Test Kits


Nano Reefer
I looked and found a few things on the forum regarding test kits but nothing too current. I'm really just looking for everyone's preference and feedback on what to get. I've been using API Test kits for PH, Ammonio (NH4), Nitrite (NO2), Nitrate (NO3), Phosphate (PO4), Calcium (Ca) and Alk (KH) for years and I just don't think they are that accurate. I've never even seen a ready on any of them that wasn't 0 except for calcium and alk. Looking to upgrade but now sure which way to go. Here's what I've found.

All Salifert = $162.93
NH4, NO2, NO3, PO4, Ca, KH, Mg
Seems like these used to be the #1 kits that most people used but a lot has come on the market to compete with them in the last few years?

All RedSea = $160.96
NH4, NO2, NO3, PO4, Ca, KH, Mg
BRS shows these as a pretty good option in some of their videos and makes them look pretty easy to use and reliable?

Hanna Checkers + One of the Above= $195.96 + 71.97
NO2, PO4, Ca, KH Hanna
NH4, NO3, Mg Salifert or Red Sea
Seems like these would be the best choice if price didn't matter being digital and all but I hate that they don't have all of them. Seems like Nitrate and Mg would be two important kits to have.

I left out ph because I already bought a Digital PH Meter and I added in Magnesium because I've never tested for that before and want to include in my measurements.

I guess my question is a combination of the accuracy, ease of use and price. What kits does everyone prefer for all of the above reasons? Also, is there anything else I'm missing that most people are testing for?
Here's what I use and why
Ph= API it's cheep and my ph is consistant.
NH4, NO2, NO3, phosphate = API because I don't need them to be super accurate, any detectable reading needs to be monitored and corrected.
Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium = sailifert, I find them very accurate and I want these readings to be as accurate as possible.
Thanks Aquarian, your points here make a lot of sense. I definitely agree that I want to be more accurate with Ca, Alk and Mg and this is one of the reasons I'm looking at options for better kits. I also agree that NH4 and NO2 don't need to be that accurate and that any readings need to be addressed. These are probably the two that I am most content with on the API side.

I do feel like my NO3 API kits have never produced a reading at all and I'm not sure why. I'd like to take a look at some better kits for this to see what kind of readings I can pull. I know 0 on this is a good thing but I'm not convinced that I am keeping them that low all the time. I also feel like the Phosphate API kit is in the same boat. I know the phosphate kits in general tend to be tough to read. I also feel like I cannot tell the difference between a lot of the colors on the API Ph test. Seems like it's very had to distinguish the colors and get any kind of a reading on them. I think I can tell if this is way off but between 8.1 and 8.4 or 8.5 it blends together a lot.

Have you been happy with the Salifert kits so far?

Thanks for the feedback I appreciate your input.
I can honestly tell you that I don't know the last time I tested nitrates or phoshates. I really don't care what they read, in fact they are just pointless numbers that are argued in this hobby. You should see the variance in the hobby, just check out some videos from macna regarding phoshates.

Alk is the only concern I have, I test that once a month.
Once your system is built and you stop adding coral, you know their consumption of the elements. Reference: I go through 200 mls of sodium carbonate for alk and 160mls of calcium carbonate a day.

The test kits are all just hobbiest kits and have wide variance.

If you're color blind go with salifert or red sea.
If you're cheap go with api. None are better and should be used as a reference.