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Old 04-12-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
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The easiest way to use a refractometer?

I have now got my refractometer, it is second hand and only been used once. There seems to be a lot of discussion on the net about the best way to calibrate it as some articles mention that the instructions are not great for tanks. What is the easiest and best way to get the refractometer calibrated and what readings should I look for? Im sure there are other novices out there that would like to know!

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #2
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The only way I have ever heard to calibrate them, and the instructions on every one I have ever used including at the animal hospital, is to use distilled or pure RO water and adjust it if needed to read 0. If you do this the readings you get with saltwater should be very accurate.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:47 AM   #3
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What about the calibration fluids? It's supposed to be like sea water I believe.

I just don't want to waste my money on the stuff if it's not necessary
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:52 AM   #4
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I have a D&D refractometer,I use RO (pure)to zero it,although that they are very accurate you must remember to calibrate every time you use it,this can be the tricky part!so unless I think I need to find exactly the salinity in my tank I just use my trusty hydrometer 
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:56 AM   #5
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My refractometer is always dead on I have never had to recalibrate it. Mine has a screw and not a thumb screw to recalibrate, I believe this may make a difference. There is a saltwater store near me that will double check mine against theirs if I feel the need.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:10 AM   #6
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I would still say it's best to re-calibrate it after every 2weekly water changes,but asking your local fish store to check it against there's is always a good idea
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:48 AM   #7
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Thanks all - As there is such a small amount of distilled water to be placed on the Refractometer will condensed steam suffice from the Kettle? and what readings should i look for when i take the true test?
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:08 AM   #8
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I'm not so keen on using the steam idea however I think it would work,I have 3 tanks set up 2 freshwater and my saltwater so for me I've always got RO laying around,when you do water changes what are you putting back in?once calibrated in RO the refractometer will read 0
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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Thanks - my water is pre-mixed from the LFS....i bought the Refrac to make sure everything is safe when i do / and after my PWC.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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If you buy your water from a LFS make sure you test it every time before you use it. You could check the water now to see what it is at so you have a base line to go by.
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