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Re: kits

> At risk of bringing up an old chestnut and/or rolling
> a lot of eyeballs upward... is there any current
> consensus on the subject of test kits?  Which ones
> work, which ones don't, which are worth what they
> cost, etc etc?   
> I'm just beginning the first few steps on the road
> from from "tyro" to "obsessed", and would like to
> monitor basic water properties and nitrogen cycle,
> maybe iron and CO2 someday.  I've surfed the
> Aquatic-Plants archives to great edification on
> several subjects, but not this one.
> Any comments, or pointers to further reading,
> appreciated... online if it is of general interest,
> offline if this is a monthly topic on this list.
> regards,
> Ed in Monterey 

Monterey CA? Your in for a treat when MBA does their FW plant exhibit! 2002
or 2003 something like that. A number of the group in SF go down there every
now and then.
Check out www.sfbaaps.com under references for a number of kits and
suggestions. You can take the kits a step further depending on how much
loose cash you have. Ion meters are nice but the probes tend to be about
150-250 with 200$ each being the medium. But you measure NO3, PO4, Ca, Fe,
Mg etc very accurately and easily. Lamott and Hach make good kits. They run
about 30-80$ depending. SeaChem makes ones in the 15$ range.
pH is one that can be used by a simple cheapy kit but the pH probe meters
like the Pinpoint brand are very good and well worth it in the long run and
great for estimations of CO2 content. Bout 80-90$.
You often get what you pay for. Cross checking the reading against other
things like the water utility's or other friend's kits is always a good idea
for a concensus.
Tom Barr