Test Strips? Gone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hampalong, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    The strip type test kits are so inaccurate in my view that their sale contravenes the Trades Descriptions Act(UK), or whatever law applies these days. What are the chances, if any, of us, the end-users, getting their manufacture stopped?
  2. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    If I lived in the UK I'd gladly take action alongside you to stop manufacturing test strips. They just aren't accurate enough. Anyone in this hobby worth their salt uses other test kits/probes.
  3. BDpups

    BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    You would have get all consumers to stop buying them. And when you have loads of new comers entering the hobby and realize how expensive this can be they are going to try and cut costs where they can. Little do they know by being cheap on a test kit can cost them in the long run.

    I mean would API even make test strips if they didn't sell? I like your thinking, but until the new comer to the hobby does their research before they leave the pet shop with a brand new tank and the fish to put in it, this probably won't change.
  4. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    This thread really doesn't fall into the category of reviews, moved to General discussion
  5. Anders247

    Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Agreed with BDpups...... but I'm with you, I wish they weren't sold....
  6. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    More like, I wish people wouldn't buy them. But it does give us an idea (however inaccurate) of what the water parameters are until the person using them can get a test kit when they're asking for help on here. Personally, I think if test strips were outlawed/banned/taken from the store shelves someone else would invent some other method of "inaccurate" water parameter testing and start putting it on the shelves instead. :/

    Just my two cents. :;2cents
  7. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I prefer the liquid test kits to the strips, but even they are hard to read accurately.

    It comes down to where you want to draw the line.

    I wish we all had spectrophotometers and proper test reagents so we could get solid numbers instead of estimates based on eyeball comparisons of vials of liquid against printed sheets.

    One could easily argue that any test where a person must compare a transmissive sample vial's color or darkness against a reflective target is inherently unreliable and impossible to read accurately. So most of our liquid test kits would need to be outlawed, too.

    I've used test kits that use a sample vial of liquid, but the comparison reference is a set of identical vials of colored liquid against which you compare. THOSE liquid tests work well.

    Some even provide special viewing gadgets with white diffusers against which you compare the vials. Those work very well.

    But nothing takes the guesswork out of the process like a spectrophotometer.

    Still, I would not want to take away our crummy, but inexpensive liquid test kits, or even the strips. At least they give people an idea of the general range their parameters are in for cheap, and without requiring too much lab skill.

    I figure there's a place for all of these products. If used properly and regarded with the appropriate level of skepticism, they serve a purpose.

    I have a hard time with test strips and the API kits. Still, they all give me some valuable information.
  8. OP

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    They don't even give a rough idea, not all the time. Sometimes they are downright wrong. As for the liquid kits, I have no problem comparing some kits to their charts.

    Waterlife used to make the easiest IMO but they had to change their reagents. The old kit showed

    pH 4 = red
    5 = orange
    6 = yellow
    7 = light green
    8 = dark green
    9 = blue

    These were very easy to read, and (relatively) very accurate. Most other colour ranges are nowhere near this easy.
  9. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah. I can't even tell the color patches for 40 and 80 for nitrate apart on the card for my API kit, let alone somehow compare the vial against them. :)

    I should get a picture of one of these kits that has the array of different colored vials as the reference. I know that would be more expensive to produce than just printing a card, but man, it really makes it easy to do the comparison since the reference vials are the same as the sample vials.

    I will buy one of the relatively inexpensive spectrophotometers in the near future. They're not cheap, but at least you get an objective number out of the things!