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How Common Are API Ammonia Test False Positives?

With the API aquarium test kits being the most popular test kits in the world by far, we commonly recommend them to our readers who are looking to get cheap water quality readings for their tanks.

Although the API test kits can be an excellent tool in your fish keeping kit, there are a number of options available within their test kit range and some of their cheaper test kits can have issues.

This is why we see so many people reaching out and asking questions about how common is it for API ammonia test false positives to show up.

Our regular readers will know that this can be a real problem and we commonly make our readers within the fish keeping hobby aware that their cheaper kits often do have problems with false positives that can cause problems further down their line when they think one of their water parameters are fine when in fact, it is causing problems in their tank.

How Accurate Is An API Ammonia Test?

The API ammonia test is one of the most popular tests on the market for a number of reasons, but one of its main selling points is that it is an accurate, cheap way of testing your water quality.

The problem with many cheaper test kits is that they are often inaccurate, which can lead to all sorts of problems in your tank if you’re not aware of the issues that can arise.

A false positive with your ammonia test kit can often lead to you thinking your water quality is fine when in fact, it’s causing problems in your tank.

Thankfully, there is a quick, easy, and cheap work around to counter the false positives that you can get when using the API test kits.

If you are using the standard API test strips, we always recommend that you use three test strips with the strips being used give minutes apart.

This way, it is easier to avoid false positives as you have three readings to take your ammonia readings from so any inaccuracies are easier to spot.

Do Standard API Test Strips Test For Ammonia?

There are some of the standard API test strips available that will test for ammonia levels in your aquarium but always check the label for the specific test you are purchasing.

This is due to some of the water test kits in the API range not testing for ammonia but the packaging all looking similar to each other.

Please keep in mind that the standard API test strips are the cheapest option in the range too and the have the highest chances of giving a false positive to your ammonia tests.

If you are using the standard API test strips for your ammonia tests in your own aquarium, we would always recommend that you use the method that we covered above.

Take three tests that are taken at least five minutes apart and then check the readings for all three tests.

Does API Master Test Kit Test For Ammonia?

The API master test kit tests for ammonia levels in your aquarium as well as a number of other water parameters that are key for fish keeping.

The master test kit from API tends to be far more accurate than their standard test strips while also testing for more potential problems in your aquarium water.

If you are wanting to check your water parameters then we would always recommend that you go with the API master test kit over the API standard test kit sets.

If you are using the API master test kit to test the ammonia levels in your aquarium then you can usually just use one test strip as they are far more accurate than the standard test strips but if you do want to use more than one and use the average of three method then you can but there is usually no need.