RSS Refractometer Calibration: the Myth and Risks of using RO/DI Water

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 20 Mar 2011.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    I recently got a new refractometer over the holidays, and immediately after my first water change my tank began having problems. Well, to be fair my wallet was what immediately had a problem being that those have gotten ridiculously expensive in my area, especially when combined with California's seemingly 3,000% sales tax these days. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, I mean, my water was at 1.025-1.026, my refractometer came with instructions that said to zero it out with distilled water, and they wouldn't give out bad information would they? Turns out yes, yes they would. After doing a lot of research I came across endless debates online regarding zeroing a refractometer with ro/di water vs using calibration fluid. Both sides had good points: the scientific side said the only accurate measurement was with calibration fluid, and the general hobbyist side echoing what refractometer instructions say. Unfortunately it was the general hobbyist side that usually overwhelmed the debates, which made it seem like ro/di was the way to go. All I knew was that the refractometer was the only thing that had changed, and my tank was a disaster, so I decided it was time to test both sides...

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