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FYI - API KH kit reading high.


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Short version:

Just thought I'd let you all know that I just discovered that my API KH test kit was reading 3 points high. The lot# on the bottle I am using is 59A0608. It said I was at 10kh, when in reality I was at 7kh. That's a pretty big difference.



Long version:

I had been using the red sea titration test, and testing consistantly at 8.5kh. I ran out of test solution on 1/11/10. At this point I had been dosing baking soda for alk. I continued dosing my regular amount until 1/17/10 when I got an API test and it read 16!!! I was stunned. That is way too high, so I stopped dosing and kept testing every day till It dropped to 10. I'd been testing every day and it was staying stable at 10, calcium at 420 but I was noticing that my stony corals were looking worse and worse. My superman monti melted, my cap is almost completely gone, hydnophora losing tissue, turbinaria not showing good polyp extension...I suspected the test kit was off so I took a water sample down to Rose City (thanks for being so patient with me guys!!!) and everything looked good, minus slightly elevated phosphates...but the KH tested to 7 twice on the red sea test. Looks like I found my culprit.(clap)


Just wanted to share in case others may be getting bad data from the same test kit.

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AS A general rule-Those are the results I expect from API-at least all the kits I have used by them produced the same data-NOTHING worth trusting-








Not worth a penny-IMO-when you have thousands worth of livestock, you want to be able to trust in the kit producing accurate info-


Salifert and possibly the new (to me) Elos which I have yet to try


Perhaps others will see this and if they use API-test their API kit against a kit that has proven itself

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Wow, this makes me kind of nervous. I am new to the saltwater reef hobby and the API test kits are what I use. I have been spending more than I should on livestock right now and I would hate to lose everything because of a false reading. What brand of test kit should I be using? What does everyone use to test for salinity? Hydrometer or a Refractometer?


Thanks for any imput.

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Refractometer FOR SURE. Hydrometers have been proven inaccurate and moody time and time again. With readings that vary from one reading to the next in the same test period. Hydrometers are very inexpensive and therefore very common...but with thousands of dollars on the line....spend the 50 bucks and get a decent refractometer. No question.

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I like Elos and Salifert test kits.


+1 for Salifert-have not used Elos, but may try if the price point beats salifert-only because Salifert has never done me wrong-and if it isn't broken, I'm not paying more to experiment-LOL


You can get a good refrac on Ebay for anywhere from $25-$40 all day long.


+1 for Fleabay-also, there are quite a few stores that will match prices online.


I do that all the time at a certain LFS, and I don't feel bad at all-I don't use the 10% off card as a paying member, I don't use their 10.00 off punch card and never accepted anything for "free" as of yet as a paying member-


Hydrometers are garbage-the last one I got in a used tank package-I threw it in the recycle bin

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