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Chemical/Paint Nitrate Test Strips: DIY?

  1. Nov 15, 2013 #1
    Hi, I was wondering how I might make my own nitrate test strips. I am not really sure how/if they are any different from normal red/blue pH strips.

    I am looking for a way to compare nitrogen content in different soils. I know they make cheap kits, but I was hoping there was a way to do it with what I have in stock already.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    If such strips are sold, it can be doable. If they are not on the market, that typically means chemistry used for nitrates determination is hard to adapt to a paper strip.
  4. Nov 16, 2013 #3
    I don't know about DIY but any pet store will have aquarium water test strips or liquid test kits. They typically contain tests for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites (also pH and hardness). They are not very precise as you have to eyeball the color compared to a standard card or some such thing that comes with the kit. I think that is your best bet. If you make a DIY kit you will need to get all raw materials and put them together, then calibrate it in some way with known standards. That can be a time and money sink which may not be worth if for you if you're project is about measuring nitrogen instead of building nitrogen test kits.
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