Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-06-2021, 10:16 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 4
Possibly a mistake on my teststrips

I recently bought a new brand of test strips for my freshwater aquarium and it had two squares for the KH, but the two squares had different names(Total alkalinity and Carbonate), but the two squares also had different ppm readings! Please let me know if you have any idea what this might mean.

__________________
Jayleth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 02:43 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,075
That does seem odd. Can you post a picture. The 2 types of hardness usually measured are carbonate hardness and total hardness. My understanding is that Alkalinity and carbonate hardness are slightly different but in reference to aquariums are considered to be the same thing.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 11:21 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,043
It is a confusing one. Alkalinity is the waters buffering capacity i.e it’s ability to neutralise hydrogen ions and resist pH change.

There are many ions that contribute to total alkalinity. Phosphates, nitrates and silicates etc but the main contributor to alkalinity is carbonates.

In waste water treatment it is said that it takes 7.14ppm of alkalinity as calcium carbonate to nitrify 1ppm of ammonia. Thus as the tank ages, the buffering capacity is used up, hydrogen ions are no longer neutralised and the carbonate equilibrium falls in favour of the hydrogen ion and pH declines. Because there is no alkalinity and thus (in theory) no nitrification ammonium goes up. This is the non toxic state of ammonia. Its is kept non toxic because if the low pH. If you than decide to do a water change or add a carbonate buffer the buffering capacity rises and hydrogen ions are neutralised. The carbonate equilibrium shifts and pH rises. A build up of ammonium now becomes toxic free ammonia and causes acute toxicity and death. This is where the term ‘old tank syndrome’ comes from.

As new studies and information emerges it is becoming clear that there are many microbes that can contribute to nitrification that differ between waste water and aquarium filters who’s growth are dictated by many factors. This throws the whole 7.14ppm alkalinity per 1ppm ammonia statement with respect to aquariums in to question.

Carbonate hardness KH is the carbonate part of alkalinity.

The API KH test kit actually measures alkalinity.
__________________
Caliban07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 06:55 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 4
[ATTACH][ATTACH]Click image for larger version

Name:	20210907_171858.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	197.5 KB
ID:	321766[/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
These are the pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20210907_171743.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	227.3 KB
ID:	321764   Click image for larger version

Name:	20210907_171841.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	154.1 KB
ID:	321765  

__________________
Jayleth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 02:32 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,075
Looking at their products they do numerous testing kits for numerous different scenarios. Pool test kits, aquarium, urine etc. I think they probably just throw a load of semi-relevant tests on a strip as a marketing gimic. "We have a 9 in 1 test strip everyone elses only has 5 or 6 in 1 tests," even if a lot of the tests dont really tell you much. 1 test not included is ammonia.

Like i said alkalinity and carbonate hardness are generally considered the same thing in aquariums even though they are slightly different. They probably have a test for each and just threw them both on even if they will both tell you pretty much the same thing.

Noticeably a lot of the reviews on that product are pretty poor, and the general impression within the hobby is that liquid tests are more accurate than strips. I would recommend a basic liquid test over strips even if it doesnt cover all the bells and whistles of a 9 in 1 test strip.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 07:16 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Caliban07's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Looking at their products they do numerous testing kits for numerous different scenarios. Pool test kits, aquarium, urine etc. I think they probably just throw a load of semi-relevant tests on a strip as a marketing gimic. "We have a 9 in 1 test strip everyone elses only has 5 or 6 in 1 tests," even if a lot of the tests dont really tell you much. 1 test not included is ammonia.

Like i said alkalinity and carbonate hardness are generally considered the same thing in aquariums even though they are slightly different. They probably have a test for each and just threw them both on even if they will both tell you pretty much the same thing.

Noticeably a lot of the reviews on that product are pretty poor, and the general impression within the hobby is that liquid tests are more accurate than strips. I would recommend a basic liquid test over strips even if it doesnt cover all the bells and whistles of a 9 in 1 test strip.

You are correct. This is all marketing jargon and another example of how these manufacturers try to confuse hobbyists in to buying more products.
__________________
Caliban07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 02:12 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 4
Thanks for the help! This is really a bummer since I spent so much money on it, but I'll try and find a new kit!
__________________
Jayleth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 02:47 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayleth View Post
Thanks for the help! This is really a bummer since I spent so much money on it, but I'll try and find a new kit!
I dont think either of us are suggesting you need to go out and buy a new test kit. Just understand it is what it is and dont rely on it too much. No home test kit will ever be reliable. If you are going to invest in a new test kit a liquid kit will be more accurate than strips, and much more cost effective long run.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2021, 11:38 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: South ga
Posts: 1
I use the api master test kit and highly recommend it to anyone , test strips are horrible
__________________
Dixiedoodle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 01:16 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 13
I've bought multiple brands of test strips until I finally bit the bullet and just got the API master test kit. I did that because I pretty much proved they werent giving consistent accurate results. Yeah it's kind of a pain compared to just dipping a strip, but seriously, you cannot trust the readings the strips are giving you.

One brand was constantly reading my tank the same readings as a fresh glass of tap water, just prior to a water change, when I knew there HAD to be nitrates in the tank after a week.

Other brands would be inconsistent from strip to strip. (i.e. test the same water with multiple strips, getting varying readings from strip to strip). Now this didn't happen all the time, but happened enough where I knew I couldn't just dip one strip and trust what I was seeing.
__________________
tsdobbi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2021, 08:28 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Tony30gal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Minnesota, U.S.
Posts: 42
I’m not saying your doing something wrong but.. it happens. I use test strips with no issues. Here’s a how to video if you wanna take a look and compare your method

https://youtu.be/XfJ2PhSc-4w
__________________
Tony30gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
test

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Possibly not sick......possibly a bit thick Jackal106 Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 1 01-21-2018 02:51 PM
Fixing someone's mistake George50 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 6 08-15-2003 01:05 PM
Made a mistake buying plants - urgh! BondStreet Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 1 06-26-2003 12:42 AM
Lighting mistake? Electrobes DIY Projects 4 06-10-2003 01:17 PM
HELP! Tank cleaning mistake made! Need advice urgently! lmo Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 06-01-2003 12:11 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.