Posted: 10/17/2012 from ROCKVILLE, MD UNITED STATES
This is for both nitrate and phosphate kits. My previous (average-priced) kit showed 0 nitrates and 3 ppm phosphates. Added some KNO3 (to bring nitrates to 10 ppm). Still 0. Decided to check with LaMotte before adding any more fertilizer. Turned out that my tap already contains 10 ppm nitrate (and 1 ppm phosphate), and tank had 20 ppm NO3 after the fertilizer addition (as expected!) and 1.3 ppm phosphate. Both kits are easy to use and accurate. No sample dilution required if levels are within reasonable values. Color comparison is much easier than in other kits, especially for phosphate (ingenious 'Axial Reader' system, which allows looking through the solution column in the test tube "length-wise", makes it especially reliable and robust). Expensive, but well worth it (I'm a biochemists; I'm supposed to love quality reagents and kits :)).
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Poor Color Standard
Posted: 12/21/2008 from SAN FRANCISCO, CA UNITED STATE
I bought this against my better judgment, having read Dandrake's review. He's absolutely right on; it's hard to match your sample with the octet standard because they are different shades of blue.
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Bad color standard
Posted: 10/14/2007 from SF Bay Area
I don't like it. It has the standard axial-read comparator, which works just fine in other low-level test kits from Lamotte. But there's a warning that you must read it in sunlight, not artificial light. OK, that's reasonable, the lighting spectrum may matter, since the color sample isn't exactly the stuff in the test tube.
Problem: the color sample is nothing like the solution in the test tube. Under any light, at any concentration I've run a test on, the hue of the samples is quite different from that of the actual test solution. It's extremely hard to compare the concentration (i.e., the saturation of the colors). If you're color blind, it may work fine -- seriously.
If I want a result I can rely on, I actually run a parallel test against a known solution. Extract measured amounts of solution from the darker sample till the color matches, and do the math. Yuck.
Worst of all, I don't know of a better test kit for these concentrations, 1 ppm plus or minus.
Note: the kit is a few years old (but not deteriorated), used in freshwater testing.
(Expertise listed below: in chemistry & test kits, not in fishkeeping.)
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