Mardel products Help

Discussion in 'Test Kits' started by sj74, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. sj74New MemberMember

    I have a question about the reliability of mardel live nh3 test kit. It stays in the water and I do not think it is very accurate. I have it showing that the ammonia is a 4.0. So I took it out of the tank and put the test strip in some tap water and had the same reading. I then put a new test strip in the holder in the tank and it shows the ammonia at 0. It has been in there at least five hours now and same reading. any suggestions?

    I meant .40 sorry
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2010
  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello SJ and Welcome to Fish Lore.

    I would suggest an API (liquid) Master Test Kit. Test strips can be very inaccurate and unreliable. The API (above) is most widely recommended. I use it myself and I've never had any issues with it. Be sure to check the expiration dates. Too, everything included in the API kit can also be purchased separately.

    I hope you enjoy the site!
  3. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! :;hi1

    As Ken mentioned test strips are incredibly inaccurate. I've never used the Mardel Live, but personally I would be hesitant to trust that as well. I know several members use them, but I don't think there is any better way to know your parameters than a good liquid test. Many of us use the API Master Test Kit which covers ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. It can be a bit pricey depending on where you get it, but it will provide you with tons of tests for each of the parameters so it winds up being much cheaper than test strips in the long run. I would recommend getting one for yourself so you can know with certainty where your parameters stand. If cost is an issue you can find the API master kit at for alot cheaper than you can find it in stores.   You will have to order it online and either have it shipped to your home, or if you have a local walmart that offers site to store you can have it shipped there and pick it up in store.

    On a separate note, I notice in your aquarium info that you use Stress Zyme and pH increaser in your tank. I would like to warn you that neither of these products are healthy for your tank. Stress Zyme is a bacterial additive that unfortunately contains the wrong kind of bacteria. The bacteria is terrestrial rather than aquatic and therefore can not survive in your tank for long. That is the reason you have to keep adding it with every water change. The bacteria dies and leaves nothing to consume the ammonia and nitrite which leads to a cycle crash. If you are using this product still I would recommend discontinuing it's use. You will need to keep a close eye on your parameters as you will likely see an ammonia spike once the bacteria dies and if your tank was cycled before you will experience a mini cycle. If not you will be just starting your true cycle.

    The pH increaser can also lead to problems. Using chemicals to alter your pH leaves the pH very unstable which can lead to a pH crash. Most fish will adapt to a pH outside their preferred zones, but a massive pH swing can be lethal. It is far more important to have a stable pH. If your pH is very low there are more natural ways to raise your pH which will leave it much more stable than using chemicals. Just search the forums as there are plenty of threads regarding raising the pH as many of our members are familiar with doing this. If you're not able to find what you need with a search, just ask! Our members are glad to help. :)
  4. sj74New MemberMember

    Thanks for the info. I have ordered the correct test kit from Wal-Mart. I appreciate the help. The only other question is if there is any good bacteria that I should be adding. I have stopped using the ph increaser two weeks ago because i had some reservations about it. The reason I was using the stress zyme is that my aunt (an avid aquarist for the past thirty years) told me to use it to decrease the ammonia level. I don't know how good she is but she uses well water to raise discus that's why I took her advice.
  5. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    The only bacteria additive that I know contains the correct bacteria is Tetra SafeStart (formerly known as Bio-Spira). I have personally used it to cycle two tanks. You would definitely want to get your test kit and know where your readings are before using TSS as it is designed to be added just before adding fish. When the fish and ammonia are already present you'll need to do water changes to get your ammonia levels to as close to 0 as possible in order for the TSS to work. Unlike the Stress Zyme, TSS only needs to be added once and from there it will cycle a tank in 7-10 days.

    Here is some more info directly from Tetra on how to use Tetra Safe Start.
    Q & A With Tetra on Tetra SafeStart

    Hope this helps!

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