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Old 01-14-2006, 02:05 AM   #1
Tex
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Test kits

I want/need to buy a quality test kit for a reef aquarium. I'm in the beginning stages of setting up a 100 gallon reef and need suggestions on what water parameters to test and the best kits. Money is no object (for now). I've researched a bit a bit and, like everytthing else, am overwhellmed by the choices out there. Some suggestions, puhleeeese.
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7 month old 100 gallon. Hopefully on my way to a great reef tank. A few small fish and a few small soft corals. T5 HO Lights and ro/di unit.
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:13 AM   #2
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Well..
I'll ring in...
I hate test kits...
In this day and age there should be electronic probes to test blast near anything..
Ok...pfew...I'm done with that..
Alot of people around here prefer salifert tests it seems.
I am a paranoid bastage, so I have red sea, salifert and hagen tests.
I bought the marine package from red sea, the master test kit from hagen and all the various salifert tests.
Red sea seems ok...they have decided to make it especially masochistic by requireing different levels of water in each test...other then that..ok...readings seemed right (even a month out of date...blast those online guys!!!)
Hagen tests are nice, they only require one level of water for all tests...but some idiot printed their pH manual...wrong colors on it...test makes a purplish color...booklet has blue/greens...otherwise, the master test kit is spot on in my book.
Salifert tests are great...no nonsense directions, syringes to measure water and well..accurate results..problem is they are pricey..
Quick test strips are great too, not for cycle testing or important testing..but good to have around if you are a nutball like me... (they are more then worthless if out of date tho!).

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Old 01-14-2006, 02:15 AM   #3
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Oh, and if you are serious about SW, buy a refractometer...not a hydrometer..
hydrometers are garbage..
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Old 01-14-2006, 02:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feron
Oh, and if you are serious about SW, buy a refractometer...not a hydrometer..
hydrometers are garbage..
I've learned that in a week on this board. Refracto on order from drfostersmith.com (and titanium heater)....(and currently researching HOB overflows and sump sytstems)

Sounds like salifert is the ticket. Have any suggestions on where to order?
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feron
Oh, and if you are serious about SW, buy a refractometer...not a hydrometer..
hydrometers are garbage..
It make one wonder how this hobby was done before refractometers were available to us. No disrespect Feron, just a thought. Just like how did we live before cellphones? (some of my rantings)
Brian
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Old 01-14-2006, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macrosill
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feron
Oh, and if you are serious about SW, buy a refractometer...not a hydrometer..
hydrometers are garbage..
It make one wonder how this hobby was done before refractometers were available to us. No disrespect Feron, just a thought. Just like how did we live before cellphones? (some of my rantings)
Brian
The hydrometers that use the levers tend to stick and god forbid you drop one But I have to agree my floating hydrometer is only .02 off from my refractomter so personally I think that floating hydrometers are fairly accurate.

Consistency in your sg reading no mater how you measure them is more important than what you use to measure them with IMO.
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:31 PM   #7
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Ok, I was a bit quick to call em garbage...
I'm just a real stickler for accuracy, and anything that can be affected by even the slightest variance really strikes me as almost worthless...
I mean, I'm human, so I make mistakes so I need my tools to be as accurate on a consistent basis as possible to help even out the curve.
I'm willing to pay three times as much (or more...man would I love an electronic amm/nit probe!!) for a solid tool if it means that many fewer mistakes.
I treat my pets as children (cause I don't want rugrats), so it's important to be as spot on as possible.

Anyhow...there was a link in the sticky of the general saltwater forum (third page of the nov/dec deals thread) to a place that had the salifert tests for 15 bucks a pop, which is a good deal I guess.. they cost 20-35 at the lfs here in atl..

Do make sure if you order online you tell them to check the expiration date (whether they give a darn is another thing of course).
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Old 01-14-2006, 01:42 PM   #8
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Feron,
No biggie, I also use a refractometer.

Advice for newbie's:

Some people think that if it is not the absolute best then it does not work. New sw mariners may need to go with a less expensive model to startout and upgrade later. Todays less accurate was yesterdays most accurate. Just want people to know that hydrometers do work even though not as accurate as refractometers. Remember a liquid test kit is only as accurate as the person measuring the liquid levels.
Not everyone here is an expert, however some of us think we are and give advice like it is the word of God. Take advice for what it is: Advice and make your own informed decision. There is alot of good advice here but some I find may be questionable.
Good Luck to all Aquariasts,
Brian
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:58 PM   #9
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That was my post about teh Salifert kits at tsunami aquatic.

All the kits I got have 2007 expiration dates. I'm rather pleased as the local lfs kits expire sooner or have no sticker (probably already expired).
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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I was my local Petco tonight and saw a RedSea Master Test Kit for about $45. Is that kit worth a hoot? Nobody locally carries Salifert kits so I'd have to order online. They are a bit pricey.

I have a 15 year old SeaTest kit that I have been using while cycling that tests ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph. It actually seems to be working although you have to wait 10 minutes for color development. For some stupid reason I recall when I bought the kit it said the reagents had an indefinite shelf life (they are powders in small foil packets). Any thoughts from the pros???
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