Faulty Test Kit?

Rae88

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Has anyone had experience with faulty test kits or false readings with kits?

I am in Ireland, and couldn't find the API master kit in store so bought one that was highly rated from a German company called JBL. It had liquid tests for all the same as the API does - the Nitrites, Nitrates, Ammonia and pH.

Anyway, my betta got dropsy and I had to euthanise as it was a hopeless case and he was suffering. I did a 50% water change and a good clean of the tank before bringing a sample to the store and to look into getting another fish.

Since I'd done a water test a couple of days previously, and then an added wate change, I figured the water would be fine. My levels were all fine, except for the ammonia which came back a blue green colour!! The test I have had different ways of reading than API, so not sure the exact numbers, but I know that colour isn't good.

I was so upset. I went right home and tested my ammonia again, and yet again got another 0 reading from my test kit. I was very shaken as I would have been able to sort a problem if I'd known one existed. I was testing right too, so I can only assume it was a faulty test.

I just bought an API master kit off ebay and I'm hoping that this will be better, but as I'm still relatively new in the hobby I'm really anxious about future water tests.
 

Ed204

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Hello,
Personally, I haven’t had any experiences with faulty test kits. I’ve used Tetra test kits and Seachem test kits and haven’t had any problem before.

Are you sure you dosed the correct amount of test solution in according to the instructions?

Also, are you sure that you tested for Ammonia using the API kit? Ammonia tests for API is usually yellow to green. The test with blue coloration is the Nitrate test. Try searching up online and try comparing
 
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Rae88

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Ed204 said:
Hello,
Personally, I haven’t had any experiences with faulty test kits. I’ve used Tetra test kits and Seachem test kits and haven’t had any problem before.

Are you sure you dosed the correct amount of test solution in according to the instructions?

Also, are you sure that you tested for Ammonia using the API kit? Ammonia tests for API is usually yellow to green. The test with blue coloration is the Nitrate test. Try searching up online and try comparing
Yep, definitely tested correctly with my own kit. I've had it since march and I double and triple checked because I was confused about getting an okay reading at home!

Hmm, I don't know, online I see some API tests as blue for ammonia and some not. It was just what I was told in the store. She said it was high in ammonia and she showed me the colour of the test tube. Honestly, a high reading would make sense because if my water parameters were correct I don't know how my fish could have got so sick.
 

kallililly1973

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Ed204 said:
The test with blue coloration is the Nitrate test.
I believe you have that mixed up with the Nitrite test. As to not confuse the OP.
I believe if your showing Ammonia it is because nothing is in the tank to feed your Cycle. Retest it and also be sure to always test your water source.
 
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Rae88

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I should add, I was dealing with the head of the fish department and in Ireland this chain requires them to have a degree so they are reliable.

kallililly1973 said:
I believe you have that mixed up with the Nitrite test. As to not confuse the OP.
I believe if your showing Ammonia it is because nothing is in the tank to feed your Cycle. Retest it and also be sure to always test your water source.
Weird, she said it was ammonia! It doesn't make much of a difference now as the tank is empty and I will be dosing it with aquarium salts and adding some stability to try and level it out before we get a new fish.

I'm going to go test for nitrites now though...
 

kallililly1973

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IME the API test kits will show up like this.
Ammonia tests will show Yellow to a Dark Green
Nitrite tests will show Baby Blue to a Dark Purple
Nitrate tests will show a Light Yellow/Orange to a Dark Orange to almost Maroon.
 
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Rae88

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kallililly1973 said:
IME the API test kits will show up like this.
Ammonia tests will show Yellow to a Dark Green
Nitrite tests will show Baby Blue to a Dark Purple
Nitrate tests will show a Light Yellow/Orange to a Dark Orange to almost Maroon.
Okay it may have been more of a greeny colour. I know it started out yellow, so I may have seen it as a green blue.

I just tested for nitrites and they are coming up fine also. I dislike this test. You need to be careful with testing, but it also shouldn't require a Phd! lol I have triple checked I am doing it correctly.

I worked out why the water problem happened inthe first place, so I know there was definitely a problem. I'm going to be checking my water constantly once this new test kit comes in.
 

kallililly1973

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Rae88 said:
Okay it may have been more of a greeny colour. I know it started out yellow, so I may have seen it as a green blue.

I just tested for nitrites and they are coming up fine also. I dislike this test. You need to be careful with testing, but it also shouldn't require a Phd! lol I have triple checked I am doing it correctly.

I worked out why the water problem happened inthe first place, so I know there was definitely a problem. I'm going to be checking my water constantly once this new test kit comes in.
I Definitely don't doubt your doing it correct. Yes I agree once your API kit comes in do side by side comparisons with both kits to see if it is in fact defective ( or possibly expired? ) Do you have another tank you can take a little media out of and add it to this tank to help the cycle once you find your next inhabitant?
 
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kallililly1973 said:
I Definitely don't doubt your doing it correct. Yes I agree once your API kit comes in do side by side comparisons with both kits to see if it is in fact defective ( or possibly expired? ) Do you have another tank you can take a little media out of and add it to this tank to help the cycle once you find your next inhabitant?
Well, once the test kit gets here I'm hoping my water levels will have stabilised as I'm going to be treating the tank in prep for new fish today.

I have to say, our petshop is amazing. The head of the department gave me a free dose of aquarium salts, a free bottle of seachem stability and said our next fish is on them.

Unfortunately, it's the only tank I have up and running, but I'm going to be dosing with the stability and hopefully it will be okay again in a couple of weeks!
 

kallililly1973

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Rae88 said:
Well, once the test kit gets here I'm hoping my water levels will have stabilised as I'm going to be treating the tank in prep for new fish today.

I have to say, our petshop is amazing. The head of the department gave me a free dose of aquarium salts, a free bottle of seachem stability and said our next fish is on them.

Unfortunately, it's the only tank I have up and running, but I'm going to be dosing with the stability and hopefully it will be okay again in a couple of weeks!
I wish you the best luck and of course keep us updated. Sounds like a great fish store you have near you!!
 

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This may sound like a dumb question, but is your test kit expired?
 
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Crispii said:
This may sound like a dumb question, but is your test kit expired?
Nope, it says it's good till June 2020
 

kallililly1973

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Rae88 said:
Nope, it says it's good till June 2020
It's always good to rule out all possibilities. Just out of curiousity have you tested your water source to see what reading your test kit is giving on that water. Probably irrelevent to your original dilemma but was just curious.
 
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Although considering I only bought it in march and there's enough soloution for a long time, that does seem like kind of an early date! I will not be buying from this company again.

kallililly1973 said:
It's always good to rule out all possibilities. Just out of curiousity have you tested your water source to see what reading your test kit is giving on that water. Probably irrelevent to your original dilemma but was just curious.
I have not, but I think I may try that later on today just to see what it says.
 

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Rae88 said:
Although considering I only bought it in march and there's enough soloution for a long time, that does seem like kind of an early date! I will not be buying from this company again.
I think it might be best, if the kit is giving you inaccurate readings, similar to test strips.
 

kallililly1973

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Rae88 said:
Although considering I only bought it in march and there's enough soloution for a long time, that does seem like kind of an early date! I will not be buying from this company again.
Yes that does seem like a short shelf life. But at the same time who knows how long it sat before you purchased it. I bought my API kit about 1.5 years ago and its expiration date is 6/21. But that could be it's a more popular brand and are sold much more often.
 

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As others have already touched on it is always a good Idea to run the full range of tests on your source water. When trying to figure out what is going on it is good to have a baseline reading on our source water.
 

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We are missing a key element here. Firstly, I would trust your kit over the api. It is entirely possible that your JBL test kit only tests free ammonia. The apI tests for total ammonia. Total ammonia includes ammonium, as well as any other bound form of ammonia.

ApI is highly recommended here for 2 reasons. It is cheap, and it is readily available to the bulk of our members. It is not particularly accurate, and not the end all be all of kits. When you really need to know what's in the water, nobody really uses api. It's fine for a regular freshwater hobby kit, but that's the end of its usefulness.
 
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Rae88

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Wraithen said:
We are missing a key element here. Firstly, I would trust your kit over the api. It is entirely possible that your JBL test kit only tests free ammonia. The apI tests for total ammonia. Total ammonia includes ammonium, as well as any other bound form of ammonia.

ApI is highly recommended here for 2 reasons. It is cheap, and it is readily available to the bulk of our members. It is not particularly accurate, and not the end all be all of kits. When you really need to know what's in the water, nobody really uses api. It's fine for a regular freshwater hobby kit, but that's the end of its usefulness.
I am confused, what is the key element?

I am not likely to trust my kit if its coming back perfect but other tests are showing its severely off? Especially after the death of a previously healthy fish.
 

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