I need to buy an accurate test kit to find out what's going on with my nano tank. What's the best buy for the bucks?
The issue with all of the hobbyist level kits is that they cannot get reactivity from phosphorus atoms incorporated into the structure of many organic molecules, as the structure-activity-relationship of these compounds often does not match that of the reactive parts of the phosphate molecule. When testing for phosphate, we depend on this reactivity to make a relatively accurate yet inexpensive test kit that is reasonably safe to perform by the general public (remember that we live in a litigeous society...). So, as a result, we cannot buy test kits which require the digesting of the organics in appropriate media at appropriate temps to release the total phosphate available in a system sample for conversion to a test-responsive form (see the Millero Chemical Oceanography text for an outline of one such procedure). Although this does mean that we cannot determine total (sigma) phosphate, it does NOT mean that the phosphate tests we have are without use. If we have detectable free inorganic phosphate in the system, you can bet that in addition to higher animal wastes that there is an organic source for the release of inorganic phosphate as bacteriological decomposition/utilization of DOCs releases these substances into the water column, but remember, this free phosphate is almost immediately captured by other bacteria, algae, and/or any organism exposed to the water column in close proximity to the release site.jlscrug said:Tom,
What about Salifert's Phosphate test? Is there any phosphate test that gives a true quantitative measure of total phosphates? Aren't phosphate test similar to Iodine where they only measure one phosphorous bound molecule? Or like where some Iodine test kits measure Iodine, Iodide, etc.?