Nitrate (NO3) is a chemical nitrogen compound and contains as major constituent nitrogen, which is a key nutrient for corals. Nitrogen overconcentration however leads to over fertilisation and thus to increased algae growth.
Nitrogen is essential for all species, to promote growth. Therefore, the right concentration of nitrogen and thus nitrate is especially important for an aquarium. The optimal value for nitrate in salt water aquariums ranges from 1 mg/l to 10 mg/l. The GIESEMANN nitrate test with its very accurate lower measurement range is specifically suited for reef aquariums with stone coral populations. In natural salt water the nitrate concentrations only range from 0.01 – 0.5 mg/l. Stone corals with short polyps (SPS) in a salt water aquarium should ideally be kept at nitrate concentrations between 1.0 to 2.0 mg/l.
The GIESEMANN nitrate test due to its very precise measurement range up to 4 mg/l is primarily intended for owners of coral reef aquariums with stone corals and other nitrate sensitive corals.