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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I already have the API master test kit, but it seems as though you also need to measure hardness, so I can buy the bottles of that from API and it'll work just fine right?

and for TDS, can I use one of the cheapo ones on amazon($15), or do have to buy like a $100 dollar one

I have no intention of raising/breeding any finicky shrimp, just mid-grade RCS and maybe mid-grade Blue Velvets, so I only need it to be accurate enough to know when I need to do a water change, that's all.
 

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For most all shrimp (plural, one S) keeping, you'll definitely need to understand the hardness of your water. Both kH and gH. API can work for that and it's often fine for beginners. But if you stick around the hobby for long, you'll eventually graduate to a better quality kit. Since you'll be keeping Neocaridina and you just want to determine your tap water parameters, API will be fine. Then you'll have an idea of what your hardness is all the time.

Any TDS meter from $5-$15 will be fine. Just get some calibration solution to go with it. It's really not necessary for Neos but it's nice to have in general in the aquarium hobby overall.

Just stick to a water change schedule no matter your water parameters. Once weekly at 10-15% is usually good. After several months, you might drop that to once every two weeks or so. Just really depends on the tank. But stability is key. I recommend every week, same day, roughly the same time. Make it a habit. Don't rush through it - spread it out over the course of 30min or so. That way you have time to watch everything and enjoy your tank. It almost becomes a cathartic practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info!

Just one more question, will the 343 ppm stuff work? Or do I need to find a calibration solution with a lower ppm rating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Amazon has a deal at the moment and has been running it for the last several days. PH & TDS pens for $16.64. CHEAP PENS
Yea I saw that, I read the reviews and it seems like the ph pen was just a waste of money, and I saw a $15 one the even reefers were using, so I got that instead, I believe it was the hm tds-3
 

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pH meters aren't worth your time unless you're buying at least a $100-$200 probe system that stays perpetually in your tank. It requires roughly monthly calibration. If you remove the probe and it's still good, it has to be stored in solution.

The cheap handheld units require calibration before each use and must be stored in a solution between uses in order to maintain probes.

I've been at this most of my life. Have a ton of tanks filled primarily with the most complicated shrimp available in the hobby. Marine/reef, too. Never needed a pH probe despite owning a few. They've only really been useful for me when monitoring CO2.

TDS meters are great, though.
 

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Yea I saw that, I read the reviews and it seems like the ph pen was just a waste of money, and I saw a $15 one the even reefers were using, so I got that instead, I believe it was the hm tds-3
Wow!, I didn't see the reviews on that one. They must have put out a seriously bad batch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tbh, like what @somewhatshocked said about the handheld ph pens, there were probably very few people who calibrated and stored them right, leading to the 1-star reviews, so maybe if you treated that thing like it was your mother, keeping it in solution and all that, maybe it would work great, but at that point, the practicality is gone.
 
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