Manufacturing Defects in API Master Test Kit

Apollo7235

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Hi there all!

I posted this in my build thread, but I just wanted to be sure to give any of you folks who haven't noticed this a heads up. I apologize if this has already been written; I ran a quick search and didn't see anything, but if I am duplicating, I am happy to delete:

I have a few things to say about my API Master Test Kit, which is why I am posting this in a separate post than my last progress update.

First of all, I kept getting a positive ammonia test even before I had added anything but salt water to the tank. Kind of annoying, but I just attributed that to my MarcoRocks having a little bit of something still on them. The ammonia test has been consistently positive and consistently hard to read considering it's super cloudy, so I did a bit of R2R research and found that Salifert typically is the better option when it comes to ammonia tests. I also read on another site that the API test vials are notoriously incorrect when it comes to the 5mL lines. Would you believe all 4 of my vials had their lines in different places? Seriously.

That being said, I actually measured 5mL of water into each vial and not a single vial had it correct. Unbelievable. Well, lesson learned: this will be the last of these kits that I purchase.

Considering how severely shaken my confidence in this kit had become, I ran an ammonia test using distilled water to be sure that absolute zero was, in fact, attainable, and it actually is. I also ran two more ammonia tests: one filled to the incorrect 5mL line and the other with correctly measured 5mL. Results of all of these tests below:


5mL Distilled Water measured into vial:
IMG_9400.JPG



Absolute 0 result with distilled water:
IMG_9401.JPG



Tank water test result--vial filled to the API line:
IMG_9405.jpg



Tank water test result--vial filled with measured 5mL;
IMG_9404.JPG




I am honestly pretty frustrated with this test considering the difference in the two tank water tests is so slight despite one of them being more dilute than the other, but it is what it is at this point. I ordered a Salifert ammonia test kit and I'm just writing this one off as a loss. Very disappointing.
 
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FishyFishFish

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Maybe it’s the photos but I can’t see what is wrong with those tests; they all look like they are showing zero to my eye.

The incorrect 5ml lines are a bit of a pain but if they don’t massively affect the result then is it an issue (and it can be overcome using a syringe to measure the sample out anyway)?
 
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Apollo7235

Apollo7235

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Maybe it’s the photos but I can’t see what is wrong with those tests; they all look like they are showing zero to my eye.

The incorrect 5ml lines are a bit of a pain but if they don’t massively affect the result then is it an issue (and it can be overcome using a syringe to measure the sample out anyway)?
In person, the tests definitely looked a bit darker, but the pictures certainly look pretty close to zero. The incorrect 5mL are definitely a pain! I know that in many of the (unrelated) titrations I've performed, even a mL or two +/- can majorly affect the outcome of the test which is why this concerns me, but I am no expert so maybe I'm being a bit too picky.....
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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wanted to offer this option: use predictable ammonia tracing and never own the kit for the life of your reef. we can cycle an all dry system 100% without any testing by simply adding two different brands of bottle bac for cycling, a pinch of feed, and waiting ten days. two different brands cannot be dead/bad shipping, one will stick and all are done in ten days per the label directions. sick trick

and then after cycling, ammonia can never, ever, ever drift out of spec and if a fish dies, your tank handles the spike just fine. ammonia is the #2 least needed to know param in all of reefing, though dealing with its param readings takes up 90% of my posting day for twenty years he he

the #1 most unneeded to know param in all of reefing is nitrite

so if 2/3 of cycling params don't even have to be tested, then we're down to testless cycling in 2021 and beyond as a valid option. why even bother testing for nitrate/comparison posts show a fifty ppm spread on readings off a given sample, a set of horse shoes and a lawn target would be more exacting.

if there's a good digital nitrate tracker on the market that's ok to run for algae tuning/coral color tuning/dinos prevention etc.
 
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Garf

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They are an entry level kit. Lots/most folks ditch them eventually. You can certainly run a fish only, softy tank with them if you understand the issues. The ammonia one picks up other stuff in the water (even off your fingers) and gives a cloudy reading. The nitrate one can read 10ppm on one kit and 20ppm off a new kit for example.
 

HawkeyeDJ

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Hi there all!

I posted this in my build thread, but I just wanted to be sure to give any of you folks who haven't noticed this a heads up. I apologize if this has already been written; I ran a quick search and didn't see anything, but if I am duplicating, I am happy to delete:

I have a few things to say about my API Master Test Kit, which is why I am posting this in a separate post than my last progress update.

First of all, I kept getting a positive ammonia test even before I had added anything but salt water to the tank. Kind of annoying, but I just attributed that to my MarcoRocks having a little bit of something still on them. The ammonia test has been consistently positive and consistently hard to read considering it's super cloudy, so I did a bit of R2R research and found that Salifert typically is the better option when it comes to ammonia tests. I also read on another site that the API test vials are notoriously incorrect when it comes to the 5mL lines. Would you believe all 4 of my vials had their lines in different places? Seriously.

That being said, I actually measured 5mL of water into each vial and not a single vial had it correct. Unbelievable. Well, lesson learned: this will be the last of these kits that I purchase.

Considering how severely shaken my confidence in this kit had become, I ran an ammonia test using distilled water to be sure that absolute zero was, in fact, attainable, and it actually is. I also ran two more ammonia tests: one filled to the incorrect 5mL line and the other with correctly measured 5mL. Results of all of these tests below:


5mL Distilled Water measured into vial:
IMG_9400.JPG



Absolute 0 result with distilled water:
IMG_9401.JPG



Tank water test result--vial filled to the API line:
IMG_9405.jpg



Tank water test result--vial filled with measured 5mL;
IMG_9404.JPG




I am honestly pretty frustrated with this test considering the difference in the two tank water tests is so slight despite one of them being more dilute than the other, but it is what it is at this point. I ordered a Salifert ammonia test kit and I'm just writing this one off as a loss. Very disappointing.
When I read my API results I do not hold the vial against the chart. The glass because of the curvature bends the light and casts a shadow making the water look darker. I hold the vial a couple of centimeters away so the light passes straight through. Then I pass the vial over the color bands and the color that is least visible through the vial is the right one.
 

Dan_P

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Hi there all!

I posted this in my build thread, but I just wanted to be sure to give any of you folks who haven't noticed this a heads up. I apologize if this has already been written; I ran a quick search and didn't see anything, but if I am duplicating, I am happy to delete:

I have a few things to say about my API Master Test Kit, which is why I am posting this in a separate post than my last progress update.

First of all, I kept getting a positive ammonia test even before I had added anything but salt water to the tank. Kind of annoying, but I just attributed that to my MarcoRocks having a little bit of something still on them. The ammonia test has been consistently positive and consistently hard to read considering it's super cloudy, so I did a bit of R2R research and found that Salifert typically is the better option when it comes to ammonia tests. I also read on another site that the API test vials are notoriously incorrect when it comes to the 5mL lines. Would you believe all 4 of my vials had their lines in different places? Seriously.

That being said, I actually measured 5mL of water into each vial and not a single vial had it correct. Unbelievable. Well, lesson learned: this will be the last of these kits that I purchase.

Considering how severely shaken my confidence in this kit had become, I ran an ammonia test using distilled water to be sure that absolute zero was, in fact, attainable, and it actually is. I also ran two more ammonia tests: one filled to the incorrect 5mL line and the other with correctly measured 5mL. Results of all of these tests below:


5mL Distilled Water measured into vial:
IMG_9400.JPG



Absolute 0 result with distilled water:
IMG_9401.JPG



Tank water test result--vial filled to the API line:
IMG_9405.jpg



Tank water test result--vial filled with measured 5mL;
IMG_9404.JPG




I am honestly pretty frustrated with this test considering the difference in the two tank water tests is so slight despite one of them being more dilute than the other, but it is what it is at this point. I ordered a Salifert ammonia test kit and I'm just writing this one off as a loss. Very disappointing.
Distilled water and saltwater color cannot be visually compared, because one is clear and the other is very cloudy.

The sample volume inaccuracy will not affect the results. The amount of reagents is in large excess of what is needed in the test.

The color should be assessed only against a white background.
 
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Apollo7235

Apollo7235

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I posted this thread a few months ago, but have since upgraded to Hanna Checkers for all of my testing aside from ammonia which I never test for anymore.

I have been meaning to do a side-by-side comparison of API results against those of the Hanna checkers, but I just haven’t found the time. Hopefully soon!
 

WHAT WATER CHANGE "PERCENTAGE" MAKES IT WORTH DOING?

  • 5% - 10%

    Votes: 69 9.5%
  • 10% - 20%

    Votes: 370 51.2%
  • 20% - 30%

    Votes: 177 24.5%
  • 30% - 40%

    Votes: 22 3.0%
  • 40% - 50%

    Votes: 15 2.1%
  • 50% or more

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • No water change is worth it

    Votes: 27 3.7%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 12 1.7%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 23 3.2%
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