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API Nitrite results


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I set up a new tank about 3 weeks ago. Its planted with a clay based substrate, a bunch of bladder snails and a handful of ramshorn snails from another established tank. I added root tabs and liquid fertilizer for the plants so I'm detecting nitrates. Ammonia came down to zero this week. My aquarium co-op test strips are detecting high levels of Nitrite but my API test keeps coming back as zero. I used a test strip in my established tank and it showed zero nitrites. The API test showed zero nitrites in the established tank as well. 

Any idea why the test strip and the API nitrite results are different?




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On 1/21/2022 at 6:05 PM, JasonMoyer said:

Nope. Good till 3/2024.

The bottles will have an expiration date for how long the reagents are guaranteed active in an unopened bottle. 

Once the bottle is opened, it can get contaminated/ reagents can break down/ oxygen exposure/ temperature extremes... lots of things can impact the reagents.

If your test strips have a different reading in one tank from the other, and the API doesn't show a difference, I am inclined to suspect that the reagent has been open too long/ contaminated, *or* the reagent wasn't held perfectly upright and that compromised the integrity/ consistency. 

At 3 weeks, I would still expect to see some nitrites. The bacteria that breaks down nitrites into nitrates is notoriously slower than the bacteria that break ammonia down to nitrites.

Sounds like you are almost cycled!

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