What kits do you prefer? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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What kits do you prefer?

Hey everyone,
I wanted to know what test kits you find works best for you (what company, which test, ectÖ). I recently purchase the Hagen Master Test Kit and understanding some of the results is driving me nuts especially with the General Hardness (GH) test. I have seen some members comment that they are not particular fond of reagent pH kits.

I want to see if there is a particular brand that is easier to administer or harder to screw up.

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 12:02 PM
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Hi
I use JBL test kits
They're not that cheap but seem to work well
made by Germans what would you expect
I especially like the PH and KH kits
Gaz


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Where do you get yours at? Is there an online store to purchase the kit? How much do you pay for yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GazK
Hi
I use JBL test kits
They're not that cheap but seem to work well
made by Germans what would you expect
I especially like the PH and KH kits
Gaz
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 05:45 PM
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Many people use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master kit and KH kits.

You can get one at your local Petsmart for less than $14 dollars if you take in a copy of the online price.

http://www.petsmart.com/global/produ...294966232&Ne=6

For PO4 I use the Hagen kit. I prepared calibration solutions for the PO4 and nitrate test kits using a quantitative balance, as these kits are not accurate in the absolute sense (except by luck an occasional one will be).
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 07:49 PM
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Can you give some details on the calibration solutions?

I also have the hagen kits and I would like to get mor eaccurate results.

Cheers
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 08:11 PM
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I only trust Salifert; accurate and not too expensive.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:34 PM
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I made solutions of calcium nitrate and sodium monobasic phosphate from reagents at my laboratory (I'm a Neuroscientist). I tried using fertilizers and using the amounts printed on the labels, but the numbers I got back on those were not very accurate compared with the laboratory reagents. Not too surprising.

I think you can get fairly pure sodium or potassium nitrate at drug stores, but since they can be made into explosives, you might have to talk to the druggist a bit to get some. Sodium phosphate shouldn't be too hard to get as it is used as a buffer. You do have to take the formula weight into consideration because most of these are hydrated (meaning some H2O is also present in the crystals).

You might try your local University or High School Chemistry department if you'd like to mix some up.

By the way, I've found that the nitrate test kits change sensitivity once they are opened. They can go either way, either becoming more, or less sensitive or go one way at first, and then go the other way. The changes can be 10 ppm or more.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:19 AM
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I follow EI. I don't test at all any more. I have not done a regent type test in months.

I do have a PH prob to monitor my PH so I know my co2 levels are good. I have a RED SEA test kit in the closet somewhere. Once I found out what the KH and GH of my tap water are and found them stable, I seen no reason to continue testing. Watch the plants and fish if something is wrong they will tell you?

I do like my real time PH read though. If I did not have it, I would have to do PH regent test at least weekly I think. I think a ph prob is a necessity for a planted tank. At least for me. I hate those color charts and found them just a ball park figure at best.

To have a nice looking planted tank you do not need a bunch of expensive test kits. In fact, most local fish stores will can test your water for free of charge for PH, ammonia and nitrites and such. They might not do the GH and KH.




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