API Master Test Kit is driving me crazy - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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API Master Test Kit is driving me crazy

My test kit is driving me nuts and I am starting to doubt its accuracy. My tank readings have all seemed to change alot over the past month or so. The usual readings I always get are no longer seen and haven't done anything different. It seems like all my tanks are coming up at the same ph level when I know they should be different. I keep some acidic, some in the 7's, and so on. And just besides that, other things just don't seem right. I have been using the same kit for over a year at least but according to the bottles, it hasn't been 3 years since the manufacturing date which is when they are supposed to expire. Could they have just lost potency over time or since the are much emptier, the chemicals left aren't that accurate or something. Could my test tubes be causing foul readings? I usually just rinse them in tap after each use and before each use I rinse them in the water I am going to test. Could there be just chemical residues on the insides that over time I just can't wash out and they are fouling up my results?? Any advice and experience welcome.

EDIT: Check manufacturing date and the oldest on one bottle was 07/08 and the most recent being 10/08....do you think those are too old? Do they just go bad within days like that? I probably will have to bring water up to my LFS to see if it differs from mine and I hope it does, otherwise I don't understand why all my tanks are the way they are and I have a lot of problems to solve.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 06:56 AM
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ya, double check w/ a lfs.
same BS happen to me
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:43 AM
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Are you shaking the reagent bottles very well before each test? If not, it is possible the test results will be erroneous.

Anthony


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
Are you shaking the reagent bottles very well before each test? If not, it is possible the test results will be erroneous.
X2 NO3 is the worst.

Reference solutions are helpful to verify the chemicals are doing the job. Hoppy authored a great thread that's been made a sticky. Test your test kits.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes the NO3 I am aware is the worst. I've been using the test kit exactly the same for the past year and a half. I am going to bring water up to my LFS and see if our readings match. If not, I'll either make reference solutions and double check, or just skip that and get another test kit.

I do believe the kit is messed up though, because it keeps telling me my one ten gallon tank has a ph of about 7.6, the highest reading...when I know, my tap water tanks should be at a 6.2 It also ironically seems to keep producing the same ph result for every tank. My friends 20, my 75, and my 10 all came out to the same solid blue color. The only tank, my 5, came out to pale yellow (6.0 or lower). It seems the test kit is only showing the two extremes of the scale, either the lowest reading or the highest reading. Well, I got to go get some water tested now and I'll have an answer about my kit soon. I just figured a little over a year was pretty soon for expiration.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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My API pH test says everything is 7.6. The tap, RO, and distilled water is all 7.6 apparently... I'm about to test some vinegar and see what it says then!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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After some vigorous shaking for a few minutes of the ph test, the biggest one not working right, it seems to be giving more accurate readings now, although one tank still doesn't make sense. That is for a whole different topic though. I am going to clean all test tubes thoroughly tonight and shake every bottle very vigorous for a few minutes each. But I am also going to order a new test kit soon since they are pretty low and I am approaching the 2 year mark with some of the test reagents. It doesn't hurt to keep the testing supplies fresh and as up to date as possible.


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