There absolutely are dates.
I'll tell you how to find the dates on the API kits and the Saliferts because that's what I have in front of me at the moment.
Each bottle is printed with a Lot # right above the label. For example:
My High Range pH bottle is printed: LOT 27A1009
This means that it was made in 10/09. Which also means it's expired. I guess it's time to go look at the rest of my test kits. Great, see what you started! LOL
Each bottle that comes with the test kit will be printed with a batch number. For example:
My calcium kit bottle 3 (ca-3) is printed batch: 0410-A This means that it was made in 04/10.
The Ca-2 is batch 0310-E and the Ca-1 is batch 0310-M, which means they were made in 03/10. You want each bottle in the test kit to be similar in when they were made. A month won't make a difference, but more than that can.
There is also a way to tell on the SeaChem kits and the Elos kits, but I don't have them in front of me right now.
Also, Red Sea Pro Individual test kits (which I don't recommend) have a exp. date stamped into the cardboard box that they come in, usually with month and year.
Originally Posted by Monsinourhttp:///forum/thread/384535/test-kits#post_3368770
I thought test kits only lasted for a year. You state that your 10 of '09 pH bottle isnt expired? Is that a typo or something?
It's a typo. I meant to write "it's not good anymore" gotta go fix that now...
Originally Posted by nikeSBhttp:///forum/thread/384535/test-kits#post_3368771
API pH is supposed to last 3 years i believe...or was that dkh
I think I remember being told that there was a test or two that lasted longer. I just don't trust any of them after they're a year old, even if their expiration date hasn't passed yet.
For pH, i would just use a controller.
Hanna Meters has their small testers but you have to be accurate when you do it (using the same side of the glass). theres other steps too, but i will be purchasing the hanna meters for phosphates, nitrates, and dkH
alot of their test kits are pretty off in my experience. tried 3 different batches for calcium and they were all different while my salifert and api test kits were fairly close +/- 20 ppm.
tested 420 ppm on api and 400 on salifert, while the red sea was only reading 300
My Red Sea pH test kit was so far off that i had to get rid of it. said my pH was at 8.8 the my test strips and API said 8.0. I am also in the market and doing research on test kits as well. Plus i have a hard time seeing colors...
Was just searching around and came across this so just thought I would share. I also use API for most of my testing.
Shelf Life of Aquarium Test Kits
How many of you have ever wondered how much time your test kits have left and what their shelf life is? If you are like me and you test your water parameters then you have probably wondered the answer to this question. To answer this question, I decided to e-mail three of the most well known companies for test kits and here are the responses. Keep in mind this may change at any time and I assume no responsibility for any of these products.
The first company is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals:
Thank you very much for contacting us regarding our products. All of your comments and questions are valuable.
As for your first question I have to tell you that we do not know if changes will be made.
Shelf Life from bottling date
pan class="medtext">Wide Range pH Test Solution
Ammonia Test Solution #1
Ammonia Test Solution #2
High Range pH Indicator Solution (m-Cresol Purple)
Nitrate Test Solution #1
Nitrate Test Solution #2
GH Test Solution
KH Test Solution
Nitrite Test Solution
Fresh Water Ammonia Test Solution (Nessler)
Fresh Water pH Indicator Solution
High Range pH Indicator Solution (Cresol Red)
Salt Level Test Solution #1
Salt Level Test Solution #2
To determine bottling date check the lot # on the reagent bottle. The last 4 digits are the month and year of bottling.
Example: 33A1201 would = a bottling date of December 2001.
If you have any more questions please contact me.
Technical Services Representative
The second company is Hagen:
All of our test kits have a shelf life of four years. Each package is /images/spacer.gifmarked with an expiration date. Please reply if you have any further questions.
Sharon Emond, Customer Service Dept.
Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp.
The third company is Tetra:
The kits have a five-year shelf life. Once you open them you should discard them after a year. If you would like us to trouble shoot further please call 800-526-0650 option 1 M-F 8-5.
Tetra Consumer Relations
Also, I highly recommend checking the expiration dates of EVERY fish product that is purchased. Some fish stores just don't move many products very fast and by the time you purchase the product it is short dated. I have seen meds and fish foods being sold at my LFS that were outdated.
Originally Posted by Monsinourhttp:///forum/thread/384535/test-kits#post_3369367
Thats shelf life. The one company that talked about usable life, time from opening to discarding, was Tetra. Would like to see what API says about how long you can use them once you open them.
Well the liquid kits which tend to be cheaper from what I am reading have a shorter life span not quite as accurate as the more expensive dry reagents. From what you pointed out about the Tetra rep. mentioning that they should be disgaurded after a year from the time you've opened them, I think BTLDreef probably nailed it and I'm not sure if I would trust any of them after a year. I say if you still have open bottles after a year and still have shelf life then you're probably not testing enough anyway.