Do Test Strips Lie?

ShellBelle
  • #1
:*UPDATE*:
Water and Ammonia levels tested Safe and Ideal. We took the last Dwarf Gourami back to Petco. We're thinking it may have been gas in the substrate. Thanks Y'all!!
Water is clear, 76•to 78• test strips show safe and ideal on everything.
Did a 20gal water change after we lost all 3 pictus cats in an 8hr window.
 
Anemone_the_betta
  • #2
When did you get the pictus cats? They could’ve died from old age... but an 8 hour window is really fast. It also might depend on the brand of test strips, or perhaps the fish had a sickness that passed on to the other fish.
 
david1978
  • #3
lots of factors can affect the accuracy of test stripes. The biggest one is moisture. Forget to put the lid back on on a humid day and they are junk.
 
DarkOne
  • #4
How big was the tank? Did you use dechlorinator? Was the water temp the same as tank temp?
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
How big was the tank? Did you use dechlorinator? Was the water temp the same as tank temp?
Water temp was same as the tank, just bought a new pack of test strips, now the JD cichlid (juvenile) and Dwarf gourami are acting crazy the pleco is still acting normal

Water temp was same as the tank, just bought a new pack of test strips, now the JD cichlid (juvenile) and Dwarf gourami are acting crazy the pleco is still acting normal
55gal
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
lots of factors can affect the accuracy of test stripes. The biggest one is moisture. Forget to put the lid back on on a humid day and they are junk.
Just purchased a new bottle!
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
When did you get the pictus cats? They could’ve died from old age... but an 8 hour window is really fast. It also might depend on the brand of test strips, or perhaps the fish had a sickness that passed on to the other fish.
When did you get the pictus cats? They could’ve died from old age... but an 8 hour window is really fast. It also might depend on the brand of test strips, or perhaps the fish had a sickness that passed on to the other fish.
I'm thinking a sickness because now everyone in the tank is acting crazy except Capt.Boomerang ( pleco )
 
Anemone_the_betta
  • #8
Crazy how? Are they rubbing on the gravel and/or rocks? Are they swimming upside-down? If you can send a video than maybe I can help you a little more...
 
75g Discus Tank
  • #9
I would get a liquid kit or go to your LFS.



Most will test water for free.
If not, go to Petco and they will test it for you. Ask for the exact parameters.
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I would get a liquid kit or go to your LFS.



Most will test water for free.
If not, go to Petco and they will test it for you. Ask for the exact parameters.
Thank you
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Crazy how? Are they rubbing on the gravel and/or rocks? Are they swimming upside-down? If you can send a video than maybe I can help you a little more...
They were swimming erratically running into the tank walls now the Gourami laying sideways at the bottom of the tank
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

IMG_3309.JPG
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

IMG_3307.JPG
 
bitseriously
  • #14
So, back to your original question about test strips, I don’t think they’re so inaccurate as to have misled you about your water, at least not to an extent that would result in dead fish.
In other words I don’t think the strips lied to u. I’ll be the first to concede they’re both “imprecise and inaccurate” (search that for a fun interweb rabbit hole), but there’s no reason short of spoiled or massively expired strips (and you’ve ruled those out) that they would test acceptable when values are in fact fatal.
Are u sure your new water is compatible with/similar to tank water in terms of pH, hardness and tds? Moderate-big shifts in those (not to mention how they can affect bb and free ammonia concentration) would be possible candidates.
Obviously, test your source water. If possible, check with your town or region to see if their water specialists know of any recent changes to water supply, or perturbations in the system that could have affected your supply/parameters.
 
Briggs
  • #15
Do the strips test for ammonia? For some insane reason a lot of brands don't, and it's a very important thing to test for. It's toxic to all your fish and inverts, and it builds up very quickly in uncycled tanks. If your strips don't have it, you might have to buy a separate test for it.
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
So, back to your original question about test strips, I don’t think they’re so inaccurate as to have misled you about your water, at least not to an extent that would result in dead fish.
In other words I don’t think the strips lied to u. I’ll be the first to concede they’re both “imprecise and inaccurate” (search that for a fun interweb rabbit hole), but there’s no reason short of spoiled or massively expired strips (and you’ve ruled those out) that they would test acceptable when values are in fact fatal.
Are u sure your new water is compatible with/similar to tank water in terms of pH, hardness and tds? Moderate-big shifts in those (not to mention how they can affect bb and free ammonia concentration) would be possible candidates.
Obviously, test your source water. If possible, check with your town or region to see if their water specialists know of any recent changes to water supply, or perturbations in the system that could have affected your supply/parameters.
Thank you
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Do the strips test for ammonia? For some insane reason a lot of brands don't, and it's a very important thing to test for. It's toxic to all your fish and inverts, and it builds up very quickly in uncycled tanks. If your strips don't have it, you might have to buy a separate test for it.
Thank you
 
ShellBelle
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Thank you
Ammonia tested safe, the JD is coated in white stuff so I bagged everyone up the gourami seems fine again... I'm lost!
 

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