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Old 01-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
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Question Recommended saltwater test kit

Can anyone recommend a good test kit that tests for all the important things? Nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and so on. Having a hard time narrowing down which is the best worth buying. Local aquarium will test for me but I would like to get into doing it myself. I'm going to be making a reef tank with soft corals. Any help is appreciated thanks.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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API or Salifert seem to be the two most recommended. I have a fw api kit and am very happy with it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:06 AM   #3
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You need to watch expiration dates on kits (especially liquid API kits). Often these kits sit on LFS shelves for 6-18 months and sometimes they are expired before you purchase them only to realize after you get home and have been using for a while. I prefer powder kits by Instant Ocean. They seem to have longer shelf lives and are accurate.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by eatsomepopcorn View Post
You need to watch expiration dates on kits (especially liquid API kits). Often these kits sit on LFS shelves for 6-18 months and sometimes they are expired before you purchase them only to realize after you get home and have been using for a while. I prefer powder kits by Instant Ocean. They seem to have longer shelf lives and are accurate.
A while back on my first saltwater setup I bought a test kit that only tested about 4 things like nitrite, nitrate, ammonia and ph I believe. I remember hearing about around 9 things or so that should be tested for. I am getting a reef tank with soft corals setup. Can I be pointed to a specific kit for this? Maybe link me to one. Sorry to be picky.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:06 PM   #5
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The API Saltwater master kit has tests for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH. I would get the Salifert brand Nitrate kit because its more accurate. If you have a reef, Magnesium and Calcium test kits are good to have too.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #6
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You need to watch expiration dates on kits (especially liquid API kits). Often these kits sit on LFS shelves for 6-18 months and sometimes they are expired before you purchase them only to realize after you get home and have been using for a while. I prefer powder kits by Instant Ocean. They seem to have longer shelf lives and are accurate.
Ok, so I went to a Petsmart on the way home from work and noticed they had API saltwater test kits. One was the basic stuff, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, ph. The other was specific for reef tanks testing for calcium content and other things I can't remember. Both around $30 each. Remembering you mentioned to check for exp dates and couldn't find any one the box. Ended up buying a single test kit that tests ammonia only also from API and had no exp date that I could see on the box, although there are a set of numbers on the bottles themselves. Not sure if it's an exp date though, what do you think? Is that an Nov 2009 exp date?
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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The API Saltwater master kit has tests for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH. I would get the Salifert brand Nitrate kit because its more accurate. If you have a reef, Magnesium and Calcium test kits are good to have too.
Thanks for the reply, I'm looking into the API test kits if I can find one not expired
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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the last 4 of the lot number are the date that it was made, so your test was made in november of 09... add 3 years to any of API's tests except nitrite and kh... those will last 4 years, and the ph will last 5 years...
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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the last 4 of the lot number are the date that it was made, so your test was made in november of 09... add 3 years to any of API's tests except nitrite and kh... those will last 4 years, and the ph will last 5 years...
Cool, thanks man.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
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no problem... actually you can thank Bill (i think was his name) from API for emailing me back and letting me know the answer to that, which I had asked about 3 months ago. I had heard the same thing, so i figured I would find out 100% for sure
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