API Testing and Seriously Fish

itiwhetu

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Really you guys need to start to get a grip of this hobby.
1. Promoting the API master test kit over the API test strips is nonsense who cares really and what do you ever do with the information you gain. I have only ever used the test strips. Zero Nitrites and zero Nitrates = zero Ammonia. Move on.
2. "Seriously Fish" Neon Tetra pH 4-7.5 hardness 18-215ppm. That means a Neon Tetra will live in any freshwater tank regardless of its chemistry.
So therefore, as I have been looking at " Seriously Fish " every fish I have looked at will live in any tank that has fresh water, so please explain why test for anything. There is no point. " Seriously Fish " says it will survive in your tank.
Why spend money on a test kit that will tell you something about your tank. But then you will go to, "Seriously Fish" and it will say that's fine your fish will survive anyhow, so why test in the first place.
 

wasmewasntit

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I regard to the test kit, I respectfully disagree.

The strips are better than nothing but they are notoriously inacurate, often giving false positives. This is not good for those doing cycling on their aquariums as it can and does lull people, especially newbies, into a sense of false security and make them think their cycle is done...when infact it isn't and that in turn ends up with dead or dying fish due to poor water chemistry.

Nothing will ever be perfect in regard to testing but the liquid tests are more accurate and have a better shelf life and are generally easier to read than the strips....not just that, but when using the strips it is very easy to get them all wet by accident and that ruins the entire packet (not everyone has a steady hand with a skinny piece of paper)
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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A clear result on a test strip is a zero. No color is a zero. Easy as that if it changes color, you don't have a zero. I don't see how you need to be more accurate than that, because you are only looking for a zero result.
 

Obsessed with fish

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Tell me when you test your tank, what are you going to do with the information you gain?
If the ammonia, nitrite and ph is fine I'll leave it. If the ammonia or nitrites to high ill do 3, 50% water changes. If my ph is to low ill add a tiny amount of bi carbon soda. If there ph is to high ill add java moss to the filter.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I started with the new (to me) test strips, to see if they'd improved over the years. They don't appear to have done so.
They were okay, but from my own lab experiences, I prefer the liquid tests.

The strips are cheap and cheerful and the 5 in 1 definitely appeals. I notice that nearly all newcomers start off with the strips, as I did.

Moving onto the liquid tests, whilst I appreciate the point that the only ammonia and nitrite reading you're wanting to see is zero, which can be clearly evident of the strips, I also had a curiosity about the range and rate of changes occurring during my cycling process. For these, I wanted the reassurance and increased apparent accuracy of the liquid testing.
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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I started with the new (to me) test strips, to see if they'd improved over the years. They don't appear to have done so.
They were okay, but from my own lab experiences, I prefer the liquid tests.

The strips are cheap and cheerful and the 5 in 1 definitely appeals. I notice that nearly all newcomers start off with the strips, as I did.

Moving onto the liquid tests, whilst I appreciate the point that the only ammonia and nitrite reading you're wanting to see is zero, which can be clearly evident of the strips, I also had a curiosity about the range and rate of changes occurring during my cycling process. For these, I wanted the reassurance and increased apparent accuracy of the liquid testing.
Fair enough, you had a reason for the liquid tests which is valid. I have only every tested a tank to see if something had died, so I'm looking for zeros, any color is not good.
 

xxBarneyxx

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A clear result on a test strip is a zero. No color is a zero. Easy as that if it changes color, you don't have a zero. I don't see how you need to be more accurate than that, because you are only looking for a zero result.
I have raised this on the unpopular opinions thread before but completely agree.

As long as whatever test kit you have gives an accurate reading for Zero it doesn't really matter what a non-zero reading is, except for nitrates. Any amount of ammonia or nitrite and you are going to be doing the same thing anyway, big water changes until it is zero. Nitrites just needs to show <10 and <20 in my opinion. If its higher then 10 I know something has gone wrong. Having said that though once my tank is cycled and running for awhile I never bother testing anyway.

That is only if the test strips are accurate for their zero readings though (most the ones I have used are).

PH/GH, etc, most of the time you only need to know what your tap water parameters are. I do like to test my tank water once it has been running a few weeks. That's mostly because I use things that could potentially effect these parameters though and want to know how much they have drifted,

Regarding Seriously fish..... Yeah you make a very good point. Honestly I had skipped over a lot of info for the fish I knew about. Looking at a couple of fish on there now and the water hardness in particular seems to be incorrect for a lot of them.

Generally I try and use multiple sources anyway but I will be much more careful with what sites I recommend in the future.
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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I have raised this on the unpopular opinions thread before but completely agree.

As long as whatever test kit you have gives an accurate reading for Zero it doesn't really matter what a non-zero reading is, except for nitrates. Any amount of ammonia or nitrite and you are going to be doing the same thing anyway, big water changes until it is zero. Nitrites just needs to show <10 and <20 in my opinion. If its higher then 10 I know something has gone wrong. Having said that though once my tank is cycled and running for awhile I never bother testing anyway.

That is only if the test strips are accurate for their zero readings though (most the ones I have used are).

PH/GH, etc, most of the time you only need to know what your tap water parameters are. I do like to test my tank water once it has been running a few weeks. That's mostly because I use things that could potentially effect these parameters though and want to know how much they have drifted,

Regarding Seriously fish..... Yeah you make a very good point. Honestly I had skipped over a lot of info for the fish I knew about. Looking at a couple of fish on there now and the water hardness in particular seems to be incorrect for a lot of them.

Generally I try and use multiple sources anyway but I will be much more careful with what sites I recommend in the future.
I think we only need to be looking for indicators rather than an actual number with tests. I am surprised at what I find on " Seriously Fish"
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I have trouble with binary results, as they tend to miss a wealth of potential detail and information and that information can be useful, if applied with knowledge.
For example, following a discourse with Tetra and Microbe-Lift, I learned that both companies, whilst possessing the means to accurately measure bacterial growth, are reluctant to share those techniques for commercial reasons.
A tool 'may' be in development and 'may' be released sometime in the future, but until then...

So the only reasonable tool I have at my disposal, (as I am short of slides, stains and a microscope), is to measure the biochemistry...and the liquid tests facilitate this.
Many times we hear of an ammonia 'spike' and, whilst genuine spikes do occur, sometimes there is a build up in levels, or there are other things going on in the water. Again, a liquid test would show this more effectively than a strip.
 

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