Recomend a test kit other than API? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
AquaAurora's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 5,576
Question Recomend a test kit other than API?

After getting my water report for 2013 and seeing nirtrates never got above 2 ppm and the many times I tested tap always showed over 20ppm (that red-orange color) and doing this with 3 different nitrate kits I'm questioning the quality of API. I tested the kit against a distilled (definitely 0ppm) water once, it showed 0ppm there but never in any other test situation... And yes I shake the #2 bottle and final test tube solution VIGOROUSLY (even bang the bottle against wood as shaking it most recently) still getting very high readings.
I'm now under the impression that my tanks are overstocked plant wise and understocked fish wise as some (not all) plants are showing what look to be varying forms of nitrate deficiencies. Tanks are 7 g with 1 betta, 12g with 2 puffer + snails and worms, 20g long with 3 otos 1 betta + several snails (no exploding snail populations in any tank), and all tanks are fairly heavily planted.

SO blah blah blah... I am looking for a different RELIABLE.. LIQUID test solution that is not API to do simple tests like nitrate. Wouldn't mind a brand that had the whole spectrum so I could re-test my waters. Can anyone suggest a different brand from api that they feel has been accurate? I do not want test strips, I think they're more unreliable than liquid testing solutions

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AquaAurora is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:47 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
In order of ease of locating: Salifert, Elos, and Lamotte.

The SW retailers like Marine Depot may have all three. I haven't checked in ages.

Angelo

"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
Bushkill is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:31 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,402
I have found the Nutrafin Master Test Kit by Hagen to be very reliable.
discuspaul is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
AquaAurora's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 5,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
In order of ease of locating: Salifert, Elos, and Lamotte.

The SW retailers like Marine Depot may have all three. I haven't checked in ages.
Thank you for the suggestions I'll look into them

Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
I have found the Nutrafin Master Test Kit by Hagen to be very reliable.
I'd seen this on amazon, my only concern with it is several reviews state its impossible to compare/cross-reference your test results with the chart.
Have you had any difficulty with figuring out levels from the colors of the liquid and chart?

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AquaAurora is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 10:37 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,318
I bought a SERA master kit a couple years back. Quite a bit more expensive then the API, but I found it pretty easy to use, and could read all but one of the tests (I'm a bit color blind, so I tend to have trouble with some kits/tests...).
lochaber is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Guru
 
AquaAurora's Avatar
 
PTrader: (36/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 5,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
I bought a SERA master kit a couple years back. Quite a bit more expensive then the API, but I found it pretty easy to use, and could read all but one of the tests (I'm a bit color blind, so I tend to have trouble with some kits/tests...).
Thank you for the suggestion, will check that out. At this point if its not $100 I'll try it.. kinda sick of bad readings.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
~
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AquaAurora is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:56 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: MD
Posts: 316
SERA Test Kits Are good
Kareen is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:31 AM
Moderator
 
Darkblade48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto/Singapore
Posts: 11,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
In order of ease of locating: Salifert, Elos, and Lamotte.

The SW retailers like Marine Depot may have all three. I haven't checked in ages.
+1. The "gold standard" is typically LaMotte. Excellent test kits, if price is not a concern.

Anthony


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:36 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,440
Recomend a test kit other than API?

I thought I posted this in this thread already but apparently my computer was playing tricks on me and didnt show my post so I reposted it, just noticed that I did in fact post earlier so I deleted the one above.

Depending on what you are wanting to test for, and if you can afford the extra cash you could spring for some handheld colorimeters. I know Hanna makes some and I am sure a few other brands are out there as well. I have been thinking about getting a couple of these for a while to get more accurate testing. You will need to buy a reagent for it but when I was looking into them they didn't seem like they were too expensive. The price of the device is more than what you would pay for a regular test kit but may be worth if it for you.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I am talking about.





Snagged these photos off google.
aquarist is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 03:21 AM
Planted Member
 
steveo's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: just outside of ann arbor michigan
Posts: 224
I like the Seachem Nitrite and Nitrate test kit. They provide a reference sample for validation too. You can pick this kit up on Amazon for a good price.
steveo is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 02:11 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 46
Your API test kit is most likely accurate. Almost all Municipality water supplies show the concentration in ppm of nitrogen as part of nitrate (N-NO3-), which would be lower than if you showed it as ppm of nitrate.

I know it sounds confusing but this is how all water quality standards are reported. Usually showing the concentration of element of interest (N,S,P,K,Fe, or what ever it may be) as part of the entire compound. I do not have my Water Chemistry notes from college on me, and do not remember why they do this. It would explain some of the difference between your API kit and your tap water, not all of it, but some.
Kayakindude90 is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 08:18 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
If your water company is reporting the nitrate in the form of
NO3-N then you can multiply by 4.4 to find out how much NO3 this represents.

If your test kit is reporting NO3 (it is) then multiply by .22 to convert this to the NO3-N form the water company usually uses.

Also remember that the water company is probably reporting the lowest amount that can be found in their water during the optimum time of the year.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
question, suggestion, test kits, water parameters

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome