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Who to trust?


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  1. #1
    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    CORAL CITY U.S.A
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    Rob
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    Default Who to trust?

    Im at a total loss for words to be honest. I don't know where to turn or which company to trust.

    My API test kits no matter what the issue is ALWAYS read perfectly?
    ELOS seems to be a well respected company, but in my experience are the least consistent?
    Salifert another supposedly well respected company, not sure if they are accurate or test high?

    ELOS for example, in the past 10 months I have purchase 3 of their Calcium test kits. Each one has arrived with different size test vials and caps, which are not cross compatible. Each test kit has arrived with different volumes of testing reagents. My first package I ran out of one of the reagents after only 15 test that were said to make 50 tests. Contacted ELOS and via email was told that more was in the mail to my house, which never arrived? Second test kit as well as the third all ran short. In every case, all three test had completly different amounts of basically everything.
    If they can't consistantly fill their bottles with the appropriate amount of testing solution, how am I to trust the results?

    Salifert test I suppose are the ones that really began to make me nervous. I never really relied on the API's, but when the ELOS alk and calc test were very close to the API I tend to believe them to be accurate. However last week I ordered a salifert Nitrate and Calcium test.
    According to Nitrates, I am at roughly 30ppm of trates and if I compare my ELOS calcium results of 440 to the Saliferts of 560 is were I grow even more leery??

    Who do you trust?
    How do you care, clean and store your testing vials and testing equipment?
    How often should one calibrate electronic or mechanical testing or monitoring systems? (RKL pH, salinity, Hanna pH etc.)
    What methods, techniques, and calibration equipment do you recommend?
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
    "If it's gonna be that kinda party, Ima stick my ........ in the mashed potatoes!"-Beastie Boys

  2. #2
    ardo_ski - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Grand Blanc
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    Default

    I've been very happy with the kits from Lamotte. They are good quality and sell refill kits. Currently using the Ca, Alk, and Nitrate. The Phosphate Kit I use is High Sensitivity Phosphate Test Kit. When I'm done I rinse and wipe down eveything in RO water. Than rinse again and let air dry.

  3. #3
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Gibraltar
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    Justin
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    Default

    like they always say.

    a man with one test kit knows what his parameter are, a man with two test kits is never sure!

    i use all salifert test for everything and i do not go by what other test kits say for this reason.

  4. #4
    stunreefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Submerged
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    Default

    I use LaMotte for Alk/Ca.

    API for NO3 (assuming it's remotely close I'm fine).

    I used to use ELOS for MAG, but they changed the package, and as you mentioned seem to make changes more often than not - change is not always good I have an ELOS NO3 kits as well that I think I used once.

    I used to swear by Salifert, but went through their bad test phase when I was an Acro head - lost a fair share of them chasing numbers. Will never use them again, although I know more than a few people who use them and swear by them.

    I'll be using all Hanna digitals once they come out, can't wait, and neither can the lazy reefer in me

    Any probes should be calibrated at least bi-weekly. I calibrate refractometer before every use, but I prefer my floating hydormeter (high grade) to refractometers. Regarding cleaning, dump, rinse in tap several times, then rinse in RO/DI and let dry. Rinse in RO/DI before use next time and swish tank water in vial prior to running test. Make sure to never put the vials in your system to fill with water, use a pipette.
    Make your animals Thrive, not just Survive.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Manoj
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    Default

    Rob,

    to be honest , its hard to say.

    Let me give you the current nightmare that I am facing:

    1. I used to use salifert for about 2 yrs, then recently I moved to elos because BRS shipped me elos instead of salifert. But since I knew they were decent I used them.

    2. Initially when I compared elos and salifert, I found my elos to read low on alk and about the same for calcium

    3. Since I heard/read elos was better so I used elos as the test kit to move forward with and I started to increase my alk.

    4. Now my SPS tips are burning and I knew it was high alk. Currently I am in the process of loosing about half of my SPS ( About 1 yr of growth out of the window)

    5. So now I moved back to salifert. I have not dosed the alk solution for the last 4 days and my alk is still high, by the rate at which its dropping I will restart dosing Tuesday night.

    So moral of the story in my opinon is, if you have a test kit that works for you and your corals are doing fine stick with it. I know once in a while you will have bad batches and you will have to watch out for that.

    Had to let it out lol I hope it helps

  6. #6
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Jamie
    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default Who to trust?

    I've used nothing but API for the last 10yrs-first for FW and now for SW-never an issue. I haven't tried anything else. I use a refractormeter and calibrate it with RO every 4-6 months.
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  7. #7
    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Rob
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jolson10450 View Post
    like they always say.

    a man with one test kit knows what his parameter are, a man with two test kits is never sure!

    i use all salifert test for everything and i do not go by what other test kits say for this reason.
    Great point.

    Quote Originally Posted by stunreefer View Post
    I use LaMotte for Alk/Ca.

    API for NO3 (assuming it's remotely close I'm fine).
    Based on my findings, relying on API can be quite dangerous. API was telling me I was in the money, then I cross referenced it to the Salifert and I was at almost 50ppm before a past due water change.

    Quote Originally Posted by stunreefer View Post
    I'll be using all Hanna digitals once they come out, can't wait, and neither can the lazy reefer in me

    Any probes should be calibrated at least bi-weekly. I calibrate refractometer before every use, but I prefer my floating hydormeter (high grade) to refractometers. Regarding cleaning, dump, rinse in tap several times, then rinse in RO/DI and let dry. Rinse in RO/DI before use next time and swish tank water in vial prior to running test. Make sure to never put the vials in your system to fill with water, use a pipette.
    I am anxiously awaiting the Hanna digi's as well. I don't consider myself a lazy reefer, but when I comes to testing......there are many other things I would rather do! Plus there seems to be way too much inconsistency with in the test kits, as well as human error.

    Im glad you made it a point to mention that a reefer should never dip the test vial into the reef water directly. A newbie may not know the importance of this. I always fill a small plastic dixie cup with reef water and then use a syringe to fill the test vials.

    I also use an old babys bottle drying rack to hold and dry all my test vials up side down and caps to dry out after a thorough rising in tap, and then a quick roll in some RO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manoj's Reef View Post
    Rob,

    to be honest , its hard to say.

    So moral of the story in my opinon is, if you have a test kit that works for you and your corals are doing fine stick with it. I know once in a while you will have bad batches and you will have to watch out for that.

    Had to let it out lol I hope it helps
    Again a great point. Like Mucho always says "Listen to your reef, it will give you the answers" Through close observation with one's eyes and one test kit brand is the way to go for me.
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
    "If it's gonna be that kinda party, Ima stick my ........ in the mashed potatoes!"-Beastie Boys

  8. #8
    henry hill - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Shelby Twp, MI
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    Chris

    Default

    Ah test kits?

  9. #9
    rmalone - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    May 2010
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    grand blanc, mi
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    Default

    Currently I am using Salifert for nitrate, cal, alk, and mag. I don't test for anything else. My experience with api is that the cal seems to jive with salifert, nitrate has given me some false negatives (it could be me I suppose), one test would show 0 nitrates and the next test from the same sample might show 20ppm nitrates. When I used api I would always test twice.

    My next kits will be Lamotte for cal and alk. I will probably stick with Salifert for nitrate and mag.

    I set up a nitrate test with Ocean, Tetra, Salifert and API. The discrepency in readings was scary to say the least. I have never seen the Ocean nitrate test show ANY nitrates despite readings by every other kit.

  10. #10
    streetrodder007 - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Bill

    Default

    I have used API for the last couple years. But I have always wondered- 99% of all my tests show I have near perfect tank water. Are the tests bad and always error towards a good reading? Or am I that good at keeping perfect water? I think not.
    The only tests I have noticed that do fluctuate a lot are Calcium.

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