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JBL Water test kit

nigel bentley

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20 Oct 2019
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131
Location
Wallington
Hi all, I currently use an API master water testkit, which test pH, high pH, Nitrite, nitrate and Ammonia. Considering some of the bottles are coming to an end, I was considering purchasing a Jbl proscape test kit for planted aquariums. I was wondering if any of you guys have any thoughts on this.

Thanks in advance
Nigel :)
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @nigel bentley

I am a long-time user of JBL test kits (and many others). I would consider the following JBL tests to be worth considering: KH, NO3, Fe, K, Mg and PO4 (Sensitive). The nitrate test kit may not give accurate results but it's probably better than nothing. I suspect you'll never use the SiO2 (silicate) kit but I may be wrong. You'd be better off getting one of the Hanna or HM Digital pH meters for pH measurement. And the JBL CO2 Direct Test is a faff to use + its accuracy is debatable.

Hope that helps.

JPC
 

nigel bentley

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20 Oct 2019
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Wallington
Thanks Jpc. I do like the API kit, I have, easy to use, although I do struggle with some of the colours as I'm colour blind. Guess this could be an issue with any of them.

I might stick with API and just look at Jbl to test for the hardness and some of the nutrients.

As always, thanks for your help mate
Take care
 

nigel bentley

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Is that red-green colour blindness, if you don't mind my asking?

JPC
I struggle with the Ammonia test yellow to greens. Also find the ph hard to read sometimes. The colours on the cards seem to be similar.

Lucky, the wife and kids will help, but sure I must annoy them 😁
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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1 Oct 2016
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This is one topic which users have different opinions on and we respect others opinions

I'm in the camp of why bother testing 'What about test kits' and EI dosing is all about not testing either, but Myself and EI dosing is all about saving money for same results ;)
 

Noob-dude-scaper

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19 May 2020
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Manchester
I`ve been a long time user of JBL test kits but when seeing if my ferts was adding enough nitrates,the test always came back around 5-10ppm after a 10 minute wait time,if i checked again after 30 minutes it was showing 10-15ppm.
Today i borrowed an API version of the same test and within the 5 minute test time it came back i had 30ppm,maybe a tad less,the result stayed constant even after waiting 30 minutes.

*EDIT* - I`ve come to the conclusion some home tests kits are just not worth wasting money on .
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I`ve been a long time user of JBL test kits but when seeing if my ferts was adding enough nitrates,the test always came back around 5-10ppm after a 10 minute wait time,if i checked again after 30 minutes it was showing 10-15ppm.
Today i borrowed an API version of the same test and within the 5 minute test time it came back i had 30ppm,maybe a tad less,the result stayed constant even after waiting 30 minutes.

*EDIT* - I`ve come to the conclusion some home tests kits are just not worth wasting money on .
We have quite a few nitrate testing threads. There are a number of reasons why testing for NO3- is <“particularly“> problematic.

The difficulty in accurately measuring nitrate was one of the reasons that I went to using the growth and leaf colour of a floating plant as a proxy for <“nutrient”> status.

Cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Bracknell
I`ve been a long time user of JBL test kits but when seeing if my ferts was adding enough nitrates,the test always came back around 5-10ppm after a 10 minute wait time,if i checked again after 30 minutes it was showing 10-15ppm.
Today i borrowed an API version of the same test and within the 5 minute test time it came back i had 30ppm,maybe a tad less,the result stayed constant even after waiting 30 minutes.

*EDIT* - I`ve come to the conclusion some home tests kits are just not worth wasting money on .

Hi @Noob-dude-scaper

You are very likely to see a change in colour (increase in ppm) if the test sample is left longer before taking a reading. That applies to tests in general. It is generally necessary to follow the instructions to the letter. Of course, room temperature will also influence the measurement settling time. But, manufacturers will likely assume that room temperature is 20 - 25C. The API Nitrate Test Kit has not got a good reputation for accuracy. I think some people found it necessary to shake one of the reagents for a lot longer than the API instructions advised. So, this was a case of not following the instructions to the letter. Ah, well.

JPC
 

Witcher

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15 Jan 2020
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London
I struggle with the Ammonia test yellow to greens. Also find the ph hard to read sometimes. The colours on the cards seem to be similar.

Lucky, the wife and kids will help, but sure I must annoy them 😁
Hey Nigel, if your eyes are insensitive to certain hues and kids and wife are not around, you can do the test, make a photo of it on white background with original test color chart placed next to it and convert that image to grayscale in any available photo manipulation software - in the effect you'll see the density of the colours regardless of what the original colour is - then you can compare the effect of your test with the grayscale chart.
 
Last edited:

Simon Cole

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My local UKAS laboratory charges £15 per sample. But I suppose you might want to test every week in the event that your tap water was undesirable.
I don't see the point of a one size fits all approach to dosing when the results of EI were based upon plant-tissue analysis as opposed to nutrient uptake rate, all on the rationale that algae are controlled this way. What we see instead, is the industry-wide use of algaecides, and algae being attributed to everything from carbon dioxide and plant inhibition down to whether somebody breathed on the tank after a long night out down the pub. It is as if hundreds of years of experimental research in thousands of scientfically reviewed articles must be wrong because Tom Barr's tank was more stable than the hundreds of freshwater ecosystems affected by decades of phosphate pollution events, simply because nobody can recreate these environmental conditions, where real-world microbes are forced to compete in untainted surface water. Well guess what, empirical evidence does not require controlled conditions, and the link between over-fertilisation and algae is just as valid today. What you want are simple biometric indicators like duckweed and daphnia. The more sensitive the better.
 

Simon Cole

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On the other hand. I think testing for water hardness and phosphate makes a lot of sense given how cheap the tests are. I must also confess to testing at the start of a set up for nitrate and ammonia, especially if your not happy about a substrate or pushed for time to add certain plants, and livestock. I just don't think routine testing is practical or particularly reliable over time. There are times when testing is highly desirable, but that is because I try to skip ahead, or due to the quality of tap water. double post - sorry folks
 

nigel bentley

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Hey Nigel, if your eyes are insensitive to certain hues and kids and wife are not around, you can do the test, make a photo of it on white background with original test color chart placed next to it and convert that image to grayscale in any available photo manipulation software - in the effect you'll see the density of the colours regardless of what the original colour is - then you can compare the effect of your test with the grayscale chart.
Thats a good idea, thanks a lot
 

hypnogogia

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Hey Nigel, if your eyes are insensitive to certain hues and kids and wife are not around, you can do the test, make a photo of it on white background with original test color chart placed next to it and convert that image to grayscale in any available photo manipulation software - in the effect you'll see the density of the colours regardless of what the original colour is - then you can compare the effect of your test with the grayscale chart.
Could one even determine the rgb codes to check on similarity of colours?
 

jaypeecee

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My local UKAS laboratory charges £15 per sample.

Hi @Simon Cole

May I ask which lab that is. And the £15 per sample is for which specific parameters? I was recently looking at accredited labs - hence my questions.

I don't see the point of a one size fits all approach to...

...anything!? Imagine if this rule applied in our natural environment. What we have inside our tanks is a hugely complex, dynamic system. How could there possibly be a 'one size fits all' approach?

JPC
 

sparkyweasel

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Could one even determine the rgb codes to check on similarity of colours?
Or use the colour picker tool to select areas of the same colour?
Click on the sample in the pic, and see which part of the colour chart also get selected. May have to adjust the sensitivity of how close a match is selected until it gets the closest one even if it's not a perfect match.
 

Simon Cole

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@jaypeecee Celtest are the nearest lab to where I am working and they asked for £15 per test for any test in their catalogue. I have also used Severn Trent and Alcontrol about 10 years ago. A local lab makes a lot more sense because samples need to be kept cooled and analysed quickly. Celtest has a three day turn around, which from my experience is to long to provide reliable data. I have had problems with erroneous results from one of these labs.
 

Simon Cole

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I spoke to one of them on the phone about a phosphate test. I assumed it was Olsen method, but perhaps they only do dry weight. sorry.
 

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