Is Master Test Kit Really Usefull?

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Anne79

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I plan to have lot of beautiful plants... I want a busshy, luxuriant, jungle like tank ! I am like probably most people on tight budjet. I will keep money to buy a very good light (finnex) , I have a good substrate (flourish) will invest in liquid fertilizers and root tabs, and co2 injector. Now, I saw Nutrafin master test kit (120$) which can mesure Phosphate, Calcium, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, pH High Range, pH Low Range, Carbonate Hardness, General Hardness and Iron. What I want to know... is it really essential ... I already have API ammonia and nitrite tests. I guess I would need nitrates... and is API test brand good? Nutrafin tests are very expensive, so I guess they are more reliable.. but is API ok too? Please advise me if I don't need that master test kit, it would be nice to save a hundred bucks lol

Thanks everyone *^_^*
 

mattgirl

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The most recommended test kit around here is the API Master Freshwater Test kit. I use and recommend it. At 25-30$ is it very reasonably priced for what you get.

you could just get the nitrate test since you already have ammonia and nitrite but just the one test can run you $10.00. and then you still need the high and low PH tests.

All 5 tests are included in the kit (high and low PH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates)
 
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Anne79

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Ive read reviews on amazon.ca as apI nitrates test was hard to read, had to shake it a lot.. so thought nutrafin might be easier to use.. and iwas wondering if others tests was necessary (gh kh iron phospahtes...
 

mattgirl

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Anne79 said:
Ive read reviews on amazon.ca as apI nitrates test was hard to read, had to shake it a lot.. so thought nutrafin might be easier to use.. and iwas wondering if others tests was necessary (gh kh iron phospahtes...
You just have to be sure to follow the directions on the nitrate test and it works perfectly. I did go ahead and get the gh/kh test but only used it one time. I just wanted it to know for sure how soft my water was. As far as I know the other tests aren't absolutely necessary.

While cycling a tank one really needs to keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Without those 3 tests one couldn't know where they were in their cycle.
 

KinderScout

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Anne79 said:
I plan to have lot of beautiful plants... I want a busshy, luxuriant, jungle like tank ! I am like probably most people on tight budjet. I will keep money to buy a very good light (finnex) , I have a good substrate (flourish) will invest in liquid fertilizers and root tabs, and co2 injector. Now, I saw Nutrafin master test kit (120$) which can mesure Phosphate, Calcium, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, pH High Range, pH Low Range, Carbonate Hardness, General Hardness and Iron. What I want to know... is it really essential ... I already have API ammonia and nitrite tests. I guess I would need nitrates... and is API test brand good? Nutrafin tests are very expensive, so I guess they are more reliable.. but is API ok too? Please advise me if I don't need that master test kit, it would be nice to save a hundred bucks lol

Thanks everyone *^_^*
We took a similar route. Early on we did all the tests available. We found after a few weeks that our ammonia and nitrite was stable at 0 so tested less regularly. Then CO2 injection was added. PH test was important to get the level right as was a hardness tester. We then knew what colour our CO2 dropchecker needed to be so we stopped PH testing regularly. There's a table showing kh/ph/co2 at We then adjusted lighting but had probs with algae. We added Evolution Aqua plant food daily - it has everything in one bottle. We were shocked that, by the end of the week, our phosphates were up and nitrates were 80! Lots of water changes later and a look at George Farmer videos put our mind at rest and that doesn't bother us now. Nor the fish. After reducing ferts slightly and adjusting brightness (it's a juggling act!) and doing 50% water changes weekly, the algae is under control. We stopped doing tests except for monthly cos all is stable and the fish - and more importantly shrimp - are thriving. So are the plants! So in a nutshell - test until you are happy all is stable then leave them in the cupboard - we test monthly or if there is a problem (fingers crossed that hasn't happened yet). The main problem you may have is algae until you get it right. In my opinion, your fish are the best judge of water quality. Check out George Farmer's you tube channel too. There is also and https://www.ukaps.org/forum/ good luck!
 

Hunter1

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API sells a GH and KH test kit for under $20.

I’ve never seen an API kit for phosphates, iron or carbonates. But they may sell one.
 

KinderScout

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There is an API phosphate test kit and a KH test kit. The high-end PH test kit I found hard to read but there are plenty of electronic PH testers for only a few quid. Once you add CO2 your PH will drop sharply - mine dropped from 8 to 6.6 in only a couple of days - the low end PH test is much easier to read. Though the test strips are not supposed to be quite as accurate, they are a good indicator of any sudden changes which you can then check with the liquid tests. Tetra test strips are, I find, easier to use and also measure chlorine.
 
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