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Old 05-01-2008, 09:18 AM   #1
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Reading ammonia test results

Do you hold the tube against the white part of the color chart? Hold it up to the light? Look at it in natural light? Do you ever pay attention to its color as you pour it down the drain??

Just wanting to make sure I'm accurately interpreting results. Sometimes it looks greener when I pour it in the sink, but that might be due to the color of the sink or whatever residue is in the sink.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:34 AM   #2
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Hold it against the white on the card and have good light around you in the room. The tests aren't 100% accurate, so some variation in what you see isn't going to make a huge difference.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
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The white part of the card in a well lit room (natural light is best).
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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I called API customer service so, if that's what you're using, I'll pass on what they said. They verified the colors using fluorescent lights so, for best results, hold the test tube and card under a fluorescent light. Second best is some other artificial light. Hold the test tube against the white of the card, not just in front of it.
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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Also make sure the light source is behind you. I find it's easiest to look get a couple people's opinions.

My fiance laughs, I tell her "Got another colorblindness test for ya!" She say "Oh Geeze, bring it over."

Me: "Whadaya think?"
Her: "It's so hard to tell, I think it's in between this shade of (insert color here) and this shade."
Me: "Give me a number."
Her: "Okay, 6.4!"

I'll take her number and my number and average them if they're not the same.

I HATE TEST KITS! THey really are soooo hard to tell. THe only ones that are easy for me are Ammonia (b/c it's usually zero or .25) and the rest are just impossible! I don't know if it's just that I'm colorblind, or indecisive, or just wish there was a more accurate way than grading shades of color.

Still, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. is much easier than the test strips, though that is not saying much.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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It reminds me of 25 years ago when I had to read my blood glucose test strips by holding them up next to the can they came in. Ever since electronic meters came out, things are a lot easier. All they need to do is invent a meter for aquariums too!
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt420dude View Post
wish there was a more accurate way than grading shades of color.
Me too! Like a digital number readout would be awesome! I mean, I'm already paranoid about my fish...why make it so ambiguous? Just imagine if there was a test that worked like a thermometer. You could even have it in the tank and it would give you real time digital readings on water parameters!

I'm using the API test kit.

Thank you ALL for your advice. Good to hear from the API customer service too!
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
All they need to do is invent a meter for aquariums too!
lol, we were posting at the same time
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Also make sure the light source is behind you.
Why is that? Easier to read or more accurate that way? I've been holding them under the light but I didn't ask API about that.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
All they need to do is invent a meter for aquariums too!
Actually they already have. The problem is that most of us can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars to buy them.
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