BIG THREE: What Test Kits are you using for ALK, CAL, MAG in 2021?

BRS

Do you choose a test kit brand and stick with it or are you willing to change?

  • Stick with it

    Votes: 139 31.9%
  • Willing to change

    Votes: 285 65.4%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 12 2.8%

  • Total voters
    436

Kscoral

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Being color blind i mostly run hanna checkers (except mag thats a red sea pro) if other companies had reliable and readily available options id give them a shot as long as they dont break the bank.
 

s_tempest

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Alkalinity - Hanna, but I double check every now & then with Red Sea titration. I’ve noticed that the Hanna alk solution reads high as I get towards the last few ml.
Ca - Red Sea titration. Bought the Hanna kit, but too many steps.
Mg - Red Sea titration. Don’t measure often. Always measures high (1500), don’t fully trust the value but am not seeing odd-Mg issues so ...
 

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I like to be consistent with test kits I use. If I find something easier/faster and as good or better accuracy than what I am currently using I am willing to change.

Currently using:
Trident Ca, Alk, Mg
Hanna Alk
Red Sea Ca
Salifert Mg
Salifert K
Red Sea Nitrate
Hanna ULR - Phosphate
Red Sea Iodine
 

DC Reefer

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i use red sea but don't trust the colour my eye see's. looking to change to test that takes my eyes out of the equation. Not sure what to go to but i will use up the red kits first
Ca
Alk
Mag
Kevin, I would go with Hanna for Alk and Salifert for MG. The color change on the salifert has been really distinct for me. Hanna is an option for Ca, I have the tester, used it twice and it was a pain to use so stuck with the Red Sea.
 

hsosa

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currently what im using . I am willing to change to a easier test. summary below
ICP trident - testing - I just got my results back on feb 11 2021 and I must say most of my ranges where pretty close to the test kits below. the only one that was a little off was phosphorus mine read 111 and icp was 84 .
Alk Hannah digital I think hand s done most everyone uses this . before I was using Hannah I used salifart kh
calcium Red Sea - I've found this one to be pretty accurate
mag salifart -- never used a different test kit this one is easy to use. I've been fighting low mag and the ICP test confirmed this .
phosphorus low range Hannah digital - once you get the hang of this one its easy one to use
salinity Hannah this one is the combo salinity .temp checker its one of the best of market . love it
temp Hannah , ink bird and a extra digital temp . I have 3 monitors for temp.
PH American marine monitor 15yrs old still working great probe
Nitate NIOS this one is pretty easy to use .

currently I just got the potassium salifart test kit we ll see how this one works. other than that maybe there should be some kind of power ranking for each test kit . it would help
 

Fishyfish22

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Started with Hannah for alk and calcium. For some reason my alk reagent (tried several different times) would develop a cloudy murky material, no matter how clean I tried it. Bought an entire box of syringes so I wouldn't have to reuse them at all, still got murky and gross and unusable.

Sold off the Hannah's and went red sea. Loved the box and used it well until the readings started getting wildly inconsistent, I spent an entire night testing the same sample of water and got results varying from 8 dKH to 11.4 dKH, and magnesium was between 1140 and 1400 with water all being pulled from the same cup of water.


Now I use salifert for alk, mag, and Calc. Then red sea for potassium, iron, iodine, phosphates, and nitrates.

And Hannah for copper of course.
 

vlangel

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LOL, I checked other because I hate testing and test kits. For that reason my reef is a high nutrient macro algae/seagrass reef. A few hardy sps but mostly los and softies that thrive with 5% WCs every other week. This tank has been up since 2016 so well established also.
 

CMMorgan

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ITS Exact iDip - for everything plus...
Hanna for copper because I already had it,
Amazon pH meter for quick checks between real testing,
Hydros pH probe in the big DT,
Amazon TDS meter for quick checks to verify my IceCap RO/DI system.

I think that's all of them! I never trust any single source of testing, never!

I'm partially colorblind and even with color-sighted family living with me right now (thank you Covid), there's rarely a concensus on color chart tests. I vowed to go "digital" and never look back. So far, so good.
I am intrigued by this Exact Dip digital option of which you speak.... do tell!
 

CMMorgan

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I started with API - because it is what they sell at Petco.
I graduated to Red Sea because it seemed like that's what all the cool kids were doing.
I had so many issues with Red Sea - inaccurate numbers which led to over or untreating my ALK.
I also found that the Red Sea was difficult to read and had too big of a gap between numbers on the Nitrate test.
I have since found NYOS. I like the scale of the nitrate test much better. The tests are much simpler and I'm now using for the "big three".
I still have some leftover tests for things like ammonia, etc from my API and Red Sea that I'll use until they run out.
 

brmreefer

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I use the following:

Alk - Hanna (Simple; Quick)
Ca - API (Cheap; Only looking for ballpark figures, not accuracy)
Mg - Salifert (Cheap; Accurate)

Always willing to change, but currently comfortable with weekly testing methods. :D
 

GuppyHJD

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Interesting timing of this question / post. Yes I am willing to change, because I am disappointed at the API tests...particularly the Nitrite and Nitrate.
Today I went to the LFS (hour away) to verify my testing for cycling. The closer LFS was getting different API test results than my API testing.
The further way LFS tested and found my API tests showed I had 0 Am and Nitrite.
While there I discussed what tests they use and what I should purchase moving forward.
I will be ordering Hanna ALK, ULR Phosphate
Salifert - CA, MG, Nitrate
I will be using API for Ph
 

Klyle

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Salifert for calcium although I HATE the ca2 dropper bottle. I usually end up putting in too many drops and have to start over. Lots of waste.

Switched from Salifert to Aqua Forest for my mag. It's ok but I will be switching back to Salifert when this one is used up. Both are equal in my non expert opinion.

I use both Hanna and Salifert for alk. I like the Hanna checker but imo the Salifert is super easy to use. Being that I usually check alk 2-3 times per week, I prefer the ease of use of the Salifert kit.
 
BRS

Do you have a plan to "winterize" your reef tank?

  • YES (tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 16 10.4%
  • NO and I will not

    Votes: 114 74.0%
  • I will think about it now

    Votes: 19 12.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 3.2%
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