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LaMotte Test Kits

OK This may be just a little venting but I just spent a 'ton-o-bucks' on a couple of 
LaMotte test kits and I am not very happy with the decline in quality.  My issue 
is mainly in packaging.

As I type this, I have a new  LaMotte Phosphate test kit and an older LaMotte 
Iron test kit for comparison.  Both kits have about the same number of reagents/ 
accessories, etc.  Both kits have the Axial Reader/Octet comparator.  

The Iron kit is in a one piece black plastic box.  The box is partitioned with foam 
so that all the parts are organized and held in place.  The new Phosphate kit is 
in a two piece blue plastic box that is 1/2 the size of the iron box (even though 
the content quantities/sizes are basically the same).  Since everything is loose 
in the box and the box is so crowded, you have to dump it all out to do a test.  
This may sound like nit-picking but My first use of this kit was from the back 
of my truck and I was not happy to have to spread things out.  Also the new 
box is two pieces and the top doesn't fit too well.  These tops fall off easily!  
This isn't a fluke.  I also have a new Nitrate test kit that is worse.  The box is 
too small for the amount of stuff so it us just forced in.  This kind of stuff can 
be a nuisance at home but is a big deal in the field.

To continue, The LaMotte web site lists their Nitrate and pH kits as having the 
Octa-slide system but the kits I received from Pet Warehouse have the Octet 
Comparator.  I'm sure this is cheaper to make but, to me, it is harder to read.  
My suspicion is that LaMotte makes "less expensive" kits for the discount retailers.  
I might have paid a few extra bucks for the octa slide.  I would recommend Pet 
Warehouse list the manufactures part number for things like this so you can 
make a more informed decision.

A call to LaMotte customer service got the "If you don't like the kits, return them 
to Pet Warehouse".  I guess that is a fair answer since there is nothing "technically"
 wrong.  My issue is that I just paid $60 for a test kit that has, at most, $10 worth 
of contents and the manufacture feels justified in stiffing the consumer to save 
maybe a buck on packaging.

I have used LaMotte kits for at least 20 years.  The LaMotte kits have always been 
expensive but the quality argument was in their favor.  In my opinion, this is no longer 
true.  There are other manufacturers that make good test kits at far more reasonable 

Lyndle Schenck