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Old 04-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
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Exclamation Not happy with testing tool

I just wanted to ask if anyone else has used the Mardel live ammonia tester that hangs in the tank. It has been reading cautionary levels of ammonia for almost a week now. I have done many 50% water changes and have been using ammo lock like crazy to try and ensure my fish don't swim in 3 mile island water. But I'm starting to question the reliability of this device, and I'm not thinking it is very accurate. my tank is new and is on about a month of cycling (with fish). Has anyone had this live ammonia meter, and have you encountered problems with it? Think I'll take some water to my LFS and let them test it, and I my buy the strips that you use fresh each time to try and ensure accuracy. Any info. appreciated. I'm dying to put real fish in my new tank, but want good water conditions.

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Old 04-06-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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I haven't heard anything about live ammonia tester but I'm guessing it would be more accurate just testing it yourself. The liquid test kits are supposed to be much more accurate than the test strips. You might want to invest in the liquid stuff for peace of mind.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Strips dont work, those things are very inaccurate.

I was told not to get the meter from my fish guys, its never accurate.


6-8 weeks is a normal cycling, what strips are you using? my jungles gave me majorly false readings, said I was 8.6+ on my Ph( got sand so its gona be high) took a water sample to em, 15 minutes later I had perfect water, the only thing I have been using is CYCLE.

Id invest in the real testing kit from doc wellfish or someone else now.

the strips said my nitrites and nitrates and ammonia were basically all that made up the water, took them the sample and I got discus perfect water.

Is your LFS independant or a chain?
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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I went to petsmart today, and had my water tested by them, and they said my water was fine. I thought it was that bad ammonia tester, so I bought my first parrot fish ($25 fish). When I brought him home and put him in the tank, he went straight to the bottom. He is hiding behind one of the plants and won't swim or do anything. Is he stressed or is my water bad? I hope he's o.k.

I bought an ammonia test and it says normal to mild stress levels. I wonder of that is enough to be causing the parrot to freak out, or if it's the temperature of the tank. I'm not sure what to do to make him perk up.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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I wouldn't really trust petsmart to test your water. The API liquid test kit is the best one according to everyone here. My fish hide too when they first get into my tank. The move can be stressful. Is your tank cycled? If it isn't it's probably not the best idea to have a 25 dollar fish in there. If you have ammonia in your tank do lots of water changes to keep the ammonia down. I'm new to this hobby but I've gotten lots of helpful advice from this forum. I'm sure someone with more experience will come along and give you some great advice. Do lots of reading an googling.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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isn't a parrot fish a saltwater fish?
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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no, there are freshwater parrots too, usually red parrots, cychlids I think.

Did petsmart use the strips? if so take it somewhere else, most LFS's do test with the drop kit rather then the inaccurate strips. I made the strip mistake, the reading were way off.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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I've been to petsmart a few times in the past month, and I've noticed these pH meters are like "on sale to clear".. meaning that they want to get rid of them. I can't imagine how something like this could be accurate. You'd be better off with a liquid test kit like Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
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