What test kits to get? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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What test kits to get?

With all the test kits available,what are the best ones to cover everything for planted and non planted tanks?
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 01:40 PM
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I use the API Master Test Kit works great,easy to use!
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 01:58 PM
mollies's Avatar
plus 1 on API liquid test kit masters

180 gallon, African cichlid tank
75 gallon, African cichlid tank
55 gallon, African cichlid tank
40 gallon, African cichlid tank
10 gallon, QT
30 gallon, Mollie tank
55 gallon, brakish tank
150 gallon, Reef
40 gallon, QT
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 03:23 PM
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I like tetra laborette kit. It was a bit cheaper. *shrug*
it also does GH and KH

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 04:46 PM
willow's Avatar
i use API too.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 07:57 PM
Byron's Avatar
I'm wondering if part of your question might be, which "tests" are necessary? For either planted or non-planted aquaria, a pH test is probably the single most important; for non-planted, a nitrate test may be more significant. The nitrate and/or pH tests if done regularly (e.g., each week prior to the water change) will let you know if there are changes from week to week which (when significant) usually mean something is wrong. Falling pH or rising nitrates can lead to serious fish problems.

At the beginning of a new aquarium, a test for ammonia and nitrite is very useful; it is good to have these on hand, but if regular maintenance (partial water changes) are carried out, you don't overstock or overfeed, and don't add too many fish at once, you may never need them. The API test kit combo includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and I believe the regents are reliable for 2-3 years.

A hardness test kit is not in my view essential; once you know the hardness of your tap water, there isn't much need for this test, unless you decide to soften/harden your water in the aquarium. Your local water board may be able to tell you the hardness of your tap water and what minerals are in it, and some fish stores will do this test.

Planted tank aquarists sometimes use test kits for CO2, iron, various nutrients. I don't bother; I'm not sure how reliable some of these are, plus you can gage all of this best by the plant growth itself. When one starts doing these various tests, it often leads to thinking this or that is lacking when in fact it may not be, and then un-necessary additives start going into the tank. The less chemicals in an aquarium, the better. IMHO.

I personally use API test kits, but I also have a Tetra low pH kit (the only one down to pH 5 that I have yet found locally).

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-27-2010, 08:54 PM
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I do use the API liquid master kit. I cannot recommend you the best kit, but i do can say: Depends of your personnal preference of manufacturer and what is available for your use. One thing try to avoid strips as they are not as accurate as liquid sets.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-28-2010, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone.I use the API ph kit and that is all I have ever tested.Byron must have ESP because what to test for is what I should have added to the question.
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