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Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35
  1. #1

    Default Test Strips VS API Liquid?


    0 Not allowed!
    Have been told that, even thou the water test strips aren't as accurate as the API Master Water Kit, b/c our tank is only a 5 gallon one, the test strips should be fine. It's ONLY a 5 gallon tank! I have read the "Good, Bad and the Ugly" about both the test strips and even using the Master Kit. We've been having our water tested at our local Petsmart and, of course, they use test strips. This is the only aquarium we will have, as our next pet will be a Shih Tzu dog. Actually, the aquarium took the place of getting the dog for now due to finances.

    So, what I'm wondering is two things:
    Test strips seem to get a "raw deal", but Beginner Aquarist's, who AREN'T going to be "Big-Time" Aquarist's w/multiple tanks, seem to buy them instead of the API Master Kit
    Who does use test strips in this forum and why they chose that over the API Master Kit?

  2. #2

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    I personally use the Master Kit, however I used it like 20-30 times when I first set the tank up and now rarely use it....

    You could look for someone like me that is local for you, and just buy it used off of them for half the cost

    Edit: PS... we all say that we are only going to have one tank... but then MTS (multiple tank syndrome) takes over and you have a few tanks pretty quick lol

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
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    Awards Showcase

    Asking good questions, keep it up! - Slaphppy7 Congrats on the tank move - Slaphppy7 Thanks for being the 2000th poster on the 40B! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the B-Day wish - Strider199 Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 
    T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Stay warm!! - DeboraBremner Here's to good friends, and new fish! - Slaphppy7 T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 
    Hey FT, haven't seen your mug around here lately.  Hope everything's ok! - KevinVA 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I use the API Master Kit because it is more accurate than the strips.
    Current tanks:
    37G FW - 3 Pearl Gourami, 4 Black Mollies, approximately 20+ Molly Fry, 5 Assassin Snails | 10G Planted FW - 14 Molly Fry, rocks, DW and an Anubias Nana - journal
    "We come from the land of the ice and snow" | "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage | What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
    How to cycle without fishies!

  4. #4

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I don't use either. I use something more accurate. That said, 5G or not, you will have living creatures in your care. You need only worry about ammonia and nitrates once the tank is cycled as well as using a dechloronator like Prime for each water change. Cost wise the API is cheaper to use.
    Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid.

    If your not angry, your not paying attention...

    150G FWLR (Morays) 75G Fresh (Assrtd) 24G Cube (Reef/Goby) 10G Fresh (Beta)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
    Posts
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    Happy Mother's Day! - Slaphppy7 For 7,000 posts!! - steeler58 Thanks for the rep!! - steeler58 For working with new fish keepers! Outstanding this month. - Taurus Just Because - Surfdog 
    A round for the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. - Compass I had no cup, so I put it on a bun... - Slaphppy7 You are amazing! So smart and giving. - SeaLady Can't give you any more rep, but well said! - steeler58 Thank again!! You seem to enjoy your coffee. - steeler58 
    Thanks for the rep!! - Compass this doesnt look like pie... not the right kind.. - Sandz for providing solid guidance to others - RiversGirl Thanks for the rep! :) - Compass cheers - Fishhook 
    Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass No Message - Fishhook beeeeeeeer! - Sandz Bottoms up! (even though you don't drink, lol) - Slaphppy7 We miss you... - Compass 

    Default


    7 Not allowed!
    The test stripes will be accurate when they are first opened and rapidly become less accurate as moisture in the air and oils from your hands come in contact with them. The API test kit is a hobby grade testing kit and in no way is it considered "big time", there are electronic testers that cost hundreds of dollars for the "big time", but API is good enough for this hobby. In the long run the API test kit is also far less expensive than strips considering how many tests you can perform with one kit.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  6. Default


    4 Not allowed!
    I agree with everyone and will add that smaller tanks - like a 5 gallon - present more opportunities for your water parameters to get out of wack. There just isn't enough water to disburse the toxins. So it's more important than ever to have an accurate water testing kit. In an established tank, you should always show 0 ammonia and nitrites and nitrates at 20.ppm or less. the only way you know what's going on in that tank is if you test the water. I even test water on a regular basis in my larger well established tanks.
    hi nitrate readings can tell you if you're over feeding, over stocked or not cleaning your tank and changing water often enough. Much better to find out with a simple test than with a sick or dead fish that something is out of wack.

    I'd go with the API liquid as I have little confidence in the strips over the long haul.

    In the meantime, weekly 50% water changes using a good conditioner and a good monthly gravel vac will help keep your fish healthy.
    Last edited by fishmommie; 01-28-2014 at 03:54 PM.
    30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, nerites & mystery snails
    15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
    90 g FW semi planted: Blood Parrots, severum, Jurupari, EBJD, congos, kribs, clown pleco, snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
    Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
    Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    hopefully this one shows up. - KingFisher It's the closest thing I could find to a snowflake. - Taurus Happy Birthday Girl. Wishing you many more. Ya thats why the Champagne is in play. hehehe - Strider199 For piping up - ~firefly~ Merry Christmas! - ~firefly~ 
    Merry Christmas - Cliff Merry Christmas - gadget228 Thank you and Happy Holidays! - KingFisher Merry x-mas and a Happy New Year Trillianne - Strider199 Happy New Year!!! - Rue 
    Thank you for the birthday wishes. - mommy1 Thanks for the B-Day wish - Strider199 Thanks for the Rep! - steeler1 Thanks, and one for you too. - mommy1 lol - 5 steps to gift giving.  We should eat more bananas... potassium and all that. - KevinVA 
    Here's to one crummy Superbowl, lol! - Slaphppy7 Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 No Message - Fishhook A Birthday Bunny. - gadget228 Thanks for the rep! :) - Compass 

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Depending on which strips you buy, they do not all test for the major components of cycling. (Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate). They may test for other factors like chlorine/gh/kh. For example, the API 5 in 1 strips kit does not test for Ammonia, yet this is the first toxic thing to occur in your fish tank cycle.

    As mommy previously mentioned, the longer the strips are exposed (opened) the less accurate they become over time.

    For a large outfit such as the Petsmart, they are going to go through the test strips rather rapidly as they have multiple tanks and multiple customers getting water tested. They are certainly easier to use as its just a dip and wait. No drops, no shaking of bottles. Its certainly something you can teach a high school person in a matter of an hour.

    As for the economics of the situation, to compare, the Petsmart website lists the 5 in 1 strips, Quantity of 25 for $15.99, plus you have to add on the Ammonia strips kit which for 25 is also $15.99 So we are now at $31.98 for 25 tests. They do sell the API master test kit, and although its presently on sale, the regular price is $24.74 and lists the tests as "over 800" Let's say that's per item we are testing for, and so divide that by 5 (PH high, PH Low, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate) and so that's 160 equivalent tests at $24.74.

    So over time, the accuracy of the liquid and the economy of the liquid test kit exceed that of the strips, and that is why the strips get such a "raw deal"

  8. #8

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    There is no comparison. The liquid is usually more money but a lot more accurate and will not give you false positives. You get what you pay for.

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Are you talking about using test strips for ammonia/nitrates/nitrites or just ph?

    Everyone will hate me for saying this buy if I have a few tanks that ran for about a year without testing the water. Sure its harder to control a 5 gallon, I have 5gallon tanks, but aslong as youre doing the right things like dechlorinating the tap water, water changes, not over feeding or overstocking, and most importantly keep an interest in maintaining your tank you shouldnt have any problems with your water quality. That being said, the first questions anyone is going to ask when you have any questions is; "whats your water parameters?", and when you dont have an answer nobody really wants to help anymore because it seems to them like youre not invested enough in the aquarium.

    If you dont buy tests youre not really going to know whats going on with your tank cycle, so best bet would be to add a minimal number of hardy fish, some plants, and hope for the best.

    Everyone seems to make things look hard but keeping fish is easy.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    A little further from sanity
    Posts
    8,117

    Awards Showcase

    Happy Mother's Day! - Slaphppy7 For 7,000 posts!! - steeler58 Thanks for the rep!! - steeler58 For working with new fish keepers! Outstanding this month. - Taurus Just Because - Surfdog 
    A round for the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. - Compass I had no cup, so I put it on a bun... - Slaphppy7 You are amazing! So smart and giving. - SeaLady Can't give you any more rep, but well said! - steeler58 Thank again!! You seem to enjoy your coffee. - steeler58 
    Thanks for the rep!! - Compass this doesnt look like pie... not the right kind.. - Sandz for providing solid guidance to others - RiversGirl Thanks for the rep! :) - Compass cheers - Fishhook 
    Using up my winnings on my friends! - Compass No Message - Fishhook beeeeeeeer! - Sandz Bottoms up! (even though you don't drink, lol) - Slaphppy7 We miss you... - Compass 

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    It isn't because we don't think you are investing enough in the hobby. It's because if you can't give us the information we need to answer we can't help.No one here is making anything look hard. I am always telling people to stop making things so difficult and don't over complicate things. It's the people I am talking to and trying to help that make things difficult on themselves and we help them to simplify things.
    Last edited by mommy1; 01-28-2014 at 05:02 PM.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


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