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Old 04-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #1
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do i need a hydrometer?

I have a 250 gallon tank. once my tank cycles, i plan on doing a water change between 1 and 2 weeks. The place I bought the tank from sells pre-made salt water. He said I didnt need to worry about checking the salinity as long as I did my cleanings and water changes regularly. Do I need a hydrometer? I am sure I will get both yes and no answers. Believe me I really want to know. I love all animals and dont want my fish dying because my salt is too low in my tank.
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:22 PM   #2
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YES, it's an inexpensive item, only around $10.00 that all saltwater hobbyist should own.
There are other electric hydrometers that can run upwards to $100.00. But the $10.00 ones that use a needle and scale work just as well.
I mean why not have one. Then there is never a ??? of what your salt is doing.
Through evaporation and from salt mixes that are not all the same you can find your salinity much higher then wanted. Often I have to add just fresh water to my tank to bring the levels down. "I do a 10% water change once a week"
Also, salt water has less oxygen in it then fresh and the more salt in the water the less oxygen in it, "especially in a closed system like a reef aquarium" and the harder it is for your fish to breath, also the harder it is to keep clean and healthy.
I hope this helps in your decision.
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:24 PM   #3
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Yes, you should have your own hydrometer, if for not other reason than how do you know what their salinity is? Even if you purchase premade SW from the LFS...you should have a bucket of salt on hand (the same kind the LFS uses if your going to use their water most of the time) in case you need to do an emergency waterchange during hours or days the LFS isn't open. You would certainly need one then. You should have one on hand even if you might not use it that much.
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:28 PM   #4
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THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH. I WILL BE BUYING ONE IMEDIATLEY.
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:24 PM   #5
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I think you should get a refractometer. They can be found on eBay for about $30-$35 and are much more accurate than the cheap palstic swing arms hydrometers.

You will need the accuracy for a QT tank should ever need to perform a hyposalinty treatment.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:09 PM   #6
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I agree with cmor1701d, get a refractometer if you can. I just got one and found out my tank was way off. I am so glad I spent the extra money and finally got one.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:57 AM   #7
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A refractometer is more accurate, and won't be skewed by temperature or tiny air bubbles.

DrsFosterSmith.com sells a good one for about $40 if you don't wanna tempt the eBay gods.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:15 AM   #8
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Before you buy one, may I make a suggestion?

Not all hyrometers are created equal. For $25 I bought a ASTM Lab grade hydrometer that has a very narrow range of 1.000 to 1.050. Very large easy to read deliniations.

The ones at the LFS are not very accurate from what I've read here.

It comes in very handy if you ever have to do a hypo treatment on your fish.


If interested, I can get you the details on it.

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Old 04-04-2006, 05:09 PM   #9
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refractometer is the way to go!
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinman
For $25 I bought a ASTM Lab grade hydrometer that has a very narrow range of 1.000 to 1.050.
Could you post a link to your supplier?
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