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First time using this product and it was super inaccurate. Tested 3 strips at once and all had different readings except for chlorine and ph (which is hard to distinguish the difference between the levels). Ended up buying API master test kit instead.
Have used these strips successfully for 3 years, and in particular used the nitrate pad to determine when water changes were necessary. Bought them again and this time the nitrate pads are discolored right out of the bottle, and I can no longer tell the difference between 0, 20, 40 ppm which is the critical range for nitrates.
I read the directions and started using them without any question if they worked or not. A week into testing the water everyday (as I have been still trying to get the water chemistry in my tank suitable) I noticed that the readings were the same... every time. This should have been my first clue that they didn't work, but the reviews were decent. However, by the end of the week my better fish was looking very sick. I had also bought the tetra heater (also a terrible product) that actually never heated the water. Even though the tetra test strips read that all levels were suitable (nitrate safe at 20, nitrite safe at 0, water hardness at 150, chlorine safe at 0, alkalinity at ideal 120 and ph at neutral 7.2) my better fish looked so sick, pale and barely moving, only staying at the top of the water. I knew I had to change the water. I did a 100% water change and noticed that the tetra heater also had an oily substance all over it which was weird and could be why my fish was sick. Either way, I got him in a new tank with new conditioned water. I decided to test the tetra test strips in water straight from the tap to see if it would read the chlorine (which is heavy in LA tap water) and it read it at zero! So I tested the new fish water and the old water - both read the exact same thing.
After getting a 180-200 nitrate reading from these strips, I did an extra water change. After the change the test strip I still had a reading of 160+. I took a sample to the fish store that same day and they said my nitrates were 20! I contacted Tetra, and after waiting 25 minutes on hold, I was treated as rudely as I have ever experienced! Over and over the 'customer abuse agent' told me to consult my fish store for advice on my water quality problems, which I do not have. He did not care that there product he represented was defective. He would not consider replacing the strips at all. He certainly persuaded me to never order their products again. please consider ordering the api test strips, they are more expensive, but accurate, and their customer service is fantastic. r. kahn
Didn't work at all to test my nitrates. It comes out a peachy color instead of the pink color it supposed to indicate. I even went to PetSmart and had them test my aquarium water with their strips which were that exact same, and there's did not work either. It showed the same faulty reading for the top nitrate reading. I had to get a liquid test kit instead.