You will need a swing arm Hydrometer or preferably a Refractometer (ATC
) to test salinity,
The main tests you need are:
High Range pH
/ Alkalinity (Carbonate Hardness)
Phosphate (If not using RO
Silicate (If not using RO
Copper (If not using RO
Magnesium (More Advanced testing for reef keeping)
Iodine (More Advanced testing for reef keeping)
I have used both the powder tests and liquid tests. IMEO I have found the liquid tests (API, Salifert) easier and more reliable. I use API.
I'm sure others have had good results from the powder tests.
As I understand, Salifert are supposedly the best, but they are a bit more expensive and harder to get.
SeaChem makes good advanced kits like Magnesium and Strontium..but dont bother with those right now.