What Test Kits are you using?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Helga, 12 Nov 2011.

  1. Helga

    Helga

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    Hi,
    I am battling high calcium parameters in my tank lately. Its seems I am not the only one now and theres also great discussion on the causes of it on MASA.
    At this stage the discussions on the possible causes are concentrated around : the saltmix used (the correct/or not, mixture therof),

    or faulty test kits.

    1. What has been established so far is that the problem tanks in question have all been using Seachem Reefsalt. Seachem Reefsalt are being sold at very special rates by the LFS' the past few months so naturally a lot of reefers are using it!

    OR,

    2. Our test kits: As we are presumably all using different test kits, it will be near impossible to establish "good" from "bad" brands. As with all things in life, there will also be personal preferences.

    My question is: I'm using API test kits that is not readily available nor widely used in South Africa. I buy it in Houston when I visit threre. It came highly recommended by the LFS shops in Houston and also online by Fosters&Smith Aqauatics. Have been using it for more than a year now and are really pleased with API as they are extremely user friendly. I have tested them to Salifert and Tropic Marin getting the same results.

    Are you familiar with API test kits and what is your opinion on them.
     
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  3. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I typically use whatever is on sale. Right now I'm using the API test kits. I have used Salifert and Tropic Marin and I they were good too.

    More on this later...
     
  4. ScottK

    ScottK

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    I'm struggling with high calcium as well but am not using Seachem salt (I will be soon, the price is too good not to).

    I have been dosing magnesium and a Kh buffer to raise my Dkh to combat a cyano problem I had a couple of months back, the cyano is now pretty much at bay so am starting to drop my dose day by day. I believe this has naturally raised the Ca levels for me.

    According to Seachem's website the typical amount of Ca in ReefSalt is 442mg/l which is not high compared to some other salts, Red Sea Coral Pro is 450mg/l and Deltec H20 Natural Reef is 440mg/l .

    Are you you adding any other supplements that could be raising the Ca? I imagine any Ca, Mg or Alk supplementation off a base that high would lead to high Ca levels.

    I am using the Salifert kits and have found them quite accurate.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Curently i am using tropic marine, But I am considering using the new red sea test kits!
     
  6. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    I use Salifert..nothing wrong with them, but thinking of getting the D-D Test Kits as they sound good...very sensitive...but of cause Durban is the last place to get them...:p..just not sure about getting them as it sounds like the Tubes are glass...:eek:..and a bit of a mission to replace...:eek:
    D&D Test kit - UltimateReef.com
     
  7. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Belinda I am coming down to Aliwal this weekend and bringing down some stock. D-D product is available from a few LFS in Durban.

    With regards to the replacement vials and refills, these will be available in the new year. Should refills and or vials be required before stocks arrive we will Break down kits to accommodate.
     
  8. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    im using salifert test kits and very happy with them.have also used the red sea ones.
     
  9. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    @Nemos Janitor ..any sponsors in Durban..if not, can you PM me the LFS who will have..? Which Shops..maybe I can pop in and do a "face to face" hello...:tt2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Belinda there are no current sponsors in Durban that carry our products. PM sent

    I will be publishing a list of LFS that stock D-D products shortly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. jaquesdp08

    jaquesdp08

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    The new Redsea Pro works nicely. I also have 3 Hanna checkers but having issues with the calcium one
     
  12. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    Helga I think the real issue on your tank involves your evaporation rate with addition of KalKwasser and possibly the media in your calcium reactor. These would add to the level of high calcium in the salt. Also what is the Kh level of the effluent coming out the calcium reactor.

    Do the API test kits come with a reference solution. We use the Tropic Marin test kits as well as the H2 Ocean and find the TM kits are generally quite good and the H2O very accurate.

    But like I said I think the issue lies with your method of top up as well as calcium reactor for a balanced KH/ calcium you need both calcium and other carbonates.
    The Kalkwasser is solely a calcium booster and depending on the KH of your calcium reactor this may also only be adding calcium with little carbonates ideally you looking for a reading around 40 to 50 dkh from your reactor
     
  13. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    did you order online? i am looking for Alk, Ca and Phos
     
  14. Helga

    Helga Thread Starter

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    Thanks all!
    What I am trying to establish is whether I could trust the API test kits as it is not a common product in SA. I have repeatedly tested them against Salifert and Tropic Marin and all 3 products give me the same result! :thumbup: so... I'm sure its not my test kit thats out of whack!

    The high calcium reading started about 4 weeks ago. Creeping up. It turned at 500 in my DT. I have a heated/aerated 500liter holding drum outside with pre-mixed saltwater that I use for waterchanges. I keep the temp constant at 26 deg. Have tested the Calcium reading in the holding drum, it is 480.

    To get the calcium down I am bypassing the Calcium Reactor now. The calcium reading is slowly coming down to 460 this morning.

    I have the Profilux that is managing my RO top up. It doses Kalkwasser together with the RO water into the sump.

    Parameters this morning:
    Temp = 25.2
    PH = 8.05
    KH = 7 (started dosing Alkalin 8.3 every 2nd day to raise the KH)
    Calcium = 460
    Magn = 1320

    Have also been battling cyano on the sand for about 4 weeks. Its seems to be subsiding.

    I know in the greater scheme of things a calcium reading of 500 is not critical, but it just bugs me as to why it started going up with no changes to the mechanical system or me adding any additives. :blush:
     
  15. Helga

    Helga Thread Starter

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    ADV, This is starting to make sense to me. :lol: I think youre onto something....
    It all started with the heatwaves we've been having.... evaporation and the profilux having to top up more then automatically dosing kalkwasser everytime it tops up. OK... the calcium reactor is now bypassed for about a week. Calcium levels is slowly coming down but my KH is still a bit low, so I'm manually dosing Alkalin 8.3. And it seems the cyano is backing off slowly :tt2:
     
  16. AndreM

    AndreM

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    Hi ADVdiver, sorry if this is a bit off topic.

    I thought that Kalkwasser was a balanced additive that adds both KH and Calcium? At least, that's what I read in this article:

    Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

    I'm curious because I'm also trying to get a balanced KH/Ca and was considering starting with Kalkwasser to maintain the correct ratio.
     
  17. jaquesdp08

    jaquesdp08

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    Ebay!
     
  18. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    IMO rather use a two or three part calcium additive or calcium reactor. Kalk is great for getting calcium levels up but does not keep things in balance with your KH you will always need to buffer your KH should you use kalk with a reef salt if on the other hand you use a basic salt such as instant ocean or Tropic Marin Classic the Kalk can work well, as the calcium level is much lower and will have more effect on the KH cause calcium will aslo increase you KH from a low calcium starting point but it is hard to do so at higher levels
    It all depends on what base you start from.

    Also look at some of the top international tanks and you will see very few still use Kalk and its for this very reason.
    Salts have now been formulated to our reefing requirements and a simple water change is all that's needed.

    Also look back to your salt and see what salinity your salt mix will be balanced at in terms of calcium/KH (35.5 ppt for the Deltec H2Ocean)
     
  19. AndreM

    AndreM

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    Hmm, I'm even more confused now :). That article says first get your KH/Ca in balance, and once it is in balance you can use Kalk (or another balanced additive) to keep it in balance

    But from what you're saying that if you have it balance (as you would get from using a good quality reef salt), then using Kalk would increase Ca much more than KH?

    (I should probably make another post about this in another thread, as this is not related to test kits anymore)
     
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