API Test Kit question

Bobby2415

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Aug 12, 2019
135
53
31
27
Might seem like a silly question but when you read the results of the test, do you hold the tube fully against the white background (touching the tube to the paper) or do you hold it just in front of the white background? Because for example when I’m checking my nitrates, if I hold it against the paper it reads more like 10-20ppm but if I hold it just in front of it (not actually touching the tube to the paper) then it reads 5ppm. Just wasn’t sure which one is the more accurate reading. Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

AlphaTintu

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Bobby, I read against the paper, touching the paper, and I do use natural sun light facing area, a little lit up room light. I had never had that variations because my nitrate and nitrite read absolutely zero, ammonia at less than 1 and only trouble I have had with ammonia reading because the test kit colors are closer to each other. I hope this helps, If not, I will test again today and can send you photos... Ammonia has not been to 0 in my tank ever, whatever I do, thinking because my water has chlorinated, and API also reads NH2 and NH3 altogether...

For Ammonia, the seachem has a sticker kind of reader, not sure how accurate that should be, but based on reading from review, I will try which sticks inside the tank in water and instantaneously reads ammonia....

 
  • Like
Reactions: Bobby2415

Bobby2415

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Aug 12, 2019
135
53
31
27
Bobby, I read against the paper, touching the paper, and I do use natural sun light facing area, a little lit up room light. I had never had that variations because my nitrate and nitrite read absolutely zero, ammonia at less than 1 and only trouble I have had with ammonia reading because the test kit colors are closer to each other. I hope this helps, If not, I will test again today and can send you photos... Ammonia has not been to 0 in my tank ever, whatever I do, thinking because my water has chlorinated, and API also reads NH2 and NH3 altogether...

For Ammonia, the seachem has a sticker kind of reader, not sure how accurate that should be, but based on reading from review, I will try which sticks inside the tank in water and instantaneously reads ammonia....

I appreciate the reply. Yah I wish I could keep my nitrates at 0. I do 50% water changes every 3-4 days and am usually able to get it to 5ppm after the water change. Never was able to break over to the 0 mark though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlphaTintu

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
1,922
3,751
154
UK
Might seem like a silly question but when you read the results of the test, do you hold the tube fully against the white background (touching the tube to the paper) or do you hold it just in front of the white background? Because for example when I’m checking my nitrates, if I hold it against the paper it reads more like 10-20ppm but if I hold it just in front of it (not actually touching the tube to the paper) then it reads 5ppm. Just wasn’t sure which one is the more accurate reading. Any thoughts? Thanks!
I'm sure I posted a question very similar a few years back. I noticed a slight variation in colours when holding the vial directly against the white background and holding it slightly away from it. It turns out that, yes, you must take the reading when the vial is right up against the white part of the test card, and preferably, as AlphaTintu AlphaTintu mentioned take the test with natural light.

Unless you've just done a huge water change you'll be unlikely to register 0ppm on your nitrate. A nitrate reading is a sign that all is well in your tank....it's when you don't keep on top of your water changes that, over time, it can cause long term issues.

Just curious AlphaTintu AlphaTintu , what type of a system do you run to read continuous absolute 0ppm on your nitrate?
 

AlphaTintu

Plecostomus
MFK Member
@ esoxlucius esoxlucius thanks for your comments and advise. I test with API water test kit (expiry 2025), just bought a new kit a week ago.

Current reading on Aug 1, 2020:


pH 7.6
high range pH 8.2
ammonia 1.0 ppm
nitrate 0 ppm
nitrite 0 ppm

===============================

Reading on July 25 and on July 26, 2020: (same reading on consecutive days)

pH 7.6
High range pH 8.2
Ammonia 1.0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate between 0 to 1 as it's dark yellowish

===============================

BIO Load: Only one Kamfa fry (1.5 inches) since last 4-5 days.

===============================

Tank size: 37 Gallons (TopFin aquarium)

===============================

Filters: One HOB following medias in following order (first to last media in order):

- Poly fill or poly fiber fill (which we use in pillow) at the first media in the bottom.
- A 9 inch (folding) piece of "Aqua-Flo 12" Pond & Aquarium Filter Media, 72" (6 Feet) Long x 1" Thick (Green/White)" from Amazon
- 50 grams (or whatever it says in HOB size) of Marinland Zeolite in a tetra mesh bag
- A Fluval BIO foam filter media (sponge) at the top of the filter

Additional filter underwater - the old school filter with Fluval underwater BIO media and with pre-installed BIO sponge/black sponge running with a air pump. That underwater filter is secondary filter from Amazon - AQUANEAT Air Driven Bio Corner Filter Sponge Fry Shrimp Nano Fish Tank Aquarium Up to 40 Gal with Accessories

===============================

Aeration:

Two bubblers (one 5" stone and one normal stone)

===============================

20% water change twice in a week.. or firm once in a week.

===============================

And nothing uncommon I am doing, it's only one 1.5 inches fish in 37 gallons aquarium and having two filters altogether and enough aeration, I guess, doing the job.

Please let me know for additional questions, happy to help! :)
 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
15,785
14,014
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Being a former chemist, I find most aquarium test kits, a bit lacking in accuracy, because when I was a chemist I was spoiled by the type methods we were provided, and I would compare aquarium test kits with EPA kits often, and use spectrometers to pin point numbers, my eyes weren't abe to discern. Our results had to meet to EPA standards for drinking water, there is no such governing body for aquariums that I know of.
The cost of these EPA certified test kits reflected that pin point accuracy, and I doubt most aquarists would bite for that kind of cost.
So expecting an a aquarium test kit to be really perfect, is a bit of a stretch'
Below is a video that speaks in plain language to some of the challenges we as aquarists face, and although these guys are testing salt water, many issues are similar to what we fresh water testers face.

Is there a BEST Nitrate Test Kit out there? Try these Best of 2019 Nitrate kits!
 

pacu mom

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Jun 8, 2006
3,108
1,343
179
northern CA
Being a former chemist, I find most aquarium test kits, a bit lacking in accuracy, because when I was a chemist I was spoiled by the type methods we were provided, and I would compare aquarium test kits with EPA kits often, and use spectrometers to pin point numbers, my eyes weren't abe to discern. Our results had to meet to EPA standards for drinking water, there is no such governing body for aquariums that I know of.
The cost of these EPA certified test kits reflected that pin point accuracy, and I doubt most aquarists would bite for that kind of cost.
So expecting an a aquarium test kit to be really perfect, is a bit of a stretch'
Below is a video that speaks in plain language to some of the challenges we as aquarists face, and although these guys are testing salt water, many issues are similar to what we fresh water testers face.

Is there a BEST Nitrate Test Kit out there? Try these Best of 2019 Nitrate kits!
Interesting video. Of course, at the end they ask for a Hanna Nitrate Checker. Hanna does make a nitrate-nitrogen portable photometer. I like mine.

1596428338702.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store