Comprehensive and speedy reply from Gary Jones corporate and scientific affairs manager for Mars Fishcare
''Your question is one that we always welcome. All test kits have a shelf life in which the chemicals degrade. No competitor can say that a test kit will read correctly forever.
Mars Fishcare is the industry leader in testing without exception. Many of our solutions are used for both freshwater and saltwater testing while some are designed exclusively for freshwater. Many of our reagent bottles are used in various kits under API and PondCare brands. In some situations you will notice that two color charts are provided one for freshwater and one for saltwater while other kits have one color chart for both. The need for two color charts is based on chemistry. However you can read the lot number on any kit and determine the manufacturing date. The last four digits represent the month and year of production. So 26a1007 would be produced in October 2007.
Our determined expiration dates are established under extreme conditions. The test kits expiration dates are first established under constant conditions of 40 degree Celsius with 75% humidity for an extended period of time. Our retention samples, which we have for five years of every batch of every product that we make, are also kept in a room with elevated temperatures. This ensures that if the test kits or water conditioners are kept under less extreme conditions that they may exceed our established expiration dating but we suggest following the recommended expiration dating listed below. Some retailers feel using worst case conditions are too conservative, we do not. Some retailers and distributors of our products continue to insist that expiration dates not be placed on the product for this reason. We continue to evaluate this and requests like yours helps us to guide our decisions in the future, for this I thank you.
Test Solutions Expiration Date
PondCare Wide Range pH Test Solution - 3 Years
Ammonia Test Solution # 1 - 3 Years
Ammonia Test Solution # 2 - 3 Years
High Range pH Indicator Solution - 3 Years
Nitrate Test Solution # 1 - 3 Years
Nitrate Test Solution # 2 - 3 years
GH Test Solution - 3 Years
Calcium Test Solution #1 - 3 Years
Calcium Test Solution #2 - 3 Years
Phosphate Test Solution #1 - 3 Years
Phosphate Test Solution #2 - 3 Years
Copper Test Solution - 3 Years
KH Test Solution - 4 Years
Nitrite Test Solution - 4 Years
Fresh Water pH Indicator Solution - 5 Years