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Old 01-24-2013, 11:02 AM   #1 
CooperS
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Question API Freshwater Master Test Kit Quick Question

Hi,

Does anyone have the API Freshwater Master Kit? I know it's quite popular on this forum. I was wondering, if you do use the tests and levels are off, does it have what you need to fix the problem, or is it just a testing kit?

If you do have a problem with any levels, will a water change fix things (ammonia, nitrate levels, etc.)? I know for pH you need drops.

Thanks

Last edited by CooperS; 01-24-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:16 AM   #2 
Kytkattin
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It is just a test kit, there is nothing it contains that will fix a problem. Though a water change will fix 99% of problems with water quality, so you don't really need any other tools.

It is however NOT recommended that you change PH with drops or other additives. The fish actually adjust to most levels of PH between 6.2 and 8.The most important thing is consistency. Trying to mess with the levels could cause the fish to go into shock or develop other problems.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:23 AM   #3 
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Thanks :) So I'm wondering...is it even worth it to buy the kit if you are doing weekly changes anyway? It's probably good to have just to check, right?
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #4 
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I just got one last month. And I would say it's only worth purchasing if you run multiple tanks. I have four tanks right now and each are pretty full of livestock & live plants....two of which contain shrimp - which are ultra sensitive to water parameter changes.

If you just run one tank with one betta, I would say it's probably NOT worth it. Also, each time you want to test a water parameter...it takes time too. It's not like an easy dipstick test, with this kit you actually have to measure out an amount of water and add chemicals to it and wait for it to develop.

Lastly, if you do decide to purchase it, the best places to purchase this kit would be either sites like kensfish.com or petmountain.com. Do NOT buy these kits at your local petco/smart because they are almost twice as much if you buy from a local store like those.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:29 AM   #5 
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Thanks for your feedback :)
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Option View Post

If you just run one tank with one betta, I would say it's probably NOT worth it. Also, each time you want to test a water parameter...it takes time too. It's not like an easy dipstick test, with this kit you actually have to measure out an amount of water and add chemicals to it and wait for it to develop.

Lastly, if you do decide to purchase it, the best places to purchase this kit would be either sites like kensfish.com or petmountain.com. Do NOT buy these kits at your local petco/smart because they are almost twice as much if you buy from a local store like those.
I think this is worth it even though I only have one 5.5g tank filled with 5g water, 1 male betta, and 1 amano shrimp, with plants.

Reason: My tank is in day 10 of cycling, my Ammonia, Nitrite have been spiking every 8 hrs or so. So testing it and changing the water (20% or 1 g/day) helps me keep the water at less than 0.25 for Ammonia and Nitrite, hence the shrimps did not have problems. Now, as for the one my Fred ate, that contriubuted to my Ammonia spike yesterday, I think.

Also, I was able to prevent the fin rot from returning.

Depends if you are cycling the tank (fish-in, fishless) or not IMO.

PetSmart has it on sale for $25, I think it is cheaper than Amazon.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #7 
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IMO-its a good idea to understand water and the environment we keep our fish, knowing how to test the water, what the results mean, know the normal results, what causes interactions and most important-know what to do when you get abnormal test results.

With that said, 99.9% of the time-regardless of the abnormal test result- you are going to do the same thing "Water change" In some cases if you wait on a test result it might be too late....

You don't want to base water changes on test results ALONE...test results are a good start, however, due to other things that go on in aquariums with livestock-It is important to make regular water changes to start with in order to prevent any problems. Then to make a water changes anytime you see abnormal behavior changes or if you remove dead livestock or remove a sick fish/livestock as a general rule.

I use both the liquid reagent test products and the test strips and IMO/E the test strips are accurate enough for simple test. Except when you are changing the pH/KH/GH and that isn't recommend as a general rule for Bettas or most fish, unless it is for breeding either soft or hard water species. There are exceptions of course with extreme chemistry issues....

Its important to have a base-line on your source water to help tell you if any additive you use are causing skewed results or if something else in the tank is causing chemistry changes-This is so you don't make unneeded water changes based on interactions. Often the best water tester is the fish-along with the power of observation.

I don't want to discourage anyone from getting testing products and/or testing your aquarium on a regular basis-With that said, IMO you don't have to have testing products on hand, and in the same breath- it is a good idea to have one too-To help you have a better understanding of the environment we keep our wet-pets.....
Having a test kit on hand can make cycling easier and take the guess work out of it, however, you can cycle without one too-provided you are willing an able to make extra water changes to err on the side of caution-Plus, some will have the option of taking water to the fish shop for free test.

Bottom line....more to it than just testing the water.....you need to understand both your source water, aquarium water and what can cause skewed results due to interactions-So the test results don't drive you nuts due to user error or interactions. But you can't learn any of this unless you have a test kit on hand and Do it!
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #8 
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I purchased the liquid test kit when I only had one betta in a tank by himself, but then I'm one of those people who likes to have everything for any "just in case" scenario. With my luck, if I prepare thoroughly for the worst, it's less likely to happen because I've just shelled out all the money, haha!

But as OFL said, if you're doing your regular water changes, and keep an eye on your betta's behaviour it's not necessary to have one. I just liked the idea of having the ability to test on-hand at all times.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #9 
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Yeah, I definitely like being prepared, I just can't shell out money for things I don't "need" right now, because I am still in school :/.
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