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Well, it took my tank about 4 weeks to cycle completely. Once the ammonia and nitrites were down to zero, I did a 90% water change to bring down the nitrates. However, after using my API kit, I can't really tell if the nitrates are low enough. The results were a bright red color. The closest color to that is 40ppm.

Should I do another large water change to try bringing it down lower than that?
 

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I think we can all feel for you on the color guessing game. It takes a bit of practice to get it down so that you feel okay with just knowing it is between this color and that. I use the same light each time as it does make some difference when you read it in daylight or lighting. I have a standard measurement I now assign to a reading that is not any of the colors. For thiis reason and for ease of use I now use the 5-in-1 strips. Since the accuracy is much determined by your judgement, I don't deal with the measuring and counting drops. Once things steady out, it will come much easier that now. Keep testing and it will let you know when things really are off. Most of the time it will just be a ballpark figure and that is good enough. The trend is what you want to watch for.

If you do feel you have high nitrate, test the new water to see if it has any and then definitley keep changing water till you get it down. I shoot for under 20.
 
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