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Test Kits

1641 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TWood
What's the best brand? WHere's a good place to purchase them? Shelf life?
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That depends on what your testing.

PH, GH, KH... Tetratest, Redsea, AP... all do good.

N03... Lamotte is the best, AP & Seachem do ok.

P04...Lamotte or Seachem.

You can get these at Big Als except for Lamotte
Those are some loaded questions.

What's the best brand?
How deep are your pockets? How much detail do you need to know?

Marine Depot lists their lines like so:

LaMotte Test Kits - High-End Water Test Kits.
Red Sea Test Kits - Decent Middle-End Test Kits.
Salifert Test Kits - Excellent, reasonably-priced high-end test kits.
SeaChem Laboratories Test Kits - Decent Line of Test Kits
Hagen Test Kits - Easy to use, Convenient, Accurate Test Kits.
Tetra Test Kits - Pond & Saltwater Test Kits
Tunze Test Kits - Decent Middle-High End Test Kits.

If price is not an object a Hach or Lamotte Colorimeter would be one heck of a fun tool/toy.

WHere's a good place to purchase them?
If an APC sponsor carries the brand you desire, by all means they are THE best place to purchase. Otherwise, determine the model and chack the big time places like Marine Depot, PetSolutions, Drs Foster & Smith, Big Al's, That Fish Place etc etc.

Shelf life?
Not positive on this one. Salifert dates all kits with an experation date when made, it's about 2 years. Might want to ask Seachem in the Seachem froum here what the shelf life is on kits they produce.
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The reason why I ask is I have a test kit from hagen that I bought about a year ago that I believe was inaccurate from day 1. The PH is way off, as I took a sample to work and tested it with our lab PH tester, and it gave me a different reading.
I am looking for reasonably priced test kits for nitrogen, PH, Gh, KH, etc
Well, 2 things.

I know you do Hort. stuff so can youdo all your testing at work:) As for the Ph difference, did you test right fromt he tank with the Hagen? If you took water to work, then it would have lost much of its CO2, causing it ot be less acidic thus having a higher pH. To really check it, take 2 samples from the aquarium and let them sit open over night, then test them both at the same time with both tests. I am sure you know that though, if you work in a lab:) For deciently priced pH, kH and Gh, Aquarium Pharm. would be adequate and pretty cheap. As for NO3 or PO4, I have heard good things about Red Sea and SeaChem but I have never had good luck with those types (not brands) of test kits. I just dose partly by Estimative index and partly by watching my plants. If you want good NO3 and PO4, I recommend buying the best you can afford or you will just be wasting your money and frustrating yourself.
I do my PH testing at work, but the KH and GH is a no-go. Those are the two I am more concerned about.
I just wanted to chime in with a vote for Salifert's nitrate test kit. It's a little hard to read because of the varying shades of pink, but after using it a few times, I got the hang of it. It seems pretty accurate, too, from what I can tell... gives results I'm expecting.
The $7 Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (AP) test kits for NO3 and PO4 are more than adequate for our needs. The worst thing that came out of the PMDD craze was the obsession with test kit precision. The AP kits may be a bit less precise, and even that is arguable with that weird 4.4 multiplier thing LaMotte uses, but the AP kits are every bit as accurate.


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