Ojala

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Hi, I currently have a large mixed reef system (around 300 gallons) which is currently being monitored by my apex trident (monitoring pH, salinity, ALK, CA, MG). I am just starting to get into SPS, and therefore want to start monitoring phosphate, nitrite, and nitrate levels more closely. The problem is, I am away from my tank for a months at a time, so I need something that I can have my family back home do, that's EASY and QUICK (they already said they wouldn't feel comfortable doing the liquid tests). So my question is, for situations like this, which Dipstick test brand is the most reliable? I don't care about exact values, I just want to know if I'm in the green or red zones, so to speak. When I am home, I use Salifert tests btw.
Thanks in advance,
Austin Ojala

PS: I already know Dipstick test are not the most reliable thing, but they are better than nothing for short periods of time.
 
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mdb_talon

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Never used it myself but have seen mixed reviews of the exact idip system. I would say mixed reviews are as good as you can get for using a dipstick test. I would suggest not worrying at all about nitrite though it is mostly useless other than a possible alert that something big has died....but in that case i would prefer something like seneye ammonia monitor.

Whatever you use though i would say accuracy may not need to be exact for what you are trying to do....but consistency is important which the stick tests are not known for. Last thing you want is constant false alarms or possibly worse "good" results even though things gone to hell.
 
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Ojala

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Never used it myself but have seen mixed reviews of the exact idip system. I would say mixed reviews are as good as you can get for using a dipstick test. I would suggest not worrying at all about nitrite though it is mostly useless other than a possible alert that something big has died....but in that case i would prefer something like seneye ammonia monitor.

Whatever you use though i would say accuracy may not need to be exact for what you are trying to do....but consistency is important which the stick tests are not known for. Last thing you want is constant false alarms or possibly worse "good" results even though things gone to hell.
Do you have a lot of experience with SPS? If you do, what do you suggest I do:

My tanks ALK, Ca, MG, Salinity, pH and Temp are pretty stable, with only minor daily fluctuations (i.e. ALK fluctuates 0.41, Temp fluctuates 1 degree). I feed semi heavy due to the large fish/coral load. I have no algae in my tank (besides some macro stuff in my sump). Do you think phosphates and nitrates would be something to stress over? or would testing once every 2-3 months be enough?
 

mdb_talon

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I do have lot of experience with SPS. I honestly cannot imagine being away months at a time though. I know some people never/rarely test nutrients and have great success and can tell something is off by the look of the tank....but even then you wont have that luxury and though a webcam would be good i dont think good enough. If your nutrient levels stay as stable as you mention your other parameters though then maybe it really is not so bad.

If you got the budget you can get automated nitrate testing (ie ion director). I think reefbot does can do all the tests you want, but from reviews i have seen it seems it is far from reliable.
 
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Ojala

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I do have lot of experience with SPS. I honestly cannot imagine being away months at a time though. I know some people never/rarely test nutrients and have great success and can tell something is off by the look of the tank....but even then you wont have that luxury and though a webcam would be good i dont think good enough. If your nutrient levels stay as stable as you mention your other parameters though then maybe it really is not so bad.

If you got the budget you can get automated nitrate testing (ie ion director). I think reefbot does can do all the tests you want, but from reviews i have seen it seems it is far from reliable.
I am currently using a wyze camera to monitor my tank, but that can only do so much, lol. Ok and that's what I am hoping, I've read that some people have really good success with sps and "high" nutrient tanks. So if my tank becomes slightly elevated while I am gone, it shouldn't be the biggest issue (as long as everything else is stable).

I would invest in one, but I am almost done with vet school, so this shouldn't be a problem for too much longer (about a year).
 
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taricha

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So you want something that is quick, easy, gives you a snapshot of most parameters including NO3/PO4 (you won't need NO2), and super low range accuracy is not important.
This might actually fit your needs
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/spin-touch-digital-tester.814832/
...except it's hundreds of dollars instead of a cheap bottle of test strips. :-(
 

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