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Old 01-23-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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Water Testing kits. Too Many to chose from.

I Recently Purchased a Red Sea test kit. I always used to have my water tested at Petco But I decided to start testing my water more frequently due to a loss of a Alveopora, Anchor coral and a Candy Cane.

I dont think this test kit is any good. Are there any better ones out there?

And are there any specific things i should test for besides PH, Amonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Alkalinity.
I have a Hagen Calcium test kit that works pretty well but i dont like to have to add drop by drop and then multiply each drop by 20 to get results. Seems like there should be a simpler way.

I was Also Talked into buying a dKH buffer. Bad Purchase?

any Suggestions?


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Old 01-23-2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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Most folks will say salifert is one of the best for test kits..

As far as dkh buffering, I dunno? was it a bad purchase? Do you have problems
with a stable ph?

The loss of corals could be due to any number of reasons.

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Old 01-23-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
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Best one i have ever used and the one my LFS swears by is made by Aquarium Systems a subdivision of Instant Ocean. Its a powder test that comes with test packets and plastic container to test in. Instead of a flimsy little card with bland colors on it, it actually has a color chip that slides into the test container next to the chamber that holds the water. Very easy to read and colors are very distinguishable. They cost a little more than others, but they are the best IMO and when you run out of test packets you can by refills instead of buying a whole new test kit.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
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Salifert here. I just believe that test kits are one of those things that you shouldn't skimp on in this hobby (especially if you have inverts/corals)
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:11 PM   #5
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Never liked the Red Sea test kit personally. I mostly use the Reef Master Liquid Test Kit with great results. I have used a couple of the Salifert tests as well but the $15+ per test is kind of pricey and the results have always been in line with AP for me.

Since ca goes hand in hand with alk the buffer is necessary if your alk/ph is low.

I haven't seen a ca test yet that didn't require the drop by drop method. My ca always is around 380-420 so I cheat and add 17 drops first and then go drop by drop (I get the same results).

As for what to test for (in a reef tank) the only other thing I'd recommend is a po4 test.

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Old 01-23-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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I agree with tecwzrd! AP works for me. I've got a few salifert kits too and they seem to read exactly the same as the AP. I agree with the po4 aslo!!
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:20 PM   #7
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I agree with tecwzrd with po4,and would also think about a magnesium test.

If that is low (700) it will be hard to maintain proper ca2. NSW has about 1300,which is what you should shoot for.

P.S. this is only something I read,I do not speak from experience.I don't even have the magnesium test yet.(only because I don't have anything in my tank that requires me to worry about it yet)Although I do have the Reef Master Test Kit

I am only 3 months into reefing,but reading alot.

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Old 01-23-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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I know I`m in the minority but I like the red sea test kit. It`s all I`ve ever used. Little bit hard to read sometimes but other than that I`ve had little problems.


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Old 01-23-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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I wouldn't want to be different, so I'll chime in and say AP test kits are pretty much all I use also. And like others, I have a few Salifert kits for those times when I question my AP tests. I've never found them off by too much though. AP tests I have are Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, pH, Alk, and Ca. I have Salifert tests for Ca, Phoshpates, and Mg. I also have a Hagen test kit for Phosphates, which in my opinion is kind of useless unless you have very high amounts in your tank as the sensitivity is too low. (It was the first phosphate kit I bought.)

Also agree with tecwizard... don't think you're going to find any Ca tests that don't use titration (drop by drop). Personally, I immediately add 15 drops and shake - that's 300ppm. I then go drop by drop, counting "20, 40, 60, etc..." until I get the color change. No math required!

Good move doing your own testing. With the amount of time and money I have invested in my tank, I can't imagine leaving something as important as water testing up to anyone else but me.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson
I can't imagine leaving something as important as water testing up to anyone else but me.
I agree! I only have the LFS test my water, if I think my tests are not working.

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