Best Test Kits

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by BrandonH, 27 Feb 2013.

  1. BrandonH


    11 Feb 2013
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    I would like opinions on which are the best test kits to buy and in what order you would buy them if you were just starting out.
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  3. Visser


    21 Nov 2011
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    Willows,Pretoria /Brits
    Test kits have always been somewhat of a grey area in marine keeping.
    Sometimes it is more a personal preference than an actual proven fact which test kits are the best...
    To give my personal opinions, i would say that the new red sea pro test kits are the best for the price, & they are refillable.
    After the red sea, i would say the rest are pretty close together.
    Probably, salifert, seachem etc etc.

    Order of buying test kits:
    Nitrates, phosphates, alkalinity, calcium, PH & magnesium are the important ones & then there are the other less important ones which you dont really need to keep a succesful reef...
  4. RocketRooster


    11 Dec 2012
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    I have a personal beef with the instruction leaflets on some salifert kits. But I reckon as test kits and the differences between them go, it's horses for courses.

    I have a fairly extensive set of salifert kits, but I don't have an ammonia kit. Or a decent hydro- or refractometer. So it's more a question, imo, of what specific tests you purchase when starting out instead of which brand is best. Some okes will splurge megabucks for brand name oxygen meters and Unobtanium pentaeinsteinium hydroxide tests and whatnot. And really, what for?
  5. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

    6 May 2007
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    First and foremost, you want to check your salinity:
    Get a decent refractometer.. Last I checked, the D-D ones around R900 from Jungle Aquatics. Alternatively, find a conductivity meter, more info in the link above.

    Secondly, you want to measure your pH, to be honest, I would not waste money on a kit here, rather go for a pH pen or monitor. Good brands = Milwaukee & Hanna are good brands.. In fact there is a good quality second hand one for sale here on MASA:

    Thirdly, you want to check your ammonia. Once your tank has cycled, you will very seldom use this kit again, so perhaps better to have a reputable LFS measure for you. Alternatively, get a seachem ammonia alert.
    Next is nitrite, same as above in terms of post cycle.
    If you want to get a kit, get the Seachem one, as it measures nitrate and nitrite. Nitrate you will keep using.
    After nitrate, you will need to start looking again at the inorganic chemistry. Alkalinity is vital. Here most kits are pretty acceptable, as long as you stay away from the cheap nasties. Red Sea, Salifert, Seachem are all fine. If you want a really top end one, source a La Motte or buy one of those Hanna checkers from Reef Aquatics.
    Calcium and magnesium are next, although you only really need to "worry" about them when you start adding corals with a hard skeleton.
    Lastly, back to organics, would be phosphate. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on any kit, other than the D-D high sensitivity one. Alternatively, get the Hanna Checkers, Reef Aquatics Sells them. Another slightly more affordable option is the Milwaukee checker, the same accuracy as the Hanna checker, for a few Hundred less.

    Hereafter, you might want to get into the more in depth kits like borate alk, Strontium, Iodine, etc,

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