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Hanna Nitrate Checker

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Everyone was super hyped up about the new Hanna nitrate colorimeter and then sad to learn this one required being able to follow some simple directions. While there are 3 reagents and a few steps to this checker, the accuracy of a digital colorimeter out beats trying to decide which shade of pink your sample is. Overall for an investment of $50 and $15 for reagent refills ($0.60/test). This checker will be used weekly in my testing routine without a doubt.  My previous method was a salifert test kit but to me it was hard to decipher the exact color shade so I just knew a general range of my nitrate. The checker would greatly benefit those running a super low nutrient system. 

Luckily for those of us who do not run low nutrients there is a dilution method to be able to register nitrate levels up to 50 ppm. Otherwise the low range checker is good for up to 5ppm readings. 

At a solid reading of 4.73 ppm I was satisfied as my goal is usually 5-10ppm after dosing ESV nitrate weekly  



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I think most sites are shipping them this week. I did a preorder from SA about a month ago. No one is really selling the reagents yet which is strange but I placed an order directly through Hanna for 5 extra boxes. I’m going to try the dilution method now since it’ll be doing that the majority of the time. It does require fresh saltwater which I do not keep mixed so a small pain there. 

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5 minutes ago, JMM said:

I read the reviews and it appears to be difficult to use. You disagree with that?  I am certainly interested in something better then my red sea.

It’s definitely the most in-depth checker they offer in terms of steps but still easy to use. Here’s a good video showing the process. 


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After a little experimenting I’ve tried ESV salt water mix and just IO and both are testing for nitrates just after mixing. So the dilution method requires you to mix sample water with “nitrate free saltwater” which may be hard to do. 

RODI water- 0.00

RODI ESV salt- 3.66 x10

tank sample- 4.73ppm 

im curious how much of the salt impacts the rest of I could just dilute with RODI water. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes I have been doing the dilution method now. I tried this with both RODI water and freshly made saltwater and saw no difference between the 2. I ran about 6 test back to best and all were within 10% of each other and consistent with salifert and Red Sea test kit. 

Overall it’s handy to have but does take more time than a salifert test. I’m currently out of reagent and awaiting an order directly from Hanna for more 

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