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         Two sets of five identical vials were each filled with one of the types of test solutions (nitrite or nitrate) and were labeled. The labels were obscured and the vials were mixed to a random order (within each corresponding set). A type of test kit was chosen and a vial was selected randomly for testing from the corresponding set of vials, until all vials had been selected. The tests were performed exactly following the respective manufacturers’ instructions included in the packaging. The results of the tests were recorded. The label was then removed from the vial and the identity was noted. This procedure was repeated for each test kit.

Interpreting The Results

Chemist-Choice.gif (12829 bytes)Eval-Box.gif (11043 bytes)A test kit’s accuracy was judged based on how close the observed reading was to that of the concentration of the test solutions (ppm NO21- or ppm NO31-). The accuracy was then fit to a scale of 1 to 5 flasks, with 5 being the most accurate. A kit’s ease of use was judged based on many factors. A few of the factors were: 1) ease of filling the test vial, 2) ease of comparing the sample reading to the provided gradient concentration chart, 4) ease of spilling the test vial, 5) ease of following the manufacturer’s directions, etc. Some factors were more important than others, but all of them were taken into account in evaluating the kit’s ease of use. The evaluation was then fit to a scale of 1 to 5 fish, with 5 being the most easy to use. After all of the evaluations were completed, the kit with the best overall performance and price was given the chemist’s choice award. The results were compiled into an "at-a-glance" table for easy direct comparison of specific brands and how they stacked up against each other.................

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