Test kits

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Warr7207, 6 Jan 2008.

  1. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    What is consider the best test kits for marines ?
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Not sure if "best" but salifert are well respected.
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Salifert :thumbup:
    Tropic Marin

    My opinion :)
     
  5. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Running Tropic marin, but you reckon Salifert better ?

    Available at most LFS ? Any sponsor supply ?
     
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Tropic Marin is just as good as Salifert, possibly better. If you have Tropic Marin then you're on a winning ticket. Salifert are very difficult to get hold of in this country, you will more than likely have to order online from UK/USA.
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, will stay with the German product
     
  8. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    How often should I do tests ? I have been doing it every 2 days.
     
  9. sunburst

    sunburst

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    The first 12 weeks... once a week,... i would test Ammonia and Nitrite.
    From week 12 onwards... alkalinity, calcium weekly.... Nitrate once a month.
    I like to check pH everyday. This imo is the reading that tells heaps about the state of your water. This is obviously not realistic unless you have a permanent probe in the water or you buy a portable meter.

    Some will advise more often, but soon a pattern or trend will begin to emerge and sometimes just by looking at your tank you willl know something is out of kilter.
     
  10. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    Reason for preference...

    I have used , and like TropicMarin AND Salifert ALOT!
    Europe tends to favour TropicMarin, while USA favour Salifert - strangely enough.

    I can't say the same for most other SA import brands.

    A few more testkits are also now available.

    Seachem , on the other hand is MUCH easier to find, than Salifert, AND each test kit INCLUDES a standard reference sample, and I value their after-market info backup.

    THOSE POINTS are enough to make Seachem my choice 'best test kit for marines'

    If it ain't avail, and I really NEED water chemistry/quality info, I will resort to the first mentioned brands.

    Just an informed opinion,based on limited experience, hope it helps.
     
  11. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Where do get one of these meters ? It makes sense to have one test that is checked daily, which kinda gives you an indication that something might be going wrong.

    I have been testing pH, KH, Phosphate, No2, No3, NH3, NH4 and Calcium

    NH3 and N02 have been giving me zero reading for the last week
     
  12. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Liaquat please help. I have tried numerous phosphate test kits....but to this day readings elude me. Now i know that i must have phos so i treat accordingly. But i don't like flying blind. Are there any locally available that you would put your name to. Thanks in anticipation.
     
  13. sunburst

    sunburst

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    I bought mine from Hanna instruments. And if you have the money i would put this high on my list of to be done's
     
  14. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Approx. $$
     
  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Test intervals are determined by :
    a) Age of tank (as this has a direct influence on stability
    b) Parameter being tested
    c) Maturity of biological filtration system
    d) Your dosing and water change regime.
    e) Your familiarity of your system and what exactly is happening chemically and biologically.

    I have used almost every brand of test kit available locally, and have settled on the following:

    1.) Nitrite: Seachem Nitrite and nitrate kit. For a new tank test it every second day to watch your biological filter mature.
    2.) Nitrate: Seachem, and Salifert. The accuracy on both these tests are good enough, and once you get down to the part of the scale where the colours are difficult to differentiate, it does not really matter, as you are close enough.
    Test weekly once your tank has cycled, and once you have reached the bottom end of the scale (3ppm to 0ppm), measure every second month, just to make sure your dsb for example is still doing its job)

    3.) Calcium: A close call between seachem and Lamotte. (I use both, but will have to choose the Seachem, as the end point is more clearly defined, and less open to interpretation, which can be severely influwnced by ambient lightinhg conditions)
    Testing is purely dependant on your bioload. In a fowlr I would not even bother. In a sps dominated reef, whilst determining consumption rate and maintenance dose, or dialling in a calcium reactor, I would test every couple of days. Once my supplimentation scheme is dialled in, I would test Alk once a week, and calcium only every second week.(remember ca and alk are consumed in a balanced ratio.........., Well.....almost :( )

    4.) Alkalinity. Once again a close call between Lamotte and Seachem, but Lamotte would be my first choice. The end point is clear, and refill reagents are cheaper than a new seachem kit. See Calcium for testing protocol,

    5.) Magnesium: Test once every few weeks to a month, just to confirm my dosing regimen is still adequate. Seachem wins hands down here. I have tried salifert, and was quite happy with it, but availability is an issue. I have used the tropic marin (ca and Mg combo) was never happy with it, as difficult to determine exact endpoints and ambient lighting too influential.

    6.) PO4: Unless you are running sps dominated systems, tweaking colours and willing to fork out close to R1000 for a decent kit like the Deltec/Merck kit, or R2000 for a photometer, to enable you to meausre down to the levels our systems are upposed to run at, DON'T bother. Rather spend the money in ways to combat and export PO4.
    If you are obsessed with playing with test kits, the seachem kit is pretty acceptable. An exact number is difficult to determine (my obsession), but is does give you a very good indication of what is happening in your system or when to change PO4 media.

    Hope I have not left one out!!

    But then again, like Sunburst said, experience is the best kit.
     
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  16. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the in-depth answer. Much appreciated. :)
     
  17. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    OOPS, yes, I missed of the most important:

    pH and temp: personally I believe it should be checked daily, preferrably monitored continuosly. I use the Martini pH 56 temp and pH, as well as a cheap electronic temp monitor.

    Salinity: A refractometer should be used at least once every two weeks, and whenevr you make up salt mix and just after a water change.
    Just ensure that your refracto is temp compensated and calibrated correctly. Refractometers and Salinity Measurement by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com Using ro and using a known solution with the same refractive index as seawater.
     
  18. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Flying battleships Ivan. Your key board must be on fire. Depressing about phos kit. But thanks.
     
  19. sunburst

    sunburst

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    A good quality metre correct to 2 decimal points, with calibration fluid. R1500
     
  20. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Hi googled the Martini, can't seem to find info. Do you have a link or supplier ?
     
  21. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    Phosphate test kit woes?

    Sean, let's get some background info, kit you've used, variances, etc.

    I'm all ears....

    take it to pm
    Or call

    I rarely need sleep.


     
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