Focustronic testing and dosing station

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MikeTheNewbie

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As a continuation of my build thread, I just finished my Focustronic testing and dosing station. It is located right behind the tank. I barely made it with the 2 meter maximum length of the hoses for the Mastertronic.
I haven't setup the dosing completely but the 6 gallon jugs and the 5 liter container for the Alkatronic reagent have low level sensor connected to the 6 digital inputs in Apex.
I don't love the insulation on the right wall but it is close to the furnace and I think one is supposed to leave as is. Let me know what you think.

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MikeTheNewbie

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I just finished setting up the Mastertronic last night. Seeing it in action is really cool for a geek like me. The phosphate result was 0.02 away from my Hanna so I'm pretty happy about that. I'll continue comparing results today and report over here.
The hardware looks well made.
The main thing I don't like so far is that unlike the Alkatronic, the Mastertronic doesn't have an option to export data. You are stuck with the app to see your results.
I also reported that both the android and the iOS apps only offer Fauna Marine options as Nitrate reagent while the manual states you can also use Tropic Marin. Eric replied promptly stating that they are similar so you can safely use Tropic Marin reagents and select Fauna Marin.
I really like the Alkatronic. Alkalinity results are really precise and I feel I can trust them. M
The pH is still 0.2 below my Apex and Hanna results in spite of calibrating them at the same time with solutions at the same temperature but I haven't spent much time trying to fix that.
The Dosetronic was able to be calibrated to deliver very precise and consistent amounts. I still need time to assess how they hold over time.
There are 2 things that bug me about it
1. When controlling Dosetronic pumps based on Alkatronic results, the software limits you to dose the same amounts on every controlled pump.
If you need to dose parts in a different ratio like me (2 parts Trace Elements per each part of Sodium Carbonate), they ask you to dilute them so you can dose in the same proportion. I think that is an important missing feature and it is just matter of some software enhancements. I hope they take care of that.
2. The hardware design of the Dosetronic makes connecting the hoses really difficult. The pumps are too close to each other and the tubing needs to flex something like 75 degrees right at the output of the pimp. It made it impossible for me to use
Polyethylene tubing like the one used in RO systems. I had to use very flexible tubing which I don't prefer.
Because of these limitations I haven't started dosing automatically but once I figure it out, I will report here.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions
 
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MikeTheNewbie

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And here are the results...
Mastertronic's results for Nitrate and Phosphate were very close to Hanna's.
There was just a 0.6ppm difference for Nitrate and a 0.015 ppm difference for Phosphate both are negligible in my opinion so I'm gaining confidence in the results for both methods.
NO-PO.png


Calcium and Magnesium were not as close as Nitrate and Phosphate.
For Calcium I used the latest Hanna checker (the one with the pipette), Red Sea Pro and Mastertronic with API reagents.
Red Sea and Hanna tracked very close with 380ppm and 387ppm respectively. Mastertronic gave me a 436ppm result. Overall, I always take calcium tests with a grain of salt. I don' think the test methods we have available for the hobby are very precise. I sent an ICP test too but I'm not sure if I will be able to correlate results.

Magnesium had a 58ppm difference (Mastertronic reported 1578ppm and Red Sea 1520ppm). This is another test that I take with a grain of salt. I don't really like titration based tests. I think they are too subjective when done by a human so I hope Mastertronic can perform it more objectively. I think that my salt mix is always high in Magnesium so Mastertronic helped me confirm it.

Ca-Mg.png
 

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As a continuation of my build thread, I just finished my Focustronic testing and dosing station. It is located right behind the tank. I barely made it with the 2 meter maximum length of the hoses for the Mastertronic.
I haven't setup the dosing completely but the 6 gallon jugs and the 5 liter container for the Alkatronic reagent have low level sensor connected to the 6 digital inputs in Apex.
I don't love the insulation on the right wall but it is close to the furnace and I think one is supposed to leave as is. Let me know what you think.

IMG-0020.JPG
Extremely neat, clean system setup
 
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Anthony Scholfield

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And here are the results...
Mastertronic's results for Nitrate and Phosphate were very close to Hanna's.
There was just a 0.6ppm difference for Nitrate and a 0.015 ppm difference for Phosphate both are negligible in my opinion so I'm gaining confidence in the results for both methods.
NO-PO.png


Calcium and Magnesium were not as close as Nitrate and Phosphate.
For Calcium I used the latest Hanna checker (the one with the pipette), Red Sea Pro and Mastertronic with API reagents.
Red Sea and Hanna tracked very close with 380ppm and 387ppm respectively. Mastertronic gave me a 436ppm result. Overall, I always take calcium tests with a grain of salt. I don' think the test methods we have available for the hobby are very precise. I sent an ICP test too but I'm not sure if I will be able to correlate results.

Magnesium had a 58ppm difference (Mastertronic reported 1578ppm and Red Sea 1520ppm). This is another test that I take with a grain of salt. I don't really like titration based tests. I think they are too subjective when done by a human so I hope Mastertronic can perform it more objectively. I think that my salt mix is always high in Magnesium so Mastertronic helped me confirm it.

Ca-Mg.png
Thanks for sharing all this. I like the data!! :)
 
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MikeTheNewbie

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Here is more intial Mastertronic info about reagent refills and test duration.
The info is based on my observations, so far I've only done 2 tests per kit.
I hope the Magnesium reagent consumption decreases as my levels go down, otherwise its going to be tedious having to refill every 7 tests. Alternatively I could use a second vial but that would mean I won't be able to test Iodine if at any point reagents become available in the U.S.

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