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API Test Kits


Michae52

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I think most kits are as accurate as the person using them.. IMO It is always good to get test results from more than one test kit. I test my water and then take it to RCA to test..

-Jake

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I bought the calcium test from API and i really don't like it. Never know when the water turns blue enough to give you an accurate reading. For my ammonia testing the API does really good IMO.

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Here's a link http://dfwmas.org/fi...KitAnalysis.pdf to some comparison tests DFWMAS did that Robb in Austin posted last year. In the conclusion DFWMAS said "The primary finding we came to agreement on was that of all the Test Kits used, the majority of them were accurate enough for hobby use" and addressing API specifically "What really surprised us was how well API Kits did, these are some of the most economical Kits around and they did reasonably well against the more expensive ones." They also commented on the difficulty sometimes of determining the color change for some of the colormetric tests.

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I use the API's pretty much all the time with the occasional Hagen and now Red Sea Foundation to substantiate the results. There have been some discrepancies and that is when I will test against known values.

When I first received my API SW kit, I wasnt sure how the colors matched to the pH 'key'. So I took out some reef buffer, did a few calculations and made a graduated batch (Fresh-9pH in .2 increments) to what the values should be and tested against the kit. Not only did this familiarize me with the testing procedures (Hagens and Red Sea are most all multi step), it gave me confidence in reading the 'in betweens'.

It did take quite a bit of extra time, but was well worth it to see the outliers in a test case so I dont misread something when it might be important.

I have found that the last 20 or so tests in the nitrate kit were suspiciously higher in reading that normal. At that point I had a replacement and tossed the remaining nitrate test.

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i use mostly api,except iodine and mg. i think phosphate is worthless, but the rest seem ok to me,pretty accurate as far as i can tell when someone else has tested my water. when using the nitrate kit i have gotten false lows when not shaking them enough, like the instructions say to.

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The API calc test kit is rubbish. Whatever you do, dont let it get above 85F, it will no longer work right. I had mine in the garage for a couple days. Dosing kalkwasser heavy, it said my calc was in the 200'2....Not a chance thats accurate..

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PO4 test is garbage as well. NO3 will give a different reading with every test even out of the same batch.

Generally I think they're all ok for a broad reading, and far better than nothing, but I wouldn't base any scientific conclusion from them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

. . . Whatever you do, dont let it get above 85F, it will no longer work right. I had mine in the garage for a couple days . . .

Derrick makes a very good point. Whatever kit you use the reagents can be damaged by temperature and are going to age so also check experiation dates.

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