I don’t know who to trust anymore! SERIOUS PROBLEM!

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90's reefer

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I use a tropic marin hydrometer.
It reads 1.0265.
My refrac reads 1.025.
My cheap swingarm measures 1.026.
I use the swingarm and know that 1.026 is 1.0265 on the tropic marin.
These are very repeatable results.
I also calibrate the refrac before each reading and it always reads 1.025 when the others read 1.026.
Again repeatable.
I bought some new brs calibration fluid and it read 1.028 on my refrac.
The swingarm method has worked well for me as its fast and easy.
Just my experience over the last 4 years of getting back into reefs.
 
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90's reefer

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I haven't used the Hanna, but second earlier posts that the Milwaukee has served very well. The commercial calibration solutions are junk. Used different brands, and they all yield different results. The temperature of refractometer glass, the calibration solution, and time to equalize all make calibration not as straightforward. So far, the best calibration solution I've found is a self made one.


It can be made by dissolving 3.65 grams of sodium chloride in 96.35 grams (mL) of purified freshwater. I use a scale with 100ths of grams to make it. With my Milwaukee, I will zero with 0 TDS RODI, and when I use this solution, I get exactly 35ppt.
I forgot about that method and have used it in the past. Works well for all methods of reading sg.
 

Pntbll687

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I had one but it shattered putting it back in the case lol
Oh man that sucks. If only you had a way to get another one....

Seriously, just buy another hydrometer and be done with the testing shinanigans. Test with tester 1, double check with tester 2, recheck with tester 1, got a different reading than last time, so double check the recheck of tester one with tester 2.

Makes more sense to get a hydrometer and float it in a container.
 

JimWelsh

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Is calibrating a Refract with rodi set to 0.00 not a thing? Asking for a friend lol
Yes, certainly, just as long as the water you want to measure the salinity of is 0.00 PPT. This simply doesn't work if you want to measure reef tank salinity, however. lol.
 
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Darren in Tacoma

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I have a refractometer made by Agriculture Solutions. The instructions call for it to be calibrated with distilled water. I have tested it against a floating hydrometer and it reads exactly the same.
Floating hydrometer at 70 degrees f should figure this out for you.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I have a refractometer made by Agriculture Solutions. The instructions call for it to be calibrated with distilled water. I have tested it against a floating hydrometer and it reads exactly the same.
Floating hydrometer at 70 degrees f should figure this out for you.

That refractometer may not be best for use in seawater if you calibrate in distilled water unless it is a true seawater refractometer. Most often they are not and will be inaccurate in seawater even if perfectly made and perfectly calibrated in pure fresh water.
 

Reef.

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Would it be helpful to make a DIY 35 ppt calibration solution using NaCl and distilled water as Randy has previously recommended? I did that a week ago to check my hydrometer and turns out that I've had a consistently high salinity for over a year...

You mix up 6.20 grams NaCl (table salt) with 161 grams of RODI water. Then use that, it's just about 35ppt "exactly."

do you weight the water or is that fluid ounces?
 

siggy

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Been there done that. I was one of the lucky to get a bad cal solution with a new refractometer. I was running in circles.
FWIW my Hanna pen is always on the money. Best of luck
 

brandon429

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Also possible: a hydrometer so old there's no ink left and only an x scratched in represents .024 ish.

This one i use is about ten yrs old I'll never own or need a refract to reef. It's .001 or so off when calibrated to lfs refract. Doesn't drift
 
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aior0s

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I had the same issue with you.
I bought brightwell refractometer calibration solution and was wondering why my TM Pro alk and calcium on newly fresh mix water were lower than suggested.

I bought a new solution from Aqua craft and confirmed that the brightwell was low. 33ppt.

Calibrated with aqua craft to 35ppt and test another batch of newly mixed saltwater.
7dKh alk and 440ish calcium.

So I threw away my brightwell solution. I am waiting for the Tropic Marin Pro High Precision Hydrometer to be in stock so I can buy that...
 

Reef.

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Weigh it, for weight/mass not volume

tried it and getting weird results...I weight out 161g of di water and add 6.2 table salt (I’ve also tried with sea salt) mix until clear and my results are either of the chart or very low, I’ve also used a teaspoon measure for the salt to check I’m not too off with the weight, still no joy.

do I need to mix for a good while?
 
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NotASpammerDude

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yeah read that but it’s for the 2litre method I was trying to smaller one.
just divide to scale it down

like divide by 10 both weights, water weight and salt weight

This 3.65 weight percent sodium chloride solution can be made by dissolving 3.65 grams of sodium chloride in 96.35 grams (mL) of purified fresh water. That amount roughly corresponds to ¼ cup (73.1 g) of Morton's Iodized Salt dissolved into 2 liters (2000 g) of water (giving very slightly more than 2 L of total volume).



7.31 g salt to 200 g water
 

arking_mark

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Oh great, I already have 5 bottle / 3 different brands of solution, now it may actually be my BRS ATC Refractometer that is way off.....

The funny thing is that after calibration, they all read the refracto juice at 35ppm. However, the tank measurements are 1.024 vs 1.028, with the refractometer being the higher number. Since Hanna and the GHL are consistently the same, I have to bet the BRS refractometer is off.
 

Reef.

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Why use table salt, why not use your sea salt?
just divide to scale it down

like divide by 10 both weights, water weight and salt weight





7.31 g salt to 200 g water

Yeah I did that, I was just asking if I had to,let the solution sit for a while, I tried the table salt method, it seemed to mix within minutes but the result was way off, so looks like I’m doing something wrong.
 
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