Red Sea Coral Pro Test Kit issues

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by jimilutz, 23 Jul 2014.

  1. jimilutz

    jimilutz

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    My Safilert Calcium test kit gasped its last test out last night so I opened up a Red Sea Ca kit that I bought a few months ago and did a test with it. I found two concerns that hopefully someone can help me with:
    1. The RS kit reading was 40ppm higher than the Safilert (I did it twice to be sure)
    2. when adding Reagent B, it precipitated straight away making clumps that did not dissolve.

    I am concerned that the precipitation issue is leading to the wrong reading so I spent a few hours Googling it with no definitive result. The few things I found were:
    http://advancedaquarist.com/2012/6/chemistry
    Seems to indicate that most test kit errors exist in what us IT guys call PEBCAK (Problem exists between chair and keyboard). Also, the RS Alk tests show lower readings than other test kits. I use RS Alk kit and it gives 9dKH.
    Some other forums indicate that people with higher Alk get the clumping response from the RS Ca test kit. On the PEBCAK issue, I watched a Youtube video of someone doing the test and this is exactly what I did except they do not get the clumps.

    Red Sea Test Kit recall issue:
    I am aware that there was a recall on Reagent B due to a 50-100ppm higher reading. My lot number is 702 and the affected batches were all in the 2000 range. The only reference you can find on this matter is a forum entry that someone pasted from a Facebook feed from a LFS and the Red Sea website has removed the page that is apparently had the info previously. I was worried that my low lot# meant the reagent was very old but the expiry date is 1114 which I presume to be Nov 2014.

    Any advice except the obvious "Buy a different brand"? Unless that is of course the only real option.

    PS. I have previously use the Seachem test kit and did not find it very easy to use and read. I like the red Sea titrators but if the contents of the chemicals are useless, my only real option seems to return to Safilert.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
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  3. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    This is my pet hate about our hobby, the absolute need to test yet we have the most subjective test methodology available to us.

    Equipment and livestock costs $$$$ and we are stuck relying on a hundred to R200 test kitt.! :whistling: not to mention most of the livestock end up becoming Pets holding even a higher value in our wallets and hearts.

    I near the verge of a bad mood on the nights I have to do my tests.

    Cant someone open a national professional testing lab where we send the water in, login over the web and get our results with perhaps even a video shoot of our tests being done. (So we know someones not just typing numbers into a spreadhsheet and downing our test tubes) :thumbup:

    My sanity is held together by an ultra thin thread, I do tests sometime two or three times for the same parameter and I always do the test "my way" uniformly. So that which ever result I get, it should be consistent.

    I feel for you man, but have no real advice.... Ill tag along and see if anything useful gets unearthed.
     
  4. 4age

    4age

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    I had issues with the normal red sea kh test kits giving high kh readings...will never buy red sea again...prefer salifert to be honest.
     
  5. jimilutz

    jimilutz Thread Starter

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    I sent this to RedSea and was happy that they responded quickly and I was happy with their response to the issue that AdvencedAquarist raised with regards to the Alk test kit accuracy. I was not happy with the result of the "clumping question". Here is their response:
    On a cursory reading of your descriptions below I would suggest the Ca Reagent B issue. It is a known occurrence that if the total contents of the spoon a dropped into the vial and not shaken immediately, then you will get clumping (more of a ball) which can usually be overcome by shaking the vial slightly while adding the reagent. As for the accuracy of the test kit. It is not my place nor my knowledge to comment on the accuracy of other brands. However an indicator of our quality controls might help to allay your fears. We keep two samples from each batch of reagent that we test after a set period of time, these are kept in both lab conditions as well as standard hobby conditions and tested against a Ca standard produced to lab specs. Given the expiry is 2014, I believe there isn’t an issue with this particular batch. This is assuming that the test has been kept in generally 25 degree conditions.

    the recall is fully completed, reference to it has since been removed, as it is not necessary to continue to advertise given there are some who might believe this is still an issue.

    with regards to the KH test kit.
    RS KH test kits measure only carbonate alkalinity, there are many other companies which test total alkalinity, including things like borate. In reality this is why compared against other brands RS would test lower, as the test is designed to only read the chemical that is mainly utilised during coral skeleton growth, i.e. CO3 (in this case HCO3 as it is present in water.)
     
  6. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    We choose to rely on hobby grade testing equipment...
    We have other options... Costly (very) but options nonetheless. Ion specific probes ;)
     
  7. Triven

    Triven

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    tag
     
  8. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    I am aware of this and do use Conductivity, RedOx, PH and temp. But I am yet go find reliable N03, Ca, Mg, P04 for marine.

    I looked into Laqua more here LAQUAtwin probes by Horiba Scientific are mighty interesting

    What probes do you use? Brand and type?
     
  9. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    A pH probe for my calcium reactor, human finger for temp and tongue test for salinity, as my refracto broke.
    Have calcium reactor dialled in to a a T, use auto top up, so no need to test alk and ca and Mg and Sr. i only test alk once in a blue moon, and for that salifert is fine. Also havent done a water change since end of Jan.
    I dont worry about redox, my corals tell me when something is wrong and the way in which they tell me allows me to figure out what is wrong.
    PO4, change gfh when i see any sign of algae and NO3, have no idea what it is as cubes do their job...
    Easy dot com
     
    Last edited: 24 Jul 2014
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    :lol: certifiable I tell you. :tt2:
     
  11. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    A funny post, however not nearly as insightful as I know you can be. Anyhow, not to hijack this thread.

    Regards
     
  12. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Actually... Quite insightful if I may politely disagree.
    Having been in the hobby for a while and having a bit of an idea as to what I am doing, combined with me being the keeper of my tank, i am beyond testing.
    As per your initial post, the hobby grade kits we are to rely on, are often inadequate in terms of precision, accuracy and consistancy....
    What are my options?
    1.) ISE probes at around R3.5K per probe, and R8K for a device to obtain results from them all... And don't get me wrong, they are the best toys ever, can measure almost any parameter you want and that, just at a glance.... Yes i want them.....
    Or....
    2.) get to know my tank and its moods and corals reactions, to the point where my eyes, knowledge and dash of wisdom tell me exactly what is going on...
    My calcium reactor adds carbonates, calcium, Sr and Mg, in the quantity used by corals for calcification and my atu adds fresh water to make up for evaporation losses.
    To get to know consumption rates, effect of xyz on parameters and the corals' and other tankmates reaction to x z andz, took loads of testing, some with hobby grade inaccurate tests and some with tol notch photometers.....
    However, i am past that, i see my tank for an hour a day max at the moment, which is just a quick visual inspection to ensure my top up has water in, feed my fish, chrck the pH on my carx effluent and be sure its dripping...
    Bliss
     
  13. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    A far better post albeit as expected opinionated.

    Which, having seen your tank and read a number of your posts is quite possibly an acceptable tone.

    And what I've taken away from your posts is that you are the best test kitt and should pop past some time. How's once a week on a Saturday?
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2014
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