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Whoever voted 'no' should get them! You can buy a complete test strip kit for only &25 (US). It seems like a lot, but it could save your fish--if your ammonia levels get too high, your fish will die before you even realise it!
I dont see the point when you can get it tested free at a local pet shop
But do you get the actual numbers,not just a the water is ok? Testing kits make it so much easier to test more often.
yeah, the bloke in there does the whole test infront of you and then goes through why each one is that colour and what you need to do to alter it. I think its better than doing it yourself because its expert and its second opinion.
Having my own testing kits lets me sleep better at night. I'm probably not the norm, but I test my tanks all the time and it's convenient to have my own kits.
Well, I know I'm going to be testing my water a lot. The problem about relying on a person at the store is what if your fish start acting funny and your car breaks down? You won't be able to find out if there is a water problem. I've lost a lot of fish in the past due to poor water quality (unfortunately it was the typical little-kid-with-goldfish-and-parents-who-don't-know-the-first-thing-about-fish scenario) so I feel a lot better knowing I can test the water any time I want.
Actually, the test strips have been known to be innacurrate, and you can get a master test kit with all the "must have" tests in it for half the above price.
I still dont want to buy a kit that will run out when i can quite easily get a proffessional opinion on my water quality and a free test whenever I want
Yes I bought the API Freshwater master test kit from the recommendation from members of this forum - and now I would recommend this it puts your mind at rest!
We test weekly with the API master freshwater test kit, which can be had for $19.99 at the DFS website and close to that at the Petsmart website. The test strips are inaccurate and LPS/LFS employees are mostly seem unable to answer the most basic questions accurately and have given us wrong advice/information time after time, including the "fish expert" at the Petco. Plus the way gas prices are, it's WAY cheaper to run the tests myself than drive out & have someone else do it.
Been using the test strips for the past 2 years but will be getting the master test kit next weekend when the LFS has the annual big sales at 25% off everything.
I just got the API master freshwater test kit today. I've had my tank going since January, but I'd never tested the water. :-[ I was happy to see my tests all looked good though! I will test weekly now.
I have the API master test kit too. I usually test my 20 gallon tank once per week, as it is established and fully stocked. My 55 I test 3-4 times per week because I have been adding fish. Once fully stocked and I am sure the water is stable, I'll probably drop that one back to 1 per week also.
Taking your water to the fish store to have it tested...WOW I accidentally hit the "no" button. sorry
Just bought another API master kit on sale... 15 bucks!! Whoooo Hoooooo!!!!
I didn't know the strips could be innacurrate, I will def. pick up an API test kit this weekend. Maybe my water isn't as bad as it seems (i hope)
The "professional opinion" you are getting is from a minimum wage employee who is using the EXACT same test you can buy yourself. Why go to the trouble of bringing water all the way to the store when for about $9 or less you can get a simple to use liquid test that will last for 180 tests? I have 5 tanks and the tests I have I've been using for about 6 months now and are still 3/4 full! (you don't need to test every day) If your water parameters are not ideal you need to do a water change and test again in a few hours. All the pet stores want to do is sell you more chemicals and crap to bring your levels down to normal when a water change is all you really need. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do a water test and those employees at the stores probably know as much or less than most of us.
I purchased the api master test kit this weekend, but havn't used it yet, instead I took my water sample into the fish store where they used their api test kit and my water tested perfectly! I'm got rid of those test strips, as they were like you said innacurrate. thanks for the help again! I love this site!
I use the API liquid tests for the the Big Three, because when I got them it was cheaper to buy the three individuals then to get the master one. Next time I will see if I can get the master one on sale, then I will have a rack for my test tubes so I will have no fear of actually breaking because I frequently drop mine on the floor, whoops, I am such a clutz (None broken yet, but it is just a matter of time)