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I am trying to find a dependable water testing kit that tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, chlorine: free and available, water hardness and perhaps dissolved oxygen. I have been trying to use an eXact meter, but do not trust the readings. I have been using a titration kit, but the first value on the ammonia is .25 which, in my mind, is too large a step for the first value. Any suggestions?

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DO is expensive to cipher, by any means. A relatively cheap method is titration, like this one:

http://www.coleparmer.com/Product/LaMotte_Dissolved_Oxygen_Test_Kit...

API freshwater master kit is the norm, and .25 ppm for the first value on the color chart is fine for fish.

http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI

I use NutraFin wide-range pH test kit, because the API kit separates high and low, and because they bottom out at 6.0, which is the pH I tend to strive for.

http://www.angelsplus.com/SuppliesWater.htm

Chlorine test strips are easy and cheap from spa stores

GH and KH kits are available at all pet stores, less than $10 for the pair, and very easy.

My system stays at .25 ammonia.  No change since cycling.  Nitrites are always zero, thus far.  Now in my system's 2nd year and PH tends to dive - I adjust daily or every other day, usually.  I run mine higher than Jon does - once down around 6, my fish don't feed as well.

 

I'm sure there was a good reason for saying that George, I just can't think of what it could be :) Sincerely curious as to what your point was.

George said:

My system stays at .25 ammonia.  No change since cycling.  Nitrites are always zero, thus far.  Now in my system's 2nd year and PH tends to dive - I adjust daily or every other day, usually.  I run mine higher than Jon does - once down around 6, my fish don't feed as well.

 

Here's a point - go jump in a lake.  

Lol, point taken. Of course, you're always welcome brag on your system. I read that post during my break at work and my brain was only half on, so I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss something important about the discussion :)

George said:

Here's a point - go jump in a lake.  

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