Question My Very First Api Master Test Kit.

Loachlover357

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This may be dumb, but should I go by the line on the apI test tube? I'm trying to conserve testing fluid as was recommend so I got medicine syringe to be exact. Anyway, my point in all this is my line for my apI test tubes are NOT at 5ml according to a medicine syringe. They are all less than 5. Like 4.6ml and 4.8 ml. Won't ths effect my tests? I'm taken back to chemistry class and titrations where every drop matters.
 

DIYbetta

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Maybe the instructions are wrong or they rounded to 5 mml. It shouldn’t affect your tests though.
 

Heron

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I use the nt labs test kit but the problem is the same the marks on the tubes are not 5 ml but the instructions say 5ml. As the kit came with the syringe I have always measured by the syringe not the tube. I don't think any of the tests require that much precision, water chemistry is not an exact science. Stability is more important than exact values so as long as you are consistent in how you test you should be fine.
 

Heron

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Loachlover357 said:
Thanks guys! Ive been trying to get my nitrates and ph in check. I didn't maintain my tank very well the last couple months due to a new baby. Makes 4 , 5yrs and under. You can read the whole thing about my tank here:

Funny - You're All Gonna Laugh At Me....
If you need to reduce nitrates regular water changes are the best option. Is your pH too high or low?
 
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Loachlover357

Loachlover357

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Heron said:
If you need to reduce nitrates regular water changes are the best option. Is your pH too high or low?
My ph is currently high. 7.8. This is after a 50% water change. I would call my nitrates 30ppm. Not quite the same color as the 20 or the 40. No ammonia on nitrites. I believe this is due to my own stupidity. I didn't pay much attention to my tank the last couple months of pregnancy and the first couple months of my son's life. String algae replaced my java moss and I didn't know enough to even realize. Plus, I've never tested my water. I only took it to the lfs. And that was only in the beginning, 3 yrs ago. I did a 50% water change a couple days ago and another today.
 

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A pH of 7.8 is not bad for most fish, in fact I try to keep my pH in the 7.5-7.8 range. If you have fish that need a lower pH you could add peat to the filter or Driftwood in the tank. If you have a higher KH then reducing the pH will be difficult because kH buffers pH at about 7.5-7.8. I wouldn't try to reduce KH because it keeps the pH stable and as any experienced fish keeper will tell you a stable pH is more important than the correct one.
 
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Loachlover357

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Heron said:
A pH of 7.8 is not bad for most fish, in fact I try to keep my pH in the 7.5-7.8 range. If you have fish that need a lower pH you could add peat to the filter or Driftwood in the tank. If you have a higher KH then reducing the pH will be difficult because kH buffers pH at about 7.5-7.8. I wouldn't try to reduce KH because it keeps the pH stable and as any experienced fish keeper will tell you a stable pH is more important than the correct one.
Thanks so much for the info! I had even bought ph down, but was too scared to crack it open. I think everyone said stable is best. The thing is, it was 7.8 yesterday after I changed 40out of 75 gallons. Ph is back to 8.2. Straight out of the tap its 7.4 maybe 7.6. Tests the lowest with the high ph test and the highest with the normal. I can't figure out what keeps raising it. Maybe I should test tap water 24 hours after it sits and see if the ph changes. I could definitely use another good piece of driftwood though. I'll have to go hunting. Lol! Sooo expensive here.
 

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Do you have any substrate or decorations that may be raising your pH? Limestone and coral sands or gravels will raise pH. If you are unsure test with a drop of pH down or vinegar or any other acid. If a sample of gravel or sand reacts to the acid it will probably raise pH
 
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Loachlover357

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That's a great idea!!! That's a lot easier than how I was getting ready to do it and quicker too. Wish I saw this before I posted it as a question. I'm still learning how to use this forum. Ive been using the app part of the time and switching to the web when I want to do more than just "like" a post.
 

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Loachlover357 said:
They are all less than 5. Like 4.6ml and 4.8 ml. Won't ths effect my tests? I'm taken back to chemistry class and titrations where every drop matters.
Well if you want to be exact, or as exact as you can be, since water adheres to the sides of the glass tube you are supposed to have the line at the very bottom of the water where it is starts curve up.
 
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Loachlover357

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Cichlidude said:
Well it you want to be exact, or as exact as you can be, since water adheres to the sides of the glass tube you are supposed to have the line at the very bottom of the water where it is starts curve up.
I agree, the meniscus should be at the line, but the line should be at 5ml, right? I didn't know how exact it needed to be. Like if it would cause it to be a different reading.
 

Cichlidude

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Loachlover357 said:
I agree, the meniscus should be at the line, but the line should be at 5ml, right? I didn't know how exact it needed to be. Like if it would cause it to be a different reading.
Well I only eyeball about half the water needed and use only half the amount of drops. Good enough for who its for.
 
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Loachlover357

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Sounds like ive been creating extra work for myself! ! Ok so the general consensus is that it's not enough to change the outcome of the test, right? I haven't worried this much about the fish since we got them. That apI kit and got me all worried about probably nothing. .. my fish have lived there for years just fine.
 
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Loachlover357

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Cichlidude said:
Ha...yeah. Like I could remember that word after being outta high school...
I only through that in there to try to redeem myself for being so dumb in so many other issues. Total newbie on lots of this fish stuff. If the fish were alive and seemed happy, I just assumed everything was fine. This test kit is similar to what webmd does to me. Lol! Getts me all worried over nothin! I did, however, figure out this morning that it's my tap water causing my ph problem.
 
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Loachlover357

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Heron said:
Do you have any substrate or decorations that may be raising your pH? Limestone and coral sands or gravels will raise pH. If you are unsure test with a drop of pH down or vinegar or any other acid. If a sample of gravel or sand reacts to the acid it will probably raise pH
Thanks so much for all your help!!! I did let some tap water sit in a glass and tested it this morning. This seemes to be the culprit. Although it comes out of the tap at ph 7.4 its not stable. Not even 24 hours later it read 8.2. Soo now what? Is going to effect my fish every time I do a large water change? Could this be why my new clowns hide all day? Oh and it is gravel, old wore out aquarium gravel. I vacuumed it a lot over the last couple weeks so the new clown loaches didn't get ick. If you or anyone else has any ideas it's greatly appreciated.
 

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