Test Kit Safety

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Sep 24, 2004
Toronto, Canada
I just thought it would be a good idea to remind/tell people about the dangerous of a test kit. I myself have not been hurt by anything from my test kit, but it may be possible. I was reading my test kit booklet and noticed a lot of warning labels/boxes. I just did an experiment in school and noticed how important these warnings are, (you could mess up the room's power if you don’t read them, the teachers wont be too happy about this) so why should test kits be so different?

I have the well reviewed "Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit". It has the most important tests and I find it easier to use than any other test kit out there.

Here is a list of the dangerous chemicals in each separate test:

pH Test
-None noted

High Range pH Test
-None noted

Ammonia Test

-Sodium hydroxide (Saftey Sheet)
-Sodium hypochlorite (Saftey Sheet)

Nitrite Test

-Sodium Hydrochloric Acid (Safety Sheet)

Nitrate Test

-Hydrochloric Acid (Saftey Sheet)

And there you have it! Just a quick page about watching what you do. I use gloves and eye protection for saftey, just in cast. Hopping that the day will never come. And remember to: PUT SAFTEY FIRST!


Dec 9, 2003
Halifax, NS
Visit site
PO4 test:
Sulfuric acid: 4.5moles/L (ca. 450g/L)
corrosive & harmful if swallowed

Ammonium heptamolybdate tetrahydrate
harmful if swallowed

Potassium antimony tartrate
harful if swallowed & corrosive

Compounds which interfere with test:
Silicate if present at concentrations greater than 350umol/L (about 32ppm) and/or if left standing for more than 5 minutes

Arsenate, but unlikely at natural concentrations

Hydrogen sulphide, if greater than 60umol/L (about 2ppm), requires anoxic conditions.

NO3 if around or greater than 124ppm, but you've got bigger problems then!

Also, high copper content (more than 160umol/L, about 10ppm) will reduce the colour.
Interferences with NO2:
Sulphide ions, again, needs anoxic conditions
Interferences with NO3:
Same as NO2, since the same chemistry is occurring.
Interferences with NH3: - Indophenol (blue colour) method
Amino acids
mercury(II) as low as 2ppm can interfere
Salinity, if using a fresh water kit in a brakish/marine system

Correction for salinity:
NH3 (corrected)=(1+0.0073*Salinity)*NH3 (uncorrected)

If the kit is marine, the replace "Salinity" with (Salinity-Salinity of Standards), if appropriate.
Reference: "Methods of Seawater Analysis Third, Completely Revised Extended Edition" ed. K. Grasshoff, K. Kremling, and M. Ehrhardt, 1999, New York
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