starter testing kit

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by SeeFu, May 14, 2019.

  1. SeeFu

    SeeFu Member

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    I'm about 2 weeks away from when I start my cycling period. I know I should probably get an ammonia test kit, but does it matter which kit I get? I just want something easy to read and fairly accurate. I'll be fish only for probably the first 3 months.
     
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  2. Oshengems

    Oshengems Valuable Member

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    For ammonia go cheap lol I think they all work fairly good
     
  3. Westoncase

    Westoncase Member

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    Get the Red Sea marine care set. It has ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph and alkalinity tests included. Works for me, my fish and zoas.
     
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  4. Oshengems

    Oshengems Valuable Member

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    This sounds good if all are included, you will eventually move from ammonia and nitrite to alkalinity and calcium if you decide to go after corals
     
  5. Westoncase

    Westoncase Member

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    Only thing not included is calcium. Calcium isn’t the most important thing when it comes to zoas
     
  6. FishyFish

    FishyFish Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I respectfully disagree about going cheap on ammonia tests, especially in the beginning when you're more likely to have ammonia in your tank. Some of the cheaper tests (API) can register low ammonia no matter what. Any ammonia level above 0 is not okay, so you absolutely do not want a test that will register as .25 when it should show 0. You need to be able to trust your ammonia test so that you will be able to react appropriately if you ever do have ammonia in your tank.

    I use Salifert test kits and also have a Seachem ammonia alert badge on my QT. Red Sea is a great brand too though, I think you'll be fine with those!
     
  7. Oshengems

    Oshengems Valuable Member

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    API test kits are just fine for ammonia nitrites specially since they are mostly used For a short amount of time also they are widely available...best ? These are all hobby graded test kits you are aiming for ballpark figures not exact numbers and even Red Sea salifert or other Kits will probably still not register correct numbers close to zero which is constantly in our tanks assuming their are creatures/living organisms in your tank creating waste. The point of the cycle is to make sure the food chain is established well.

    one thing I’ve learn in this hobby is not to dwell on perfection or you will create headaches For yourself, spend unnecessary money and deviate from the main goal. Of course it’s just my personal opinion at the end of the day, the only thing I test for now is Alk my calcium magnesium ammonia nitrite are all expired money down the drain
     
  8. FishyFish

    FishyFish Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I hear you, I no longer test ammonia or nitrite in my main tank either unless I'm noticing a problem. I think once you're more experienced you can get away with doing that without any issues. But when you're new and don't know any better you need to be able to trust those tests. I've seen plenty of new reefers post questions on here and say that they have .25 ammonia when they post their parameters. They will then (rightfully) be told to add Prime, add bacteria, do a water change, etc, even though they are reporting that all fish are acting fine. When you ask them which tests they're using, 90% of the time they're using API. A lot of API kits will register low ammonia no matter what, which means that these newbies could be unintentionally given bad advice by people who are trying to help.

    There's no way to know for sure whether they really had ammonia in their tank of course, I'm sure that some of them really do, but not all. I went through this personally when I was new, I posted parameters and had people telling me that my tank wasn't cycled and my fish were in danger. Turns out my ammonia was 0 and the fish were fine, the API kit I was using just registered low ammonia no matter what. It even tested positive for ammonia in my drinking water. It probably sounds silly now, but at the time it was really stressful and upsetting and the entire experience could have easily been avoided.

    Anyway, to each their own! I think as long as you know that the cheaper kits might be unreliable at low levels then you'll probably be okay. For me personally I would rather spend the extra few bucks and be able to trust my results but I can definitely understand where others might see that as throwing money away.
     
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  9. DC504

    DC504 Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club

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    Agreed on the Red Sea kit. It's a bit pricey, but worth it for all of the different tests included IMO. Never been a fan of API. Aside from what others have mentioned with regards to accuracy, it's also more difficult to correctly assess your results. The Red Sea kit measures total ammonia, but it also includes a chart that lets you calculate your unionized ammonia(which is the stuff we really are worried about).
     
  10. Dusty's Fish Store

    Dusty's Fish Store Member R2R Supporter

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    My API tests always register some level of ammonia so for that reason I can not recommend the API kit.
     
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