HI Rex and Mike:
Yep they are the test strips, after I specifically pointed out what type of tests I wanted, they were what I was told I needed by the clerk at Petco. A new pet store just opened, looks family owned, (hoping they are better than the two I've had to go to) I think I will check there for the Seachem test kit. If they don't have it, then I'll do as you suggested and mail order it. I guess until I get the right tests, I'll be paddling in the dark......oh well.
Yep Mike looks like it was the declorinator I was using, think it was digger that pointed out it actually contains an acid. After a 2nd 50% water change using Prime the ph has stayed level for 3 days, actually staying at the level of the water coming out of the tap.