View Full Version : Water Testing Kits: Which ones are best?
09-19-2006, 05:26 PM
Ive generally only relied on my PH, and Amonia test kits, Although im looking to get some test kits later this week for Nitrate, Nitrite, Water Hardness, etc. The only test's Ive really seen are the color chart type tests like Aquarium Pharmacuticals tests. I dont really like how these tests are read, as alot of the colors are very similar and hard to distinguish when looking at them in the test tube. Is there a better option for Water test kits than these type of tests? Is there some sort of a digital tester that can test all of these fields, even if it is much more expensive? What tests do you guys use? Thanks
09-19-2006, 10:49 PM
Some places think they need to charge $40 for their test kits. I think it's nuts. I get mine at PetSmart which is the pH, nitrates, nitrites and ammonia. I have to send for them but generally by the time I need a new kit, I also have other things I need to order. Mine cost $14.
09-20-2006, 04:10 AM
are you using the standard Color coded chart tests? Probably from "Aquarium Pharmacuticles"?
I hate this color chart mess. Just today, after revising my C02 injection method yesterday to help it to absorb into the water much more efficiently, I tested my PH with this type of test. I could tell my PH had dropped a good .5 or so points, but due to the color's on the chart looking too similar, I cant really tell if my PH is 6.8 or 7.2. The color of the test sample in the tube could really match any of the colors in a good .5 - .7 gap. I want something much more accurate than this, I would like to be able to know exactly what my PH is, without having to try and guess at it. I'm fearing all the other tests im looking to pick up later this week will be the same way. They are good for giving you a general idea of what your levels are, but in my opinion the results of these color chart type tests is too broad. I was wondering ifthere was any more accurate way of testing. Ive looked for more advanced Test kits and havent been able to find anything.
09-20-2006, 05:07 AM
I found this info on test kits:
Test kit methods:
1. Color comparison
Most test kits use color comparison charts to give you the reading of what you are testing. The chemical reagent is added to the water sample and the color develops within a certain time period. This color is then matched to the matching color in the chart to tell you the reading
Titration test kits use a color change to indicate the reading. A liquid reagent is added slowly drop by drop into the aquarium water sample until a color change occurs. Usually the number of drops needed to cause the color change is the reading. This type of testing is more accurate than color comparison.
3. Digital / Electronic monitors
These electronic microprocessors take information from the aquarium water by a probe placed in the fish tank. They convert the information from the probe into a digital reading displayed on a central monitor. These monitors can be connected to controllers that will automatically adjust the water conditions to whatever you set them for. These are the most accurate and expensive testing devices available.
I found some digital testers online for about $100 USD, but it's only for pH.
There are many types of color testers that are better than the dip pads. A search on google showed me lots of them at far better prices than the digital reader.
09-20-2006, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the Info. Looks like ill be stuck with the color chart. I was hoping there was some other, more accurate means.
If there was a digital mete that read everything, not just the PH, i would probably be willing to spend the $100 USD on it. But, just for pH.... No thanks.
Thanks again for the info.
09-20-2006, 05:30 PM
no problem. I went on a search a couple of weeks ago because I too couldn't distinguish what color matched the best. Sometimes I'd even have a shade that didn't match any of the colors on the chart.
I'll definitely come tell you guys here if ever I come across one that is better.
09-21-2006, 05:55 AM
Tornado along with a good test kit be sure to buy a good dated journal. The chemicals are only have of the requirement for a "good" test kit. Being about to use the results to determine if and what the problem is. With proper journaling you will start to notice trends and its easier to remember the reason if its written down. For example if every spring you notice a huge algea bloom you can tract how you treated it and how it affect the pH, kH, salinity and so on. It is the more important part of testing i think.
12-30-2006, 06:16 PM
I hope I'm not out of line here, being a brand new user of the forums, so please let me know if this isn't acceptable. Anyhow, I run a health and wellness business, and one of our products had an addon sale item which was a TDS meter, we sell a ton of them, and started getting questions about pH meters too, so we branched out into those as well. Right now, we have a great electronic pH meter that we sell for $24.95 and TDS meters as low as $15.95 which from what I understand, are pretty good prices. Our meters are located at...
I hope this helps.
If this post goes against any of the forum rules, please let me know, and feel free to delete it.
12-30-2006, 07:41 PM
One thing to remember when you do the tests is to let it sit for about 10 minutes. You can't just test and dump as it takes a while for the colors to change completely. If it's hard to really distinquish the color, hold the glass beaker up to the light.
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