gonebad395

Test kits

What test kits do you guys use the kits or singles?my tank now has been running well so I haven't tested for a long time but with the new tank coming I'm going to have to start agian any help would be appreciated.

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i have the API master kit. hard to read unless you have perfect color vison and can see the slightest difference between identical colors against to a poorly printed sample

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I use Api or Salifert.

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I like salifert, I've used their calcium, alk and phos.

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Testing? Nah

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API is fine for the basic tests to get through a cycle - Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. I then purchased a Red Sea Reef Foundation kit for Ca, KH, Mg.

 

I just recently purchased a Hanna Checker for alkalinity.

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What JTWisconsin said!

 

I use Red Sea for calcium and mag (originally bought the foundation kit, now I purchased refills for those two), Hanna Checker for alkalinity and phosphate (low range, but not ultra low range phosphorus).

 

Salifert for nitrate, random $40 refractometer for salinity, cheap digital thermometer (backed up from glass thermometer) for temperature.

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I use API, both Master and Reef. Everyone loves to hate on API, but I have yet to see convincing evidence that more expensive brands are more accurate. The only somewhat systematic comparison (and article in AA a few years back) suggested that API is actually one of the better performers.

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Yeah have the refractometer and the digi temp with a glass back up. I also have the reef and master set but they are about 2 years old I don't know how long the last im sure there is a expiration on them correct if not then I'm still good to go.

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I use API, both Master and Reef. Everyone loves to hate on API, but I have yet to see convincing evidence that more expensive brands are more accurate. The only somewhat systematic comparison (and article in AA a few years back) suggested that API is actually one of the better performers.

 

 

I don't particularly dislike API, and it's good for cycling where you're either at 0 or you're not, but I appreciate that my kits can give me results at smaller increments. I can't measure phosphate with a test kit that only tells me it's 'below' .25ppm, for example.

 

My only real qualm with API kits is quality control on the bottles (some are easy to squeeze, some have the dispensing tip melted almost shut so that it's a hassle to get drops out), and the shape of the test container's lid. It leaves gaps, and certain tests involve thorough shaking (nitrate, for example) that ends with chemicals all over my fingers/napkins, and no assurance that the test is still accurate after.

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I use API for Calcium and nitrate (I tested API against Red Sea Calcium and the result was pretty much the same so since api is more effective to use, I switched, it's also easier to obtain.)

 

I have salifert for phosphate, and Red Sea for KH,MG.

 

Refractometer for salinity, $25 special off Amazon works fine.

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My only real qualm with API kits is quality control on the bottles (some are easy to squeeze, some have the dispensing tip melted almost shut so that it's a hassle to get drops out), and the shape of the test container's lid. It leaves gaps, and certain tests involve thorough shaking (nitrate, for example) that ends with chemicals all over my fingers/napkins, and no assurance that the test is still accurate after.

 

haha, my phosphate #2 bottle is like that. feels like its made of glass. squeezing 6 drops out gave me carpal tunnel

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Yeah bought the API kit to get through my cycle and the bottles are fine but the cap and sample tubes are just not well thought-out...

 

As Maria said liquid constantly comes out during shaking and it's unpleasant but also makes me question the legitimacy of the test.

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I just recently purchased a Hanna Checker for alkalinity.

 

Kicking myself for not getting one of these years ago. So easy and would have used more, and would have probably saved a ton of worry and wasted money

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Kicking myself for not getting one of these years ago. So easy and would have used more, and would have probably saved a ton of worry and wasted money

I will admit to doing the exact same thing - should have bought one a long time ago.

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So do API expire or pretty much good for a long time

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So do API expire or pretty much good for a long time

 

They expire. They now have an expiry date on the bottles, older versions have a method of when they expire based on the lot code, but all newer bottles should have expiry dates printed on them.

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What type of tank are you setting up? I use hanna for PO4 and salifert for the rest, but honestly in a non-SPS leaning mixed reef or LPS/softie tank, there's only a few I would really care to spend the money on.

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They expire. They now have an expiry date on the bottles, older versions have a method of when they expire based on the lot code, but all newer bottles should have expiry dates printed on them.

 

Ty

What type of tank are you setting up? I use hanna for PO4 and salifert for the rest, but honestly in a non-SPS leaning mixed reef or LPS/softie tank, there's only a few I would really care to spend the money on.

This is going to be a sps dom tank

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Ty

 

This is going to be a sps dom tank

 

Then alk, Ca, PO4, NO3, and a refractometer are the absolute must have's, Mg is arguably a must have as well, definitely shouldn't be needed initially. I'd save the money and skip NO2 and NH4 unless you think you wont be able to tell when it's done cycling.

 

The only API ones I'd consider are Alk and Ca. Their NO3 and PO4 tests are completely useless IMO.

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I tend to agree with you on NO3 API test, when I was using API I was always getting 15ppm to 20ppm but test exactly same time with Salifert and Nutrafin and they both consistently test 5ppm, so I figure if 2 tests are giving me 5ppm and only API gives 15-20ppm that the API is just not accurate, and I follow the directions exactly as they say.

 

CA I find API is accurate, always within 5ppm of the Red Sea when I tested both.

 

 

Then alk, Ca, PO4, NO3, and a refractometer are the absolute must have's, Mg is arguably a must have as well, definitely shouldn't be needed initially. I'd save the money and skip NO2 and NH4 unless you think you wont be able to tell when it's done cycling.

 

The only API ones I'd consider are Alk and Ca. Their NO3 and PO4 tests are completely useless IMO.

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