API vs Red Sea test kit

https://www.triton.de/en/

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
So I've been testing my new tank (fowlr) with an api test (well its a transported tank, so its going through a tiny cycle) until my red sea came in.
Wow what a difference in readings. The red sea is WAY more accurate, as I have read.
So here are comparable readings from both kits
Red Sea nitrate: 50+ppm API: 20ppm
RS Nitrite: .05ppm API: 0
RS Ammonia: .2ppm API: looked like 0 but their test color is very hard to read.
PH 8.3 seemed pretty accurate for both tests.

I will be getting a hanna ph and I also picked up a hanna salinity kit.

20201122_142104.jpg
 
Fritz

ssster2020

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
38
Reaction score
45
With my limited experience really neither, I started with API and wasn't happy I was getting proper results during the cycling process. I bought a Red Sea kit as well as the Red Sea KH, Ca, Mg test kit. I'm happy with the PH, Nitrate, KH and Ca. The Mg test always was really high so I bought a Salivert kit which for that parameter seems more accurate. Then I bought a Phosphate kit from Salivert which didn't work for me, I never registered any Phosphate. I think the problem was me not being able to differentiate the colours at low level. I bought a Hanna Very Lo Phosphate, not Phosphorous, checker that I use now and am happy with it.
That's what I'm using at the moment and will probably stick with that, with the exception that I might pick up a Hanna Alk checker, black Friday sale would be nice lol.
Good luck with it and I found that if something doesn't make sense do it again and if it still doesn't maybe try a different test.
 
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
With my limited experience really neither, I started with API and wasn't happy I was getting proper results during the cycling process. I bought a Red Sea kit as well as the Red Sea KH, Ca, Mg test kit. I'm happy with the PH, Nitrate, KH and Ca. The Mg test always was really high so I bought a Salivert kit which for that parameter seems more accurate. Then I bought a Phosphate kit from Salivert which didn't work for me, I never registered any Phosphate. I think the problem was me not being able to differentiate the colours at low level. I bought a Hanna Very Lo Phosphate, not Phosphorous, checker that I use now and am happy with it.
That's what I'm using at the moment and will probably stick with that, with the exception that I might pick up a Hanna Alk checker, black Friday sale would be nice lol.
Good luck with it and I found that if something doesn't make sense do it again and if it still doesn't maybe try a different test.
I'm pretty happy so far with the red sea. I feel that its just fine tuning the api, the api wasn't terribly off, just difficult to read and no *quite* as accurate. Its nice to know what my ammonia levels are really at. I do want to pick up a Hanna low phos (I know we have none in our water supply but I have very large messy fish) and maybe the alk. I dont really need to test other things because I don't have a reef tank, just fish. I have just started hearing about the salivert tests
 
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
How do you know that the red sea kit is accurate and the api kit isnt? They are differing results but can you say for certain the api is wrong?
Well for one API IS lower quality, and its not like the api is wrong... its just not designed to get a super accurate reading. Like the ammonia, I Know I have ammonia in my tank. Its going through a cycle. The test on api is very hard to read, like yeah you can tell there is ammonia but it starts at 0 and goes up to .5 which in the color chart is almost non distinguishable. Same with the nitrites. Red Sea tests a low of .05. Which api doesn't, so technically on the api it shows, the color just isn't distinguishable from 0 and .25 (which is the next highest reading) ph is simple so I'm not surprised they are both accurate. Its one chemical.
 
Corals.com

windemerejack

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
7,056
Location
Windemere, Lake District
All test kits are notoriously inaccurate, All i am saying is dont think that because it is expensive or the manufacturer says it is super accurate it must be more accurate than an inexpensive one, lots of people wouldnt touch red sea test kits, you have no way of knowing if the api one isnt accurate.
The colour thing i can sympathise with as all read a colour test kits are difficult to match to me, i just dont want you going down the road that just because its expensive or the manufacture says its the best thing sliced bread its must be better than a not so expensive one.
Even Hanna test kits have a high degree of error, what makes them 'better' is the digital readout so you dont have to colour match, not the accuracy or consistency :)
 
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
All test kits are notoriously inaccurate, All i am saying is dont think that because it is expensive or the manufacturer says it is super accurate it must be more accurate than an inexpensive one, lots of people wouldnt touch red sea test kits, you have no way of knowing if the api one isnt accurate.
The colour thing i can sympathise with as all read a colour test kits are difficult to match to me, i just dont want you going down the road that just because its expensive or the manufacture says its the best thing sliced bread its must be better than a not so expensive one.
Even Hanna test kits have a high degree of error, what makes them 'better' is the digital readout so you dont have to colour match, not the accuracy or consistency :)
Honestly I'm not going by what the manufacturer says (I never do) or how expensive it is. I go by what people say in reviews and actual use. I'm just not seeing the accuracy in api kits and I dont think many people are. Im not saying they are bad or don't get the job done, but its certainly not the most accurate product out there. I used API professionally for 10+ years at the aquarium stores to test peoples water and our own systems. Its *fairly* accurate but eh. I also think a lot of error is human related too in all tests. Maybe others wouldn't touch red sea kits for more specific reading of mag, cal, phos etc. I'm only referring to the simple 4.
 

JamesRPaquette

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
20
Location
New Hampshire / Boston
So I've been testing my new tank (fowlr) with an api test (well its a transported tank, so its going through a tiny cycle) until my red sea came in.
Wow what a difference in readings. The red sea is WAY more accurate, as I have read.
So here are comparable readings from both kits
Red Sea nitrate: 50+ppm API: 20ppm
RS Nitrite: .05ppm API: 0
RS Ammonia: .2ppm API: looked like 0 but their test color is very hard to read.
PH 8.3 seemed pretty accurate for both tests.

I will be getting a hanna ph and I also picked up a hanna salinity kit.

20201122_142104.jpg
When I got my first test kit, I had a choice between API and Fluval. I got the Fluval, it works and I believe the results we accurate.

The other day I went out and got a Red Sea just so I’d have something to compare. World of difference while I’m cycling currently. It’s good to have two different kinds of tests to compare what the results are.

With the Red Sea I like how I can take the tube and slide it around the chart when looking above and it matches exactly to the color chart.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
15,324
Reaction score
12,443
Location
tejas
Any test kit for a working running reef tank that has been transported recently and still showing positive ammonia is wrong, active systems handle the ammonia even after upwelling within one or two hours, it never takes longer, never-given same surface area and bioloading moved tank to tank (even that is allowed much variance and still remains controlled, just saying direct transfer without changes is especially confirming)

that will help with benchmarking ammonia at least. Source for the claim- any seneye machine.

we needed a third benchmark for the Api and red sea ammonia, and thats seneye, not another color compare kit. A digital readout


The Red Sea showing free ammonia is wrong, post a pic of the tank it’s testing. Looking for: clear water. Even fish distribution vs hovering at the top dying gasping. Eating vs sickly
And a source for the ammonia consistency, very little surface area, all that will be evident in pics if the reading is accurate.
 
Last edited:

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
15,324
Reaction score
12,443
Location
tejas
This post is now the very first read in our false stuck cycle thread in the new tankers forum, very good job posting the comparisons.

Depending on which kit we own, and the light we read it in, and the time taken to produce the reading, quality and pre shaking of reagents, test level fills, we will view and react with purchases to a perceived stuck cycle, while all along the biology was following pre set timing rules consistent tank to tank. This is the sum total problem with old school cycling rules. Old school cycling rules allows for much variation among aquariums for ammonia control; it’s actually highly consistent. My fishless pico runs the same nh3 conversion rates as your 150 loaded with fish, source = seneyes on nanos matched with seneye + full tank posts.


also helpful in ammonia tracing work:


there is consequence for no ammonia control, and thats loss of the tank. There is no time in reefing where ammonia fails to be controlled by a high surface area system and only test kits show it, while animals act fine. Here was true free ammonia
 
Last edited:
First Choice
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Any test kit for a working running reef tank that has been transported recently and still showing positive ammonia is wrong, active systems handle the ammonia even after upwelling within one or two hours, it never takes longer, never-given same surface area and bioloading moved tank to tank (even that is allowed much variance and still remains controlled, just saying direct transfer without changes is especially confirming)

that will help with benchmarking ammonia at least. Source for the claim- any seneye machine.

we needed a third benchmark for the Api and red sea ammonia, and thats seneye, not another color compare kit. A digital readout


The Red Sea showing free ammonia is wrong, post a pic of the tank it’s testing. Looking for: clear water. Even fish distribution vs hovering at the top dying gasping. Eating vs sickly
And a source for the ammonia consistency, very little surface area, all that will be evident in pics if the reading is accurate.
The tank is semi clear. It does have murky ness when viewed on the side, but also after I transported the tank the ammonia spiked to .5 or higher according to api and after a few water changes the ammonia has gone down. Not only did I dose fritz zyme I've also been adding prime every 48hrs, which is why my fish are fine and the ammonia has gone down. The prime binding with the ammonia makes it easier for the bacteria to break it down and the water was much murkier. I no doubt had ammonia in my tank. I have 5 big messy fish and they produce a LOT of waste. So the fact that it was not detectable on the api was a good sign after a few days. Actually thanks for telling me about the seneye! I am going to buy one now!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
15,324
Reaction score
12,443
Location
tejas
that prime is an adulterant for free ammonia tests so that explains the drift in readings well,
can't wait to see your seneye data for sure. we have two or three collected in our seneye misread thread, but most simply work and they report the same data for nh3 control that natural reefs report in many areas.
 
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
See this is why I make threads, now I know about the seneye and am looking at other controllers as well, I'm glad I bought the red sea kit still, cause I needed results NOW and not like a week later. But I'll be constantly upgrading my supplies.
 
OP
SakuraSky

SakuraSky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
104
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
that prime is an adulterant for free ammonia tests so that explains the drift in readings well,
can't wait to see your seneye data for sure. we have two or three collected in our seneye misread thread, but most simply work and they report the same data for nh3 control that natural reefs report in many areas.
I'm thinking about the home seneye with the wifi because I don't have direct access for a hookup for a computer on my tank and I'd love to view it from my phone. But I do have some extra money, wondering if I should just go apex o.o but its just a fowlr tank, just rock base and fish
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
15,324
Reaction score
12,443
Location
tejas
my take on it all is that if we can account for all fish and huge clams, any assemblage of live rock will carry that bioload plus some natural death losses without losing control over nh3 conrol, the only lethal parameter among the cycling params.

by rule of submerged aged surface area and all wastewater treatment plants, established biofilters default to the controlled condition, not the .2 / 88% of all colorimetric readings on the planet.
that's why I wont pay to measure ammonia for myself. it will always stay in range if things stay wet and contaminated, which aquariums are good at

but seeing if the mechanism can be predicted in someone else's reef before they buy one: priceless.

let's test that. if you ever buy a seneye, it will run .003-.009 ppm nh3 and if it doesnt, your meter is wrong make them replace it lol.

that remark comes from the age of your tank and the description of your bioload, a host of other seneye posts...surface area must be significant and inline in your setup or a large fish load setup would die.


Ammonia can never drift out, once its controlled-- sourcing for that claim--- all cycling charts trend ammonia down then never back up no matter how long we chart out the time axis (excluding deaths that are significant, to overcome abilities of live rock or filtration surface area in line)

mindstream was a prior device able to measure nh3 to the thousandths, it was them and seneye that could do it.

the rest are perpetual .2's heh

but ms has closed, leaving only seneye/no one to benchmark them. what they report in functioning reefs is that variance above and it doesnt change based on the size of the tank or the bioloading which is neat to see.

in all reef posts made in 2020 I never saw a single one that wasn't 10x overdone with the required surface area for its bioload. and that's not counting filters in line, floss, sponges, siporax or the stuff people stack in a sump.

i never saw one single setup where the live rock alone by itself couldnt carry the whole bioload, we're that in-control as a hobby by default. stack rocks/age them/get permanent nh3 control is how it works :)
 
Last edited:
Lazys Coral House
https://www.triton.de/en/

Are you currently running a reactor and media on your reef tank?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 64 41.3%
  • NO but I run media from time to time

    Votes: 44 28.4%
  • NO I don't use filter media

    Votes: 44 28.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 1.9%

Online statistics

Members online
2,535
Guests online
7,236
Total visitors
9,771
Pacific East
Top