Absolutely essential test kits

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Stressed Eric, 3 Sep 2009.

  1. Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric

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    Hi guys, as a resource to the noobies and not so noobies, when talking about chemical parameters in a reef tank - what are your opinions on
    1. Absolutely essential test kits
    2. Nice to have test kits
    3. What was I thinking when i bought this test kit . . .
     
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  3. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    IMO:thumbup:
     
  4. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Okay let me take a shot at this.

    1. Absolutely essential test kits - Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, PH, Alkalinity
    2. Nice to have test kits - Ca, Mg, PO4
    3. What was I thinking when i bought this test kit . . . - Which test kit did you buy

    Maybe one of the regs can give a better explination depending on what you have in your system
     
  5. Falcon

    Falcon

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    nothing much falls into this category as things like strontonium etc also can be usefull



    nitrite and ammonia are really over rated IMO i never ever use mine as the bacteria should handle this quite easily as long as you follow standard cycling procedures(ie allow a few weeks atleast). these will be needed when theres maybe a catastrophe in which case you can test at your lfs in any event
     
  6. inflames

    inflames

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    Agreed with Falcon on the Nitrite and Ammonia... as these should only be detectable in the initial stages! So here is my list...

    1) KH, PH, Nitrate, Phosphate

    2) Calcium, Magnesium

    3) All the other tests!!!

    Must Agree that a good hyrometer or refractometer is a must!

    Thats my 2c!:thumbup:
     
  7. inflames

    inflames

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    Sorry...2nd thought...a good thermometer goes along way to!!!:)
     
  8. Monti

    Monti

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    My list is slightly different. Very few really accurate enough phosphate tests. So I dont test for it. I do treat for it because I know its there.
     
  9. inflames

    inflames

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    Good point!
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    You can have all the test kits and monitoring equipment in the world. If you dont use them correctly and read how to use them the information you get will and can be misleading. So when testing it is important to test at the same sg, temp and altitude all the time.
     
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    This is just my opinion and nobody should listen to me :)

    For a normal reef tank...
    Calcium, Alkalinity (KH), Nitrate
    Magnesium, Strontium
    Ammonia and Nitrite - total waste of money, they showed me exactly what I already knew, wait 6 weeks for cycle then water will be ready. I used these 2 kits 6 times each and now they are sitting going rotten, might as well have thrown that money in the dustbin.
     
  12. Andreas

    Andreas

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    I totally agree with Viper. I would add pH in the nice to have side as well if you dont have a pH meter.

    I would not waste my money on phosphate test kits;)
     
  13. cswhitehead

    cswhitehead

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    Old posts but they just saved me a whole lot of money. Thanks :thumbup:
     
  14. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Going back to this, I only ever use kH, nitrate, phosphate, calcium and magnesium. I do have ammonia and nitrite test kits but haven't used these in a year. Maybe we should set something up by where we give our nitrite and ammonia test kits to newbies and once their tank has cycled they to give it to someone new.
     
  15. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Thats not a bad idea, however sometimes those old kits have expired?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  16. cswhitehead

    cswhitehead

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    That would be great. I am not going to buy the ammonia or nitrite tests now but i know that once i start cycling i am going to waste my money on these tests just to see whats happening and make sure that it is actually happening.
     
  17. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    After some time you tend to "learn" your system and rely mainly on the appearance of the tank, and then you know which parameter is out. The only thing I test for every 3 months or so is Alk.
     
  18. cswhitehead

    cswhitehead

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    So if i get kH nitrate calcium magnesium and ph test kits that will be all i need? It will probably be cheaper to buy the marine or reef testing kits which have a whole lot of useless tests in it
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  19. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I test my kH, magnesium and calcium every month because I use a calcium reactor, before I was testing every week but that was because I was dosing manually. I check my phosphate and nitrate every few months or when I notice something different in my system.
     
  20. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I wouldn't waste my money on a ph test kit, rather buy a digital ph pen or ph meter.
     
  21. cswhitehead

    cswhitehead

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    Thanks guys. Where would i find a digital ph meter? Is there a forum with the parameters of everything?
     
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