How to Measure? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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How to Measure?

API Master Kit measures :
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and high range pH

API Freshwater Hardness GH & KH Test Kit measures:
GH and KH

4dKH w/ Check dropper and bubble counter measures:

How does one measure the following? / How do you measure the follow?

K (Potassium), P (Phosphorus),
Fe (Iron), Mg (Magnesium) or Micros in general?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 02:06 PM
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I just look at my plants to see there deficiencies..

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 03:43 PM
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Yesa ^^ ie dosing amounts of nuits wont leave you def to often
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 03:48 PM
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Salifert makes test kits for all of those except iron (or micros, but testing for iron is the only halfway decent way to measure your micros). I believe seachem, along with a few others make iron kits. Keep in mind that tests for potassium and iron are pretty unreliable, and your best bet is just to watch your plants closely, like mentioned above
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yes EI would do it, but what if I wanted to modify EI, is where I was trying to go (Experimenting really).

Still too new at this hobby to really look at plants and say "Ah'ha! the plants are lacking this nutrient!!" ahahah as time goes and experiences gained, maybe I will be able to do that someday

Salifert Test kits are another option it looks like but not really reliable, ummm. (thanks)

Anyone else have a way or other/interesting ways to measuring these nutrients? Just looking for ideas and methods that people use. The more options available the better - gives noobs like me the choice I guess

Last edited by December; 10-27-2014 at 04:30 PM. Reason: fix
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 05:38 PM
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First, general warning about all of these tests - Some of these tests (notably Nitrate) are notoriously inaccurate. Most of these tests are made to keep costs down and be good enough for estimation and/or relative comparisons needed for troubleshooting. I would not trust any of them to provide data that is accurate enough for any kind of scientific experimentation.

That said, if measurement is your goal:

- There's pretty readily available API phosphate and copper tests. I have the phosphate kit, it is pretty coarse in terms of measurement, but works well enough for me to get a rough idea if my P levels are somewhere near where I want them or not. Its scale is 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, and 10ppm, but 0.25 is hard to tell from 0.

-There aren't many potassium kits out there, mostly because few people care about what number this parameter is. Too high a level doesn't cause problems, unless you get absurd... To low causes easy to spot plant deficiencies. So, most planted folks that need potassium just overdose it a bit and let it go. Most non-planted folks don't care what the level is. Same goes for Mg.

- Seachem and Nutrafin both make an iron test kit. I've not tried either. I don't think many use this test, except those doing experiments like you are or those with high-iron water supplies causing problematic levels. Again, if you need Fe, it is pretty easy to just react to symptoms.

If growing plants aquariums is your goal:

Spend some time over at and start learning what the various defficiencies look like. This will save you a lot of money over trying to buy dozens of test kits at $10 a pop.

Last edited by mattinmd; 10-27-2014 at 05:53 PM. Reason: added note on deficiency finder.
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