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API test kits how do you use them

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I would like to know how everyone else uses these kits. Do you shake up the bottles before you test or just use it straight out of the bottle?

I have done it both ways and got 2 different readings, so now I am confused as to what is the right way to test.

If I use the bottle without shaking I get a PH of 7.6 in one of my tanks, but if I shake the bottle and wait a few minutes then test again my PH reads 6.2 confusing or what?

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OK but the test kit doesn't say shake well before use....it says put 3 drops into the test tube and

invert the tube a few times to mix the solution! Not the bottle? My question is, do you shake up the

bottle first, or just use it without shaking the contents before putting the drops into the test tube.

No instructions on my API kit says shake bottle!

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GH and KH you don't have to shake anything. pH, high pH, and ammonia you don't shake the bottle, but you invert the test tube. Nitrite you don't shake the bottle but you shake the test tube and on Nitrate you invert the test tube, shake the crap out of bottle two, then shake the test tube. This is for the API liquid tests.

Follow the instructions in the kit. That is what they are there for.


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Yep that would be fine. I have the master kit, but the chemicals are old now, so don't trust them.

I bought the PH kit and Ammonia individual ones from API (the only ones our LFS sells) I also got

the same product but the strips...still get a different reading on PH with those too.

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the master kit is good if your cycling a tank or seeing if you got a spike,but it is worthless to know exactly where your at.


you can get a digital ph meter and a solution to calibrate it for under 20 bucks.

I have heard (on other forums) that these (low priced units) are not accurate. So if there is one that is, that would be beneficial.

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Here is the thread on how to calibrate your API test kit for those of you who are interested. I never bothered with it.



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