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Old 07-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #1
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What's wrong with strips?

I keep hearing that testing with strips, especially nitrogen testing, is not accurate. While I have my liquid Master Test Kit, I keep wondering why people here seems to not trust strips for daily/weekly testing.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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strips are very inaccurate and are always way off the scale
testing with a good liquid master kit will give you a more accurate reading
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
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I have heard that as well. I'm doing an experiment to see if I can determine the degree of inaccuracy with nitrogen (nitrate) and pH and what causes those inaccuracies. So far, unless I contaminate it by, say, laying it directly on a table (which allows trash on the table to wick to the pads) they seem to be decently accurate.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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Ive never used them, so I cant say I have any first hand experience. I can say that the local PetCo uses them and they're readings were always a little off from my liquid test kit readings when I was first starting in the hobby. I haven't compared in a while though.
Maybe the strips can go stale or bad after a while from exposure to the air? I'm curious about what you'll find out with your experiment. There are a lot of "truths" in this hobby that turn out to be baseless opinions that have just been repeated ad nauseam... often to the point where people stop questioning them. Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:36 AM   #5
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I've had great readings using Tetra Easy Strips 6-in-1 test strips. I've used the API test strips and found they weren't very accurate, so I stick with Tetra's. The KH and PH are iffy on the Tetra strips, but they give you an idea of what's going on so you can determine if it's worth doing a liquid test or not. So from my experience, using test strips is just fine and worthwhile. Leave the liquid test for when a detailed reading is imperative (i.e. sick fish, cycle out of whack). Just remember to keep your strips sealed in the bottle.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:42 AM   #6
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I do have to admit they're useful in flagging spikes such as nitrite, when I first started this thing we call "a hobby" I was using test strips only and they'd always show nitrite. Not a definitive value but a cue none the less..

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Old 07-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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I've found the API test strips were ok on kh, not sure on gh, very broadly matching on ph and tend to under read for nitrite and nitrate.
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