View Full Version : API test kit for cycle only?

07/26/2013, 09:04 PM
Hey guys... I've been looking at test kits and was going to go with Salifert, but I was wondering if I could use the API test kits for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for the cycle, and once I get into corals get the other 3 (alk, Ca, Mg, if I remember correctly) in Salifert brand. Basically, I'm looking to save some money that I can put into other things during my start up.


07/26/2013, 09:15 PM
I used API test kits for ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the beginning...I don't see why not...They are not the most accurate test (especially nitrate) but they will work.

07/26/2013, 09:18 PM
Not a bad kit, especially since you are watching the peak, then the drop off of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You will probably want to invest a little more when you're up and running. Salifert and Red Sea are good kits.

07/26/2013, 11:22 PM
Agree with others... API is just fine for cycling. All you're looking for are the relative numbers or trend, and not necessarily the actual numbers.

Also... skip the pH test during cycling. It will be bouncing all over the place during a cycle and doesn't tell you anything. At the end of the cycle, you'll probably do a big water change anyway and those previous pH readings will be even more meaningless!

07/27/2013, 08:27 AM
Good to know - I have API tests for my freshwater tanks. I'll use 'em up, and then buy a better kit.

07/27/2013, 09:17 AM
That's great. I'm glad I can save a few bucks here. Thanks guys/gals!

07/27/2013, 09:23 AM
Or do what I did, and forgo the API and get the salifert whenever you can. And don't bother testing you water during the cycle.

I forced myself to go slow, by not testing during the cycle. 40lbs of base rock 10lbs of fully cured liverock, and a raw shrimp. 8 weeks later when the base rock started turning green with dots of coralline, I added a few hermits and snails for the next 4 weeks until my CUC was fully stocked. Then I added a couple cheapy hardy corals, 2 small zoanthid frags.

I think it was close to 4 months before a fish went in the tank, and by that time I had tested the water to see where everything was.

07/27/2013, 07:09 PM
I bought api to cycle and I never got an accurate reading. Maybe it was user error... after reading all the reviews im inclined to think it was just a crappy kit and it was brand new less then a year old according to the date stamp. save your money and just wait a couple more weeks till you know the cycle is done or invest in a better kit that you can use when the cycle is done mine went to the trash.

07/28/2013, 02:08 AM
i still use API for phosphate and nitrates. They are a bit hard to read but can definitely tell you if they're present in your system.