Water test kits.

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Willo, May 26, 2014.

  1. Willo

    Willo

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    Hi everyone
    I have been using Tetra 6-1 test strips to test my water, how accurate are these strips ?? Are they the best way of checking your water?
    What are you all using ??
    All these questions.....(y):):)
     
    Willo, May 26, 2014
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  2. Willo

    dieselplower

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    Use the liquid drops test kits for best results. Most people I know use the API master test kit. The strips are not very reliable.
     
    dieselplower, May 26, 2014
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  3. Willo

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Strips are generally used more to just do quickie checks, to let you know things might be off. They can be accurate, but most on here would prefer a liquid [drops] test kit for general use. Because strips come in the little bottles, every time you open the bottle [even if you are quick and close it tightly] you are letting in moisture that, over time can effect the accuracy of the results -- CAN, not does.

    Also, in the long run, the strips are going to cost more.

    I have API ammonia strips ['cause that's all I could find at the time], Tetra ammonia strips, and Tetra 5 in 1 strips. For the drops, I have the API Master kit, and have the KH & GH tests as well.
     
    Mmathis, May 26, 2014
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  4. Willo

    Dave 54

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    Willow they are useless as Andy is finding out wiith his on pond, your best bet is the pond drop test either the Tetra Pond Test kit or the API pond test kit they are both as good as each other.

    Dave;)
     
    Dave 54, May 26, 2014
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  5. Willo

    Willo

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    Thanks for the info everyone, looks like im going internet shopping. :happy:
     
    Willo, May 26, 2014
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  6. Willo

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Test strips are the least accurate of the test kits.

    As talked about in the thread, An ammonia question... A reading from the strip, test strip test kits are used more as a fire alarm rather than as a test to provide information. A "fire alarm" only tells you about the potential of there being a fire rather than giving any specifics. So, when you get an "alarming" result on your paper test strips, then crack out the liquid ammonia test kit so to get a good accurate reading and then react accordingly.

    Most common liquid test kits from the big chain pet stores and local fish stores is the API Master Freshwater Test Kit. You should also look into getting a KH test kit as well, as is talked about in post#22 of the thread pH & KH -- Questions [and a good article].
     
    crsublette, May 26, 2014
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  7. Willo

    shakaho

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    I like the Tetra strips, but they are the only strips I've seen worth using. The biggest problem with strips is the cost per test, which is many times greater than a liquid kit.
     
    shakaho, May 27, 2014
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  8. Willo

    Willo

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    Is there much difference between Tetra and Api test kits. I've looked on line and they both about same price and both have good reviews. Is it easy to get replacement liquid for both test kits?
     
    Willo, May 27, 2014
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  9. Willo

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Not for sure about Tetra, but the way you get additional testing reagents through API is by buying the individual test. In other words, if you are out of the ammonia testing reagent, then you would buy the individual API Ammonia test kit.
     
    crsublette, May 27, 2014
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  10. Willo

    shakaho

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    Is there a liquid test kit from Tetra? I haven't seen it

    API Freshwater Master kit $22, over 800 tests, which means over 200 tests for each of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH -- the essential parameters

    Tetra 6-in-1 100 strips $27, but you also must have
    Tetra Ammonia strips. 100 strips $20

    As I calculate, for 200 tests of the essential parameters, you pay $94 for the Tetra strips and $22 for the API Master Kit.

    Do NOT get the API strips. They are absolutely terrible. I bought some once, tried a few tests, and virtually every spot was multicolored. I threw the rest away. Actually, the the instructions with the package of strips, it says if you want accurate readings, get the Master Kit.

    As someone else has pointed out, the strips deteriorate with humidity, and this will become a problem if you get the package of 100.

    The drop kits give much more precise readings. For toxic substances such as ammonia and nitrite, this allows you to detect the presence of the substance before the concentration is high enough to make your fish sick.
     
    shakaho, May 27, 2014
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  11. Willo

    Dave 54

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    Totally in agreement Charles but personally over the years half the problems I've come across on the various sites I've been on a goodly perportion of those with water quality issues were from Novice keepers who have learned the workings of a pond but have hir problems because of the use of tet strips .
    A case in point only the other day was Andy1's problems , he was reporting good water when in acctual fact when we looked into it was far from the acctual readings he was getting and it was only after some detective work asking him lots of questions that we uncovered the mistake that was being made with his pond .
    This reminds me of something that should be said re-chemical drop test kits .
    "Like all chmicals we usee inor around our ponds they dont have a long shelf life", as such I would recomend people at the start of a new season to scrap their old kits and buy in new .
    I was lucky enough yesterday when I went to get a new pond test kit to find that they were on offer with 25% off the cost :)
    So if everyone who still has last years kits that reads this thread swop them over then hopefully it would be in time to for-stall any problems with water quality because of out of date or year old test kits :cool:.

    Dave(Y)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    Dave 54, May 28, 2014
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  12. Willo

    Dave 54

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    Well, well, well, amazing I opened our new API yest kit today and found that things had changed somewhat since the last API kit we purchased a few years ago .
    Namely they hve kits for Ammonia Ph Nitrite and Phosphate so it appears they have discontinued with Nitrarte kits in this range Phosphate is the new kit on the block.
    Phosphate comes from decayimg vegetable matter pellet waste etc and is part of the natural cycle of the ponds inner workings .
    However its a complete test kit for a koi pond minus the nitrate which everybody in the past has read as an important indicator of what was happening in your pond.
    I'm left wondering why nitrate is now seen as less important part of the chemistary of our pond and that somehow Phosphate now is ?
    Any ideas as to why this is so Charles ,my last Tera kit still reads as normal Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ph and and was bought at the very start of the last season . Now have API stolen a jump on Tetra by swiching to Phosphate .
    Then perhaps much more importantly do you think that given time Tetra may follow suite ? .
    The only other test kit I know that carries a Phosphate test kit is the JBL range and that test kit is very expensive and is more like a walking chemistary lab the other things it covers, I think it carried about 10 different kits

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    Dave 54, May 28, 2014
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  13. Willo

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Here, the Master Pond Kit has phosphate instead of nitrate, whereas the Master Fresh Water Kit has nitrate instead of phosphate (I think -- unless they've changed that in the past year...).
     
    Mmathis, May 28, 2014
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  14. Willo

    Dave 54

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    It sort of proves the last time I went API eh TurtleMommy :D
    This is the link to the JBL test lad for fresh water as you can see it covers a wide range of things perhaps too much for the novice to handle persnally I would find it quite a hassle testing for everything :-

    .http://www.jbl.de/en/aquatics-freshwater-products/detail/2446/jbl-testlab

    Looking at it its quite impresive dont you think yes but then weve got buy on the same four kits for years why should we think about changing to this kit.?
    Would it be like a private ego trip on behalf of its user "a bit like well my kits bigger than your kit, beat that :LOL: "........
    Then you have to think about buying all of the replacement kits in the lab with some you'll use up faster than others, bottles that are quite expensive to relace:eek:
    Where as with Tetra at least you got alott more for less in their larger replacement bottles :)

    Dave:)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    Dave 54, May 28, 2014
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  15. Willo

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Yeah, I think the bundle test kits is ultimately determined by the company's inventory. If they're running low on the Nitrate, then they will replace it with a Phosphate test kit

    I have come to the conclusion the phosphate test kit is a "fear mongering" or "feel good" and inaccurate test kit. Due to the titration process, this kit is specifically testing for orthophosphates rather than other total active phosphates that create more orthophosphates. Phosphate is an extremely complex molecule with very many formations in water and this makes accurate testing of it to be extremely difficult. As best I can recall, phosphate based water buffer actually has 3 stable pH ranges, likely more, where as the bicarbonate/carbonate water buffer, which is much more common for ponds, has only 1 stable pH range. The phosphate test kit assumes the phosphate compound to be concerned about due to the burning of, or titration testing, water using the company's chosen reagant, which there are many reagants when it comes to testing phosphate.

    The "feel good" or "fear mongering" aspect of the phosphate test kit is the assumption the kit makes in the context of algae. If the test reading is low, then you "feel good" in knowing you will not have an algae bloom. If the test reading is high, then you feel the "fear" of the unavoidable "soon to come" algae bloom. Unfortunately, algae is not this cooperative.

    The algae hysteria is what drives the sale of pond phosphate test kits.
     
    crsublette, May 29, 2014
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  16. Willo

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Very interesting. Now that is a proper bundled test kit.

    Tough finding a US of A distributor of it, but, wow, from what I found on Ebay, the test kit comes with a hefty price, which I thought it would be for bundling so many test kits. Approximately $178 (USD).


    Iron test is very much like the phosphate in that iron is a very complex molecule with even more formation than phosphate, which is actually quite insane if you think about it. The iron test kit in that bundle is likely only testing for non-chelated iron compounds, such as ferrous sulfate, or testing for the most common EDTA chelated iron compound often found in planted aquarium fertilizer solutions due to the tanks very low pH.

    For the silica oxide test, it appears to be driven by the diatom and other type of algae hysteria as well. I have only read of silica oxide to be used to actually help grow better plants in aqua-ponic and hydroponic systems since water based systems often lack silica, which is abundant in soil environments, and I would not be surprised if there is some silica oxide on the aquarium/pond plant fertilizers.
     
    crsublette, May 29, 2014
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  17. Willo

    Peter Litchfield

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    I think the debate on water testing all boils down to affordability. Water test strips are the cheapest option, but like any other product on the market. The bigger you budget, the better quality & more accurate your water testing will become.
     
    Peter Litchfield, Aug 31, 2017
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  18. Willo

    MitchM

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    Really? A link to an extremely expensive test strip company is your first post?
    How is that more affordable than liquid test kits?
     
    MitchM, Aug 31, 2017
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  19. Willo

    IPA

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    Dead post. HaHa, it's okay. Welcome to the forum.
    Edit: Unless of course there is an interest in the linked over priced test which makes more sense. :whistle:
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
    IPA, Aug 31, 2017
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  20. Willo

    MitchM

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    Possible spammer I think.
     
    MitchM, Aug 31, 2017
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