Decrease with Water Changes
Sometimes a planted tank, or a tank with a lot of algae, it may have very low, or no nitrates, but generally speaking, you are going to get rid of your nitrates through water changes. The tests for nitrates are not real accurate for home aquariums. Unless you really get high levels of nitrates, it's not a big problem, you don't have to be real specific.
How to Test for Nitrates
To test for nitrates in a home aquarium, there are several different types of nitrate test kits. You can use a dip stick, or a test tube and drop method. This particular test, you have to shake the tube with the first solution you put in, for about fifteen, or twenty seconds. You have to read the instructions, each test kit is a little bit different. That is very good, zero it would be perfectly yellow. It's a good idea to keep track of your tests, and keep a little log book.
Thanks so much for watching. For more information on fish, please visit us at About.com.