Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 20 of 20
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: Reading API Water Chemistry Tests

  1. #11
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    Thanks for trying it out. It shows Tim and Homer' nitrate readings to be low. With the API method, it is clear that with low readings as these, there is no doubt what you are reading. There's really no need to use my modified method at such low nitrate readings.

    But for ponds where nitrate values are on the high end, it isn't very evident which of the 3 higher nitrate readings to zero in on. Is it 40, 80, or 160? This is where I propose taking another view with my described method. Remember that you aren't matching the darkness, you are matching the hue. If you feel the liquid is too dark, you can throw out some so the liquid will be lighter and this may help with matching the hue. Remember the hue doesn't change when the liquid height in the test is lessened, only the lightness/darkness changes.

    Color is described in a 3D space of lightness, hue, and saturation.

  2. #12
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    738
    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    Thanks for trying it out. It shows Tim and Homer' nitrate readings to be low. With the API method, it is clear that with low readings as these, there is no doubt what you are reading. There's really no need to use my modified method at such low nitrate readings.

    But for ponds where nitrate values are on the high end, it isn't very evident which of the 3 higher nitrate readings to zero in on. Is it 40, 80, or 160? This is where I propose taking another view with my described method. Remember that you aren't matching the darkness, you are matching the hue. If you feel the liquid is too dark, you can throw out some so the liquid will be lighter and this may help with matching the hue. Remember the hue doesn't change when the liquid height in the test is lessened, only the lightness/darkness changes.

    Color is described in a 3D space of lightness, hue, and saturation.
    Just curious. How did you read your pond nitrate reading with the usual and your own method? How about try out putting one ml of pond water and 4 ml of purified drinking water in the test tube then add the reagent as instructed and then check the color and take the reading in ppm. Afterwards multiply the reading by 5 to get the real PPM in nitrate. You can do it also with one half pond water and one half purified water and then put the reagent and then just multiple by 2 to get the real nitrate levels. I suppose yellow, chrome yellow, orange would now be easier to read compared to the 3 bottom color shade in the api nitrate color test.

    After you have taken this dilution method and add then using the usual method and multiply to read the real ppm then compare it to your notes on how you perceived your nitrate levels using your "look on top" method.

  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post

    But for ponds where nitrate values are on the high end, it isn't very evident which of the 3 higher nitrate readings to zero in on. Is it 40, 80, or 160?
    This is the 'color perception' problem. API does a good job with it's color charts. (Getting true color hues printed on a card is not a simple thing to do.) But, it is still color on an opaque surface. The colored water in the test tube has light running through it. The color will vary with the light source, angle and intensity. That is why API has instructions on how to read the color against the chart. If a person tries to read the color using a method other than the one API has established, there is no reliability in the reading. The depth of the water, the background, the angle all effect the perception of the color. Even following the instructions carefully, I personally have difficulty seeing the difference between 40 and 80ppm on that color chart. A color in-between 80 and 160ppm gives you a sense of the nitrate level, but is inherently very imprecise. I do better with the yellow colors, but even then, 'pale' is imprecise. Just turn the sample a slightly different angle and it won't seem quite as pale.

    I prefer using a test kit with see-through color matches, like the LaMotte tests, simply because the effect of lighting is on both the water sample and the standard used for measuring. But, even then, I don't assume my reading of the colors is precisely accurate.
    Last edited by MikeM; 09-29-2014 at 10:30 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #14
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    Just curious. How did you read your pond nitrate reading with the usual and your own method? How about try out putting one ml of pond water and 4 ml of purified drinking water in the test tube then add the reagent as instructed and then check the color and take the reading in ppm. Afterwards multiply the reading by 5 to get the real PPM in nitrate. You can do it also with one half pond water and one half purified water and then put the reagent and then just multiple by 2 to get the real nitrate levels. I suppose yellow, chrome yellow, orange would now be easier to read compared to the 3 bottom color shade in the api nitrate color test.

    After you have taken this dilution method and add then using the usual method and multiply to read the real ppm then compare it to your notes on how you perceived your nitrate levels using your "look on top" method.
    That's a great idea, great improvisation. I'm reading 80 with my method. That will be a good way to confirm it. Heck, maybe I'll ditch my method and use yours.

  5. #15
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    This is the 'color perception' problem. API does a good job with it's color charts. (Getting true color hues printed on a card is not a simple thing to do.) But, it is still color on an opaque surface. The colored water in the test tube has light running through it. The color will vary with the light source, angle and intensity. That is why API has instructions on how to read the color against the chart. If a person tries to read the color using a method other than the one API has established, there is no reliability in the reading. The depth of the water, the background, the angle all effect the perception of the color. Even following the instructions carefully, I personally have difficulty seeing the difference between 40 and 80ppm on that color chart. A color in-between 80 and 160ppm gives you a sense of the nitrate level, but is inherently very imprecise. I do better with the yellow colors, but even then, 'pale' is imprecise. Just turn the sample a slightly different angle and it won't seem quite as pale.

    I prefer using a test kit with see-through color matches, like the LaMotte tests, simply because the effect of lighting is on both the water sample and the standard used for measuring. But, even then, I don't assume my reading of the colors is precisely accurate.
    I'll check out LaMotte, Mike. I haven't used any other brand yet.

    I understand that following manufacturer's manuals are the best way to go, especially when we know little about the internal workings behind their system. But I'm also aware that the clearer the instructions are and the shorter the steps, the easier it will be to follow. Making instructions more complicated than they need to be invites a lot of bad feedback. Which is why in some appliances like the television, for example, there are quick setup directions, and the advanced setup directions. For those who want to calibrate their TV colors, for example, they need to go to the advanced section.

    While there are no advanced instructions for API, it doesn't mean there are no other ways to do it, with a caveat- as long as you understand what you are doing. The last post by sacicu is an example of how one could get around the difficulties of reading nitrate values on the higher end of the scale. My method would more likely fare poorly against his. My method would require more explanation on color principles and would go over the head of many people. It complicates something more than it needs to be. I'm just glad there is an easier way.

  6. #16
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    I used Homer's method, with a slight mod. Instead of diluting the pond water to 1/5, I diluted the pond water to 1/4. I took readings and after that I took another set of pond water, and diluted it to 1/2 and took another reading, primarily to validate my first reading. They matched up, and the reading of 80 confirmed the reading I took the other day using my method. But I rather prefer Homer's method.

    Mike, I looked up the LaMotte Nitrate Nitrogen Test and found that the high limit value is only 66. If I diluted my kind water, it would still be used for reading my pond water, and it would be more precise. But I don't want to pay extra for that precision.

    Diluted 1/4:
    Reading API Water Chemistry Tests-image.jpg

    Diluted 1/2:

    Reading API Water Chemistry Tests-image.jpg

    You will note that the 1/2 dilution pic is already difficult to read without the aid of the 1/4 dilution.

    By the way, I mixed 5 ml of pond water with 15 ml of distilled water for the 1/4 dilution, and 5:5 ml for the 1/2 dilution. This would reduce measurement error. I used a 5ml syringe to measure.

  7. #17
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    738
    Now that you have confirmed it at 80ppm. Question is why do you suppose you still have a somewhat high reading?

  8. #18
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    That would be a separate subject. But we already know that more frequent water changes would fix that.

    It just depends one one's willingness to do that and what one would consider critical. Me personally, I would prefer a value of 40. The monsoon rains lately have been less prodigious, and I was leaving it to the rain to do its job.

    But in less than a year, I would be making changes to the pond to lower its nitrate levels - daily water changes where all the water removed is channeled to a drip irrigation system for the garden; a gradual conversion to anoxic filtration, contingent on better waste solids and fines removal, where I am making great progress; and lastly, maximizing the algae scrubber capability of my waterfalls.

    Boy, it's raining cats and dogs now, woppee!

  9. #19
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    754
    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    That would be a separate subject. But we already know that more frequent water changes would fix that.

    It just depends one one's willingness to do that and what one would consider critical. Me personally, I would prefer a value of 40. The monsoon rains lately have been less prodigious, and I was leaving it to the rain to do its job.

    But in less than a year, I would be making changes to the pond to lower its nitrate levels - daily water changes where all the water removed is channeled to a drip irrigation system for the garden; a gradual conversion to anoxic filtration, contingent on better waste solids and fines removal, where I am making great progress; and lastly, maximizing the algae scrubber capability of my waterfalls.

    Boy, it's raining cats and dogs now, woppee!
    Alright Mike, I'll bite... How does one maximize the algae scrubber capability of a waterfall???

  10. #20
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Alright Mike, I'll bite... How does one maximize the algae scrubber capability of a waterfall???
    One is to use red LED lighting at night to allow algae to continue with photosynthesis without sunlight. Another is to provide a netting, laid out horizontally on the flat ledge of the rock face where water flows through, and vertically when submerged into the two weirs. It shouldn't be too fine to become too much of a filter barrier. This provides more surface for algae to cling to.

    I'm debating whether I should feed this algae to koi after I harvest it. It has lotsof protein, but it also puts back the nitrogen into the pond. I'm leaning towards feeding it though, since I'm doing the same thing when I feed koi food and this is practically free.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Chemistry Question
    By GloriaL in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-28-2011, 11:31 PM
  2. Need Help or Advice in Water Tests
    By ZUROBI3 in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-26-2009, 11:04 PM
  3. Chemistry question: Is anyone familiar . . .
    By KoiCop in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-23-2008, 06:14 PM
  4. water quality tests, Russel?
    By UP ALL NIGHT!! in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-20-2007, 01:06 PM
  5. Reading Koi siblings
    By Brady Brandwood in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-08-2004, 09:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com