For most aquarium test kits, shelf life can range from 6 months to 2 years (sometimes even longer). Make sure you pay careful attention to the expiration date and replace testing supplies once the expiration is reached (or your results might not be accurate!).
Top 7 Aquarium Water Test Kits | eBay
Now for my question. After eight weeks of water temperatures averaging in the upper 40s to mid 50s (Fahrenheit), the pH is still 7.2 and there is still no trace of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. I can understand a functioning nitrogen cycle will leave no ammonia or nitrite, but where is the nitrate? The test kit I use is new and gives me readings when testing my aquariums, so we can rule out a defective kit.
Aquarium Test Kits - Tetra-Fish
If you’re someone who doesn’t need a full on kit to help you out (maybe you’re no beginner to reef or freshwater aquarium test kits), there is the option of aquarium water test strips that take out a lot of the hardware when it comes to testing for simple, quick results for those who have done this sort of thing before and know what to look for. This kit still includes instructions and even has a second booklet to help you correct unsafe water conditions, should you come across them.
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An aquarium water test kit is needed if you want to be successful in the tropical fish hobby (freshwater or saltwater). You will need to know how to test your water during new tank start-up (the cycle) and whenever problems arise.Some aquarium test kits come as dip strips that you dip in a test tube filled with water from your tank. You then compare the color with the card that came with the kit to get your final reading for each particular test. The other type of test kit has liquid droppers. You dispense the liquid (certain number of drops) into a test tube with tank water. You usually need to shake the tube and wait a few minutes for the test to develop. You then match the color of the water in the test tube against a test card to get your final reading. It can be a good idea to ask someone else in your house to compare the colors and give you a second opinion. Don't tell them what it means, just ask them to match up the colors. As hobbyists, we may tend to skew the results in our favor, so a second opinion may help keep us honest.