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Old 07-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
Tex
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Calcium test kit

I tried my first calcium test last. I bought an Aquarium Pharmecueticals calcium kit from LFS. The kit works like this: Add 10 drops of solution #1 and shake for 10 seconds. Then, add solution #2 one drop at a time and shake 10 seconds and the color should change from pink to purple and finally to the end color which is a deep royal blue color. You count the number of drops of solution #2 you've added and read the calcium in ppm off of a chart. According to the chart you should reach end color condition after about 8 to 12 drops of solution #2. My problem is I could never reach the purple or blue end color. I added 20 drops of #2 and it pretty much stayed pink. I tried the test twice - same results. I followed the test kit instructions to the tee.

Just wondering, is my calcium wildly off the charts? Do I have a defective test kit? Am I doing something wrong.

Here are other levels:
Ammonia 0
Nitrates 0
Nitrites 0
PH 8.2

All critters, invertebrates and fish, are flourishing.
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Old 07-25-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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I've never used that particular test kit, but I do know that most test kits do have an expiration.....so you might check to see if there's an expiration date on there
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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I am not familure with their calcium kit but use their other tests and like them . I use the seachem kit ,
http://www.thatpetplace.com/Products.../Itemdy00.aspx
It is possible that it is a faulty kit ..... I have found with their kits that if seals are breeched and you do not know about it it could give you "faulty" readings , I know that our LFS take back the open product and "reshelf" it they dont check seals .. Not sure if that is what happened or you just got a "bad" kit
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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i know this is silly, but i did that once with a clacium test and didnt shake the test. who knows how long its been sitting on the shelf at the lfs. i bought mine and it was sitting on my shelf for awhile. i shook the bottles and low and behold i got results. LOL.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:16 AM   #5
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To find your calcium level with that kit, all you need to do is multiply the number of drops by 20. So if you used 16 drops, it is 320 ppm Ca. The reason I say this is that if you only added 20 drops, that would take you to 400 ppm. If your calcium level is at 420+ (not unreasonable), you could have just missed it. Did the color change at all? When I get close to the end of the test, the color seems to be not quite as bright of a pink color.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:43 PM   #6
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I use this test kit for my calcium level. You might have a bad test kit. Shake it up a little bit, then test and see what happens. I bought a couple of bad test kits from my lfs, so i started buying them online from dr fosters and smith. Or any place that sells more of them. Bring it back to the lfs if its junk. With that test kit you can also put in like 10 to 15 drops right away before you start doing one drop at a time.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I followed the instruction diligently, including shaking the bottle for 10 seconds and so forth. I'll check the expiration date if there one, re-test tonight after work. If necessary take the kit and a water sample to LFS and let them test my water and use my kit to test their water. That should tell me if the kit is bad or not.

As mentioned, buying from somewhere like drsfostersmith.com is probably better because the inventory stays fresher.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:33 AM   #8
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It appears I had a defective reagent in the kit. Some experimentation at the LFS with my water and their water and my kit and their kit proved this out. They gave me a brand new kit.

The best I could tell my calcium level is about 510 to 520 - a little on the high side. Aside from water changes (which I have done dilligently with ro/di) what can you do to lower the calcium level?
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:51 PM   #9
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wait, all the critters in your tank that use calcium will use it up.
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