Let me start off by stating that my eye doctor tells me I am Red-Green Color Blind. I can see colors but I have trouble distinguishing between close color patches. That makes most test kits problematic for me. It's also the reason I use Salifert tests for Ca, Mg, and Alk and a meter for pH. I use a refractometer for SG so no problem there and a Pinpoint pH meter so I get a digital read there. The Salifert kits are titration tests that have a have very sharp change in color when the test is done. Easy! The Nitrate kit Salifert makes has enough of a difference for me to see, though I am considering a meter for that too. The problem is that a nitrate meter is hundreds of dollars.
But do I have PHOSPHATES?
For phosphates you really need a colorimeter, and they cost $250+. OK, I was told the API test kit was good so I bought one. So, tell me what my Phosphate reading is because I can't tell.
Enter the new Hanna handheld Phosphate Colorimeter. It retails for $49.95 (I paid $39.95) and it comes with 6 packets of reagent for 6 tests.
It's packaged in a nice plastic case that holds the meter, two vials with caps, the instructions and the battery. The unit requires 1 AA battery that is included.
To take a test you fill a vial with 10 ml of tank water. Then turn the meter on by pressing the large button on the front of the meter.
You now press the large button on the front of the meter and the meter will ZERO reference your sample. At this point the meter will instruct you to add the reagent to the water sample. You need to mix the sample for 20 seconds then replace the cuvet with the sample in the meter.
Pressing and holding the button will begin the 3 minute countdown:
At the end of 3 mintues the meter will give you a reading:
In my case it's 0.22 NOT the Zero I thought I had. Time for some GFO, and some additional reagent packets ($25 for 100).
BTW, before you ask, YES I tested my PWC water and it read 0.00.
In case you are wondering about the reagent used, it is the same used in the Hanna $300+ colorimeter.
How accurate is it? Good question. I'm hoping I can get the lab at work (pharmaceutical) to test a water sample for me. If they do I'll post the result.
All in all I LOVE THIS METER!. Simple to use, and you get a fast digital readout.
Please no comments from the young whipper snappers that have no problem with the inexpensive test kits. You are welcome to stop by on Sunday mornings and do my weekly water tests for me