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Old 09-16-2013, 11:07 PM   #1
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hydrometer or refractometer

can I get by using a hydrometer for my FOWLR tank or should I invest in a refractometer....
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
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can I get by using a hydrometer for my FOWLR tank or should I invest in a refractometer....
Since I was buying saltwater from my LFS I got by with a hydrometer just fine. Now that I have gotten an RO/DI unit and will be mixing water myself I bought a refractometer on eBay for $20. I will not be able to read the hydrometer in my black bucket nor do i want to use another container to check salinity with a hydrometer. If you mix your own salt a refractometer would be more convenient than a hydrometer.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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thanks.
do you need calibration fluid to set these up or can you use distilled water?
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sansouci01 View Post
thanks.
do you need calibration fluid to set these up or can you use distilled water?
Not sure. My refractometer is still on its way. So are my RO/DI unit and salt mix. Lol.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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A refractometer is better than a hydrometer by leaps & bounds. And, I would recommend getting a reference solution for calibration...... you can use RODI in a pinch. A lot of people say RODI works fine, and it may, but I work with a lot of lab equipment, and that would be like taking one of my thermometers and calibrating it to 35deg when I use it for a 75deg water bath....... Makes a little more sense to calibrate it within the range that it's being used.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Great read as to why NOT to rely on hydrometers...

http://www.reef2reef.com/blog/refrac...ain-a-warning/
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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For the extra $20 bucks I think a refractometer is the way to go. Much easier to use and so much more accurate. I bought a $5 bottle of solution to calibrate it, I do this every month or so to make sure it stays accurate and so far, after 3 years I have not had to adjust it since I first calibrated it.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:53 PM   #8
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I just bought a refractometer off of eBay for 22.60 free shipping and a soft case I just got it Monday and I can't believe I used anything else its awesome and they are so easy to use. Must of checked my tanks 20 times in three days lol
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
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I'd be careful buying refractometers off eBay. Buy from reputable people it's not worth the risk of inaccurate readings. I got mine from bulk reef supply for like $40
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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Refractometers are as simple as technology can get. I bought a cheap one on E-bay and it works fine. I would calibrate it, but mine came in already right on. BRS is also a good bet.
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