Which test kit to buy? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Which test kit to buy?

Ok guys, so i have recently set up a plant tank and i want to get a water test kit that includes all of the major water parameters...

Which kit do you guys recommend? I'd preferably like to buy a kit that comes with all the different tests but i wouldn't be opposed to buying them seperately...

Also, whats better - liquid type tests or stick type tests?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 09:41 PM
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liquid
and don't bother with Fe
Get kH gH pH NO3 NH4 and take the PO4 with a grain of salt
Many of them are bad....my experience. If something seems wrong, question it. LaMotte has good kits but are pricey. Someone else may have a better alternative. I think outside a lab most of them stink...
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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any reason not to bother with Fe? is that cause i would need to dose it daily anyways?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 09:48 PM
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FE test kit is just a waste of money, PH and KH is the most imporatnt kit especially when you're running a DIY, i suggest buying Aquarium pharmaceuticals for the test kit

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2006, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fresh_newby
liquid
and don't bother with Fe
Get kH gH pH NO3 NH4 and take the PO4 with a grain of salt
Many of them are bad....my experience. If something seems wrong, question it. LaMotte has good kits but are pricey. Someone else may have a better alternative. I think outside a lab most of them stink...
any reason not to buy a Fe test? are someone erratic levels not too big of a deal with iron?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2006, 01:04 AM
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With any of the test kits we can get at a reasonable price the accuracy is questionable. The tests for NO3, PO4, Fe are notorious for not being accurate at all. If you want to use them, and want to rely upon them, you have to calibrate them and make sure they will read accurately in the range you are interested in. It does no good if the lowest usable reading on a NO3 test is 20 ppm, for example. Since the ppm of iron we want is so low, it would be asking an awful lot for a cheap test kit to be able to read that low. And, the same is true for PO4.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2006, 10:56 PM
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what you need to do if you want to ensure accuracy in your test kits is set up a control. Make a solution with blank ppms of (nitrates, potassium, phosphorus) and test it with your test kit. This will let you see how accurate your test kit is as that concentration of what you are testing for. Go from there and adjust your results when you test your water accordingly. However with EI you really don't need to test for much. Maybe just kH.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2006, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agdavis
any reason not to buy a Fe test? are someone erratic levels not too big of a deal with iron?
Unless you have a lab with chromatopgraphy or a mass spec, the Fe kits you buy in the store will not be accurate...period.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2006, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh_newby
Unless you have a lab with chromatopgraphy or a mass spec, the Fe kits you buy in the store will not be accurate...period.
Atomic absorption AA is a fav for metals.
We use that for Copper.

See other Fe test thread recently.

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Tom Barr




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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2006, 06:15 PM
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you are right...heavy metals....
my point being such traces are most accurate in the lab, not in a crappy store-bought kit...they misrepresent the accuracy and hobbyists erroneously rely way too much on them
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