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Old 02-24-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Phosphate test kits

Hello,

I was wondering what you guys use to check phosphates. I seem to find negative reviews on every test kit on the market. The hanna checker may be what I go with in the near future, however, I was also wondering if testing for phos is a necessity. I have read different things regarding that as well, such as to get a true reading, crush up some sand with your test kits.. If you have algae then you have phosphates so no need to test for them since you can look in your tank and see whether or not they are present..

Help is appreciated!
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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I think in a reef tank, it is a good thing to test for them, especially if newer to the hobby. I test mine once per week.

I use the HANNA checker, which is easy and convenient. However, I also like the red sea PO4 test kit since it is easier to read than the salifert or API tests. It is slightly less subjective.

PO4 kits aren't the most accurate kits, especially the ones we use as hobbyists. However, I think more important is to just get an order of magnitude of how much PO4 is present - the EXACT value is not as important. Most of the kits out thee will provide a good rough order of magnitude for you.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Ok that makes sense and along the lines of my thinking.. Thank you!
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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i wouldn't waist my money on one of those 100 bucks test kits when you can get a phosphate reactor for that price.

if your tank is new then hold off on buying unnecessary equipment/supplements.

do you use rodi water? if the tank is new, do you have your lights on for too long? do you have chaetomorpha? do you use chemipure elite carbon?

if your tank is over 6month old and you still have hair algae then you prob have a phosphate problem. (simple as that)
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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I use the API kit. I've got all three, Fresh, Salt, and Reef. If they're bad kit's so be it, but at least they're consistently bad... I've found my readings to be consistent and I just give the benefit of the doubt to the manufacturer and assume they're correct as well.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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I would say it is not as simple as that. The presence of or lack of phosphate has further implications than just the growth of hair algae.

None of the test kits mentioned even approach the $100 level in cost.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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well there are plenty of ways to run a marine system. and i was just trying to save the guy some money. in my opinion those test kits are useless.

oh and there is this:

Hanna Instruments Low Range Phosphate Meter
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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Yeah, that would be overkill. The meter I referenced in the Hanna Checker, which is usually around $50. I think orders of magnitude are the important info. The accuracy that unit you linked provides is not necessary.

I agree - it isn't a requirement for success. But it can be helpful, especially if one intends to keep SPS or other demanding corals. Obviously 1.0ppm is not acceptable, but 0 ppm is not the right answer either. It can help make decisions on GFO and other media, and really in the long run could save money considering phosphate removal media is quite expensive.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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I use the Hanna ULR 736 and love it
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Me too. It is a good, simple tool that provides plenty of accuracy, especially for the cost.
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