recommend ph tester - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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recommend ph tester

I have been using api's test products and am looking to get away from the brand name. More specifically, right now, I tested my water 3 times in a row (for ph) and got different numbers. Can anyone recommend a better ph water tester?


And for that matter, generally, more reliable product line for aquariums?


thanks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:45 PM
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How old is your test kit? API is generally pretty reliable when it comes to low and high pH range reagent.

I've been using Sera for a long time and find it to be more accurate than most kits in the hobby. But there are several brands on the market that work well.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 10:29 PM
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I've used API and found it to be generally ballpark-good. However, I did move to increased precision and, to do that, you have to move to pH meters, such as Apera (which may be the low-end of the meter possibilities). Meters are more expensive and you have to be sure to maintain calibration.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 11:09 PM
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Here's why I use Sera - much more precise than API:




Larger vial/tube for testing. Clearer, more saturated result colors. Lower and higher test ranges - 4.5 to 9 instead of 6 to 8.4/8.8.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Here's why I use Sera - much more precise than API:




Larger vial/tube for testing. Clearer, more saturated result colors. Lower and higher test ranges - 4.5 to 9 instead of 6 to 8.4/8.8.
Are the colors you get in the vial easy to match up with the card? As you know, a lot of these color-type test seem to have colors that don't match anything on the cards.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
How old is your test kit? API is generally pretty reliable when it comes to low and high pH range reagent.

I've been using Sera for a long time and find it to be more accurate than most kits in the hobby. But there are several brands on the market that work well.

I have had the test kit for a year or so but it doesn't go out of date for still another couple years.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:45 PM
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@Deanna: Yep, they're clearer and more saturated. That's why a lot of shrimp nerds lean toward Sera when it comes to kH & gH reagents. I use this brand for kH, gH, pH and Nitrate.

@marshmallow: It's possible your reagent is no longer viable. Some kits go bad really quickly - in a matter of months after opening. I would pick up a new kit just to be on the safe side, regardless of the brand.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 07:00 PM
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@Deanna: Yep, they're clearer and more saturated. That's why a lot of shrimp nerds lean toward Sera when it comes to kH & gH reagents. I use this brand for kH, gH, pH and Nitrate.
Thanks.

Tell me more about the Sera GH and Nitrate kits (I use Hanna for KH):
- Is there more precision with the Sera GH kit than with the API GH kit? Do they use a similar approach (change of color as drops are added)?
- I use the Salifert kit for Nitrate, which I've found to be noticeably superior to the API. Have you compared the Sera Nitrate kit to the Salifert kit? If so, how would you judge the difference?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:33 PM
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I too am interested in finding a better option for measuring the pH of my tanks without breaking the bank. I have found API to be a little too ambiguous for me, especially in the 6.0-6.6 range where I struggle to appreciate the subtle difference in color. Often the results look different depending on the time of day and light source. I've investigated pH meters but they seem expensive and calibration seems tricky and I'm not sure it would be worth the investment for the times I would need to use it (which is mostly when setting up a new tank).
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:36 PM
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@Deanna: Sera is definitely more accurate than API (kH & gH). To be within a few dollars in terms of price makes the purchase of Sera a no-brainer if it's something you need to check regularly. I'm pretty exact when it comes to adding mineral salts to water, so I only sporadically check hardness. But Sera always delivers better results for me and better saturation helps spot changes quickly.

I switched from Salifert to Sera for Nitrate because I found it to be more accurate at least 50% of the time. The four-step process for Sera lends itself to better precision, I think, but some may find that a bit of a hassle.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:54 PM
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What about the test strips for pH? I've never used them but am curious if they are easier to read. I would assume they are accurate as well as they are basically the same thing physicians are using to measure the pH in Urine.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
@Deanna: Yep, they're clearer and more saturated. That's why a lot of shrimp nerds lean toward Sera when it comes to kH & gH reagents. I use this brand for kH, gH, pH and Nitrate.
Thanks. Looks like I'm going to have to try the GH and NO3 kits!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 01:34 PM
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They're generally not worth your time or money when you have liquid kits available for reasonable prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBlowie View Post
What about the test strips for pH? I've never used them but am curious if they are easier to read. I would assume they are accurate as well as they are basically the same thing physicians are using to measure the pH in Urine.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info! I will try Sera.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 04:57 AM
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American pinpoint pH tester. Run about $125 and get some calibration fluid for better precision. Once big display so you can read the pH at a glance from across the room.
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