Potassium Test Kit: Good & Inexpensive - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 09:15 PM
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if your sample become turbid after reagent1 then you have 50+ K in water
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 10:18 PM
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My tank - Light/neon green
100ppm - Light/neon green
50ppm - Light/neon green
RO water (0ppm) - Read out to be around 15ppm according to the test chart. Hmm...

25ppm is supposed to be completely clear, while 20ppm is supposed to be clear/slight yellow.

Last edited by Ddrizzle; 05-29-2019 at 10:35 PM. Reason: edit
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ivannn View Post
if your sample become turbid after reagent1 then you have 50+ K in water

Thanks ivannn. I can confirm all of the light green tests were turbid/cloudy after reagent 1.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
Reporting back in:

My tank - Light/neon green
100ppm - Light/neon green
50ppm - Light/neon green
RO water (0ppm) - Read out to be around 15ppm according to the test chart. Hmm...

25ppm is supposed to be completely clear, while 20ppm is supposed to be clear/slight yellow.
Almost a contrary finding, but try something along the lines of what I recommended, with RO water: take the cap and really compress that cotton into it (I know you don't have the compact cotton balls that I use). When you are done with that final minute following addition of reagent #2, shake the tube a little to distribute the reagent, then slowly pour the contents over the cotton until the cap is filled. Let it sit for ten minutes. Then try sucking it out from within the cotton with that cheapy pipette they give you. Let us know the results
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Almost a contrary finding, but try something along the lines of what I recommended, with RO water: take the cap and really compress that cotton into it (I know you don't have the compact cotton balls that I use). When you are done with that final minute following addition of reagent #2, shake the tube a little to distribute the reagent, then slowly pour the contents over the cotton until the cap is filled. Let it sit for ten minutes. Then try sucking it out from within the cotton with that cheapy pipette they give you. Let us know the results

Weird, my RO still tests somewhere around 10ppm when using this method. I'm going to use this on my tank later to see if it changes things but I doubt it at this point due to the amount of potassium sulfate I've been dumping in.
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ddrizzle View Post
Weird, my RO still tests somewhere around 10ppm when using this method. I'm going to use this on my tank later to see if it changes things but I doubt it at this point due to the amount of potassium sulfate I've been dumping in.
Had a chance to test it on 50 ppm and it shows at the 20 ppm color. As I mentioned in the OP, all points from 20 ppm and above show as the 20 ppm color. Similar to what you confirmed, but I don't see it as being any type of green tint. All of my tests were variations of yellows and browns.

I also re-tested 0 ppm, 5 ppm an 10 ppm. Results were the same: 0-5 ppm shows as the 5 ppm darkest brown and the 10 ppm shows as the medium brown.
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Had a chance to test it on 50 ppm and it shows at the 20 ppm color. As I mentioned in the OP, all points from 20 ppm and above show as the 20 ppm color. Similar to what you confirmed, but I don't see it as being any type of green tint. All of my tests were variations of yellows and browns.

I also re-tested 0 ppm, 5 ppm an 10 ppm. Results were the same: 0-5 ppm shows as the 5 ppm darkest brown and the 10 ppm shows as the medium brown.

Next time I test I'll take some pictures.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Switching to JBL:

After working with the Easy-Life Freshwater potassium test kit for the last 4-5 months, I am abandoning it for the JBL Freshwater potassium test kit. The Easy-Life kit uses a color chart whereas the JBL kit is a turbidity test. Although the Easy-Life kit is good in the 5-20ppm area, my K often is higher and the JBL kit allows for a much wider range of ppm levels, with modifications detailed below.

I have found the turbidity viewing to be quite easy to hit a +/- ~10-15%ppm estimate, which is good enough. I calibrated the JBL similarly to how I did the Easy-Life in the OP, but used 15, 25 and 40ppm ‘standards’ instead.

If you were to test weekly, the annual cost of the JBL test is about double that of the Easy-Life test.

The JBL test vial and directions would seem to limit readings to a maximum of 15ppm. However, the following modifications (confirmed by JBL) allow you to go much higher, although I didn’t test higher than 40ppm.

15-30ppm: 7.5 ml sample + 7.5 ml pure water
30-75ppm: 3 ml sample + 12 ml pure water
>75ppm(?): 1.5 ml sample + 13.5 ml pure water

Obviously, overlap is possible among these regions.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-15-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: May be switching to Salifert, from JBL.

Salifert has released a new freshwater potassium test kit that is not only less expensive than the JBL, but relies upon a color change, potentially providing more precision than the turbidity-type tests, such as is the JBL. Once you start adding the drops, when the potassium level is reached, there is a dramatic change from a yellowish color to a strong blue color, leaving no doubt that the test is completed.

However, when going through the calibrations (details below), I found that adding 50% more test water (7.5 ml instead of the 5 ml in the directions) gave precise readings. This is a little concerning, and provides cause for doubt, because you would think that Salifert would know this …if I were correct. It may simply be that this particular lot is off. I will calibrate the next kit, once this kit is done but, at least, this kit is now calibrated.

To calibrate this kit, I used three K targets: 10ppm, 20ppm, and 30ppm. I added KHCO3 in one-gallon containers of RO/DI water at 97mg, 194mg, and 291mg, respectively. Using a Hanna alkalinity checker (calibrated), I found that the dKH readings were within +/- 5% of the expected dKH for the loadings. Each potassium reading was within 1 point of the expected result.

Last edited by Deanna; 12-15-2019 at 03:43 PM. Reason: correction
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:02 PM
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Hoping I can resurrect this thread. I just tested my tank with the Easy Life kit for the first time and also got a "drop checker like" yellow/ green. The color of the first tube after waiting 6 minutes is very dark.

So is the conclusion that I have 50+ K? I'm going to try and contact the company. I'm also going to try the new Salifert test.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:29 AM
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I bought a Salifert Potassium test and it is MUCH BETTER than the EasyLife, which I also tried. It is also less expensive.

The Salifert measures 0 to 50+, The EasyLife only 0 to 25. The Salifert uses # of drops/ color change to get a result and the color change is clear. The EasyLife is a more difficult test sequence and is a color match estimate. My verdict, the Salifert
Test works and is worth having if you are curious about your potassium levels.

One big thing I discovered which I didnt expect is the limited ability of my reverse osmosis to remove all potassium from my whole house water softened water.

My softened water has a 50+ ppm K reading before going through my RO system and a 10ppm reading afterward. As a result my tank is at 50 ppm, much higher than expected because of K in my water change and make up water in addition to regular fert dosing. As a result I've stopped adding K to my daily fert dosing. We'll see if it makes any difference, 50 ppm K is higher than what I've read as recommended but I dont know if there are consequences at 50 ppm. Anyone?

Last edited by mboley; 01-30-2020 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Correction
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