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Old 02-10-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
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Water test

What the best thing to buy to test ur water? I bought the test strip lil hard to understand can someone plz help me understand how to read it
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:09 PM   #2
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The strips are very inaccurate. A good starter test kit are the liquid tests by api
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:10 PM   #3
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Ok how would a newbie like me under stand it ???
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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The directions are easy to follow. You just match colors when you finish the test. At least on the API.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
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Get the api reef masters test kit I'm pretty new to this too. I started freshwater and my test strip worked but I found the api master test kits to be a necessity now. They are accurate and last a while. If you plan to spend money on a reef system I'd say buy a reef master kit also get the amonia test kit which will be seperate. Go to your lfs ask them what you need. Don't be cheap it's not worth it. Another thing be sure to read the test instructions thoroughly and check the expiration dates.

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Old 02-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #6
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API kits are good for starters, that's what I used until recently. Once you get the hang of it, you can go to Salifert or Hanna Checkers. They are more precise and easier to read.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:41 PM   #7
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Go with red sea testing methods
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #8
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RedSea is good, but for beginners learning the ropes, API is "good enough"...A few drops, a few shakes, and waiting for 5 minutes is less intimidating than some of the instructions with the other kits (my Salifert Mg test has 3 reagants, for example).

Ease of use will lead to regular testing, which increases the chance of a successful tank. Once the OP is used to the process and comfortable with it, they can "graduate" to the higher-end test kits.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #9
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What's wrong with api is it really that inaccurate. I am curious as to why one would jump to a different method.

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Old 02-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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The accuracy of API is doubted by some. For me, it was more the level of precision available (ie, they couldn't read low enough). For instance, the API phosphate test goes from 0 - 0.25 ppm. However, anything less than 0.25 is impossible to determine, and you don't know the true value. With the Hanna Checker, I know my PO4 is around 0.01 - 0.02ppm. Same with the nitrate tests...API goes from 0-5ppm in it's first step. With the Salifert kit, I can test down to 0.1ppm.

Folks have done tests on API vs other brands with calibrated test solutions, and API seems to be middle of the road in terms of accuracy.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:59 PM   #11
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Are the methods of the more advanced testing kits the same as with API?

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #12
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Some are, some aren't.

The Hanna Checkers are digital photometers. They compare a vial of your tank water vs a vial with a supplied reagant to get a number. Regarded as very accurate.

Other tests (Salifert, RedSea, etc), are all color comparison. The methods differ slightly. Some use powders, some use liquids, some use combinations. Almost all are easier to read than the API test kits.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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Also is API amonia test on the chopping block? It sounds to me like not all of there tests are obsolete to an advanced aquarist?

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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I use the API kits for ammonia and nitrIte, as those are fairly basic, and I don't need anything too fancy for them (and I know that my numbers are all 0, and what the color should be).

I stopped using API for phosphate and nitrAte. I use Salifert for Mg and nitrAte now. I use a Hanna Checker for phosphate. I will be switching to Hanna for calcium, most likely, and another brand (undermined as of yet) for alk. This is because the API tests for Ca and Alk are a pain in the rear.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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For instance if you are testing amonia it's not logical that your tank would get to a level so low it wouldn't register. I know you have to have amonia in order to have a cycle but is there such a thing as too low?

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #16
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Okay you answered that one.

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #17
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I hear you but do you feel they are accurate I have been testing calcium and I know what you mean drop drop drop drop drop and so on. I always just add 15 drops to begin and then one at a time to speed the process.

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:35 PM   #18
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How I do things is use API to test. Then if I get any bad readings I use a more accurate albeit more expensive / time consuming test to verify. API is good middle of the road in giving approximates.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #19
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I agree that API is not perfect. Is this going to be a FOWLR or reef? IMO, for FOWLR, things don't need to be perfect. For reef, the closer to perfect, the better.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:43 PM   #20
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I'm doing a reef I use api some of my corals are still in the process of acclimating I have 2 zoa frags a brain a flower pot a mushroom a leather and that's it I have an anemone a clown and a clean up crew my tank is 60 gal my only problem currently is my calcium is stuck at 400 so I bought a 2 part alkalinity and calcium supplement and just started dosing yesterday. I don't have a whole lot of hard corals so I'm going to start by dosing the recomended ammount 1 time a week and increas accordingly.

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