I Can't Read Test Results

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msminnamouse

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My color perception seems to be pretty bad, the test results are next to useless for me.

Test strips and test bottle kits. I've tried different brands, including API, bright light, white backgrounds, checking expiration, etc.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.

What are my options?

Do they make affordable multimeters? If they don't, which test is most important to know the results of? Ammonia, nitrite or nitrates?

I'd also need pH. I bought a pH meter before but couldn't get it to calibrate. Also, apparently they need to keep being recalibrated.

Is there a different kind of pH meter that doesn't require that?

Any options for the other parameters? I don't do in depth plant nutrient testing, but I like to know my GH and KH in addition to the the aforementioned other parameters.

I'm trying to breed fish and grow plants, so anything else useful to that would also be good to know.

Thanks for any help. This is a problem I've had for years but seems to be getting worse.
 

Iverg1

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You could go to petsmart with a sample of your water and they will test everything for you
 

Seasoldier

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Hi, the most important results would be ammonia & nitrite as they're the most toxic to fish. I have a JBL ProScan which I use for quick checks, you down load a free app to your phone which connects a scanner to your camera, then you use a test strip place it on a white background & take a photo of it & it gives you a read out of your parameters in numbers & it keeps a record of them too. It's not as accurate as the liquid tests but I compared against my test kit & it was accurate enough & in your case test strips & liquid tests are pretty useless to, don't know how much they cost in the states but I got mine on Amazon for around £35.
 

Aqua Hands

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post them here
 

Seasoldier

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Iverg1 said:
You could go to petsmart with a sample of your water and they will test everything for you
Except if your petsmart is anything like our pets at home I wouldn't trust them with the water to brew a cup of tea with.
 

TLeTourneau

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You could look into Hanna testers, I have them for my tanks and they are very handy. A lot of them are geared for marine applications but they have ammonia and nitrite testers (and a few others) that work with freshwater.
 

Baba

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TLeTourneau said:
You could look into Hanna testers, I have them for my tanks and they are very handy. A lot of them are geared for marine applications but they have ammonia and nitrite testers (and a few others) that work with freshwater.
They are very handy but they come with a hefty price tag though.
 

TLeTourneau

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Baba said:
They are very handy but they come with a hefty price tag though.
True, they're usually $49.00 USD each plus reagents but they are accurate and easy to read. I had a similar issue to the OP and the Hanna's made life much easier but I also have a saltwater tank and we're all crazy about spending money on stuff anyway (joke and stereotype intended ).
 

Baba

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TLeTourneau said:
True, they're usually $49.00 USD each plus reagents but they are accurate and easy to read. I had a similar issue to the OP and the Hanna's made life much easier but I also have a saltwater tank and we're all crazy about spending money on stuff anyway (joke and stereotype intended ).
I got one for phosphate because the liquid tests were just crystal bowl.
It might be the route to go for the OP if the issue is the readability of the liquid tests is the main concern. I can confirm they work great.
 

Iverg1

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Seasoldier said:
Except if your petsmart is anything like our pets at home I wouldn't trust them with the water to brew a cup of tea with.
Oof can’t imagine what your pet smart is like then
 
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msminnamouse

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Iverg1 said:
You could go to petsmart with a sample of your water and they will test everything for you
That's not practical for me every time. It's over half an hour away.

Seasoldier said:
Hi, the most important results would be ammonia & nitrite as they're the most toxic to fish. I have a JBL ProScan which I use for quick checks, you down load a free app to your phone which connects a scanner to your camera, then you use a test strip place it on a white background & take a photo of it & it gives you a read out of your parameters in numbers & it keeps a record of them too. It's not as accurate as the liquid tests but I compared against my test kit & it was accurate enough & in your case test strips & liquid tests are pretty useless to, don't know how much they cost in the states but I got mine on Amazon for around £35.
Thanks! But how you make sure your camera accurately captures the right coloration? I also suck at this.

TLeTourneau said:
You could look into Hanna testers, I have them for my tanks and they are very handy. A lot of them are geared for marine applications but they have ammonia and nitrite testers (and a few others) that work with freshwater.
Would you recommend against getting them second hand, if available?

Is there like a knock off brand?
 

TLeTourneau

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msminnamouse said:
Would you recommend against getting them second hand, if available?

Is there like a knock off brand?
I'm not a fan of second hand for these types of testers. Once you get it you should get the validation kit to ensure the used tester is accurate so $20 for the used tester plus $15-20 for the validation kit and your $10-15 from a new tester, I think it starts hitting diminishing returns on a used tester unless you find them for $15 or less. I don't know of any others that do what the Hanna colormetric testers do for the price, I haven't seen any knock offs.
 

Seasoldier

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msminnamouse said:
Thanks! But how you make sure your camera accurately captures the right coloration? I also suck at this.
It's a bit fiddly to begin with but you soon get the hang of it, there are 2 boxes at the corners of the white background card & you see 2 crosses on your phone screen with the free app, you line them up & once they're inline the phone does the rest, it takes the photo & then automatically reads the test results & displays them as number values.
 

Robjoco

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I was struggling with the test colors too. I found that it helps me immensely to take it outside and read results in natural daylight.
 

Swampgorilla

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Hanna is the way to go ... the problem is, if you go that route you end up with A MULTITUDE OF TESTERS and they aren't that small if you keep each one in the "kit-box' it comes in.

Wish hanna had ONE EGG that you could put the water in and select what kind of test you want to run - instead of making a different "egg" for each thing you want to test. Then again - that would probably be cost prohibitive.

The Hanna's also take longer to run a series of tests if you have more than one tank. You can only run one test at a time ... whereas with the liquid kits you can run an ammonia test on all your tanks concurrently.

But other than that ... Hanna is great.
 
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