API Nitrite test turned orange?


New member
This morning when I tested Nitrites, it came out at around 5 after about 5 minutes. I'm mid cycle, and this is ~expected, ammonia at 0.

I went to shower before cleaning out the vials, and it has now turned a deep orange color, close to the 20 PPM nitrate test. This was a nitrite test, not a nitrate test.

Is this normal? The test from my display tank is still the normal deep purple from 5 PPM (also cycling).


New member
So you were testing water from two tanks? One stayed the same and one changed?

Regardless, I wouldn't put much stock in what the reading says several tens of minutes after the kit says you should take your reading. Honestly, though, I wouldn't put much stock in what an API kit says period...

Maybe just try running the test again and see what happens.


New member
All sorts of funky stuff happens when cycling a tank. This is why I never test for ammo and nitrites, it will just freak you out and there is nothing you can or should do about it. Just wait for the algae bloom to be well established, at which point they will both be 0 and then keep an eye on the nitrates/phosphates. In my 20+ years in the hobby I have never had a problem with ammo or nitrites and most often you have got to do something really stupid (or have children with easy access to fish food :) ) to raise these two.

The only time I can think of that there would be any merit to testing ammo/nitrite is if something large died in an established tank and you failed to get it out fast enough.


Team RC
If I remeber correctly API nitrate, nitrite and ammonia tests are time sensitive so they will shift colors over time. You need to take the results at the recommended time.