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Old 09-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #11
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I have heard the same thing about API's Calcium test kit, worth getting a higher end kit for Ca.

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:10 AM   #12
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I used the API for years and I was never got lost. Your right on mag try though, I have never seen a single API.

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:17 AM   #13
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I use:

Alk-API (I found it is very consistent with the higher end kits but way less money)

Cal-Elos (I didn't like the API, the Salifet is good but I like the steps better with Elos kit)

Mg-Elos (I may try Salifert next, but Elos works good...better than the Red Sea kit)

Phosphate-Hanna meter I have the Checker, works good (I have tried both API and Elos and they always read 0, but its really not 0)

Nitrate-Elos (I have used API, but the low readings are not that low and look very similar making it harder to read, which makes Elos better for SPS tank)
180-gallon acrylic mainly SPS, SWC 1A Cone Skimmer, APEX Neptune Controller, 3x MP40w Vortechs, Tunze 6045, Radiums 250w in Lumenarc Minis, Galaxy Ballast, BRS Dosers
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:10 AM   #14
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thanks for the info!
75 Gallon Saltwater Reef

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:19 AM   #15
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Agree with the others regarding API's calcium test - I found it off a bit, and tough to get consistent values. Salifert seems dead on for me, and very repeatable.

For me, I use:

API - ammonia, nitrites, pH, alkalinity
Salifert - nitrates, calcium, magnesium, phosphates

API's nitrate test kit just isn't sensitive enough if you're looking for anything less than 10ppm. Salifert nitrate can read down to 0.2ppm.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:30 PM   #16
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I use API for everything... Seems like several of you do as well. Im getting skeptical of the accuracy however. To date (3 months in) I have never had anything show up for Nitrate, Nitrite or phosphates. I only had a tiny increase in ammonia show up for two tests in the first month...

Any suggestions on how to verify results? A way to test my test accuracy? I suppose I should find a LFS that can test for me. I am not having problems in my tank but shouldn't I see a hint of Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite or phosphate at some point?

Also, are the automated monitors for Ph etc.. accurate?
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:33 PM   #17
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If you properly cycled your tank, and didn't rush to stock it, you shouldn't see any ammonia or nitrites - ever. If your water source is good, your shouldn't really see any phosphates either.

Nitrates might be there, but with an API test kit, you need to get them up to around 10ppm before you start seeing them. And if you're not overfeeding and overstocking, and doing good maintenance, you might not ever see 10ppm. If you pick up a Salifert test kit, I'd bet you see some nitrates. Salifert nitrate kits are more sensitive and you can see lower levels. Even though salt mixes claim "Nitrate-free", they aren't. You're going to get a trace just out of the bucket.

If you calibrate and maintain a pH monitor properly, it should be dead on - within the advertised accuracy levels.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:13 PM   #18
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I use:

Salifert: Nitrate, Phosphate, Calcium, Magnesium, Alkalinity. Others that I have but don't use much are: Iodate/Iodide, Strontium, and Nitrite (because it isn't susceptible to Amine Interference)

API: Nitrate (to verify / read higher levels), Ammonia (almost never). I threw Alk away because I hate having to either get the stuff on my hands or cap, turn over, uncap, drip. Salifert is way, way cleaner and easier. I still have the other APIs w/master kit but don't ever use them.

Hanna Meter: TDS / pH combo (won't ever go back to anything else)

My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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reef, sting, testing, water testing

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