Best way to check water parameters - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Best way to check water parameters

I just tested my tank water because I have lost 4 rainbow shrimp since Friday. I test my water with the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (liquid test). I test gH & kH with API 5-in-1 test strips (getting liquid test kit soon). I've been running my 75 gallon planted tank for about 5 months now & am really starting to question if my test kit is accurate. The reason I wonder is.....from day one of my set up, I have never registered any ammonia or nitrites, and today is the first time I have ever registered nitrates on this test. The nitrates showed to be a shade in between the 0 range and the 5 range. I'm guessing that this (not registering any parameters) is uncommon....seems that way to me.

Is this the best kit on the market....or is there a better way to test my tank water? What do you guys use?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:30 AM
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well I had used api for the longest time and I always had a hard time reading the levels. I recently bought a test from nutrafin to test my GH and it was way better I recently bought some more tests from them to try them out. but if that test was any indicator what their others are they will be much easier to read than API. Is your tank planted?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elkhunter View Post
well I had used api for the longest time and I always had a hard time reading the levels. I recently bought a test from nutrafin to test my GH and it was way better I recently bought some more tests from them to try them out. but if that test was any indicator what their others are they will be much easier to read than API. Is your tank planted?
Yes it is. Plants include water sprite, java water fern windelov, anubias nana, pygmy chain, wisteria, java moss, vesuvius echinodorus.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:42 AM
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API liquid tests may be not the best but good enough and very popular. Check the instructions well, may be you are doing something wrong. In particular, NO3 testing require lots of shaking to be done. Or may be tests gone bad for some reason (too old or were not stored properly). If you have some fertilizer with NO3 then you can test the test. And you can easily buy ammonia and do the same for its test.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
API liquid tests may be not the best but good enough and very popular. Check the instructions well, may be you are doing something wrong. In particular, NO3 testing require lots of shaking to be done. Or may be tests gone bad for some reason (too old or were not stored properly). If you have some fertilizer with NO3 then you can test the test. And you can easily buy ammonia and do the same for its test.
Oso, every time I test, I follow the instructions for each test from the booklet. There may not be anything wrong with the test kit at all, I may just have nothing to register....ideal parameters, maybe?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 02:39 AM
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IF you dont want to spend 100's of dollars on a test kit, then the API one is good enough. Most people here use the API kits to test their water. Thhere are other kits that are more accurate, but cost 5x more
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
IF you dont want to spend 100's of dollars on a test kit, then the API one is good enough. Most people here use the API kits to test their water. Thhere are other kits that are more accurate, but cost 5x more
I have only seen the test kits from Nutrafin......I don't know of any others.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhunter View Post
well I had used api for the longest time and I always had a hard time reading the levels. I recently bought a test from nutrafin to test my GH and it was way better I recently bought some more tests from them to try them out. but if that test was any indicator what their others are they will be much easier to read than API. Is your tank planted?
I too, like the Nutrafin GH and KH test.
Prefer the API master test, though.
With the Nutrafin ammonia, nitrite, nitrate I found issues-

Ammonia-shades of clear through to yellow. Really hard to distinguish between the lower levels
Nitrite-shades of pink, arrgh
Nitrate-shades of pink, double arrgh. Plus the last bottle is glass, you have to shake just like the API, and tilt to 45 degrees to get the drop out (instead of the easier vertical plastic dropper bottle positioning for API).

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
I too, like the Nutrafin GH and KH test.
Prefer the API master test, though.
With the Nutrafin ammonia, nitrite, nitrate I found issues-

Ammonia-shades of clear through to yellow. Really hard to distinguish between the lower levels
Nitrite-shades of pink, arrgh
Nitrate-shades of pink, double arrgh. Plus the last bottle is glass, you have to shake just like the API, and tilt to 45 degrees to get the drop out (instead of the easier vertical plastic dropper bottle positioning for API).
Thank you, Daisy Mae. I guess for now I'll trust that my API kit is giving adequate readings.
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