API test kit info

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by koiguy1969, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. koiguy1969

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    10,556
    Likes Received:
    6,287
    Location:
    Michigan zone 5b
    1. Advertisements

  2. koiguy1969

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    5,640
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    Great and important info!

    This would explain many of the suspiciously low Nitate readings reported on this Forum.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 17, 2017
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. koiguy1969

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    10,556
    Likes Received:
    6,287
    Location:
    Michigan zone 5b
    IMG_20171217_100932583.jpg IMG_20171217_100924859.jpg
    First picture is slightly away from card... Shows 5. The second is touching...shows 10. These pics were taken 1/2hour after test, so they may be darker then when tests were done. Like the link explained, waiting too long to check results may give a false high readings.
     
    koiguy1969, Dec 18, 2017
    #3
  4. koiguy1969

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    6,685
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    So - shake your test kit reagent bottles for 30 - 60 seconds before using if you test weekly, shake for 2 - 3 minutes if testing less often. (that's a long time to shake a bottle)
    I saw this recommended by another manufacturer a number of years ago. I think it was Elos.
    It's a habit for me now.
    Although 1 bottle in the PO4 kit is so viscous, it's not possible to shake that one.
     
    MitchM, Dec 18, 2017
    #4
  5. koiguy1969

    JamieB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    North Oklahoma
    What other brands are good? One of the members is trying to find one, a 14yr old girl, so she needs one she can afford, and the api kit is almost twice what she can spend. If you would, post in introduction- unnecessary guests on fish fins”. You’ll see her budget limit, but it’s in rupes.
     
    JamieB, Dec 29, 2017
    #5
  6. koiguy1969

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    5,640
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    The API kits are probably the least expensive of any of the available test kits that boast some semblance of accuracy. There are several other manufacturers but all are more expensive.
    As to the young lady from India, while I feel sympathy for her, she is attempting to pursue a hobby at a level that she does not have the resources for. Any attempt to do it 'on the cheap' will only cause her more heartbreak down the road.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Dec 29, 2017
    #6
  7. koiguy1969

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,551
    Likes Received:
    7,352
    Location:
    Northern IL
    I do feel for her - she is so sincere in her desire to do the right thing. But if I understand the situation (there were a lot of posts to follow) she was trying to keep multiple fish (including two big koi) in a six gallon container. That's really not even enough for one small goldfish. No test kit in the world can help with the issues that will come out of that situation. And while the suggestions to get a big tote are helpful in the short run, long term that's not really fair to the fish either. And if she doesn't have the resources for a test kit, she won't be able to support those fish as they continue to grow.

    I do hope she will seek out an aquarium forum as they may be her best resource. Maybe she can find someone who is getting rid of some larger tanks that she can step up to in her fish keeping hobby.
     
    Lisak1, Dec 29, 2017
    #7
  8. koiguy1969

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    I DID suggest she keep very small (adult) fish. Guppies are cheap and easy. Won't need much water testing as long as she doesn't overfeed. Which research should show, then she can have fish as pets without all the additional expense. She says she's been online reading about fish since age 11 but if she has, surely some article would have told her koi get ridiculously large...and the pet store isn't doing her any favors, that's for sure...
     
    brokensword, Dec 29, 2017
    #8
  9. koiguy1969

    CSMcMullen1

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    CSMcMullen1, Feb 18, 2018
    #9
  10. koiguy1969

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    CS;
    the liquid kits are much more accurate than the strips (don't even bother using/buying) but the kit should be current. Old kits degrade and can give you false info. Basically, you're wanting to know what your source water is made of so you can either adapt or use as is. I'm betting, as noted before, that if you have ground water, unless you have a source that might pollute it (fertilizers, toxic remains from past usage of the land, etc), you can probably not worry. I have well water (very deep) and have no issues. The shallow ones are the types that can have ground leachings that might hurt ponders. I haven't added/subtracted anything other than to make sure I have lots of plants. As time goes on and cycles are established, the plants have naturally acidifed my overly alkaline water. From what I can see of fish growth and plant growth, everything is working fine. You might have issues at first re introducing fish, but if you do it slow so the fish can get acclimated, they'll be fine. GF are tough. I think the basic safe range for ph is 7-9, but don't remember the kh or gh numbers. Just search/google here and the numbers will come up, or someone like @MitchM can chime in. The kh and gh are important to keep ph crashes from happening.

    btw, have you posted your particulars yet? Size of pond, LxWxD, planting zone, water params (I know, you're getting there on that one!) are the sort of measurements we'd need to help.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Feb 18, 2018
    #10
  11. koiguy1969

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    6,685
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    fw pond or fw aquarium, it's an aquatic environment so the test kits will work the same.
    Just make sure the kits are not expired and you shake the bottles before using.
     
    MitchM, Feb 18, 2018
    #11
    CSMcMullen1 likes this.
  12. koiguy1969

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    @MitchM : without me or the OP actually doing the search, can you post here what kh and gh numbers (and a brief treatise about benefits/detriments) are for an average pond? I'm pretty sure I remember you and Meyer batting this ball about sometime back...
     
    brokensword, Feb 18, 2018
    #12
  13. koiguy1969

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    6,685
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    Hey Michael,
    KH is carbonate hardness, GH is all other minerals.
    KH and GH are basically "bookends" that keep PH within healthy water quality parameters for fish.
    KH prevents PH from dropping too low because it helps nitrifying bacteria process decaying organic matter and neutralizes acids.
    GH prevents PH from rising too high because it balances out biological processes by telling you that you have enough minerals that allow complete processing of biological matter.

    The end goal is to have nitrogen safely processed from ammonia back to nitrogen that plants can utilize.

    A healthy reading using the API test kit for KH and GH is 6 or more drops each.
     
    MitchM, Feb 18, 2018
    #13
  14. koiguy1969

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    isn't there some numbers? I seem to recall 100 or more for kh...again, I don't worry about this but the OP might need to know basic healthy ranges for each...
     
    brokensword, Feb 18, 2018
    #14
  15. koiguy1969

    MitchM

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    6,685
    Location:
    Water Valley, Alberta
    Yes, the simplest number is the number of drops, 6.
    6 drops is 100 ppm.
    That is an acceptable minimum.

    Readings above that are most likely fine, unless it's an extreme amount which we need to examined on a case by case basis. I would consider anything above 22 drops (400 ppm) something to be looked at a bit closer.
     
    MitchM, Feb 18, 2018
    #15
  16. koiguy1969

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    644
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks, Mitch!
     
    brokensword, Feb 18, 2018
    #16
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.