Auto Testers: What's your take? Yay or Nay?

BRS

What's your take on automated testing?

  • It's a huge step forward for the hobby!

    Votes: 194 55.3%
  • I've got an auto tester and I'm a fan.

    Votes: 91 25.9%
  • I've tried auto testing, and it has not been what I hoped.

    Votes: 21 6.0%
  • I don't use an auto tester and I don't think I ever would.

    Votes: 59 16.8%
  • I don't think this has been a step forward.

    Votes: 15 4.3%
  • Other... (post in thread)

    Votes: 28 8.0%

  • Total voters
    351

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Many of us who have been in the hobby for more than the last few years remember when the idea of auto testing seemed like a pipe dream. Well, now for the last several years, this dream has become a reality! With auto testers like the Trident, GHL Kh Director, GHL Ion Director, Alkatronic, Mastertronic, Reefbot, and others, innovation has made testing much less work (although that time saved certainly comes at a premium). As this video discusses, there are many benefits to these automatic testers that even go beyond just the saved work:


So my questions for today's discussion are:

What's your take on auto testers in general? Are you a fan?
Which ones have you had experience with?
Do you think these have been the step forward that we hoped they would be?
What considerations/cautions would you give others considering using these?

Photo: @W.vreeswijk
IMG_0460.jpeg
 
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PeterC99

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The Neptune Trident is a game changer for automated testing and dosing. As your aquarium grows, coral demands subtly change. Trident helped me take my aquarium to the next leve!
 

jda

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Like any other tool, it depends on the implementation. If used for a hobbyist to get further away from their tank, then it will fail. If used as a tool to enhance an already-great routine, then it could be good.

I don't use one and don't know that I would. My routine consists of looking at my CaRx to see if bubbles are bubbling and efflient is rolling (daily), testing alk and salinity (weekly) and then testing some calcium and temp (every few months). I don't need anything more granular than this, but I totally understand why a lot of people would.
 
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Daniel@R2R

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Like any other tool, it depends on the implementation. If used for a hobbyist to get further away from their tank, then it will fail. If used as a tool to enhance an already-great routine, then it could be good.
Point Joe GIF by Bakedin
 

Subsea

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I can't see getting into one anytime soon. Nothing is off the table though I suppose. The system I use now after this many years it sounds cliche but I rely on observation moreso than anything else.

Observation of bioindicators is my control system. After 50 years of Reefing, I continue to throw away stuff that I don’t need to operate a marine ecosystem.

Depending on advanced equipment never replaces an informed, knowledgeable hobbiest.
 

Sean Clark

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I have been using a KH Guardian since 2016. Still going strong. I love this thing.

I tried the Trident for a year. Not a fan.

There is huge potential in this area. I am excited for what comes in the future.
Screenshot_20220411-134129_Gallery.jpg
 

Arego

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Wow, I'm not even a blip on your reefing career radar. I'm at about 6ish ha. Yeah the tank gives off obvious signs that I look for.

When I try to get smart and make things more awesome is when I fail. The basics work for me.
 

vetteguy53081

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I have trident on the way and am hoping for the best . I’ve been gone more often in 2022 and want to assure I stay on top of the tank
Never work weekends and suddenly am on Saturdays and even a couple of Sundays. Not the hobby to say “ I have no time “
 

mindme

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If they become more affordable, I will definitely be a buyer.

For now, I keep looking at my tests and how much less it costs and how little time I really spend doing it, so I stay with that. I do a good bit of ICP tests, but that's basically for things other than alk/cal. Would love to have an auto test for those.
 

shakacuz

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i can't afford to delve into this. perhaps in the future i can! currently only looking to constantly monitor PH as my weekly testing seems enough, for now..

this definitely can help boost a good tank to even better levels.
 

Dom

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I feel the reason so many people have issues with their tanks is because of automation.

With automation, a disconnect is created between the hobbyist and their tank. "Set it and forget it" doesn't work in this hobby.

But without automation, a brief, daily, eyes on inspection of your tank will keep you on top of things, identifying small problems before they become big ones.
 

Tankkeepers

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Observation of bioindicators is my control system. After 50 years of Reefing, I continue to throw away stuff that I don’t need to operate a marine ecosystem.

Depending on advanced equipment never replaces an informed, knowledgeable hobbiest.
I do this also but my tank is only 25 gallon tank volume and I'm extremely worried a large Duncan
candy cane
and soon to come frog spawn will deplete my mag

And the 7 sps will deplete my cal

AKA I'm paranoid

I already do 40 percent water changes lol
 

October Sky

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i can't afford to delve into this. perhaps in the future i can! currently only looking to constantly monitor PH as my weekly testing seems enough, for now..

this definitely can help boost a good tank to even better levels.

I can probably afford it, I mean technically, but I'm not that serious about this hobby to drop that kind of cash.

I want to here from these people:

I don't think this has been a step forward.​


What kind of curmudgeons do we have here?
 

Tankkeepers

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I feel the reason so many people have issues with their tanks is because of automation.

With automation, a disconnect is created between the hobbyist and their tank. "Set it and forget it" doesn't work in this hobby.

But without automation, a brief, daily, eyes on inspection of your tank will keep you on top of things, identifying small problems before they become big ones.
Very true indeed but I want it cuz I want to start at my tank more and test vials less lol
 
BRS

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 17 3.8%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 64 14.1%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 85 18.8%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 133 29.4%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 142 31.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 12 2.6%
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