Local LFS Water - Test Strip vs Liquid API

  1. A

    Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    I had to buy some more ghost shrimp today, and asked them about their water readings while I was there. They told me their water was 'perfect', but offered to test it for me - using test strips. I happily obliged, knowing I was going to re-test with my kit at home. While the readings were close for most, it was a shock regarding the water hardness.

    pH - 7.3 at the store, around 7.5 at home (7.6 on the regular tester, 7.4 on the high-range)
    Nitrites - 'normal' on the strip, zero with the liquid tester
    Nitrates - 'normal' on the strip - ZERO with the liquid tester
    Ammonia - 'normal' on the strips - .25 with the liquid tester
    GH - HIGH (300+ppm) on the strip, 7 drops (125.3 ppm) with my API
    KH - (no reading for the strip), 3 drops (53.7 ppm) with my API

    Looks to me like their water isn't cycled, anyone else think this? There are no live plants in their tanks. I was really surprised to see that the strips showed hard water when mine is not nearly so (I live less than 3 miles away from the store). I'm leaning towards my liquid test kits being correct, thoughts?
  2. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Bumping this up for you
  3. Platylover

    Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah I'd say it isn't cycled, if definitely tell the store and request they use a liquid test. Tell them that the strips are very inaccurate, I think your test would be more accurate. Those test strips are not good at all. If only use them if for some reason I needed a reading but didn't have my test kit.

  4. slayer5590

    slayer5590 Well Known Member Member

    Unless the store just opened there is no way their tanks are uncycled.
  5. f

    fishchick Valued Member Member

    I would purchased the master test kit so much better than the strips , tossed my strips when bout my kit
  6. CindiL

    CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Unless they are flowing fresh water into their system at all times I would agree it seems uncycled. I think in my fish store some tanks are on their own systems including the feeder shrimp, the goldfish are separate and the Rams are separate.
  7. OP

    Annie424 Well Known Member Member

    Yeah. I just tested it on a whim, the time I tested it previous it wasn't that bad - actually was close to what I expected given the readings I get from my tanks. This time I was really surprised that my liquid tester didn't pick up any nitrates and the GH/KH were way off from their strips. I guess it just helps to illustrate how 'off' test strips can be!