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Old 04-12-2011, 02:22 PM   #11
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If you want your refractometer to read accurate at 1.000 then use pure water. If you want it to read accurate at 1.026 then I'd suggest using calibration fluid.

Without getting all technical, using a single point (either pure water or calibration fluid) to calibrate is only useful for a small range around that single point. To be accurate over a range of readings, you would need a two-point calibration, but the hobby grade refractometers we use don't have that option.

Some refractometers may end up being accurate over the entire range (1.000 to 1.026) and some might not. It all depends. Mine isn't, and is off by about 0.002 depending on what I use to calibrate it with. I know other folks with refractometers that measure perfect over the entire range. But you'll never know what one you have until you get some calibration fluid and try it out!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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You should be using RO for topoff even if you but water change water premixed.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #13
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Thanks. Fishguy - can you explain what you mean. I think I know?!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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Do not use saltwater to top off the tank. When you have evaporation only water leaves, not salt. If you top off with saltwater your salinity will go up over time (I have a client who did this and found out it was 1.045 when he finally bought a refractometer). Use saltwater for water changes and RO for topping off.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:34 PM   #15
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You are going to have to ignore my ignorance, Topping off is adding RO when salt water is evaporated? Thanks
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #16
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Correct
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:12 PM   #17
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Cheers, could this evaporation effect ph levels if you don't top off with distilled water, and do you just add a fraction of it at a time?
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #18
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The more often the better, at least once a day. If you can top off at least two or three times that is even better (in the morning, when you get home, before you go to bed). The more frequently you top off the more stable the salinity. It also means that when life happens and you miss a top off it is much less likely to become a serious issue.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #19
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Great thanks
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