API Ammonia Test Kit Question/Warning!!!

DeathWish302

Clown Hoarder
Randy (or whomever reads this):

I have used the API test kits for several years now (minus calcium and nitrate). I was testing ammonia, nitrite & nitrate on my 1-3 monthly basis and was quite concerned when the ammonia test read 0.25mg/L. I tried it again, but this time it was between 0 and 0.25mg/L. I tried a third time, but shook both bottles, made certain I added EXACTLY the right amount of test water & 8 drops of each Part (1 & 2). I also rinsed the test tube several times in tank water. Amazingly 5 minutes later the reading was zero.

So, does the test solution "settle" over time when not used? The directions do not state to shake before using for either Part. Since Part 1 is 'syrupy' I try not to shake these due to the trapped air in the drops. Is settling the culprit or the age of the reagents (nearing 1year old)?

I'm purchasing another kit tonight to compare, but expect a zero reading again.

Let me know your thoughts....

DW302
 

CIGDAZE

New member
I use API also, and I've noticed that the readings will be a bit off if they've been sitting on my shelf for a while. I shake them all, whether it tells me to or not.

With the Nitrate for example, the directions tell you to add 10 drops of #1, then shake #2 and add 10 drops of #2. Well, I've always been getting high readings (even after my LFS tell me that my nitrates are low). It says nothing about shaking #1, but when I do shake #1, I get lower readings, which are a direct match with my LFS's readings. So, I just shake them all now.
 

DeathWish302

Clown Hoarder
Thanks for the heads up CIGDAZE!

Holy cow.... I'm going to be in your neck of the woods tomorrow. I have some time to blow, so any LFS you think worthy of visiting?

DW302
 

CIGDAZE

New member
Excellent. Hope you enjoy your stay here, just don't expect it to be too warm...huge cold front blowing through, highs only in the 60s. Brrr. :)

My favorite LFS is Rockin' Reef - no frills, no bs, just a real nice down-to-earth place with an old very well-established reef. Nice folks, too.

Others in the area that I enjoy are St. Pete Marine and Fish and Other Ichthy Stuff (FAOIS).

See here for locations from our Tampa bay forum:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1451604

:)
 

DeathWish302

Clown Hoarder
Thanks for the EXCELLENT LFS choices! I loved the reef pond at Rockin' Reef and it proves that you don't have to have a state-of-the-art display system to offer cost-effective display. The storage container speciment tanks I liked and they were really down to earth. Definitely no frills, no BS and cool to talk to.

St. Pete Marine seemed busy with finishing some new tank installs and were happy to help, but seemed a little apprehensive of my constant stream of questions. I like to see whom I'm buying from so knowledge of the hobby is a good way for me to judge that. The clown breeding project was pretty cool though. B+ in my book for St. Pete Marine.

Now I would have to say the favorite of the 3 suggestions is Fish and Other Ichthy Stuff. I've read the I-Tech skimmer thread and I'm an avid skimmer tinkerer so this was one of many reasons why i liked this shop. Elos test kits, SpectraPure RO/DI equipment, Tunze and Koralia equipment, and AWESOME tank setups. I talked to John for about 45 minutes just about his expereience with skimmers and RC. I really have to say his frag selection was by far the largest and most of his prices compared with my local shop (That Fish Place). Three thumbs up and an A+++.

Thanks for the 3 great LFS suggestions! It was a fun adventure, unfortunately I ran out of time for frags for my Monday AM flight. I WILL BE BACK!

DW302
 
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CIGDAZE

New member
Fantastic. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay here and the tour of some our LFS's. I'm glad you got to check out my favorites. Your comments pretty much exactly mirror what my impressions are.
Cheers! :)
 

Billybeau1

Premium Member
COLD FRONT ? ONLY IN THE 60's :eek1:

You have got to be kidding me. :lol:

Poor baby. :D I'll tell you what. You send me your weather and I'll send you mine.

Back on the subject. Keep an eye on the date on the bottles of your API kits.

I find they start to go after 12 months.

I recommend API kits for general testing but you must shake before use and replace after a year. They are certainly cheap enough to do that. :)
 

DeathWish302

Clown Hoarder
Billybeau1:

Thanks for the input of the Born On Date. I'll have to search through mine, but since they come from a huge mail order provider I'm fairly certain they are within the last year.

As for the weather, every one I met in FL were from Fort Wayne and heard about the nasty weather. 60 degrees was like a heat wave for us. Went swimming in the gulf three times. No colder than the great lakes in spring.

DW302
 

Billybeau1

Premium Member
:lol:

Yes, the dates are stamped on the bottles. Just like Budweiser.

And as far as swimming in the Great lakes in the spring........ I think I'll pass. :D
 
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