Crappy Test Kits? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Crappy Test Kits?

For those of you who use the Seachem Nitrate and Phosphate kits, how long does your kits last? I always have to get a replacement from Seachem because I can't get the kits to last more than 1 month??

As for the TetraTest test kits, I'm not sure if they are all that accurate, can anyone comment?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 12:29 PM
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I had the exact problem. I even received a brand new replacement kit straight from SeaChem with the same results. I have since replaced both with LaMottes and could not be any happier.
For what it is worth I also had the same problem with RedSea. I should have just bought the LaMottes right from the beginning. Oddly enough the cheapest nitrate kit I have AP I test side by side with the LaMotte and although it is not graduated close enough it has remained consistent with the LaMotte

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 02:10 PM
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My SeaChem kits are the most reliable I've ever used. TetraTest kits aren't terrible, but they don't make a phosphate kit (that I've seen).

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 03:40 PM
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I've used both SeaChem and Redsea for both nitrate and phosphate. They are great kits and work accurately, as long as they haven't expired. After that they are shot. I've been thinking of getting Lamotte now since all these internet vendors have a talent of sending expired kits.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 04:10 PM
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I'll add that I've tested my tank with LaMotte and SeaChem for phosphate...they gave the same result.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2004, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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I will have to say that when the seachem kits work, they are great. But, I can't even do 10 tests let alone 75! Where is the expiration date on these things and how long is it supposed to last typically?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2004, 02:50 AM
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I am starting to get a little turned off on the Red Sea nitrate kits. The last three I have purchased just didn't work. I switched to the Lamotte because the Red Sea nitrate kits weren't working. The phosphate kit is just fine, but I will never buy another Red Sea nitrate kit again. Too much money ($13) to take a chance with.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2004, 02:56 AM
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Aye to that Mike. I'm giving up on my second "new" Red Sea NO3 kit that quit on me from the start. They only work as long as Regent A doesn't have the grey caking on the bottom of the bottle (Cadmium). Otherwise my second Red Sea phosphate kit is just fine.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2004, 09:44 PM
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If you get 'fresh' test kits, they should be good for a year. They should always have an expiration date stamped on them.
The problem is that places will order a whole box of kits...and then it takes them a year to sell 2 dozen nitrate test kits.
I don't test my tanks as much now, because I've learned how they use up nutrients. But in the initial first 2 months, I was testing nitrate and phosphate 3 times a week.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
If you get 'fresh' test kits,
Of course I checked the package! Jeeesh! I am not that bad...yet!

Red Sea nitrate kits are just too hit or miss for me. The Red Sea phosphate kits have never let me down. From now on, when it comes to nitrate testing, it is going to be LaMotte for me.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 03:15 AM
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I had the *exact* same experience as Mike with the Red Sea kits. The phosphate works just great. My first NO3 kit never worked. I phoned and they sent me a second kit. It failed the same way. But, since I'm still milking an AP NO3 kit that is nearly 3 years old, I can wait to find something else.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo
Aye to that Mike. I'm giving up on my second "new" Red Sea NO3 kit that quit on me from the start. They only work as long as Regent A doesn't have the grey caking on the bottom of the bottle (Cadmium). Otherwise my second Red Sea phosphate kit is just fine.
My Red Sea Nitrate test kit doesn't work either. The expiration date is 12/20/2005 but it reads either ZERO or +50ppm (only in VERY concentrated solutions). It couldn't be worse in my opinion because it is very misleading !

I also noticed that Regent A does have the grey caking on the bottom of the bottle, even though it hasn't expired yet !
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2004, 11:27 PM
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I shook the living heck out of Reagent A, and got poor results.

I feel badly about this. I was pumping the Red Sea nitrate kits as an alternative to the AP kits for a while, but I just can't do it anymore. The kits just seem to have become flaky over the past few months.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 01:54 AM
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My Red Sea kit appears to be dead also. I even went as far as putting a pinch of the powder kno3 into the test tube ... in hopes of it shooting a high reading .... same cruddy reaction time & reading as before .... 5. No matter what I do, I always get 5. Oh yeah, gray solids on the bottom .... even after shaking the heck out of it!

I ordered a Seachem kit today ... we'll see how that works out.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 07:14 AM
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I had the same problem with Red Sea Nitrate kits. First one read 0 all the time. Second one doesn't seem to read higher than 5, ever.

Wrote an email to Red Sea and never got an answer... good customer service !
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