5 IN 1 test strips?? anybody used before? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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5 IN 1 test strips?? anybody used before?

http://www.petsolutions.com/5+in+1+T...002054-C-.aspx
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 06:19 PM
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I have used them in the past, not very accurate and very difficult to read. Just buy the individual test


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 06:22 PM
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I agree with bigstick120. They are not real accurate.

But I do keep a bottle around just so that if I am traveling, and need my wife or kids to take a reading for me, they can use those.

Which is another way of saying, they are better than nothing. But for regular use, get the individual tests.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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so which is the best test kit on the market rit now?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 07:58 PM
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There's a loaded question. I can't answer what is best, but I do know what I've settled on because I'm happy with them. So there's plenty I didn't like, but I don't remember what they are... I always just get the same thing now that I've found stuff that works for me.

It's worth noting that many of the tests I use are not only because of reliability (within reason, and assuming fresh kits), but because I am comfortable with the colors. My color vision is not good, and test kits that make me pick between things like light pink vs. medium pink vs. just a little dark pink make me crazy. I'm big on kits with easily discernible color changes. I use:

Tetra NO3 for Nitrates
Red Sea PO4 for Phosphates
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals for GH, KH, and pH

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 12:17 AM
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I use that Mardel kit all the time to check for nitrates.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combo30101
I use them as a quick indicater. You can do 5 tests in less than two minutes. To do these same tests individually with regular test kits may take 10 to 15 minutes. I like this part because it tells me if I'm in the ball park or not. If something tests out of spec, I'll use my other test kits to really check the amounts. I like these strips for a quick "down and dirty" view. Actually I've found these test strips as accurate as my test kits. I haven't used any other brand though. I keep these test strips as well as various test kits around.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 02:54 PM
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I agree with Left C. I have used both, sometimes side by side for comparison. If anything, I have found the 5 in one strips to be MORE accurate. The PH reading on my strips is consistently 7 to 7.2, which is in line with the local water department's information. The PH drops and test tubes kits has read off the chart on the "low PH" test, and different every time on the "high PH test."

The strips are faster, less labor intensive. Less mess if your cats decide to jump into the middle of everything to see what you're doing.

IMO, you should just have the drops and bottles kits for the ESSENTIALS, as a backup in case you get questionable readings on your strips, like a sudden, unexplained jump or decline in a parameter that's usually stable.

I just wish they made strips to test for CO2, Iron, and Phosphates.

L
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