Best test kits

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Best test kits

Postby 2kids1dog on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:57 pm

I want to get opinions on what test kits you folks use for your tanks. I'm using an API...both the regular and Master reef one that tests calcium. I'm pleased with the basic tests---PH, Nitrite/nitrate and Amonia (sp) but not sure about accuracy on the Master kit as I was off their chart for calcium and Kh.
What easily available kits are you using? I want something I can go and find..not have to order online if possible...thanks!
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Re: Best test kits

Postby jelly on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:25 pm

i use red sea pro for my cal, mag, alk, po4,no3 and no4. i think they are easy to use and if you want they even made videos on how to use them. i used elos at one time but i found them to be hard to use.
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Re: Best test kits

Postby Socratic Monologue on Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:43 pm

I use:
Ca -- Red Sea Pro (used to use API, but didn't like it because it isn't very precise. API seems accurate enough in comparison to RSP, though)
K -- Red Sea Pro. I'd try more RSP kits based on my experiences with the two I use. They're really nice kits.
Alk -- Lamotte (used to use API, thought it worked fine, but bought a Lamotte to confirm and stuck with it)
pH -- lab grade Neptune probe on Apex Lite. (I also have a Milwaukee pH controller on my FW tank, which is ok for the price. Never liked pH test kits, mostly because none of them ever agreed with each other, and really can't be calibrated.)
PO4 -- Hannah checker. (I could never read the color changes on PO4 kits, and I don't know of any that read low enough levels.)
Mag -- I don't test.
NO3 -- Salifert. (Used to use Tetra, which actually agreed with Salifert very well).
I -- I don't test lately, but I used to use Salifert and liked it.
Ammonia -- I don't test. I don't know of any kit that tests low enough levels to be of use in an established reef, though I never really looked for one.
Nitrite -- I don't test. People who know more than me say that NO2 is nontoxic to marine fish, and I've scanned academic papers that substantiate that claim.


Doubt you'll find too many of these locally. I personally try to find testing methods that work well enough for me that I am encouraged to use them frequently; a cheap or easy to obtain test kit is no good if you don't like to use it and leave it in a drawer all the time.

Just curious: what is 'off the chart', numbers-wise?
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Re: Best test kits

Postby 2kids1dog on Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:56 am

Hi--the chart only goes up to 12 drops, I took 17 drops for color changes...so I'm not sure what the corrrect level is. My Kh is at 9, but I'm thinking it should be higher to balance with the high calcium level or is this okay? I know the range is 8-12 according to the test. My salinity is at 1.026, would like to lower that a little but that will drop the Kh too. I read that higher salinity results in higher calcium levels...
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Re: Best test kits

Postby Socratic Monologue on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:24 pm

2kids1dog wrote:Hi--the chart only goes up to 12 drops, I took 17 drops for color changes...so I'm not sure what the corrrect level is.


What ppm do the drops correspond to? IIRC, one drop=20ppm on the API test, which would put your tank at about 340ppm, which is very low. What level of Ca do you think your tank has in ppm?
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Re: Best test kits

Postby 2kids1dog on Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:44 am

Thanks for reply...after that I double checked my book, and ooops--didn't read far enough..the chart does go to many more drops. You are correct on that reading then too, and since it is low, I have been adding very slowly, a product that is supposed to provide more calcium for corals. I have been checking my water every other day and it is going up :) Thank you!!
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