hanna lo range photometer ?'s


New member
i have been running brs gfo in a 2 little fish reactor (150). filling the reactor about half way. i just got the photometer and ran 2 tests. both times the reagent hasnt completely disolved with a few grains on the bottom of the cuvet. the reagent has not expired and the current gfo has been in the reactor for about 2 1/2 weeks. both results read .02 so my question is.

is it normal to have some sediment on the bottom of the cuvet?
should i wait until i get higher reading before changing out the gfo?


New member
I bought it new from DFS with case and reagents, whatever that was, cant remeber. Seemed like good deal with 100 reagents extra cuvets, and protecxtive case.


New member
i think im going to buy the benchtop photometer that checks for 45 different things...i think it will be a good investement.... great price IMO.


Gone Postal
Don't do it Julio. I did it and ended up having to return it and get my money back.

Only 3 (I think) of the tests will work with saltwater.

Phosphate, Dissolved Oxygen and I can't remember the third one.


Gone Postal
Yea, tell me about it. I paid over $1,000 for the meter and all the reagents. I opened most of them "checking" it out and just couldn't seem to get good readings.

Believe it or not, it took about half a dozen phone calls between me and Hanna tech support before we finally figured out what the root of the problem was.

They were very accomodating though. I had purchased everything through an online vendor and Hanna ended up giving the vendor a 100% refund so that they could give me a 100% refund. Even for all the opened reagents.

After all was said and done I turned right around and purchased the Low Range Phosphate meter since it does work in saltwater.


Gone Postal
The phosphate meter is a VERY good piece of equipment but it may not be for everyone.

I'm actually debating whether or not I want to sell mine (probably won't though).

Here's the only downside to the meter that I have run across.

The meter displays readings down to the hundreths.
We want our phosphate readings at or below .02 (debatable).
This meter will do the job since it can give you a reading of .02, .01 and .00

For the most part, this will satisfy most reefers demands.

If you want readings any more accurate than this then you have a problem since this meter can not do it.

HOWEVER, there is a regular test kit on the market that can give readings that are more in depth than the Hanna meter.

The Low Range Phosphate Test Kit from D-D Aquarium Solutions. It's a very pricey test kit as it will set you back about $75 for 100 tests BUT it gives you detailed readings down to the thousandths and is easy to use with easy to see color changes for the different readings.

Hmmm - Sitting down and writing this comparison up made me take a close look at the two together and actually ended up throwing a monkey wrench into my thinking. I was pretty well convinced that the D-D test kit was the way to go but now I'm not sure if there really is much of a difference at all.


The Hanna meter gives you 3 results that are OK (basically): .02, .01 and .00

What I just realized is that with the D-D test kit, even though it gives more precise readings, there is still only 3 results that are OK (basically): .015, .008 and .000

So is the D-D kit really any better? I don't know.


New member
Why on god's green earth would you want to measure down to the thousandths? Even then, since it's only 3 results, they might as well be the rounded up results from the photometer :p The .005 and .002 difference is probably within the standard of error for both test kits anyway. I think the only upgrade to make after a photometer is the lab benches that are in the thousands of dollars. I doubt that many hundred dollar test kits are as good or better than any of the hundred or so photometer range, so the only direction from there is the uber-expensive lab benches.

D-D are great, and make great products, but is it worth it? Not to me.


Gone Postal
Like I stated above. Once I got down to the final results of the comparison, I'm not sure myself if the D-D is any better.

As to why you might want the thousandths reading - You do need "some" phosphates.

There are some folks that have ZEO tanks that are actually having to dose phosphates (or it may have been nitrates - can't remember for sure). In a case like this (if it is phosphates), the thousandths scale would be nice to have.


New member
I believe it's nitrates, and they use it for clam farming as well in closed circuits. I think they use potassium nitrate or something like that. Phosphate is a required nutrient, but in such low quantities that I don't think anyone has ever thought to themselves that their phosphate levels were too low :p Even running vodka and GFO and whatever else, too low of phosphates isn't too likely, as it's in whatever food you may be putting in the tank, and isn't broken down by biological processes, only absorbed into organisms.


New member
Chuck- After reviewing your info im glad i went the photometer route. Its a long term investment. Regardless of how easy kits are to use there is still an element of reading color charts. I dont know about your but i am close to color blind as a man. I usually have to show the changes to my daughter or girlfriend. :)

Photometer reagents are $20something for 100. Can you get only reagents for the D-D? at a better price, i dont know. They eventually expire im sure, for both. The photometer reagents are in individual sealed enveloped vs bottles with fluid and powders. THey are constantly exposed to air and light.

Again its a long term investment for a quality piece of equipment. Its even helpful to determine when your GFO is done buy measuring the effluent from the reactors.

Just my $0.02 (to the hundreth) :)