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Old 12-18-2005, 10:58 AM   #1
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Test kits/probes

Hi again everyone!

Well, I've gotten the ole 90g full and to the proper salinity (refractometer says so anyhow) and every I've conducted test show's normal levels of ammonia/ph (there's really nothing in the tank atm cept water and salt and a couple pieces of base rock - LR to come sometime in the next week or so depending on availability and the holidays).

My question (this time!) is about test kits.
Am I the only one that finds these colored droplets and test tubes...archaic?
I can see their cost effectiveness vs a lab type of piece of machinery, but it just seems to me they could lend to innaccuracy.
Are there reliable mechanical (and somewhat reasonably priced) method to test ammonia, nitrates and nitrites?
I've found a decently priced pH probe (I have an aquatronica controller, so I will probably get the probe for that since I can control a release mechanism for adding a buffer if needs be), but nothing for ammonia.

And if there arn't any sort of gizmos for a consumer level, what's the BEST test kit one can get, that gives the most accurate and consistent results?

Just wanna do this right and catch problems before they get out of hand.

Thanks as always,


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Old 12-18-2005, 11:13 AM   #2
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For ammonia, there's a little sticker you can put on the inside of the glass that color changes based on the free ammonia levels. Not more accurate by any means, but less "archaic".

SeaTest and Salifert seem popular for chemical test kits. LaMotte is the really high end stuff.

After your start-up period, ammonia should always be 0, so unless it's hooked up to an alarm system, I don't see the purpose of constant monitoring of it.

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Old 12-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about testing ammonia and nitrite past the cycle. Other tests can only be done with various chemical reactions or titrations (such as Alk and Ca tests).
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
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Regular ammonia testing can be useful when treating a disease in the QT with antibiotics, or right after making a major change to the aquarium.
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