Making testing easy with a magnetic stirrer

jsker

Reefing is all about the adventure
View Badges
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
19,718
Reaction score
39,983
Location
Central Florida
Making testing easy with a magnetic stirrer


As we all know testing our system can be time consuming and challenging. Did I time the test, right? Did I count the drops, right? Did I shake the vile long enough?

After some thought, I started looking around for a way to simplify the shaking, dropping, and adding the reagent and I came up with using a lab magnetic stirrer. I use Red Sea test kits and also, I have also tried test on Salifert test kits using their vials and it works too.

Equipment

· Magnetic stirrer, I went with is the Apera Insterments link

· I have also seen this model from Aquaristik link

· 20 ml beakers for regular tests link

· 10 ml beakers for small volume milliliter tests link

· Tweezers to pull the stir bars out of the vials and beakers link

· Silicone bakers mat, yes it is over kill but I have found that the reagents eat through cotton towels and discolor wood desk tops link

· PTFE stir bar white, 10 mm and 5 mm. What I did, is order a 7pc set to get the sizes I needed. link


Here are the traditional test Red Sea videos

Nitrate


Alk


Ca



Here is how I am now doing my test with the stirrer.



I log my test results using my controller software and use my thread as a sort of journal to post my results there.

41SwyGAs5+L.jpg
 
Last edited:
Corals.com

dragon99

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
2,017
Reaction score
2,381
Location
Texas
I might have to try this. If only because tiny beakers are cool. Plus I already have a makeshift stirrer for homebrewing that might work.
 

zachxlutz

120 Gallons of FUN
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2016
Messages
791
Reaction score
680
Location
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Thanks for the great article @jsker.

I've been using the SR Aquaristik Speed Test for a couple of weeks now and I find that when I use it for the Red Sea Nitrate test I get a lot of turbidity even when using a low spinning speed. Have you noticed this with any of your testing? Thoughts on improving the quality of the resulting mixture for ease of color comparison?

Also, noticed you pull the pill out with those small forceps. Clever. I've been fishing the pill up with another magnet but the forceps look like a smarter solution.
 
OP
jsker

jsker

Reefing is all about the adventure
View Badges
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
19,718
Reaction score
39,983
Location
Central Florida
@Scurvy you are welcome
@dragon99 Ha the beakers are a little over the top, a lab coat would be pushing it

I use the alrams & times with Windows 10 for my timers and that also cuts times for the reason I can do three test at once. This cut a lot of wait out also;)
 
OP
jsker

jsker

Reefing is all about the adventure
View Badges
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
19,718
Reaction score
39,983
Location
Central Florida
Thanks for the great article @jsker.

I've been using the SR Aquaristik Speed Test for a couple of weeks now and I find that when I use it for the Red Sea Nitrate test I get a lot of turbidity even when using a low spinning speed. Have you noticed this with any of your testing? Thoughts on improving the quality of the resulting mixture for ease of color comparison?

Also, noticed you pull the pill out with those small forceps. Clever. I've been fishing the pill up with another magnet but the forceps look like a smarter solution.
The SR Aquaristik speed test is pretty cool, but I also use the stirrer I have to mix food in a 250 ml beaker. I also use the stirrer to mix Mg if I need to dose in a 500 ml beaker. The one I use also mixes up to 3000 ml and I like the fact that I can mix larger amounts with the Apera. I regards to the Red Sea nitrate test, when I run the test it is pretty clear. With the Apera stirrer I can turn in down to were the stirrer bar barley spins. I went to a 10 ml beaker for the Ca and Mg for the reason that the beaker would move around with the 20 ml for lack of liquid. When I went to the 10 ml the beaker stays in place and I also get a better mix.

When I get to the color change I stop and take my number from there. The Mg can be a little tricky, the color will change then go back to red. So I add a extra drop when the color changes.
 

mckinleyw

AIRBORNE REEFER
View Badges
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
1,427
Reaction score
1,177
Location
florida
OK NOW I NEED ONE. This is a good concept. ive always wondered why I haven't seen this yet. Thank you.
 

zachxlutz

120 Gallons of FUN
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2016
Messages
791
Reaction score
680
Location
Lawrenceville, Georgia
I regards to the Red Sea nitrate test, when I run the test it is pretty clear. With the Apera stirrer I can turn in down to were the stirrer bar barley spins.
When I get to the color change I stop and take my number from there.
Thanks, I'll try and slow the pill down even more to try and limit turbidity. Thanks.
 

radiata

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
562
Reaction score
285
Thanks for the neat write-up!

Looking at the Apera magnetic stirrer, one could use it for automated dosing of things like AcroPower, which need to be shaken before using.
 

andrew james

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
550
Reaction score
544
oh yeah the SR Aqua is definitely superior. I actually bought all the parts to make a homemade one with a potentiometer and a 3d printed body. I just haven't had the time to design a body I like yet.
 

Leadfooted

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
1,355
Thank you! I'll be able to test much more accurately now!
 

RudyB

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
73
Location
South Florida
I made my own magnetic stirrer from parts of an old computer. If anyone wants I can do a write-up on how to make one. To buy the parts would be like $10 - $15. Let me know.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
UniqueCorals.com shop rare & farmed corls
Top