I recently purchased a 5 in 1 dip test kit (like litmus paper) that tests nitrate, nitrite, PH and alkalinity for salt water (the 5th test is for freshwater only). Has anyone had experience with these tests? Are they reliable enough for a fish only system?
Thanks for any input.
"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."
I agree with bearfan.
problem with dipstick tests is that if they are subjected to any amount of humidity before being used, they won't be accurate.
There are certain things in our hobby which shouldn't be skimped on due to convenience. Test kits and water changes are probably the two biggest ones you shouldn't skimp on (figuring in that a good salt mix is a part of water changes)
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
I have used them in conjunction with my liquid test kits. I happened to have some left from my FW setup. They were fairly accurate, but their range is so broad that you can't get a close enough actual count. The nitrate one had a range of 20 ppm between colors. Not quite close enough for me.
I used them when cycling the tank because I only needed a general indication of the levels. Once the strips indicated that the tank was cycled, I used my more accurate liquid tests. For the price, they might be a good idea when checking tank parameters while cycling.