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I have the API master kit but the ammonia test on this one just isn’t good. Always shows .25 even when I test water that’s at 0. I used to use salifert when I did saltwater, but looking at reviews of their ammonia test kits show many complaints about inaccurate results.

Are there any good brads of test strips, just for a quick daily check? Mostly interested in good ammonia/nitrate results.
 

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I have found that the Tetra Test Strips are very accurate compared to the API Master Test Kit. Heres a video Cory from Aquarium Co-Op did on comparing the tetra test strips and the API Master test kit.
In this video it shows that the two testing methods come back with very simmilar results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have found that the Tetra Test Strips are very accurate compared to the API Master Test Kit. Heres a video Cory from Aquarium Co-Op did on comparing the tetra test strips and the API Master test kit.
In this video it shows that the two testing methods come back with very simmilar results.
Thanks, wish it had ammonia too.
 

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I use the Tetra ammonia test strips , from Amazon , and they are comparable to API master kit . I use them to see if I need to go with the liquid tests .
 
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I get mystery pH test strips that I didn't order sent to me from China. They have Chinese postage. It's happened twice at two different addresses. I don't get charged. Everything is in Chinese so I don't know who's doing it.

As for the question, "Are there any good brands of test strips, just for a quick daily check?" I'm not so sure. I used to get excited about test strips until I learned they're not very accurate. But using them as a daily check is an interesting idea.
 

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I get mystery pH test strips that I didn't order sent to me from China. They have Chinese postage. It's happened twice at two different addresses. I don't get charged. Everything is in Chinese so I don't know who's doing it.

As for the question, "Are there any good brands of test strips, just for a quick daily check?" I'm not so sure. I used to get excited about test strips until I learned they're not very accurate. But using them as a daily check is an interesting idea.
You might be getting them as a set up to bump an online seller's ratings.... This happened with seed packets where I live. People kept getting random Chinese seed packets, everything written in Chinese (I don't read the language so I don't know if it was mandarin or cantonese) and they never ordered any seeds. It was investigated and they found people were hacking amazon accounts, ordering from their own shop, paying for it with their own money then writing amazing reviews for themselves therefore pulling in more orders to their shops. Don't know if this is what's happened to you but it sounded eerily similar.
 

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Test strips are not reliable, but that is a relative statement. Most of the liquid/instrument based test kits we use in this hobby give us a good indication of what is going on, as we generally don't need lab instrument precision. However, test strips will do little more than give you an idea of the direction that the parameter may be heading, if you have a previous test strip result to use as a baseline.
 

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I ran dissolved nutrients in a seawater chemistry lab for 7+ years. Probably ran 10,000 samples. NH4, NO2, NO3, PO4, SiO2. Ammonia is a tricky one to measure. It takes a long time for the reagents to react completely - took about 15 minutes on the very old (analog) instrument I used while NO2 took about 90 seconds. Also was very finicky at low levels, although my idea of "low levels" is probably a lot lower than most aquarists would care about (parts per billion - way below detection limits of any liquid test kit). So I'm not super surprised that ammonia might read off at low levels. Try waiting a bit longer before reading your results. Follow the directions on the bottle to the letter - if it says to shake for X minutes, don't short change it. Also make sure there are no sources of volatile ammonia around the house - did anyone just clean the bathroom or kitchen? Sounds funny but I had to rerun about 20 samples once because I dripped one drop of ammonium hydroxide outside the hood in the lab. Samples picked it up from the air and went offscale within minutes.

We would use test strips for pH occasionally and high quality ones can be pretty accurate for broad brush ideas of what the pH is but if we wanted accuracy the pH meter came out!
 
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