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Old 05-12-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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What's the Difference?

It's time to buy some tests. After my corals starting looking a little dull I thought I should start testing for calcium and magnesium, Just to see where it's at. Yesterday I bought a calcium test and it's only at 260! Now from what i read most times calcium and magnesium are something you need to check together correct? Because dosing one can affect the other right? So also I have realized that I should be testing for alkalinity too. None if my LFS carry single tests for them so I started looking online.... Here's my main question What's the difference between a alkalinity test and a carbonate hardness test? Besides the price lol!

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated, or maybe a link to a great thread of others talking about this! I'm a bit confused!
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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Just buy the API reefmaster test kit and buy a salifert calcium test kit. You can get a decent measurement with most of the api kits, but definitely not the calcium kit.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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Just buy the API reefmaster test kit and buy a salifert calcium test kit. You can get a decent measurement with most of the api kits, but definitely not the calcium kit.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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API doesn't have mag test either. Saliferts is what I like to use also...
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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I have the Red Sea reef foundation kit for Alk/Ca/Mg and love it. Very easy to perform and clear indicators of levels.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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If corals are dulling I'd personally want to check my phosphate levels. What kind of lighting?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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Here's my main question What's the difference between a alkalinity test and a carbonate hardness test? Besides the price lol!

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated, or maybe a link to a great thread of others talking about this! I'm a bit confused!
Here's a basic Chemistry lesson. Total Alkalinity is the determined by the water Total ability to bond Hydrogen ions. Without going into a whole lot of detail, various elements determine the total alkalinity, including Carbonates and bi-carbonates, borons etc etc etc. Carbonates make up about 95% of total alkalinity and therefore the terms are often interchanged. Basically, Carbonate Hardness is (within95%) total alkalinity.

Funny thing is most tests say "Total Alkalinity" on the test, yet they also have KH as the measurement, which is actually for Carbonate Hardness or Carbonate Alkalinity. So, I think the tests would be the same.

I have both API Reef kit and Red Sea Total alkalinity tests. During a side-by-side comparison, both test required 8 drops to change colour, but used different titrations as indicated by different colours. The API measurement is 1 drop = 1dKH while the Red Sea test is 1 drop = 1.4dKH (or 1 drop = .5meq/l). So although both test required the same drops, API=8dKH and Red Sea=11.2dKH. Hmmm. I tend to believe the Red Sea based on my dosing so I don't trust the API. My LFS sucks and I have no faith in their ability to test anymore.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:54 PM   #8
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Here's a basic Chemistry lesson. Total Alkalinity is the determined by the water Total ability to bond Hydrogen ions. Without going into a whole lot of detail, various elements determine the total alkalinity, including Carbonates and bi-carbonates, borons etc etc etc. Carbonates make up about 95% of total alkalinity and therefore the terms are often interchanged. Basically, Carbonate Hardness is (within95%) total alkalinity.

Funny thing is most tests say "Total Alkalinity" on the test, yet they also have KH as the measurement, which is actually for Carbonate Hardness or Carbonate Alkalinity. So, I think the tests would be the same.

I have both API Reef kit and Red Sea Total alkalinity tests. During a side-by-side comparison, both test required 8 drops to change colour, but used different titrations as indicated by different colours. The API measurement is 1 drop = 1dKH while the Red Sea test is 1 drop = 1.4dKH (or 1 drop = .5meq/l). So although both test required the same drops, API=8dKH and Red Sea=11.2dKH. Hmmm. I tend to believe the Red Sea based on my dosing so I don't trust the API. My LFS sucks and I have no faith in their ability to test anymore.
Thank you this is exactly the explanation I needed!
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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Hanna doesn't have a tester for Magnesium, yet. But I love their other kits for alk and cal.
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