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03-25-2014, 06:01 AM #1
API pH Liquid Test Kit - A Warning
I was testing my water params tonight, because I'm getting ready to house new fish. Just want to be sure they're adequate for the types of fish I aim to home. Anyway, I got out my trusty API pH liquid test kit (to expire in January 2017) and to my surprise, the test gave me quite a drastic change from my previous tests. I usually pull 7.0-7.2 (depending on how I read it that day). This time, I received a 6.4, which is the second lowest pH on the API test card. I figured I was making a mistake with the drops... so I tested my tank twice and when that provided equivalent results, I tested the tap - same thing.
That didn't make any sense, so I pulled out an extra test kit I had (to expire in July 2017). This one I've been using the most for some reason, so the older test was sitting on the shelves for about a year or possibly two. The newer (by ~6 months) test produced the results I'm used to. I had shaken the older kit, to be sure it was mixed, prior to testing my tap (the 3rd test), but that provided the same results. So, my only conclusion is that having the pH solution sit idly by for months on end - possibly years will cause it to become inert, thus expediting the expiration date.
Just wanted to send you guys a fair warning! Don't want any false readings out there. =]
03-25-2014, 08:36 AM #2
Yikes that is good to know!
I am just so glad our tap water is so hard here as I feel it's helped me not fail as a beginner x55g planted: 10x adult guppies, 9x kuhli loaches, 7x black neons, 2x neons, 6x Amano shrimp, assassin snails & cherry shrimp
10g planted: Occasional platies & black devil trumpet snail
03-25-2014, 12:55 PM #3
Good to know!!
03-25-2014, 01:42 PM #4
You might have just got a bad batch
Last year I found a API master test kit in my closet that had been sitting there for a year or two (at least), that I got with a used set-up I bought and completely forgotten about. I as it was not expired, I started using it. I never had any misleading test results from any of the test kits.
Who the heck knows what happened to your test kit top give you wacky results !!!!
Good thing you caught it. It's good to read about some practical experience being applied before assuming your test result is accurate.If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
03-25-2014, 01:43 PM #5
Thanks. Before I moved I was using the High end PH test only cause I knew my water was over 7.8 most of the time. Since moving it has dropped to 7 to 7.2 so I've started using the normal range PH tester. Might go get me a second bottle as this one has been sitting unused for about a year.Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.
You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.
03-25-2014, 02:05 PM #6
03-26-2014, 12:02 AM #7
Great info - thanks.My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Zebra Danios, Wild Caught BNP
29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Harlequin Rasboras, Peacock Gudgeons
Future 40 Long - Fiery Black Shiners, Panda Garra
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"
03-26-2014, 12:30 AM #8
Thx, nice catch.
03-26-2014, 02:30 AM #9
03-26-2014, 02:57 AM #10
Liquid test kits contain chemicals that separate over extender periods of time. It sees to be a problem mostly with the nitrate test, but if you don't shake it properly before use it will give you a low reading at first and then a high reading later on in the kit's life. I suggest shaking every bottle for 15-30 seconds before testing every time, which will make it accurate for a longer period of time.