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View Poll Results: Do you use test strips or test tubes/bottles to test your water?
I use strips 3 20.00%
I use test tubes/bottles 12 80.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-17-2004, 03:15 PM   #1
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Test kits vs. test strips

Hello forum!

I apologize if this topic has already come up. I tried to do a search through the forums, but my PC keeps hanging when I do, so I'll just start a new topic.

I'm still working on getting my 16g FW to cycle, and see many of you recommending the test kits (with all the test tubes and bottles) as opposed to those all-in-one test STRIPs, when testing the results. Does it really make that big of a difference? Are the strips not accurate? My dealer recommended the strips, probably because most folks find them more convenient, but I'd rather take the extra time and do the test tube thing if it's really more accurate.

Just looking to get a feel for what some of the established, experienced folks use. Thanks.

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:20 PM   #2
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Most will say the strips are less accurate. I use the strips myself for convenience and occasionally I pull out the test tubes and bottles to double check everything. I also compare the strips from one tank to another one to make sure the strips are consistent and the water parameters are close from one tank to another.
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock3000
Most will say the strips are less accurate.
I agree with this. I use the tubes/bottles for accuracy. You may want to keep strips around in the even that you have to do a quick test before you run out or something, but I personally would recommend for the weekly testing that you use the tubes/bottles.
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:41 PM   #4
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I can see it now, by the end of the day the poll is going to be 25 tubes users to one strip user (me) :P

Anyway, when setting up a new tank or making large changes (substrate swap), I do use the tubes only. When just going for a quick test on a routine basis, it is just the strips though. I am not worried about seeing the difference between .25 and .5 ammonia, I would be worried if it was there at all Basically I used the strips as a quick way to tell if anything has changed drastically throughout the week. Then if anything weird may be happening, I take out the tubes for the "real" measurement.

One other thing that sucks about the strips is if you dip them, then leave them out for too long without taking the measurement, you get all kinds of whacky colors 8O When I was setting up a tank with tubes, I would keep the previous day's tube and compare the new day's tube to see how the ammonia and nitrites were progressing.
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*26 freshwater*
2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:13 PM   #5
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:59 PM   #6
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I use the strips with 5 tests all in one. Just dip it and in 30 seconds you have a general idea how the tank water is doing. If I get any higher than normal readings then then the test tube kit is used.
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Old 06-17-2004, 05:43 PM   #7
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That sounds like a good idea.
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Old 06-17-2004, 11:01 PM   #8
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That IS! Thanks for the tips everybody!

--AquaBear
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In order of setup:

FW1-16g, 5 Zebra danios, 4 Pristella Tetras, 4 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Gold Barbs, 1 Brush-nose Pleco
FW2-5g, 1 Baby Gold Marble Angel (raised from fry), 6 Zebra Danios
SW1-75g, (80# LR), Scarlett hermits, Turbo snails, Percula Clownfish (Gizmo), Oscellaris Clownfish (Whizzer), Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Mikado), Royal Gramma (Orpheus), Black Sailfin Blenny (Casper), Yellow Tang (Pele), Racoon Butterflyfish (Raptor), Lyretail Anthia (Juliette)
FW3-30g, 2 mated Gold Marble Angels (Oscar/Yenta)
SW2-20g, QT, currently empty
FW4-30g, currently empty
FW5-20g, 2 Gold Angels (non-paired)
SW3-35g (REFUGIUM for SW1) - EVIL ChocChipStar, Nassarius and Turbo snails
SW4-55g, 4 BlueGreen Chromis, King's Crown snail.
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