Advice On Reading Api Ph And Input On Ph/kh/gh For Malawi Tank

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Bizarro252

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Helllllllo everyone!
Really loving this forum BTW!

I will try to make this quick since I know similar questions are common.

First, below is a pic of my tap (left) and tank (right) - are you supposed to read these with the test tubes up against the white paper or spaced away? With a bright light behind me it will always darken up when held up against the paper so I space them back to read - am I wrong? Also, what do you think these numbers are?? I broke down and bought a PH meter to double check these tests since I can never be sure if its more or less purple....ugh

Second, here are my tap and tank numbers I currently add the following at water change time:
Seachem Malawi Buffer 1tsp per 10 gal
Seachem Cichlid Salts 0.5tsp per 10 gal

TAP:
PH: See first question/pic
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: 0/0/5
KH 10
GH 8

Tank:
PH: See first question/pic
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: 0/0/30
KH 15
GH 11

And I think... I can back off? Seachem recommends on their bottles/site:
GH and KH: 4-8
But the API kit recommends 11-20 for both numbers... Reading around this forum and others it sounds like 10+ on both seems to be the sweet spot - thoughts? Should I leave my water alone (after slowly tapering them back to tap, as I did when I started adding these in the first place), continue what I am doing, or just half what I am doing? I dont mind the cost or effort of adding these, if its helping...

Thank you!
 

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scarface

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I always held it up against the paper. I normally use window lighting.

I don't use the API test for ph actually, but the Elos freshwater ph kit. Unlike the API, you only need one set and the colors are clear cut and simple to read.

Edit: I can't tell what it is by the photo. Elos is way simpler.
 
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Bizarro252

Bizarro252

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I always held it up against the paper. I normally use window lighting.

I don't use the API test for ph actually, but the Elos freshwater ph kit. Unlike the API, you only need one set and the colors are clear cut and simple to read.

Edit: I can't tell what it is by the photo. Elos is way simpler.
Thanks, several places list it as discontinued, maybe I am looking at it wrong, is it one like this?
 

scarface

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Thanks, several places list it as discontinued, maybe I am looking at it wrong, is it one like this?
That's the one. What I like about it is that there is no confusion where the color matches with. You don't need the high and low ph kit, like the API. With this, you look at it with the cap off and look down (bird's eye view) the test tube to match the colors on the chart. Because of this good lighting is important, like in front of the window.
 
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