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Old 03-01-2010, 06:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need new Test Kit any ideas?

I need to get a new water test kit, on a budget. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need new Test Kit any ideas?

Cheapest are the 5- or 6- way test strips, I have found them at on line stores in bottles of 100 at the best price. They do not test for ammonia. (Separate strips for ammonia are available) There is some question about the reliability of the results. Careful timing and a good light (stand by a bright window) will help. Keep records so you know if the overall trend for each test is changing or holding steady.

More relaiable test kit is the API Master test kit, and also buy a separate box with GH and KH tests.

Cheapest of all, learn to read your plants. Get a good test kit, but do not use it very often. Just often enough that you know nothing is getting out of hand.

If your tank is cycling then you will need NH3/NH4, NO2 and NO3. After the nitrifying bacteria are established you might use the NO3 once in a while, but the NH3/NH4 and NO2 only if something goes wrong.

If you are having other issues, such as changing mineral levels in the water from the water company then pH, GH and KH will be helpful for simple water chemistry problems, and very helpful when you introduce new fish.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need new Test Kit any ideas?

Hi Msapp1,

I agree with Diana K. I use the API Master Freshwater Test Kit and the API KH/GH Test Kit. I typically test PH, KH, GH, and NO3 monthly unless I am dealing with some sort of an issue. The rest (Ammonia & Nitrites) are tested during the start up period for a new tank.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need new Test Kit any ideas?

Thanks i'll look into it, any idea on how much the master kit generally costs?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need new Test Kit any ideas?

Hi msapp1,

The Master Kit costs about $24 and the GH/KH combo kit costs about $6.50.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need new Test Kit any ideas?

What do you want to test?
You really do not need any tests if you do large water changes frequently.
Only tests worth having. (IMHO)

GH/KH Which are not really that necessary unless you are having problems.
KNO3 Test which I think the Lamotte is worth the money if you really want to test it.
You can use API or others but you need to test the test kit.
PHOSPHATE I use red sea I think.

Any others I see no need for.

If you added these four up they would come in around 80 or 90 bucks with most of that going for the Lamotte kno3 kit. Seems like a substantial amount of money but the kits will last a year or more. Besides the glass box in the corner of the room eats green paper like mad! Get use to feeding it now.
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