API Test Kit Holder - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb API Test Kit Holder

I hate, despise, and absolutely loathe the plastic container that the API Freshwater Master Test Kit comes with. Did I mention I don't like it?!

So I DIY'd my own version using scrap wood and materials I had lying around.

Total cost: $0 (all scrap materials)

I highly recommend wenge wood for any projects you use. It's not even sanded/oiled in these pictures and it's a GLORIOUS color/pattern. I had this bit left over from when I made a ring box for my fiancée/now wife.

I simply cut it to length, set my circular saw to 1", and made two cuts, one down then one into the side to cut out a chunk that allows the bottles to sit in front.

The gold trim piece is one of those that you use to join two sections of flooring, like tile to wood or wood to carpet, etc. I don't know what they're called, I just found it at Home Depot a long time ago for a different project!

The holes are 5/8" the depth of the caps, then inside the 5/8" hole, a 1/2" hole drills deeper to hold the tubes when testing. This way, when testing, the tubes with the caps on top sit inside the 1/2" hole. After I'm done, the tubes sit with an open top to dry and the caps hold the tubes inside the 5/8" hole.

All these words aren't helpful because I'm bad at explaining. How about some pictures?

5/8" holes to hold the caps. Inside the 5/8" holes are 1/2" holes drilled deeper which hold the tubes when the caps are on top of the tubes. There's a better pic down below of what I mean.


Wenge wood. I haven't sanded/oiled it yet, but it's gonna look glorious when I do.






Takes up less real-estate overall in my drawer. Obviously is much wider than the plastic kit, but I like it much better this way.



Holds the tube+cap either way. On the left with the cap in the hole for drying out the tube between uses, on the right while checking the water.


I'd like to add some sort of handle, but don't know what to do without ruining the look! I'll have to think on it. Maybe some sort of drawer handle that just sticks straight out the back a little bit that would be easy to hold on to.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:08 PM
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My solution to a similar problem
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 08:18 PM
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@JCole2014, beautiful job!
@Immortal1, not fancy but definitely love the bottle holders, drying pegs and other doodad holders!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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My solution to a similar problem
All I see is "blocked image"?


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 06:20 AM
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Interesting to see someone else uses a syringe to do water tests. They make water testing so much easier. My wife is a nurse so I have access to various styles and sizes. A 60ML irrigation syringe is super handy.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 07:40 AM
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Best tool ever for doing water tests is bulb syringe, like ones that come with ear wax removal kits.



They’re also very nice for going around tank and blowing up loose debris before you do water change/filter cleaning.

Love the wood holder, I’d add a piece of white styrene I’ve got downstairs attached to back for a dead white color background, even after years of yellowing all you have to do is sand it down with magic eraser or scothbrite pad to get fresh white material. Nice strip of low profile dual lock along back will hold it in place.

Here’s a piece of expanded 1/8” pvc that would work very nicely for a white backdrop at a modest price. Having a neutral white flat surface behind tubes is as important as what’s going on in tube themselves, also a good full spectrum light source helps a lot.

https://www.amazon.com/Expanded-PVC-...6850968&sr=8-3

Last edited by DaveKS; 04-14-2020 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Content
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 11:55 AM
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My solution to a similar problem
Holey Smokes Linn I can see a lot of thought and effort went into that.

Very, very well done.

Here's my much less ambitious solution.........

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting to see someone else uses a syringe to do water tests. They make water testing so much easier. My wife is a nurse so I have access to various styles and sizes. A 60ML irrigation syringe is super handy.
I use the syringe for everything! Ferts, Prime, whatever needs mL in the tank!

It's the perfect size too because I can fit airline tubing on it to reach into bottles if I need to
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 01:09 PM
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https://printedreefingsolutions.com/t/organization

I use this company’s items. He comes to frag swap’s all the time and has started doing freshwater items too.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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https://printedreefingsolutions.com/t/organization

I use this company’s items. He comes to frag swap’s all the time and has started doing freshwater items too.
Oooooh! I think I just found a way to justify to my wife buying a 3d printer 🤣
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Holey Smokes Linn I can see a lot of thought and effort went into that.

Very, very well done.

Here's my much less ambitious solution.........

Less ambitious, maybe. But, it does what is needed - organize and transport. Wife commented more than once - "are you gonna cleanup the mess in the kitchen?" Then here I am trying to round up all the bottles, etc and take them back out to the storage drawer. Necessity is the .... anyway.

That bulb syringe shown above might be my next addition. Currently I am using a turkey baster for the same purpose (hope she never finds out).
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Holey Smokes Linn I can see a lot of thought and effort went into that.

Very, very well done.
Couldn't agree more, @Immortal1 's kit has ALL the bells and whistles! Love the peg idea, especially for the caps. And the pocket for the color cards is the icing on the cake
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 05:49 PM
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Couldn't agree more, @Immortal1 's kit has ALL the bells and whistles! Love the peg idea, especially for the caps. And the pocket for the color cards is the icing on the cake
Thank-you all for the comments. @JCole2014 's idea, though simple, is better than you can get at most stores. Mine has room for a bunch of vials and caps but - when would you really need more than 4?
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Last edited by Immortal1; 04-14-2020 at 06:21 PM. Reason: <?>
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2020, 06:44 PM
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Thank-you all for the comments. @JCole2014 's idea, though simple, is better than you can get at most stores. Mine has room for a bunch of vials and caps but - when would you really need more than 4?
When you're lazy like me, haha. I hate washing these out so I bought the API 24 pk of tubes and a tube holder like the one Greggz has. I test everything twice for accuracy (then more if I get differing results, seldom happens) and rinse them all when I'm done. No back and forth to the sink that way. Plus I have a few tanks. I do really like everyone's designs and can see how they would match individual's styles. How's that old saying go? You can tell a lot about a person by their testing equipment?...
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2020, 04:29 AM
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Am I the only one who uses 10ml droppers for testing & dosing?
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