Hanna Cost Effectiveness?

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Diver4242

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I have a feeling that Santa is going to bring me a gift certificate for my LFS for being a good boy. I struggle with my weekly testing regimen, particularly the Salifert phosphate and nitrate tests (which always seem to indicate zero, but when I do the aquaspin test at the LFS it shows .2 and 14 respectively) and the Salifert calcium and magnesium tests with the syringe extension, difficulty reading the results with air bubbles in the syringe and liquid in the long pink extension tip, etc.

Has anyone done a study to see what the cost difference is between buying the Hanna checkers and reagents vs API or Salifert kits? I understand the Hanna is more accurate, and less fuss, less trying to gauge against color cards (motivation to buy just because of those reasons!)

I would probably consider them for my primary concerns and battles - alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate maybe just to start. Thanks in advance for any help/advice. I'm a fairly newbie (launched in June) with a nano Fluval Evo Sea 13.5g.
 

windemerejack

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I would say Hanna is no more accurate than salifert, where Hanna comes into its own is the fact its a digital read out rather than a colour match or colour change, which makes it easier, not more accurate.
I used Hanna Alk and ulr phosphate but purely for the ease of a digital read out
 

RobW

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I have a feeling that Santa is going to bring me a gift certificate for my LFS for being a good boy. I struggle with my weekly testing regimen, particularly the Salifert phosphate and nitrate tests (which always seem to indicate zero, but when I do the aquaspin test at the LFS it shows .2 and 14 respectively) and the Salifert calcium and magnesium tests with the syringe extension, difficulty reading the results with air bubbles in the syringe and liquid in the long pink extension tip, etc.

Has anyone done a study to see what the cost difference is between buying the Hanna checkers and reagents vs API or Salifert kits? I understand the Hanna is more accurate, and less fuss, less trying to gauge against color cards (motivation to buy just because of those reasons!)

I would probably consider them for my primary concerns and battles - alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate maybe just to start. Thanks in advance for any help/advice. I'm a fairly newbie (launched in June) with a nano Fluval Evo Sea 13.5g.
I use Red Sea kits and I also use Hanna Checkers. I like the Red Sea kits. They're pretty good. I wouldn't use API. I have the same tank as you for my son. The best thing for that little tank is just do weekly water changes. I've gotten into the habit of just keeping 5 gallons of salt mixed for that tank and I take a 4 cup measuring cup and change that much water daily. Dunk it in, pour it down the drain. Then add the same amount back. Takes literally 30 seconds of my time and the water stays balanced better.
 

lavoisier

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Once I mastered the Hanna packets, I found Hanna checkers to be the easiest and quickest tests by far. They are still hobby grade and I am not a lab technician so I use the tests for trends in my water chemistry rather than precise measurements. I bought a Neptune Trident last year and love the easy of it but still do monthly checks manually.

I also pick up this invaluable tool last year:


and always wear gloves.
 

Scorpius

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There's supposed to be an air pocket between the bottom of the plunger and the liquid in the syringe with the Sailfert test kits. The only Hanna test kit I use is their ULR Phosphorus.
 
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stanlalee

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They will cost about the same EVENTUALLY. The Salifert kits claim 60 test per box and cost $17-20 each. You'd have to go thru almost 3 boxes of Salifert kits before reaching a colormeter cost. If your only testing once a week it will take years before you make up the difference. For practical purposes you can just add $9 for more reagents to the Hanna prices because the included amount at least on the phosphate meter is a joke (6 reagents). Even after buying $60 worth of test kits 50 hanna reagents cost $18 which is basically the cost of buying another Salifert kit. Basically the cost difference is here nor there over time.
I would stay away from the Hanna calcium and nitrate meters. You get them for the digital read out and simplicity. Those two are either more complicated or annoying than using test kits. My calcium meter is collecting dust and I use NYOS for nitrate which is easier and I hardly ever test it anyway. The alk and phosphate meters are golden but even the phosphate powder packets suck a little bit.
 
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Righteous

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I would say Hanna is no more accurate than salifert,

I wouldn’t say that across the board. Salifert doesn’t list its accuracy or sensitivity, and I know for some tests it’s not as accurate nor as sensitive.

Hanna ULR phosphate for instance has a sensitivity as low as 0.01ppm and accuracy of 0.02.

My recent experience with the new Hanna nitrate checker also seems to have much more accuracy than Salifert as it can read lower nitrate levels without as much nitrite interference.

Some things to take into account however. The higher the ranges you are reading, usually the less difference there is between kits since the accuracy won’t matter as much.

In addition user errors are always an issue. More complex tests (often Hannas can be multi step) provide more room for introducing error. Little things like not cleaning vials between runs for instance.

But since you mentioned Nitrate and Phospate reading zero, in my experience you’ll have more luck with test sensitivity as well as not having to decipher color shades with the Hanna tests. The Phospate is pretty easy to run, the new nitrate test on the other hand takes about 20 minutes. If your up for being diligent and don’t mind the extra steps, I think you’d be rewarded.

Hanna alkalinity is easy and quick, but actually the Salifert for Alkalinity and Calcium are just as accurate since your measuring higher levels. Before the trident I used to basically use the Hanna as a check on the Salifert every month, and Salifert is what I would run every week. I would actually avoid the Hanna calcium since it’s a pain and not any more accurate than Salifert.
 
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Dan_P

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I have a feeling that Santa is going to bring me a gift certificate for my LFS for being a good boy. I struggle with my weekly testing regimen, particularly the Salifert phosphate and nitrate tests (which always seem to indicate zero, but when I do the aquaspin test at the LFS it shows .2 and 14 respectively) and the Salifert calcium and magnesium tests with the syringe extension, difficulty reading the results with air bubbles in the syringe and liquid in the long pink extension tip, etc.

Has anyone done a study to see what the cost difference is between buying the Hanna checkers and reagents vs API or Salifert kits? I understand the Hanna is more accurate, and less fuss, less trying to gauge against color cards (motivation to buy just because of those reasons!)

I would probably consider them for my primary concerns and battles - alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate maybe just to start. Thanks in advance for any help/advice. I'm a fairly newbie (launched in June) with a nano Fluval Evo Sea 13.5g.
Color matching is never as accurate as a photometer determination of color intensity, but do you need that type of accuracy? if yes, Hanna might be for you.

Hanna alkalinity and phosphate tests are very simple. Calcium is a little more involved and requires calcium free water for the test to work properly. The new Hanna marine nitrate test looks good but it is too complicated for some. Do you hate lab work? Maybe Hanna is for you, except the nitrate test.
 
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Diver4242

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Speaking of properly cleaning vials between tests, what's the process there? I usually rinse them out several times with RODI after testing, shake them as dry as possible, put them into the box upside down to let the rest drip out. Then before testing I run tank water through them a few times before filling for the test. I don't use paper towels, tissues, etc because I worry about the fibers getting into the tank or affecting the tests.
 

Righteous

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Speaking of properly cleaning vials between tests, what's the process there? I usually rinse them out several times with RODI after testing, shake them as dry as possible, put them into the box upside down to let the rest drip out. Then before testing I run tank water through them a few times before filling for the test. I don't use paper towels, tissues, etc because I worry about the fibers getting into the tank or affecting the tests.

Pretty much the same, but I’ve noticed also rinsing them with isopropyl alcohol tends to keep them cleaner, I think it helps with organic build up. I’ve also got some isopropyl wipes for the outside to get rid of fingerprints for the Hanna vials.
 
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