Test Kits

urville

New member
Does anyone have any links to articles or reviews on the various test kits? I know alot of people like API which is what I have used thus far. i have seen talk of salifert and seachem, I was just hoping there had been testing or something.
 

gkyle

Premium Member
I haven't seen any articles where each test kit was measured against a known reference sample, which would be great. There are numerous threads where members state their opinions, sometimes with conviction. For me, I found API to be difficult to use with my limited color vision. I tried most of the Salifert kits and found them to either be inaccurate (new mix with Instant Ocean measuring 540 for Ca for example) or else inconsistent, meaning that subsequent tests on the same water gave me different results. Some swear by them, and some swear at them...

I switched to Elos kits and although they're a little pricey, they seem to be both accurate and consistent. Some complain that the Ca kit from Elos only measures to the nearest 25ppm, but that resolution is fine for me since I'm basically looking for a reading above 425 and below 500. In terms of figuring out the effects of daily dosing, the consistency piece is the most important for me.
 

Billybeau1

Premium Member
The problem is that hobby grade kits can have problems over time due to shelf life and contamination by the user. Some titration type kits produce a better color end point than others. Still some kits produce good results at lower levels but not at higher levels.

I've tested and used many brands of kits.

For general testing I find API, Sera and Elos quite acceptable.

For more refined numbers, Salifert and LaMotte are good.

I did not care for Hagen, Red Sea or Seachem kits. :)
 

gkyle

Premium Member
I've ordered the new Calcium and Carbonate Hardness kits from Tunze to try also, but haven't received them yet. They're actually Machery-Nagel kits.
 

gkyle

Premium Member
I recently visited the Newport Aquarium and took their behind the scenes tour, quite fascinating. They have a unit they called (I think) an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer they used daily to test for various water parameters, I believe it gave them calcium, magnesium, and several others. For a cool $25k we can have one of our own :) Sure would be nice if we could get access to something like that to test and verify our numbers.

They had a one million gallon shark tank that used massive columns (like 48" diameter x 30') columns of bio-balls, plus huge fluidized sand filters, plus an entire room dedicated to pumping out ozone.
 

urville

New member
API is hard to read color wise. I have also heard 50/50 things about salifert.

I cant find tunze, elos, or sera :(

I need something different, but.. I read some disturbing things about lamotte tests. They dont match the colors they state and that if you leave them for a few seconds they revert in color even mid test.

I just want the middle. Accurate, consistent, and definitive and clear in color. How much are more serious science based tests? Where can you even get them?

I dont worry about contamination, I'm very thorough on that front.
 

Billybeau1

Premium Member
ur, which type kits are you interested in ?

API's cal and alk are pretty easy to see the color end point.

You may have to go online if you want Elos or Sera.

My Saliferts still do quite well. I guess I'm one of the good 50% :D
 

urville

New member
Alk isnt for me. As you increase your levels the kh gets harder to see. It's never a quick shift to "bright yellow" as it reads in the manual, lol.
it goes blue green, then yellow green, then like dirty dish water and just stays there, so... where is the number in there lol? Also i wouldnt mind a result in meqs

Actually, calc is easy to read, but I want more resolution. Can calc be too high. Thats why i wanted it to within a degree, so I could see within 10, or 5 ppm not 20. Also a mag kit thats doesnt cost nearly $30 would be nice
 

Billybeau1

Premium Member
Well, even dirty yellow is the end point. No green.

Calcium on the higher end does not hurt a thing so I think you can be satisfied with being within 20 ppm either way.

There are only 2 hobby grade magnesium kits worth the money. Salifert and Elos. All others garbage in this category.

Of course for about 200 bucks, you could get a Hach and really be sure. :D

I'll stay with my Salifert. :) You do not need to test for magnesium that often anyways so 32 bucks a year isn't too bad for me.
 
Top