Best budget test kits?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best budget test kits??

I am a newbie to planted tanks and am looking into updating my test kits. I currently have an (expired I'm sure) Aquarium Pharmacuticles freshwater test kit I bought a few years ago at a local "big box" pet store. I have been reading several posts on this board and most are recommending Lamotte test kits. These kits are very expensive! I know the accuracy of the tests may be best with the Lamotte kits, but I would like to see what everyone thinks is the best "budget" alternative and conversely what are some kits to stay away from. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 09:37 PM
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I like the Aquarium pharm kits for Gh, Kh,Ph,Nitrate. Most of the cheap phosphate kits are difficult to read, the only phosphate kit that I've used that I like is the Lamotte kit.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 10:14 PM
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I was pretty happy with Red Sea's Phosphate kit.

Other than that I agree with Marcel. I don't like the AP Nitrate kit because it doesn't have a good resolution in the low range that's important for planted tanks, but if you don't want to spend the money for a LaMotte it gives you a rough idea if you are out or over.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 11:03 PM
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Red Sea's phosphate kit is the best of the less expensive phosphate test kits available. Pretty accurate and reliable. I wish I could say the same for their nitrate kit.

LaMotte has become the "gold standard" nitrate test kit as of late, but the AP will work, just consider what Wasserpest has previously mentioned.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 12:54 AM
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AP kit from PetSolutions

I got a new AP kit from PetSolutions for $11 that has ammonia (salycilate test with 2 bottles), nirite, nitrate, pH. high pH. It is missing the KH and GH but has the nitrate which is very nice. After a year I decided my tap was pretty stable in KH and GH and my tanks are too.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momotaro
Red Sea's phosphate kit is the best of the less expensive phosphate test kits available. Pretty accurate and reliable. I wish I could say the same for their nitrate kit.

LaMotte has become the "gold standard" nitrate test kit as of late, but the AP will work, just consider what Wasserpest has previously mentioned.

Mike
I just got the Red Sea Nitrate kit and its horrible !

I like the AP kit.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 03:11 AM
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There you go!

Another dissatisfied Red Sea nitrate test kit user. I think I may take some time and contact them about the rash of bad kits out there. I have been through at least four of them myself.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 09:54 PM
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So for the budget minded...
AP will be the best bang for your buck but I have never seen the phosphate kit or a KH kit... So get the PH, NO3 where you can.

I've been happy with the Hagen PO4 and GH/KH kits. Have to go to reefer stores in the Bay Area to find them though.

The AP nitrate kit is not as accurate but you can tell what ball park your tank is running. Just a word of warning though... Remeber to shake regent #2 per the instructions. It makes a difference! Trust me.

The rest of the master kit AP supplies will go un used and go bad so IMO it's not needed when running a planted tank...

Good luck!

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