Dr. Foster Smith Refractometer

LBCBJ

New member
Anyone tried this or know anything about it? I'm thinking about upgrading from a hydrometer. How does it compare to more expensive ones like the Vital Sine? Thanks.
 

RichConley

New member
Randy had a lot of us bring our refractometers to a meeting a while back, and we compared all of them, some expensive lab grade ones, some the $35 chinese ones, etc, to a solution randy had made up.

They were all pretty much the same.
 

wrott

New member
Get a refractometer at any cost--hydrometers can have bubbles on exterior--temperature flux., etc.
 

melev

In Memoriam
As long as it is ATC (auto temperature compensating) and can read salinity in sg & ppt, you're good.
 

keeperofthefish

New member
I've got the Drs. Foster Smith one and it seems to work great. Melev is right--just make sure it is auto temperature compensation. Forget a hydrometer--it's inaccurate and a pain. The easier the equipment is to use, the more you'll use it. And monitoring salinity is important and worth the money to get a good one. Only complaint about the Drs. F&S is that the print is difficult to read--very hard to discern whether you're at 1.027 or 1.026, etc.
 

Reefrus2003

New member
There is a seller on ebay selling the same ones Dr. Smith carries from 20 to 30 dollars less shipping, I think shipping was about 9 dollars, he lists 2 a day.
 

masterswimmer

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7493916#post7493916 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by keeperofthefish
Only complaint about the Drs. F&S is that the print is difficult to read--very hard to discern whether you're at 1.027 or 1.026, etc.

Same complaint I had with the cheap Dr's refract. I couldn't read anything worth a darn with it. It was always a guess.

I 'upgraded' to the Vital Sine and am so happy every time I look through that little window. I can read my SG right down to 1.0265 without any problems at all. No screwdriver needed for adjustments, ATC included. Worth every penny.

swimmer
 

zemuron114

In Memoriam
How do i start using mine? I lost the manual thing and dono how to tune it. I know i need to drop some distilled water on it... but then what??

anyone help please!
 

TJcop

Throws Money Into Water
Dop some ro/di water on it and then turn the calibration screw until the line goes across the 0 mark. You're done!
 

zemuron114

In Memoriam
does ti turn on automatically? so if i drop the water on the surface of the refracto it turns on by itself and then i screw it so it goes to 0? That is it?
 

TJcop

Throws Money Into Water
Zemuron: The basic ones don't have internal lights. You just stand near/under a light source, which will illuminate the gauge. I think I've seen some more pricey models with internal lighting...but a waste of $ IMO.
 

Gordonious

New member
You can get a standard probably at a good LFS that will be a liquid solution you drop on it and it has a specific...specific gravity if that makes sense, lol. Basically the contents of the bottle should always measure to the same amount.

I would bet that the more expensive one would last longer or need less adjusting. I have the Portable Refractometer and got it from Foster and Smith.(I'm not sure if it ever goes off sale.) I have had it for a year and it is working great so far. The only thing about it is it has a large scale. "Dual scale, 0-100 ppt salinity and 1.000-1.070 specific gravity" So basically the resolution on it is smaller. If you want to measure for your aquarium only and want to get a real specific level, or if you want to keep a real close eye on what is going on with the tank, you might want to consider something with a smaller scale. If your eye sight is horrible and you don't have contacts the smaller scaled refractometers might be a good idea.

Last summer I mixed hundreds of gallons of water in a lab and measured specific gravity out in the field in a million different places. I used a couple different refractometers and used them…. a couple hundred times, lol.

Jon
 

zemuron114

In Memoriam
sounds good. ill pick up some distilled water from walmart and tryit out. The swing arms are a PITA cuz air bubbles always get stuck to the arm and make it look higher then it really is!
 

Gordonious

New member
Affan that is the exact model I have. I don't think it's the best out there, but for the price it gets the job done and seems pretty reliable. (When I say I don't think it's the best I would say I'd compare it to Nascar: It may not take first every time, but it runs with the best of them.) If mine some how disappeared I would buy the exact same one again, and I never settle for cheap stuff when it comes to my tanks.
Just remember every so often to check it with a standard. DO NOT let the thing become completely submerged in water. Use a little pipette. Take care of it and it should last a long time. :)

Best of luck,
Jon
 
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