Why all the hate for API test kits????

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SeaSquirt0405

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I was just wondering why all the hate against API test kits? Is API being black balled? Is there a measurable difference from an API test kits and kits that require additional steps? Why are they able to continue to sell test kits with results that no one seems to prefer? Just looking for the logic to purchase more expensive test kits?
 
Zoanthids

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The slightly more expensive ones are more accurate, and where small margins of error are so significant, ppl pay the extra. Also the more expensive test kits give you a much more exact number, vs the large deviations for api. You tend to get what you pay for in this hobby
 

vetteguy53081

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It raises a good question but in particular, the ammonia and nitrate readings are zero to low for many aquarists findings that the ammonia is 15-30 and nitrate 39-50 when the api kit showed zero or low explaining unusual loss or deterioration.
One should find it unusual that a master kit is ONLY $21
 

Theulli

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I use the basic ones all the time. It depends on the accuracy you need - I see no reason to get a more expensive ammonia test when really you want to know: is there ammonia and is it a lot or a little.

some of the others suffer from not having enough color difference to be able to measure small but meaningful changes. This is why the Hanna tests are well liked for measuring params where you really have to get it right, like copper.
 

MasonK24

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I used to rely on API, then I got serious about my parameters.

api nitrate - gives me false highs all the time. i now use salifert

api phosphate- will literally tell you “yes you have phosphate” or “no you dont have phosphate” the low range is terrible. i now have a hanna ULR

api dKH- eh.. i use salifert because its way way less tedious to test and i trust them and not api

api calcium- extremely tedious but in my experience was fairly accurate.

Its a great beginner set, but when your serious about the hobby and thousands of $$ are on the line you want accuracy.
 
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I am a big fan of the API Saltwater test kit, but for the specific purpose of cycling. I don't really need to know exact numbers at this stage, I just need to know trends. They are cheap and do the job and I will probably always keep them on hand in case I need to cycle a QT etc.

However, for a running reef system they might not be accurate enough. The API nitrate test is ideal if you want to keep an eye on the levels during the cycle, but I found it really hard to determine between the levels so I have switched to NYOS.

I haven't tried the reef test kit,

I think people unfairly attack the API kits. They are what they are.

As an aside, the expensive Mastertronic testing system uses the API calcium reagents, so they presumably can't all be that bad!
 

mdb_talon

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Why are they able to continue to sell test kits with results that no one seems to prefer

Because they are cheap and readily available at most local stores. Generally speaking the people most active on places like R2R are more serious about the hobby and in ky opinion probably do not well represent the common person with a SW tank...especially those just starting.

Having said that i actually use API for my normal nitrate tests. My goal is to be below 10 and above 0. I find API much easier to see this. I use salifert as backup when needed but with their color scale i have an extremely difficult time identifying color differences up to 25(so all i know is if very low or too high for me) If i look through side for the "low range" measurement it is easier, but i dont keep my nitrates low range generally(like i said i am happy in "not zero" to 10) range.

I use for ammonia too i guess but i dont ever test it other than a couple times during new cycle...even there though it just to confirm ammonia spikes when i add it really. I dont ever test nitrite but would probably use api for that if i cared.

For alkalinity and phosphate though API just has nowhere near the precision that is useful for how i want to run my tank. Hanna is very precise and in the long run(reagents) quite affordable after initial purchase.

I prefer red sea for calcium, and only check very rarely so not big deal either way.
 

Frogspon

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The reef keeping community is not too distant cousins with the car community.

Those with a v6 trash the "4-bangers". Those with a v8 trash the v6. Those with a mid engine trash the v8s. all the way up the chain.

API is affordable so naturally it's trashed by those that spend thousands on testing to justify and make themselves feel better about it.
 

Rmckoy

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I used to rely on API, then I got serious about my parameters.

api nitrate - gives me false highs all the time. i now use salifert

api phosphate- will literally tell you “yes you have phosphate” or “no you dont have phosphate” the low range is terrible. i now have a hanna ULR

api dKH- eh.. i use salifert because its way way less tedious to test and i trust them and not api

api calcium- extremely tedious but in my experience was fairly accurate.

Its a great beginner set, but when your serious about the hobby and thousands of $$ are on the line you want accuracy.
API alk , just count drops lol

API cal , by the time you were finished , multiply number of drops by 20

and the colour change is hard to see the difference .

nitrite and ammonia . I’ll agree . Both don’t matter . The only thing you want to know is yes you have a lot , or none .
Nitrate is inaccurate . Always giving false results .
For accuracy I prefer salifert for cal and mag.
Hanna for alk , phosphorus ( later convert to phosphate number )
 

MasonK24

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The reef keeping community is not too distant cousins with the car community.

Those with a v6 trash the "4-bangers". Those with a v8 trash the v6. Those with a mid engine trash the v8s. all the way up the chain.

API is affordable so naturally it's trashed by those that spend thousands on testing to justify and make themselves feel better about it.
I have a Honda Civic because its reliable, just like my test kits. :)
 
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Phosphate not repeatable in 3 consecutive tests (none, lots, none)...had higher hopes. Good for cycling I suppose but now I keep strips on hand for fast spot checks. Seem to be better and of course quicker.

Still use API for freshwater though.
 

Jay'sReefBugs

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I was just wondering why all the hate against API test kits? Is API being black balled? Is there a measurable difference from an API test kits and kits that require additional steps? Why are they able to continue to sell test kits with results that no one seems to prefer? Just looking for the logic to purchase more expensive test kits?
I dont hate them they give you a ball park idea of what you're parameters are . If I use one and see something is off I use a more dialed in accurate test
 

LordofCinder

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I have API tests for everything, but Salifert backups for calcium and alk that i doube check sometimes. API is not only slightly cheaper, but much simpler, after watching dozens of youtube videos, I still dont know if I'm doing the salifert calcium test properly.

Anyway, as long as my fish and coral are happy, I dont sweat it with tests
 

tehmadreefer

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I was just wondering why all the hate against API test kits? Is API being black balled? Is there a measurable difference from an API test kits and kits that require additional steps? Why are they able to continue to sell test kits with results that no one seems to prefer? Just looking for the logic to purchase more expensive test kits?
Because they are horribly inaccurate
 

DDenny

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I used the API with FOWLR perfect for what I needed then. When I have cycled a tank I used API, however, now that I will be adding coral I use the salifert test kits for Nitrates, Ca, Mg, and Alk. Looking into the Hanna checkers for Phosphate for now possibly others down the line. I never minded using the API i just new that I wasn't getting the most accurate of results.
 
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JayLu

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I used the API Alkalinity and Calcium test kits for years when my tanks were mainly dominated by LPS corals. They honestly worked just fine for what I was doing. Now that I am trying some of the more fussy SPS corals, I switched to Hanna for Alkalinity and Red Sea for Calcium. However, I still use API for testing PH. I agree a lot of the other API test kits are not that good, but I really think a lot of the hate is just people parroting.
 

mistergray

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:-( My LFS tested my water and it contradicts the tests I did on my own

Funny, I posted the thread above this morning after leaving the LFS. Honestly, I don’t know if I can trust the basic tests if they’re going to have such a dramatic result compared to the LFS. Although, there are some in the thread I posted that feel the LFS test may be off. They may be correct. I’m super confused at this point on what to do besides have “pet” water. Lol!
 

homer1475

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:-( My LFS tested my water and it contradicts the tests I did on my own

Funny, I posted the thread above this morning after leaving the LFS. Honestly, I don’t know if I can trust the basic tests if they’re going to have such a dramatic result compared to the LFS. Although, there are some in the thread I posted that feel the LFS test may be off. They may be correct. I’m super confused at this point on what to do besides have “pet” water. Lol!
In reality, you do have "pet" water. If you approach this hobby of keeping pristine water, everything else just falls in line.
 

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Quite honestly I find all test kit to be extremely not accurate. There's a brs investigat's video that basically proves this. I'm starting to think the only way to get some accuracy is to send samples to the lab for 50$. But tbh i prefer api to alot of other tests just because there harder to screw up. Ive sat and done tests multiple times with extremely different results.
 

Timfish

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I don't understand it either. DFWMAS used ot have a comparison of tests on their website and API compared favorably with the others. There was also an article on Advanced Aquarium by Fatheree I belive that had similar conclusions. This is a good article by Richard Ross on testing and chasing numbers and on ICP testing
 
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