How inaccurate are test strips? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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How inaccurate are test strips?

Everybody talks about test strips being inacurate ,what I would like to know is ,in what way? Do they show LESS (NO2,NO3 ,PH ,GH) ,whatever ,than there actually IS in the water ,or MORE than there actually is?

I tested with JBL and Tetra strips at the same time , in the same water ,and the colours were identical....I only have Ammonia liquid tests.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 09:21 PM
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I've compared strips to my API liquid kit a few times. Typically they showed more ammonia, nitrite, nitrate than the liquid kit. That's only my experience though, have no supporting data and no explanation why.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod12 View Post
I've compared strips to my API liquid kit a few times. Typically they showed more ammonia, nitrite, nitrate than the liquid kit. That's only my experience though, have no supporting data and no explanation why.
I kinda imagined the same thing.Since they are cheaper ,easier to use ,thus dedicated to a larger number of aquarists (which includes amateurs ,people who keep aquariums only for decoration purposes ,etc)....the strips lay on the 'worry' side more ,so they can draw their attention like"better safe than sorry".??

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:28 PM
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Strips may be sold for less but they are actually way more expensive than liquid test kits. Ballpark guess, 25 strips for $15. I bought my API master test kit for around $25 but I will probably get hundreds of tests from each reagent. Not just 25. I think the strips are more advertised as a convenient testing method.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:32 PM
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The only thing I'd use those strips on was a pool or hot tub lol

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrod12 View Post
Strips may be sold for less but they are actually way more expensive than liquid test kits. Ballpark guess, 25 strips for $15. I bought my API master test kit for around $25 but I will probably get hundreds of tests from each reagent. Not just 25. I think the strips are more advertised as a convenient testing method.
Indeed they are more expensive in the long run.....

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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The only thing I'd use those strips on was a pool or hot tub lol

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Off topic ,but can you reccomend a good brand of bubble bath product?

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 11:51 PM
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Well besides 25 test for 27$ for the strips here, and 800 test for 27 dollars for the liquid, I've had the strips show both WAY Higher and WAY Lower results then my liquid kits.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 12:12 AM
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My experience was the test strip showed way lower than actual. It showed normal for me for a while but my nerite snail jumped ship. Then I realized something was wrong. I then got api kit and my nitrate was of the charts. Never again


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 12:37 AM
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That seems to be the problem with strips- they aren't reliable indicators. They show less, more, the same. You can't adjust for it. They are both inaccurate (although not all the time), and inconsistent. Terrible combo for our little boxes of water.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 12:47 AM
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I've seen weirdly inaccurate results both ways...my biggest knock is that the strips were never consistent with other strips, even within the same package. I've heard they can be influenced just by the moisture in the air but not sure how valid that is...
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:01 AM
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There are many ways they can be thrown off. Most of the time moisture can come into contact whenever you open the cap on the package/bottle of strips and then they will "spoil" somewhat, and they have a higher average for margin of error in telling precisely what color it is whereas a liquid test kit you can hold the card behind and almost get the exact answer.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepswithdafishez View Post
Off topic ,but can you reccomend a good brand of bubble bath product?
No, can't help you there tiger, good luck in your search.

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