Which Test Kit?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by DemonAdmin, 6 Sep 2011.

  1. DemonAdmin

    DemonAdmin Newly Registered

    18 Aug 2011
    I'm looking for a new test kit for my water and wondered which type was the best/most accurate/value for money.

    I've seen a few different types, mainly dip style test kits and liquid test kits.

    Is there any advantages/disadvantages to either type and does anyone have any reccomendations on a good kit.

    I'm not looking to spend loads of ££, but will invest in a good kit.

    Thanks for your help :)
  2. gmartins

    gmartins Member

    31 Jan 2011

    If you read some around here you'll find that most people will advise to save your money and do not buy any test kit. The large majority give inaccurate and imprecise except perhaps for a few quite expensive ones.


  3. dazzer1975

    dazzer1975 Member

    29 Aug 2011
    sorry for hijacking the thread but I have been wondering the same.

    Always used to like the usual ammonia, nitrite and nitrate kits to see where the cycle is at, but have also understood test kits to be on the whole pretty inaccurate.

    Given gmartins post above, is it the consensus that test kits are a waste of time in their entirety, or are some kits and tests better than others?

    Do people not bother with any tests aside from perhaps the obligatory co2 drop checker?
  4. clonitza

    clonitza Member

    13 Jul 2011
    Brasov / Romania
    @dazzer1975 you're right the only test kit that you should own is the drop checker for fresh water planted aquariums.

  5. Aquadream

    Aquadream Member

    5 Apr 2010

    For measurements of GH and KH Tetra tests are the best value for money. I have compared them with professional water tests made by Macherey-Nagel and they measure difference of only 0.5 degree in the high range.
    For PO4, NH4, NO2, NO3, SiO2and Fe the best hobby tests kits are from JBL, but they are not accurate to the point. However they can give you good idea in case of any serious problem in the set up.
    The only company in the world that I know about where you can get reliable water tests is Macherey-Nagel, Germany. Their tests are very accurate, but expensive to. I have full set of water tests from them and there is one thing I can say. They really do the job as would be expected from professional tests, but their average price is 100 Euros per test set for one type of measurement.
  6. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    2 Aug 2007
    This is old, but some things apply decades later:

    Suggested test kits for:
    *pH pH monitor (much better) –Common colormetric low range cheaper but quite good also.

    *KH Most all test kits are decent.
    *NO3 Narrow range lab grade Lamotte (>1.0,2.0, 4.0, 6.0 etc (tablet -much better)- and spoon (cheaper but not as accurate and easy to use)
    It is worth the extra cost for this kit.
    *GH Same as KH
    *Fe Lab grade (much better- Hach) –Common aquarium company kits (cheaper)
    *PO4 Lab grade (much better- Hach/Lamotte) –Common aquarium test kits (cheaper)
    *K+ Two companies offer a kit to test(Lamoitte, Hanna)

    You should use known standards at least 2 points, say if you want to target about 5ppm of NO3, then a 1ppm and 10ppm standard should be used to check your test kit.

    standards are very easy to make.
    Ask if you need help there.

    Does not matter if the test kit is 10 pence or 8,000 pounds.

    Standards should be used.
  7. andy-mu

    andy-mu Member

    8 Sep 2010
    Drop checker. Forget the rest I say. Waste of money. Spend it on other equipment.
    If your drop checkers lime green, Dose EI, Keep good flow, change water every
    week, enjoy.

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