I just did my first test with strips. I had it tested at the pet store. Everything looks decent for a new tank but the nitrates and nitrites don't even come close to the colors on the card. Any ideas for this? What should I do?
I have problems matching the colors too. I just pick the one it's closest to, even if it's not am exact match. Unfortunately, strips are notoriously inaccurate so if you can pick up a liquid test kit like the API Master Kit, you'll have a more exact idea of what's going on in your tank.
i've gotten those 5 in 1 test strips before and i know what you mean, the nitrite/nitrate portion doesn't even look remotely close to the chart. Definitely go with a liquid kit, walmart has the API kit without the API name on it for less than 20 dollars.
Please note that I have not used this kit personally, but I plan to in the near future once mine finally runs out. The reviews claim that it is identical to the API kit, and by the looks of the pictures, I believe it. I paid around 35 dollars for my last API kit at petsmart =(
I agree these test strips suck and they are expensive. The longer I look at it the pinker they get, fish and shrimp seem to be okay and I do regular water changes so I think the strips are lying, I will try the API Master Kit next.
The nitrates and nitrites were shades of pink on the compare chart. My strips showed green......nothing close to that! LOL Both of our Walmarts have gone to Walmart supercenters and they no longer carry fish and very little pet (other than dog and cat) supplies. No test kits, strips or anything. Maybe I can order that kit online. thanks for the link.
So in the mean time, should I worry if everything else is acceptable?
ammonia was between OK and the first one that said caution. It is a pretty new tank that is cycling. It has gravel, a couple ghost shrimp, snails and feeder guppies. They've all been in there since Sunday. I treated the water last week. Only one very tiny guppy died. Everything else looks really good. Plants are growingfast! 2 25W incandescent bulbs for light plus a flourescent light fixtrue that is on the wall above the tank, but it's only on when I'm in and out of the kitchen. Ive had aquariums for about 25-28 years now and I never knew anything about cycling and testing and never did anything other than fill up the tank, put in some dechlorinator and dump in the fish. I am surprised how good my fish did then without all the things I've learned from this site! Good night all!