Ok, I found something on test strips.
The strips that are normally bought, 20 or so of them and loose in a plastic bottle in a LFS or chain store have been bounced around and the separate components that should never touch each other have come in contact with the other sections allowing for cross contamination of the chemicals. This throws the test results off, often massively.
Also, when you dip the test strip in the water, you have wet the entire surface and this allowed for more cross contamination of the reactive chemicals.
Test strips where there is one test per strip and individually wrapped are supposed to be very accurate. They are a Little more costly but much more accurate. Now if I can find them I will make sure to let everyone know where to get them. A couple sources said that you can find individually wrapped test strips for all water parameters accurate enough for aquaria but no one listed a source just that they got them from pharmaceutical companies.
How reliable this information I don't know. Again going off of multiple articles and trying to make a complete one that covers the basics. It does make sense though and explains why some of them can be very accurate where a majority of them seem to give extremely inaccurate results and are simply not worth the headache of saving a couple bucks over a good liquid test kit.
well that would explain the strips then,
i'm a bit surprised that i have not seen this issue covered in
aquarium magazines,unless i have just missed it ofcourse.
I have heard much the same thing, f4a. I have been looking through all of my old magazines for documentation. I must have lookded through 200 articles. I decided to take a break and check in on the forum. I'm glad you found something. Now I can put all of these old magazines back. lol
We need to keep this towards the top (and consider putting a copy in the Anabantids section since it seems to need the most help)...
This is very interesting, and does seem to explain allot of the problems with test strips. I will be looking forward to updates on this.
Thank you fish 4 all.
we were just disscussing this matter in another thread. i have the test strips and since everyone is saying they dont work i guess i should get rid of them. where can i get liquid tests?
Most LFS sell them. The one I've found to be easiest to read is the API Master Test Kit, which contains liquid tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH.
Runs about $20 at Petsmart, a bit more at Petco. Getting one through Dr Foster and Smith would be about $23 but if you're not a supporter of Petsmart and Petco or have other supplies you need to get too then that would be the way to go.
I bought my API Master test kit from Pet solutions for 17.99. They ship VERY fast and I think their shipping rates are very reasonable although I am only 1 state away from them so that may be a variable.
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