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To figure out CO2 levels, you need to know your kH and pH. KH can be pretty static, I bought a test kit a couple of years back and it hasn't changed at all. Maybe getting the water tested at a LFS would be enough to get a base line.

For pH, I recommend an electronic tester. They are getting pretty cheap, and are much better than guessing a color. You need some 7.01 calibration solution to calibrate the probe, and perhaps keep it moist.

When using tap water, I don't see much value in a GH test, like kH, you could get it tested at a LFS, or look at your water report if you get one.

The premise behind EI is "no testing", but if you are curious or want to establish a base line, I'd recommend a NO3 and PO4 kit. Some tap waters have considerable amounts of either, so you could adjust dosing accordingly.
 

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What would you recommend for an electronic tester that won't break the bank? :)

Are these actually better than standard liquid-based test kits that use titration?
 

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Much better precision. Plus it is easier to read a number than compare colors. Plus you don't have to mess with potentially dangerous chemicals.

I am not in the market right now... so I don't want to recommend anything specific, maybe someone who has done some research can chime in. A good starting point would be DrsFostersmith.com or Marinedepot.com and just check out what they have and how much they are. Brands like Hanna, Milwaukee, Pinpoint, I am sure there are a few others. Once you found one that you like do some googling for good prices, maybe ebay, whatever you feel comfortable with.
 

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They have electronic testers at pool and spa supply places too, but they are still kinda expensive.
 

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Aquatic Eco-Systems has a good selection of electronic pH meters. They will price match also. pH Meters
 
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