Why does everyone say not to use "dipsticks" ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-20-2004, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Location: West Michigan
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Question Why does everyone say not to use "dipsticks" ?

For the longest time I have been using Mardel 5-in-1 test strips and I feel they work very well.

I keep reading posts that say "I don't trust them," "I don't use them," and "get a real test kit," but I've yet to see anything explaining the scientific reasoning that argues that these strips are inaccurate.

They are marketed as being accurate. If they're not, then aren't the companies that make them committing fraud?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-20-2004, 11:41 PM
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The dipsticks are accurate, but do have limitations:

1. If they ever get exposed to too much humidity, they won't work right. This means keep them tightly closed and refrigerated - only remove one strip at a time and immediately recap the vial. Still, after a year I wouldn't necessarily trust them.

2. Make sure the kit has the range and graduations you need - if you want to measure 0.5ppm phosphate, a kit with a low phosphate of 2.0ppm does you no good.

3. They do tend to be more expensive on a per-test basis than liquid tests.



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2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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