Question Test Kits?

Lchi87

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Welcome to Fishlore!

As far as test kits go, Red Sea and Salifert are pretty solid imo. Another option available are digital checkers (Hanna makes the ones I’m most familiar with) which may be more convenient to use but require more of an investment upfront.
 

NC122606

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Lchi87 said:
Welcome to Fishlore!

As far as test kits go, Red Sea and Salifert are pretty solid imo. Another option available are digital checkers (Hanna makes the ones I’m most familiar with) which may be more convenient to use but require more of an investment upfront.
Yeah I should probably leave saltwater to you...
 

Lchi87

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NC122606 said:
Yeah I should probably leave saltwater to you...
No way! Everyone’s opinion is welcome here
 

Jesterrace

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NC122606 said:
I’d use APIs Saltwater test kit.
API is the worst option outside of test strips IMHO and is a bad habit from freshwater when it comes to transferring over. It's okay for freshwater but it's shortcomings become more apparent in saltwater. Red Sea and Salifert are probably the best bang for buck type kits for saltwater.
 

NC122606

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Jesterrace said:
API is the worst option outside of test strips IMHO and is a bad habit from freshwater when it comes to transferring over. It's okay for freshwater but it's shortcomings become more apparent in saltwater. Red Sea and Salifert are probably the best bang for buck type kits for saltwater.
Ah, my bad.
Should have looked a bit better when suggesting.
Thanks!
 

Jesterrace

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NC122606 said:
Ah, my bad.
Should have looked a bit better when suggesting.
Thanks!
It's okay. All part of learning. After using and comparing both API and Red Sea, here are the shortfalls I have found with API

1) Periodic False Positives for Ammonia
2) Nitrate test where you can't tell the difference between 10-20 or 40-80 on the color chart. This is particularly frustrating with reefs as 10 is generally good to go and 20 generally means you need to change the water.
3) An easy fix but still no test syringe comes with the kit to measure out water from the tank
4) Long narrow vials that are a pain to clean out properly (ie wipe out chemical residue after the initial rinse out)
5) My biggest complaint. Cheap plastic caps that don't seal properly and are very prone to leak (a common complaint with other reviews).
6) The only test kit I have seen that doesn't have a water proof color chart for comparing tests, which given the aforementioned leak prone issue is a serious factor with these

The Red Sea, Salifert and other kits come with the shorter and wider vials that are easier to clean out and have screwtop lids that seal good so you don't get a single drop of test solution on you.
 

stella1979

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I agree that API has its shortfalls, including the ammonia false positive (it always shows a low reading even when there is no ammonia in my tanks), and the difficult color comparison/bad accuracy of the nitrate kit is frustrating across salt and fresh for me. Lol, that said, my test kits for the reef tank are a bit of a mess.

Ammonia - never upgraded from API because it works for cycling or spikes and I know that zero ammonia will show a slight greenish tinge. I rarely test for ammonia but I find API works for what I need it to.

Nitrite - no problem with API's test, so again, never upgraded this.

Nitrates - Salifert for testing freshwater or cycling saltwater, RedSea for the reef tank

Phosphates, Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium - tried API here in the very early days of the reef tank and found them difficult to trust the accuracy and have been using RedSea ever since.

No worries about mistakes NC122606 All opinions are welcome and we all start somewhere. Obviously, I went ahead and bought that API Master Saltwater kit before doing proper research as well... that was money down the drain but it's all a learning experience. And hey, it's not so bad that I proved the downfalls of API to myself through experience... I guess.
 

GlennO

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stella1979 said:
....and the difficult color comparison/bad accuracy of the nitrate kit is frustrating across salt and fresh for me.
For me too...I use Salifert for Nitrate even in freshwater.
 

NC122606

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GlennO said:
For me too...I use Salifert for Nitrate even in freshwater.
I have the same problem with Ammonia for Freshwater.
I was at zero but there was like the slightest green tint in it, I had to go to my LFS to get it checked out and of course, it was 0...
 

GlennO

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NC122606 said:
I have the same problem with Ammonia for Freshwater.
I was at zero but there was like the slightest green tint in it, I had to go to my LFS to get it checked out and of course, it was 0...
Well dang...currently using a different brand for ammonia but nearly finished and have an unopened API ready to replace it.
 

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