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Test strips VS Test drops

This is a discussion on Test strips VS Test drops within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> It comes down to people posting weird results with the strips then to have it done with the test kits and it is more ...

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Test strips VS Test drops
Old 02-27-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
JDM
 
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It comes down to people posting weird results with the strips then to have it done with the test kits and it is more consistent... all anecdotal of course. Long term I doubt the strips are more cost effective.

I don't test everything every time and, if I were on town water, I wouldn't need to do a GH and KH test. I often will do only ammonia, or nitrites. Today I only tested for nitrates but a few weeks ago I was testing ammonia and nitrites twice a day.

How much are the strips anyway?

Jeff.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by rjordan390 View Post
The opinions expressed are based on experience from tanks with fish only and tanks with fish and plants. Many may get by with low end test strips with fish only but I prefer the liquid drop test kits for more accurate readings because I have plants. When algae pokes its head, you do not want ball park readings from low end test kits to solve the problem.
The manufacturers would lose a lot of business if test strips were found to be just as accurate as the liquid drop test kits. So to each his own. Cheap test kits equals cheap results.
what is measured in a tank with plants by liquid tests that test strips dont test for? and when we say inaccurate are we talking 0.001% or like 25% off or what. also if they are off by a certain degree why is it and we have already heard the extremely humid climate as a factor. but im saying in your normal everyday home where the humidity wouldnt be effected. might like to add strips are about the same price sometimes cost more.

Test results can be affected by contamination or improper storage, and our color perception depends to some extent on ambient light and background colors. In addition, really frequent water tests can motivate some to try for perfection and thus constantly fiddle with water parameters. A more relaxed approach is safer for the fish.

Last edited by MoneyMitch; 02-27-2013 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
 
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. still havent heard any solid evidence or facts
In high school I remember doing an experiment on accuracy vs precision. We used strips and also liquid reagents. The chemistry teacher felt that the liquid tests were more accurate than the litmus paper, and I remember that the results supported that. That was some 15 years ago, so unfortunately I cannot recall more than that.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #14
 
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well since there hasnt been any sure fact or fiction here, this is my conclusion - strips are just as good as drops. with the drops there is no way they are labratory accuracte same with the strips. as long as strips are properly stored and not fingerd all up before use they will show the same readings as drops with some diffrence that is to minute to matter in a home aquarium with or without live plants with or without super sensitive fish. strips are alot more easyier to use and less time consuming however they do cost more then drops.

so basically it comes down to a personall prefrence ratehr then a accuracy issue in the home aquarium, so next time you dog strips and say they arent as accurate as drops remember the diffrence in readings im sure can only be found by lab testing both and then compareing. even then the diffrences are more then likely minute like i said before.

both equally acurate, strips easy to do but cost more. drops cost less and take longer to do and have a minimal amount more of accuracy that wont effect a home aquarium. any agree here?
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:49 PM   #15
 
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How much are the strips anyway?

Jeff.
About 5x more per test. Throw in that you are possibly stuck testing for other test on the strip it only multiples that further.

Personally, test strips have their place and IME they are not as bad as forums make them out to be. I find that some of them have a wider variation in colors then liquid tests making them easier to read which can reduce inaccuracy due to interpretation.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #16
 
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I agree. Like I said earlier, as long as you aren't getting false negatives, or always getting false positives, I don't see how it matters that the results are as accurate as they can be - Says the guy that doesn't ever test the water.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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The false negative would be the only problem, really. Ammonia, nitrite should be zero and nitrate should be as low as possible, say try to aim for no more than 10ppm. pH, well, it varies throughout the day so a relative value is OK if it is stable and appropriate for the fish.

I don't know why the accuracy is more important with plants than without.

I'll stick with liquid. Long term cost isn't really an issue but its nice to get good value for a dollar.

Jeff.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #18
 
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It all comes down to proper balance of nutrients. With test strips, you are getting a best guess ball park result. In the 80's, when I had a reef tank, parameters were more strict and I started with test strips and I suspected the results. Upon purchasing a more expensive liquid drop kit, the results were in favor of the liquid drop kits because the results matched how my fish were behaving. I scraped the strips and never purchased them again.
Strips are not cheaper if they give mediocre results.

Last edited by rjordan390; 02-27-2013 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:38 PM   #19
 
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It all comes down to proper balance of nutrients. With test strips, you are getting a best guess ball park result. In the 80's, when I had a reef tank, parameters were more strict and I started with test strips and I suspected the results. Upon purchasing a more expensive liquid drop kit, the results were in favor of the liquid drop kits because the results matched how my fish were behaving. I scraped the strips and never purchased them again.
Strips are not cheaper if they give mediocre results.
that was the 80s alot has changed since then. untill someone can come up with some facts that back it its all hearsay
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:17 PM   #20
 
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Well,
We are just the users of the products. If you want a unbias opinion closer to fact then heresay, then I suggest you contact a company or companys that just make liquid drop test kits only and ask for an opinion. I believe Seachem does not make test strips. If thats correct, then there's a good reason they don't.
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