Jump to content
SXReefer

API Master Kit, what color do you see?

Recommended Posts

SXReefer

API test kits are driving me nuts!  What colors do you see? (Nitrite is zero)

20180111_143851.jpg

20180111_143907.jpg

20180111_143801.jpg

20180111_143721.jpg

20180111_143639.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
brandon429

I see the classic .25 ammonia

 

we don't need to see any of them however, to discern where your cycle is at (are you cycling?)

 

we only need to know this:

 

origin of rocks, were they wet or dry

 

how long has your system been underwater

 

what boosts have you used, if any, for ammonia and bottle bacteria?

 

 

only those three are needed to cycle a tank, we can easily cycle without any testing at all only knowing those three variables.

 

 

The best homerun would be if your live rock was cured and live before you moved it into the tank...a skip cycle setup. most are using dry rocks nowadays though...post tank pics.

 

The only reason I commented on ammonia is because the other two don't matter in cycling, only the above conditions do.

 

 

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Kellie in CA

 .25 Ammonia, 0 Nitrate is what I see

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79

0.25 ammonia 

0 nitrate

 

These test should be viewed in natural light for true colour

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I'd say that ammonia is somewhere below 0.25 ppm; however, it is still detectable.  If cycling, I would wait a little longer to see if the color to gets closer to undetectable.

 

It would be unprecedented for a hobby grade ammonia test kit, but I wish that API would also provide a low range color chart that goes up in 0.1 increments.  Our systems (and the ocean) contain some ammonia.  This is especially true with newer systems.  And although ammonia is quite toxic, some small trace amounts of ammonia are still common.

 

Healthy, mature reef tanks tend to show a closer match to undetectable.  Although, they might not show an exact color match (as some trace ammonia is typically present).  This can be demonstrated when testing a system with a biofilter but with no ammonia source, and then compared to the results of a stocked tank.

 

As Brandon suggested, a background of the system, like how long it has been cycling, type of rock used, ammonia source (if used), how long the ammonia level has been like it is now, and pictures of the rocks, can all help us determine if your tank is ready for livestock.  Testing can be an important way to determine ammonia levels; however, (when using a sensitive kit like API) achieving an exact color match with 0.0 ppm may or may not occur.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
SXReefer

I've read that api will show .25 ammonia "always" even when there isn't any present.  And for others, it read zero.  

 

Tank has been up for atleast 3 weeks.  Live rocks came from a lfs tank as live with fish and other rocks in it.  I've added some dead rock with it at some point.  Ammonia source: clownfish fish poop and feedings.  Clownfish was purchased the same day with live rock.

20180112_084618.jpg

20180112_084257.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
1 hour ago, SXReefer said:

I've read that api will show .25 ammonia "always" even when there isn't any present.

I don't believe that to be an accurate statement.  It may, however, be accurate to say that some people never get an exact 0.0 ppm match (but that doesn't mean that there isn't any ammonia present).  I can show you with my kit that I can get an exact color match with 0.0 ppm ammonia in a holding tank with live rock that has no ammonia source.  The kit picks up trace amounts of ammonia, and therefore doesn't give you an exact color match.  Even in the ocean, there are trace amounts of ammonia.

 

In your particular case, the live rock was already cured, and had an established biofilter.  Since you have livestock in the tank, I think that you can assume that the levels are fairly low.

 

You can see in this particular picture that the level is pretty close to 0 ppm (much closer than 0.25 ppm as the others had identified). 20180111_143907.jpg

So, I don't believe that you have anything to worry about.

 

Some people feel that the kit is somehow flawed if it identifies ammonia when the level is low (or when another kit might not be able to detect it).  However, I feel that it more accurately depicts the existence of trace amounts.  But like I said, it might be more helpful if they provided a low range color chart and explained about acceptable levels.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
SXReefer

Because it can be a bit frustrating and/or confusing, some reefers has said "I let my fish tell me something is wrong."  I kind of like that.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

The cycle should already be established before you put livestock in your tank.  After that, most people don't check ammonia (using any brand of kit) unless they add additional livestock, there is a death, or they visibly see signs of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79

 liverock from a tank with fish is established. Its cured rock. The fish in the tank would be dead or struggling if it wasn't. 

 

There should be no cycle unless you left the rock out to dry causing die off.

 

Adding dry rock may have produced some ammonia due to the organics in the dry rock.

 

As @seabass mentioned, some ppl never get a 0 reading with Api ammonia tester but my experience has been the same as @seabass. I have always gotten 0 with Api and Nutrifin testers.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
SXReefer

Test results just now.  Left is tank water.  Right is new batch of saltwater (io reef crystals) still in the bucket circula ting since last last night.  I see no difference.  Right does not match with 0 ppm colors

20180113_082222.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
seabass
43 minutes ago, SXReefer said:

20180113_082924.jpg

You are assuming that a freshly mixed batch of saltwater is free of ammonia.  That's not a valid assumption.  It's actually not that uncommon for magnesium chloride and calcium chloride to be contaminated with ammonia. So likewise, it's common for many (if not most) brands of salt to contain some ammonia. It's something that manufacturers rarely discuss.

 

However, both results look pretty close to undetectable.  So again, I wouldn't worry about it.

Share this post


Link to post
SXReefer
18 minutes ago, seabass said:

You are assuming that a freshly mixed batch of saltwater is free of ammonia.  That's not a valid assumption.  It's actually not that uncommon for magnesium chloride and calcium chloride to be contaminated with ammonia. So likewise, it's common for many (if not most) brands of salt to contain some ammonia. It's something that manufacturers rarely discuss.

 

However, both results look pretty close to undetectable.  So again, I wouldn't worry about it.

The salt we buy comes with ammonia or creates ammonia?  Im no science guy but that's interesting.  I just wanted to show that my api test kit will always show ammonia.  If the salt is to be blamed...I guess.  Atleast now I know not to panic when color shows anything towards a .25

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

It comes with ammonia.  Here's a quote from Seachem:

"A silent contaminant of commercial salt is ammonia, arising from the use of magnesium chloride as a principal source of magnesium. Many sources of calcium chloride are likewise contaminated with ammonia. Consequently, most, if not all, brands of salt contain ammonia, usually enough to yield between 0.1 - 0.8mg/L in a freshly prepared batch of saltwater. In most instances, this may not be a problem because the ammonia is diluted by the existing tank water and the biological filter should clear it in short order. But, it is definitely not a promotional feature of any salt, and, for that reason, has remained a well kept secret."

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
SXReefer

I'll be testing each new bag I purchase from now on.  It'll be interesting to see the results.  I may use a new brand just to see each time.

Share this post


Link to post
seabass

I wouldn't recommend constantly switching brands of salt.  You should really try to stick to one brand, and switch only for a good reason.  However, I have found significant differences in ammonia levels even between different batches of the same brand of mix.

Share this post


Link to post
sunnycadreamer

@SXReefer thank you for the photo. My newly cycled tank is showing the same color ammonia as your last photo which to my eyes looks like maybe .20 ppm. I'm glad to have someone else's test to look at an compare. I did add a Seachem alert just in case which is showing safe. I will just keep an eye on it and add fish and coral slowly as planned. I'm glad I'm not hurting my new clown fish. Prior to seeing this I also ordered a Red Sea test kit to double check since my LFS all use API for customers water samples. I can't wait to see what comes back.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...