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Hanna Nitrate Checker Review

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NanoCrazed

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You probably have to wait for another hour for the syringe filter assembly to dry after cleaning it before putting everything back to the box. I work in a lab and use syringe filters often they should be disposable
Yeah, i left everything open and spread out to dry.

One thing i wonder is what the margin of error is given 3 reagents, 2 of which are powder... and we all know how easy it is to get all the powder into the vials...
 

Mirkus

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Got my new Hanna Nitrate checker in today and just finally had a chance to take it for a spin...

VERDICT: It's good if you want accuracy and consistency (outside of user error), and looking to measure for very targeted nitrate levels...particularly <5ppm.

PROS: Better resolution than typical test kits, especially for stick-heads looking ot control nitrates under 5 ppm.
CONS: Takes longer to test than any liquid test kit and lots of things to do and lots to clean following (mixing vial, sample cuvette, 2X syringes, needle, filter housing)

I read the instructions prior to the arrival of my nitrate checker... seems complicated but wanted to get a sense of how truly complicated it is by running a test. And after doing so, it's fairly involved. Though, I expect after a few times of getting the hang of it, it won't be complicated...but it will be tedious.

There are at least 7 steps involved... 3 reagents, 2 vials, 1 filtration... and if you're thinking your nitrates are over 5ppm, then add in a dilution step. AND, it won't save you time. It takes about 15 - 18 mins to do the test, fully buffered... here's how it breaks down:

  • 1 Min - sample collection and addition reagent A and B
  • 1Min - shake
  • 2 Mins - transfer solution into syringe, add filter, fill liquid into sample cuvette
  • 1 Min - zero sample
  • 3 Mins - Add regent C and shake for 2 mins
  • 8 Mins - Wait for reaction and measurement
Compared to taking up to 4 mins on a Salifert kit, or 8 mins on API...

And let's not forget if you guessed wrong thinking you have low nitrate <5ppm... run the Hanna test and it turns out you have higher nitrates than 5ppm afterall...then you have to rerun the whole test and blow another pack of reagents plus extra dilution steps. AND DOUBLE your time. Happened to me...
Thank you for the review. I started watching the instructional video and knew immediately that this was not for me. It needs to be quick and easy or else it’s not gonna happen.
 
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UPDATE:

Did a dilution run today and a salifert test to see how close the two are...

VERDICT: They're pretty close... Salifert had the sample around the 10ppm range, Hanna said 9.8 (just have to remember to do the math and multiply the results by 10)

The process adds a bit of extra time that can be done quickly once you're familiar with it... BUT it does require you to have freshly made SW on hand.

The steps are to take 1ml of tank water, as fresh SW to 10ml line in vial, draw out 7ml, throw out the remaining 3ml... then you put the 7ml back into the vial and follow the standard process / instructions. (lol)

But again, for that 0.2ppm accuracy, i spent 20 mins+...
 

LesPoissons

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I was really excited for this checker until I saw the 5ppm range. Thank you for your review, very helpful!
 

Maximitsurugi

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Man i couldnt handle making a mistake or spilling anything and it times out. Thats 20 minutes im never getting back. More steps than a Courthouse for sure.

Frankly, i think hanna should have weighed the pros and cons. Their checkers are boss because they were easy and gave a number. This checker is actually more work for a number most reefers dont find all that important. Only the anal ones.

@Hanna Instruments should focus on back lighting their displays, making the eggs rechargeable and putting in an audible beep when the test is done or time is running out.
Now that would make life easier. I have to rely on Alexa for timing.
 
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I was really excited for this checker until I saw the 5ppm range. Thank you for your review, very helpful!
To be fair, if you do the dilution steps, you can cover 0-50ppm. Takes a few more minutes.... but it matches what I got using a Salifert kit.

The real decision point is how important the exact nitrate number is, and how much time you want to put in to get that level of accuracy
 
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As a colorblind person I had really high hopes for this checker. Hopes dashed... :confused:
I will say though, in your case, it might be worthwhile since you can have a digital reading on nitrates and not depend on color matching.

Just always start of with the dilution method to be safe...
 
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Thanks for the review. I've been eyeballing those checkers thinking they were a quicker option than the Red Sea Pro kit I'm using now. I wonder if Salifert's Nitrate test has as many steps.
Salifert's nitrate test is really simple 3 steps, can be done under 4 mins.

1ml sample, 4 drops of reagent #1, 1 scoop of reagent #2, swirl. Wait 3 mins. Read.
 

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Got my new Hanna Nitrate checker in today and just finally had a chance to take it for a spin...

VERDICT: It's good if you want accuracy and consistency (outside of user error), and looking to measure for very targeted nitrate levels...particularly <5ppm.

PROS: Better resolution than typical test kits, especially for stick-heads looking ot control nitrates under 5 ppm.
CONS: Takes longer to test than any liquid test kit and lots of things to do and lots to clean following (mixing vial, sample cuvette, 2X syringes, needle, filter housing)

I read the instructions prior to the arrival of my nitrate checker... seems complicated but wanted to get a sense of how truly complicated it is by running a test. And after doing so, it's fairly involved. Though, I expect after a few times of getting the hang of it, it won't be complicated...but it will be tedious.

There are at least 7 steps involved... 3 reagents, 2 vials, 1 filtration... and if you're thinking your nitrates are over 5ppm, then add in a dilution step. AND, it won't save you time. It takes about 15 - 18 mins to do the test, fully buffered... here's how it breaks down:

  • 1 Min - sample collection and addition reagent A and B
  • 1Min - shake
  • 2 Mins - transfer solution into syringe, add filter, fill liquid into sample cuvette
  • 1 Min - zero sample
  • 3 Mins - Add regent C and shake for 2 mins
  • 8 Mins - Wait for reaction and measurement
Compared to taking up to 4 mins on a Salifert kit, or 8 mins on API...

And let's not forget if you guessed wrong thinking you have low nitrate <5ppm... run the Hanna test and it turns out you have higher nitrates than 5ppm afterall...then you have to rerun the whole test and blow another pack of reagents plus extra dilution steps. AND DOUBLE your time. Happened to me...
Thanks for the review! I really wish I'd waited. Mine came in today. I have 2 systems and between the two, to get 2 measurements we did 7 tests. SEVEN. TESTS. First two said "Inv" that I inverted the zero and sample. Um, what? And unlike the phos checker where you can have a zero vial and just do it again, for nitrates you have to start completely over. So, I made my other half do it (since he's the experienced reefer in this house, started in the 90s). His first read too much light getting in, whatever that code was. Then, since I assumed my levels were over 5, we did dilution...which gave 0.00. We did it again (assuming it was not reading, not realizing that it supposedly reads 0-50, or 5 and below), and yet another Inv. Keep going. Finally a reading - 0.01. Fine. Time for the DT. That took another 2 tests, as the first said Inv AGAIN. What we figured out is you have to filter even more slowly than the directions state. If C1 is too cloudy, it seems to freak out. Finally, another reading. 0.01. With their variance, that means either 0 or .26. I did the Salifert, just for fun and their LR reading was somewhere between .25 and .50. Now, 6 weeks ago my nitrates on the ATI ICP were 5.21 and I haven't done anything super significant (as I was mostly happy at that level, not intending to aim for ULNS). So are they really under 1? I guess?

TL;DR - I likely won't buy replacement reagents/filters for this, as I haven't really found any value in it so far. Interpreting the colors of either Salifert or the ATI is close enough, especially since I'm currently doing ICPs every 6 weeks or so. And neither of those will take me hours to do.
 

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I haven't really found any value in it so far. Interpreting the colors of either Salifert or the ATI is close enough
I think this is the crux of it for most people. Other Hana Checkers like the one for copper provide a clear benefit over existing tests. The existing Copper tests were difficult to read and if you are dosing copper, the margin of error is quite small.

In contrast, the risks of being off by a bit with Nitrate are far lower. For most people, the Salifert test gives reasonably accurate results and any error is not enough to cause problems. The Hanna test gives you marginally more accuracy but at the expense of greatly increased complexity and time. Looking at the consumables, it appears to cost about $0.80 per test compared to $0.25-0.30 for the Salifert test. From the reviews here it’s hard to see how it’s worth 3 times the cost in addition to the initial cost of the checker.
 

JMR5

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I think this is the crux of it for most people. Other Hana Checkers like the one for copper provide a clear benefit over existing tests. The existing Copper tests were difficult to read and if you are dosing copper, the margin of error is quite small.

In contrast, the risks of being off by a bit with Nitrate are far lower. For most people, the Salifert test gives reasonably accurate results and any error is not enough to cause problems. The Hanna test gives you marginally more accuracy but at the expense of greatly increased complexity and time. Looking at the consumables, it appears to cost about $0.80 per test compared to $0.25-0.30 for the Salifert test. From the reviews here it’s hard to see how it’s worth 3 times the cost in addition to the initial cost of the checker.
And that's it, in a nutshell. Yay, $50 for the sheer pleasure of now having another doodad. :(
 

Waynerock

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Preordered not too scared I got time. Even after all these years I enjoy testing and maintaining my tank. Keeps the wife off my back and I like testing with my 6 year old. Kinda fun bonding exp. I bet after the initial “holy crap it takes too long” blah blah and once the “pros” start using this they will be popular. We tell everyone nothing happens fast in this hobby then everyone seems upset that Hanna made this test take forever. I also enjoy cleaning my weapons almost as much if not more than shooting them, and I take my sweet time. I am a weird o I guess. Everything moves so fast now a days here is another excuse to slow down and enjoy. Unless it’s my internet at home, that mess better speed the he!! Up dang it
 
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