Better test kit for ammonia and ph?


cas

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I am using the API test kit and have trouble reading the color charts for the ammonia and ph. Especially when the ammonia is .25.... sometimes wishful thinking makes me think it is 0. Also with the high ph - the purple for 8.4 and 8.8 are so close. Does anyone have a suggestion for what else I could use?
 
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Mmathis

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I am using the API test kit and have trouble reading the color charts for the ammonia and ph. Especially when the ammonia is .25.... sometimes wishful thinking makes me think it is 0. Also with the high ph - the purple for 8.4 and 8.8 are so close. Does anyone have a suggestion for what else I could use?
I felt the same way when I started out, but I think you might be trying to micro-micro manage. IMHO, it's not so important to have the EXACT numbers as it is to know what range they're in and compare that to previous readings, and I don't have a problem with guesstimating. For example, I am currently cycling an indoor tank [for a special-needs goldfish that wasn't doing well in the pond....]. My nitrate has been 0.0ppm, but last night it was starting to rise. The chart starts at 0pp, then goes to 5.0, 10.0, etc. There was a color change, almost imperceptible, but it was there. So I guesstimated it as "2." It was >0, but <5. That is now my reference point for the next test.

Now, the GPF experts may disagree, but for a garden pond...... It depends entirely on you.

They do make "meters" and various electronic testing devices, but I can't speak to their accuracy or cost efficiency.
 

sissy

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I try to not over think it also as long as it is close it is good enough for me .I always wonder about this liquid stuff any ways .If it looks OK then what ever .Half the time I don't test at all .I only tested more when the pond was new .I believe that when you test often you can just panic and add something you know you shouldn't add to your pond and then you pay the price for your panic decision .
 

cas

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I don't think I am micro managing the water parameters. At higher PH and water temperatures, even a little bit of ammonia can become toxic to the fish.

Ammonia.jpg
 

Mmathis

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@cas The difference between 2 colors..... Read it as an in between # or go up to the next highest. If you have enough ammonia that you have to be exact about it, then IMHO, it's too high no matter what it is.

Google the various electronic meters. Some have memory and will record trends. I looked at those once -- just be sure the one you like will perform the tests you want.
 
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cas

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If you have enough ammonia that you have to be exact about it, then IMHO, it's too high no matter what it is.

In the spring before my biofilter has had a chance to mature, I can have slight ammonia but it isn't an issue with the lower temps. In previous years my pond's ph was 7.5 in the spring and that also helped. This year my pond's ph was 8.4 - 8.8, making any ammonia more toxic when the temp's started to rise. I will look into the meters. I wonder if there are any other drop kits that measure to more detail. (And also a little cheaper than that meter.)
 

Mmathis

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@cas Maybe someone else will respond. I was curious myself, but when I searched, found pretty much the same old strips or drop tests which all rely on matching color to a chart.
 

Mmathis

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when in question I take them to the pet store and they give me a print out
Really, they can do that? Cool! But does it depend on the pet store -- who do you use, Sissy? When we've had other members take samples to the pet store and get an, "it's OK" verbal result, wouldn't it have been helpful if they could have gotten a print out!!!
 
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I'm still really new at all this and I haven't tested at all. However, I've wondered about it and I'd hate to see anything happen to the 3 little fish I have. I've ordered an API kit too but was wondering about the strips, in particular the ones that say they test multiple things in one strip. Are they worth messing with?
 
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Mmathis

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I'm still really new at all this and I haven't tested at all. However, I've wondered about it and I'd hate to see anything happen to the 3 little fish I have. I've ordered an API kit too but was wondering about the strips, in particular the ones that say they test multiple things in one strip. Are they worth messing with?
As a general rule, strips tend to be less accurate than the drop tests. They are faster, so are good to have in a pinch, and in the long run, I think the strips are going to cost more [depending on how often you test].
 

sissy

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It is my local pet store .Not petco or petsmart .It costs a 1.99 the last time and he showed me the tester he pours the water into .I have never seen it done like that until I bought stuff off of him and I saw at the register he tests pond water display He is out of my way going to my other sisters house but it is worth it once in awhile to get it done .I guess you have to check out pet stores .He sells all kinds of fish stuff for fish tanks .I buy my small fish nets there and buy 5 or 6 at a time because he only charges a 1.89 for them and they have the longer handles to catch baby fish in my stock tanks to give to people .
 
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Meyer Jordan

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For my money, Salifert is the best in liquid test kits. In the meter category, most any product from either Extech, Oakton, LaMotte or Hanna will provide accuracy in results.
As regards all testing methods, you definitely get what you pay for.
 

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