mardel 5 in 1 test strips, question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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mardel 5 in 1 test strips, question

on my mardel 5 in 1 test strip, the top square, which is for nitrates, is brown when I take it out of the bottle and brown after I dip it.
well brown is not an option on the comparison chart. I have bought a few bottles and they are both like this.
have any of you had this experience?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 02:48 AM
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I use those strips as well but the top strip is white-cream colored not brown. Have you checked the expiration date on them?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 09:47 PM
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I recently bought a pack of the tetra test strips, and I'm pretty sure the nitrite and nitrate were swapped on mine. the color is wrong (no matter what concentration) for the test that's supposed to be in the same position, but seems to be about right for the one I suspect it was switched with.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 09:56 PM
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Re: mardel 5 in 1 test strips, question

I never trust the strips only liquid for me.

8g Fluval 1M CT Betta
125g 5 Blood parrots, 1 Green Severum, 8 Dension Barbs, 10 Yoyo Loaches, 1 RTS
75g Angelfish, 3 EBGR, 4 Siames Alage Eaters, 12 Harlequin Rasboars, 1 BN Pleco, 1 Swordtail
33g long cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
15g 2 GBR
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:49 PM
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As mentioned, it might be that the strips have expired (check the expiry date on them before purchasing).

I also do not like using the dip sticks/test strips since they are susceptible to poor handling/storage conditions. Liquid test kits are the way to go.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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i bought the bottl- liquid- drops- nitrate test today.
thk u so much for all of your input
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 03:24 AM
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Especially worrying is that there is no color change in that tab.

I have used several brands of test strips. The NO3 test is never brown, before or after.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 01:35 PM
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Better off just buying a real test kit. Those test strips are junk :-/

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 02:39 PM
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Test strips have their place, especially if you verify that they are at least as accurate as the liquid test kits.

Not all of us have enough free time to do the drop testing every time we need and the strips can at least provide a quick test especially during the work week.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 02:55 PM
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If you look at comparisons people have done to test the accuracy difference using both types i cant bring myself to ever take them seriously :p

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:00 PM
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Shrug, I've found the Mardel test strips to be accurate enough for their intended use: letting me know whether or not an issue might exist that needs further attention. I can't speak for any other type of test strip however as I've never used them.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:35 PM
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Expired batches and *returned* batches tend to cause the most problems. Last time I was in line at my local chain store, a woman was returning one--she'd put the bottle back in the original box but admitted (when asked) that she'd used two of the strips. But, she said it was fine because she'd put them BACK in the bottle so all the test strips were still there. Seems she had the notion that once they dried out they could be used again.

Unfortunately, whether it's ignorance or apathy, plenty of chain workers will process a return without inspecting the item or asking if it's been used --and then let it get put right back on the shelf.

I've a liquid test for use during cycling for more accurate results and for fine-tuning/testing problems--but the test strips are handy to have around and I do use them on occasion. They're also much easier to slog into my kit--and hand over a few with a prev bottles chart--when I'm heading out to pull a newbies "but the pet store said!" impulse purchase tank back to a state where they've some hope of it surviving their learning process.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:47 PM
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Test strips are accurate enough to keep track of things and answer the question: Are things stable? Which way are they changing?

By confirming with calibrated samples you can get much more accurate results.

I have not had bad bottles of test strips from the stores, but I get them on line a lot cheaper, and no possibility of getting a returned/used product.

I have had the strips go bad on me, though. Usually through user error: Not recapping the jar immediately in humid weather.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 07:19 PM
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Re: mardel 5 in 1 test strips, question

I hardly ever test my tanks so using liquid isn't that much work... Why use something that has a higher percent of being wrong? That seems like wasting time to me. If I'm going to take the time to test I want the most accurate test available. So for me its liquid only but to each his own.

8g Fluval 1M CT Betta
125g 5 Blood parrots, 1 Green Severum, 8 Dension Barbs, 10 Yoyo Loaches, 1 RTS
75g Angelfish, 3 EBGR, 4 Siames Alage Eaters, 12 Harlequin Rasboars, 1 BN Pleco, 1 Swordtail
33g long cherry shrimp, 8 pygmy corys, 5 ottos
15g 2 GBR
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