Why does everyone say not to use "dipsticks" ?
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:36 PM   #1
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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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Old 12-20-2004, 11:41 PM   #2
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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.


72g bowfront planted, CO2, 2x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2013, red tiger lotus, vals, java fern and moss, crypts, swords, mbuna tank: Yellow labs, Ps. demasoni, clown plecos, SAE's.

10g mini-reef. 16lbs LR, green mushroom, star polyps, wagon wheel polyps, purple mushroom, candycane, hammer, other zoas, CUC.
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