How do I know if my API Master Test kit expired?

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I read on one forum here that the lot number on the bottles of the API Master Test kit tell you the expiration date, or a date of some sort. All of mine but one read either 1109 or 1209. But I bought it in 2010. I went to a pet store today to have them check my water to make sure my readings have been right - which they have. The guy there told me that as long as I opened the bottles this year, they should still be good and last 1 year after being opened, despite the date on the bottle.

I just want to know if that date is an expiration date, or a date the chemicals were bottled. And, is his advice correct?

When I was there I felt like they were giving me a lot of inaccurate advice ... Plus, there were 2 blood cichlids in a 10g. tank. And a few dead fish in a couple tanks & one swimming upside down which to me meant it had to be sick.

On the bright side, it smelled nothing like a pet store - it was probably the cleanest pet store I've been in.
 

JustinF

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From what I've read on here, people say that the lot number is when it's made and it last 3 years. (Example 1109 is November 2009) Hope it helps. I'm sure you will get more response too. Mine is 1009 and it came direct in the mail. That's sad to hear about the dead fish in the store. I've never trusted the LFS's but take everything with a grain of salt and research everything.

Oh yeah here's a link https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/important-information-for-api-freshwater-master-test-kit-users.6439/
 
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LyndaB

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Since I've been holding the tube up to the card and using the vertical stripe of color I see, I haven't had any issues getting consistent results. Before that, it was a nightmare.
 

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Hello,

I always hold my test tube against the white of the card or something with a white background. I think you see the true color this way.

Ken
 

LyndaB

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I hope it was clear that I hold the card up, place the tube against the white portion of the card, see the vertical stripe of color (against the white background) and then look to see which of the card colors matches it best.
 
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I agree, that's the way I do it. But my main concern was whether or not the colors on either side would mess up the color in the test tube.
 

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I don't know how much if any of the color reflection you would get just by holding it next to the colors on the chart. You could use a white t shirt for the back ground then eye ball it in comparison to the chart.

Ken
 

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I really struggle with the colors due to me being color blind. One thing that seems to help me, is I slide the tube over the color squares and see which color disappears.
 
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