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Old 12-16-2010, 09:10 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Kentucky
Are these okay?

Before I buy anything for my betta fish (before I get him/her still haven't decided, I have names chosen for both ) once I get the money in, I was looking around at Wal-Mart for water conditioners and the only had: Tetra Easy Balance,Stress Coat Water Conditioner, and Tetra AquaSafe. Are these okay for water conditioners before I can get my hands on some Prime? Do I need to get one of them, or both? I have a 2.5 gallon and a 1.5 gallon (I think, they both belonged to my late grandfather and I'm sure about the first one--had to make sure there were no leaks--but I'm too lazy to check the second, lol). There were also some tablets but I can't find those online. :\

I have also looked into water test kits, the only one that is in my store is the Jungle 5 N 1 Test Strips. Will these be okay for now until I can get this or this? (Again which of the two of those is better?) Which reminds me, how often should I test the water?
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:17 AM   #2 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mississauga, Canada
My instinct is to go with the Aquasafe. Easy Balance isn't actually a water conditioner it's a cycle aid (which I wouldn't even use for that). However I would recommend going to your local PetsMart/Petco or Local Fish Store since they usually carry Prime and that is what you mentioned you want ultimately.

I'm also not sure I would trust a 5-in-1 test strip. In my experience they don't work anywhere near as well as individual test strips. They don't even say they test for ammonia which is one of the big things you need to watch. I've never tried them though so you should wait for advice on test strips from others with more experience before deciding.

Again, by going to a PetsMart/Petco/LFS you'll find good innexpensive test kits. Most will even test your water for free if you bring in a sample.

Last edited by Malvolti; 12-16-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #3 
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Due to the weather and nearest anything besides Wal-Mart being 45 minutes away, Wal-Mart is really my only choice. I won't be able to get anywhere until months from now. I think I was leaning toward the AquaSafe at the store but it and the Easy Balance are in the same colored bottle so I couldn't remember which one I was looking at. I think I found another kit out there that I couldn't find online that tested ammonia but yesterday was a really bad day for me, and have blocked out most of everything that happened. :\
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #4 
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Stress coat is also a water conditioner/helps with slime coat, so you can buy that. I would hold off and wait to buy a good quality liquid tester, strips are unreliable. You can order the API master testkit online from walmart and have it shipped for free to your store for you to pick it up.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:02 PM   #5 
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Location: Florida
I bought those exact test strips and used them at first. I realized, however, that they don't last long and they're $13 per box. After I'd bought two sets, I realized I could have practically bought the API master test kit, so I finally sprung for it, as it lasts way longer!

I found that the test strips were in the right ball park when compared to my master test kit. The nitrite and nitrate readings were accurate. The pH reading was off by about a point. I thought my tank was at 6.8, it's really at 7.6 or so.

I'd say they're okay for a general reading, but ammonia is what you really need to be concerned with, since you probably can't cycle tanks that small effectively. They sell the individual API ammonia tester ( and it does 130 tests. You may be better off just getting that for now!

Last edited by kfish; 12-16-2010 at 01:07 PM.
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