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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else have trouble sometimes with interpreting the colors that arise from the tests in the tubes? I've been getting colors that do not match the choices presented on the chart, so I guess I figure the color is between x and y. I hate not knowing for sure where my test stands (ppm wise) so I can take note of it in my journal with certainty.
 

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You want as close to zero as possible for ammonia and nitrite, that should be easy to distinguish. As for nitrate, an exact reading isnt necessary, but strive to keep under 20ppm. Nitrate reading is also determined by how well you shake bottle 2. Those are zinc crystals you hear rattling around in there, and they need to rattle around for a solid minute to get a decently accurate reading. Once you get a solid water change ritual established, ie throw as much clean water at your fish as possible, you will find testing isnt necessary. I havent tested water for years. Twice weekly large volume water changes using a quality conditioner if necessary virtually guarantees happy and healthy cichlids. There are of course other factors, but pristine, toxin free water is the most important of all. If ever in doubt, do a water change.
 

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I agree. Further once your tank is cycled no need to test so the stress-inducing journal entries go away.. Just change water on a regular basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm cycling my tank now, 12 days in, so I'm testing often and I find the colors don't exactly match up. I understand there are probably colors inbetween the ones on the chart but I wish they'd provide a complete chart with all the colors.
 

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When I notice some disparity with colors in the Master Test Kit, I hold the test vial against a piece of plain, white printer paper. It often helps me get a clearer picture of what the readings are in comparison to the cards.
 

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Also natural like (take it outside or at least near a window) so the artificial light is not skewing your result.
 
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