That is also the one I use; the API Master Test Kit. In the long run, liquid test kits are cheaper because they last for forever - two perks right there - and as mentioned, they are much more accurate than test strips.
If you want to do rocket sience then get the API master kit.
If you want a easy, no mess real quick on the go, just want to own an aquarium for fun an test every now and then. Get the 6 in 1 test strips, they work great. After a couple months of using them they just sit on the shelf. Every month or so I will check and the water is still good. Then you end up getting to where you don't use it at all so it just sits there. Unless your going to be setting up tanks all the time!!
No, the strips don't test for ammonia; you'd have to buy separate ones for that. Once you buy all of the test strips you need, and calculate the number of tests you can do with them, it's really much more economical to get the API test kit. It is far more accurate, and if you ever have a problem with your tank, it will be easier to give people on the forum the more accurate numbers from that kit than the general ones of the test strips. You can buy it cheaper at Walmart.com with $.97 shipping.
Its a whole kit for 19.99 you get both bottles, one does ammonia the other is the 6 in 1. the api kit is like 32.00 - 38.00 and yes its nice I have nothing against it. But I dont think the person is setting up tanks everyday and I dont think he is trying to run and test salt water tanks...
The only time People use the api is when there first setting up a tank, and there watching the whole cycle making sure everything is spot on. Or they have a high dollar salt water tank with high dollar fish..
I have had so many people use the api kit for the first month or two and then it sit's there with dust while there using the strips now, they want to sell the api kit for 10 dollars.
Or if you have a real nice salt water set up then you want to be right on, then people use the api..
I mean come on we are talking about bettas here that can pretty much live threw anything. the strips are fine and there easy..
Not that anyone should take after me but my 10 gal and my 55 gal haven't been tested in 6 month's. And that's why I say people buy that kit and then it just sit, they dont want to take the time to mess with all that and once the tank get's going you dont have to mess with anything. Unless people dont no what there doing and are just rinsing sponge filters out in tap water and stuff, them people need to watch there water and research some more. And then again it's just a betta the strips are fine..
Anyway I just went in there and tested my 55 gallon, that hasn't been tested for 6 months and hasn't had a water change in 2 weeks..
Nitrate 10 - 20
and my water is hard I got well water
Couple water changes and that nitrate will go down even thoe it's not bad level's.
If people do everything right and no what there doing, they wont have problems.
I look at it like I can never know enough so I try to learn something new everyday to be a better aquaria keeper...
I use both the API master kit and test strips and found that they are pretty close.
The liquid reagent type in the long run is cheaper, however, it takes longer to use and if not done correctly you get skewed results
Test strips are fast and easy to use and can give a quick look to see if more testing is needed.
My best testing method and the one I use everyday.... is "Me"
The power of observation and the use of the best treatment "water change"
To be a good keeper of fish you must first be a keeper of water
Freshwater fish thrive best in fresh water from regular water changes
But-if you don't understand with either of them what the test results mean or what to do with the results of the test-then what is the point of testing, however, this is when research and forums come into play.
Both testing methods either liq reagent or strips are a great idea to have and to use as well as learning from in regards to water quality issues and how they relate to fish health and behavior.
IMO-you don't have to have all the testing stuff to be a good fish keeper either, especially if you only keep a few fish/tanks and make regular water changes
Regardless of test results 99.9% of the time the treatment is a "water change" water testing can sometimes help you with the percent of water to change however.
If you are doing a "Fishless" cycle you need a way to test the water to know what direction to take and to know when you are cycled
With the "Fish-in" cycle-you don't have to test the water, however, it sure will make cycling easier and will help you with the number and percent of water changes as well as tell you when the cycle is complete so you can reduce the "better safe than sorry" frequent water changes for the life/health of the fish.