Refractometer options

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by Ocean, 27 Feb 2009.

  1. Ocean

    Ocean Lazy Sea Slug

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    I would like everyones thoughts on this,
    I know that a refractometer is the best way to go as it measures the water salinity perfectly (I hope), but is one better than the other or am I mostly paying for brand. I don't want to pay huge amounts of money for something I don't really need or maybe doesn't really work anyway like an extra digit on the meter (I don't know). So what is the brands you have used want to use or think are not the best, as I don't mind saving extra money for the right meter. I also would like to know how accurate the meter needs to be for happy live stock e.g. 1.000 or 1.0000 if you get that i don't know, so please talk, lead me to article or share experience you or other have had.

    Jason Hargitai
     
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  3. Quinton Hoole2

    Quinton Hoole2

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    Jason, I use a Milwaukee, and can highly recommend it. I paid R400 for it about a year ago, but I gather they're considerably more than that now. Ask Sam - he stocks them.
    As for accuracy, I'd say 1.000 is more than enough accuracy. The Milwaukee is marked to 3 decimal places (1.024, 1.025, 1.026 etc), but you can read between the markings quite easily (like an alcohol thermometer).

    Q
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2009
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  4. amalick

    amalick

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    I use this as well. Paid R550 at sam's about 6 weeks ago
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    ONLY if properly calibrated - I have one which I bought about 2 years ago, and it loses it's calibration for no apparent reason. IMHO an ACCURATE glass (floating) hydrometer (such as the one supplied by Aqua Medic) is much more accurate AND repeatable than a cheap refractometer, but the refractometer is much more convenient to use, and there is much less risk of breaking the refractometer. If you can only have one instrument then I would suggest (contrary to popular advice...) that you buy a decent glass hydrometer. If you can calibrate the refractometer against a good glass hydrometer then by all means use the refractometer, but check the calibration regularly, and use the glass hydrometer as the "referee" if you get a funny reading on the refractometer.

    Hennie
     
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  6. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    I'm with Hennie.

    A big glass hydrometer beats a refractometer for accuracy every time.

    Tropic Marin sells one too.

    I know a guy who brought in some refractometers, every one read differently after calibration. The refractometer might seem more high tech but they can be very up and down. Temp also affects them badly. Even if they are supposed to be temperature compensating.
     
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  7. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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  8. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Wow, this is some interesting info. I always thought my Refracto was the best.

    OK, any suggestions on wht are the best Hydros ?
     
  9. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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  10. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Now that is an interesting product

    Wonder if it is any good ?

    Reckon Glynn would import this ?
     
  11. Ocean

    Ocean Thread Starter Lazy Sea Slug

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    Thanks for posting everyone I see those big glass ones at Sams aquarium all the time, I know they are much less expensive than the refractometer. I will get one today if it’s the right one, so the big glass 'saltimeter' beats the fancy refractometer. I had my eyes on the Milwaukee when I posted although I do not have much knowledge in this field of equipment, this meter you posted really does look interesting, has anyone used it can we get it here and is it worth R1300, as I said I don’t mind saving if its worth it. But you said saltimeter gave you what you needed so is this needed even if it can do what it says? And should I get a Refractometer as well as the saltimeter or is this just for ease of use and not needed?

    Here is the the links page that Rory posted.

    Aqua Medic Digital Specific Gravity Tester
    Item# TE030
    $129.89
    Product Description

    Marine Control Digital is a hand held digital instrument for measuring salinity and specific gravity. Simply submerge the tip of the probe into the aquarium and read the values – the fastest, easiest and safest method to measure the salt content. The gold plated electrodes are corrosion resistant for precise measurement.


    Measuring range:
    temperature: 0 – 100 °C
    salinity: 5 – 40 g/l
    specific gravity: 1.000 – 1.032


    1 Year Manufactures Warranty
     
  12. Quinton Hoole2

    Quinton Hoole2

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    For what it's worth, I test my Milwaukee against RO water (1.00), and Two Oceans NSW (1.026) weekly, and have never seen any discrepency. I'm also not convinced that accuracy beyond 4 decimal places (e.g. 1.0263) is much use, and I seem to get that comfortably with the Milwaukee.
     
  13. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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    Warr that product has been available in SA for about 2 years.
     
  14. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Ok, but probably only in Durban, we seem to never get AM stuff up here, maybe idol marine will change that.
     
  15. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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    Well that was in CT, so maybe only durban and ct :p I'm sure IM would be able to get it for you. Last time I checked they were about R1100 though, sure it's gone up lots...

    Easier than refractometer though, just dip it in water and push a button.
     
  16. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Yeah, it would probably be around R1700 now.

    Not really worth, when you consider I use a refracto maybe once a month to check the tanks SG.

    Once you have the correct measuring devices and the same salt, no point really checking SG.
     
  17. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, or this one from Tropic Marin

    Just make sure that it has a resolution of at least 0.001.

    Also, never leave it in the tank or sump between readings - algae will grow on it (and/or calcium will deposit on it...) and this will affect it's accuracy. The correct way to test with a hydrometer is to remove some water into a long, thin container (I use a 500ml measuring cylinder, but a tall vase also works quite well) and then float the instrument in it. Rinse with RO water before and after use.

    Hennie
     
  18. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    I use the container it comes in, works fine.
     
  19. Ocean

    Ocean Thread Starter Lazy Sea Slug

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    Well I went to Sam's aquariums today with the intention of getting one, but they were out of stock and said I would have to wait a month or two for the shipment to come in. They also had a sera big glass thing but when I tested it, it was about 3 out, I looked at the tropic Marin one and it looks nice really nice but does not read low enough. As I would like to do the low salinity thing for treating fish in a seprate system, and I would need it lower, as it only goes down to 1.018 if i read right. So what should I do because I need it for setting up my system and I need a good one(accurate).
     
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  20. amalick

    amalick

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    Watch out for the calibration of the milwaukee - I just checked mine and it was out by about 3. So when i read 1.023 it was actually 1.026. This may in fact be the undelying reason for me not picking up why my parameters were out of wack:(
     
  21. sunburst

    sunburst

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    I have the Deltec refractometer, and have discovered that even the slightest bump is enough to offset the calibration.
     
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