Phosphate test strips - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Phosphate test strips

Does anyone have experience using phosphate test strips? If you have could you advise if you believe they gave accurate results.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 07:31 AM
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In general, I would be suspicious of any result that came from a test strip. In my experience, they are notoriously inaccurate when compared with liquid test kits.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 07:21 PM
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It has been a long time, but when I tried something similar in the past the units on the strip were not in the range we needed for planted tanks. Again, just an example, but we need it to measure maybe 0.5, 1 and 2 and the graduations were like 1.0, 5.0 and 10.0. I tried to Google the strips but couldn't find the measurement card that shows what values tested are.

I hope that makes sense.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Belton View Post
It has been a long time, but when I tried something similar in the past the units on the strip were not in the range we needed for planted tanks. Again, just an example, but we need it to measure maybe 0.5, 1 and 2 and the graduations were like 1.0, 5.0 and 10.0. I tried to Google the strips but couldn't find the measurement card that shows what values tested are.

I hope that makes sense.
The Insta-test Low Range strip measures phosphate levels from 0, 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, and 2500 ppb. This equals 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5 ppm.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
In general, I would be suspicious of any result that came from a test strip. In my experience, they are notoriously inaccurate when compared with liquid test kits.
How long ago was your experience with test strips? If a few years could they have been improved since then? Aren't liquid tests also prone to inaccurate results due to several variables:

1. interpretation of color
2. calibration
3. degradation of reagents. would my results be the same on the day I opened the reagent vs 9 months later.
4. procedures (vigorous shaking, proper vial water levels)
5. would the color have changed with a 1/2 drop or a 1/4 drop instead of a full drop

I am hesitant, maybe paranoid is a better word, in coming in contact with chemicals without truly knowing if they pose a toxicity to humans. This also applies to excel and fish medications. I still medicate my tanks when necessary but I do wonder if there are possible adverse affects from coming in contact with them.

I guess I question how inaccurate are the test strips. I feel if I can just get a relative range of values that should suffice in most instances.
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