My Reefbot Arrived! But....

mikedb

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My ReefBot arrived last Thursday (9 business days after ordering), and I was able to get it up and running over the weekend! I had hoped to come to these forums and triumphantly proclaim how amazing it is, but unfortunately, that is not yet the case...

I am using four tests: Red Sea Alkalinity, Red Sea Phosphate, Tropic Marin Nitrate, and API Calcium. These appear to be the tests that anyone with a saltwater reef aquarium should be using, but strangely that information is only available on these forums- Reef Kinetics' site has a long list of tests, most of which aren't appropriate for typical testing purposes and just lead to confusion. I digress..

First of all, the good:

Red Sea Phosphate is working PERFECTLY. The results cross-reference with my Hanna checker very well, and also perfectly reflect the increase in PO4 before and after I dosed NeoPhos yesterday. I can't emphasize enough how amazing it is to wake up, or be out on a hike, and be getting test results to my phone. Brilliant!

API Calcium also seems to be working well. I have conducted two tests, 24 hours apart. The first yielded 420ppm (slightly below where I expected to be) and the second yielded 380ppm. API doesn't even publish an accuracy spec for its Calcium test, so I'm not sure what to make of that kind of variation. I am planning to cross-reference with my Red Sea Ca test tonight when I get home.

Now, the not-so-good:

I am mystified by my Tropic Marin Nitrate results. I am getting consistent results of 20 ppm- the maximum possible result. Both my Nyos and Red Sea kits are consistently reading 3-5 ppm, a result which I also find much more believable. The Nyos and Red Sea kits also correlated well with my previous doses of NeoNitro, which is why I consider them credible.

Here's the strange thing- when I use the reagents and do the test myself, I also get 20ppm/ off the scale results. So the problem isn't with the Reefbot, but with the test kits. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Because these reagents also measure Nitrite (and Tropic Marin mentions that the presence of Nitrites can affect Nitrate readings) I had the Reefbot conduct that test this morning. I get a result of 0.1ppm, which I find very surprising for an established tank. Also of note: the color of a 0.1ppm Nitite results is almost exactly the same as a 20ppm Nitrate result.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?


The bad:

Red Sea Alkalinity is not working, plain and simple. The ReefBot is consistently measuring 6.4 dKH (6.2dKH once). When I take the reagent bottle out of the machine and preform the titration myself, I get 8.1dKH, perfectly in line with my Hanna checker. I haven't a clue what is going wrong here, but the Reefbot is clearly at fault.


I sent an inquiry to support through the app mid-day Saturday... I got a quick response asking if I had remembered to insert the magnetic stirrers into the mix and rinse vials (I had), but nothing since then.
 
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lactose

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I have the exact same tests, the only time I saw something like that is when the mix bar wasn't spinning in the mixing vial. My suggestion is make sure you can 100% verify the bar is in the mixing vial and that it is spinning during a test (when the syringe arm is by the vial) mine was not spinning at one point because the magnet was hitting against the bottom of the mix vial and getting stuck.
 

drernesto

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Hello,

For the RedSea alkalinity, I suspect that the device needs calibration. Please send us an email on [email protected] to help you with it by performing a remote calibration.
Ou chemist will check also the nitrate results.

Cheers,
Rabih
 
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mikedb

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I have the exact same tests, the only time I saw something like that is when the mix bar wasn't spinning in the mixing vial. My suggestion is make sure you can 100% verify the bar is in the mixing vial and that it is spinning during a test (when the syringe arm is by the vial) mine was not spinning at one point because the magnet was hitting against the bottom of the mix vial and getting stuck.

This was my first suspicion, but I watched as best I could, and the stirrer is definitely making noise and seems to be working. I will verify again tonight.

Hello,

For the RedSea alkalinity, I suspect that the device needs calibration. Please send us an email on [email protected] to help you with it by performing a remote calibration.
Ou chemist will check also the nitrate results.

Cheers,
Rabih

Thank you, Rabih, for your quick reply! I have emailed as requested, and will await a response. In the future, should I be using the support email instead of the chat through the app? I have seen other users who have gone without replies using the built-in chat, and were pointed to the email.

As an aside, this product is incredible, and as a mechanical engineer myself, I can understand how much effort has gone into the design and manufacture of this unit. You should be very proud of this product! I can't wait to get mine working 100%- just getting phosphate numbers at this point is fantastic!
 

drernesto

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This was my first suspicion, but I watched as best I could, and the stirrer is definitely making noise and seems to be working. I will verify again tonight.



Thank you, Rabih, for your quick reply! I have emailed as requested, and will await a response. In the future, should I be using the support email instead of the chat through the app? I have seen other users who have gone without replies using the built-in chat, and were pointed to the email.



As an aside, this product is incredible, and as a mechanical engineer myself, I can understand how much effort has gone into the design and manufacture of this unit. You should be very proud of this product! I can't wait to get mine working 100%- just getting phosphate numbers at this point is fantastic!
Hello,
We always reply to everyone, but the support chat sometimes doesn’t show the email of the user if he doesn’t put it. So the reply will be sent but not seen by the user.
Thanks! We work on improving our product and would love to hear your feedback on our support email.

Cheers,
Rabih
 
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mikedb

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Just to close the loop here- my ReefBot is now working perfectly. It appears that the initial calibration of the Bot was off- I was only getting 8ml instead of 10ml of tank water during my Alkalinity test. After recalibration, Alkalinity, Phosphate, and Calcium are working perfectly and lining up with my other test kits!

I am very glad I made the investment! This thing is absolutely amazing. I get all my key test parameters on my way home from work, and before I wake up, so I can quickly react if something goes awry. Even counting setup and calibration time, this thing is already saving time after just a week.

I am still having difficulty with the Tropic Marin NO3 test kit- its results, even when used manually, are very far off of my Nyos, Red Sea, and API Nitrate test kits, which all agree with each other. I am currently working with Lou at Tropic Marin USA to get to the bottom of this. According to him, my test kit is from a 'very new' batch. Apparently, 'those ReefBot guys are buying them almost as fast as we can make them'. Ha!
 

drernesto

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Just to close the loop my ReefBot is now working perfectly. It appears that the initial calibration of the Bot was off- I was only getting 8ml instead of 10ml of tank water during my Alkalinity test. After recalibration, Alkalinity, Phosphate, and Calcium are working perfectly and lining up with my other test kits!

I am very glad I made the investment!

I am still having difficulty with the Tropic Marin NO3 test kit- its results, even when used manually, are very far off of my Nyos, Red Sea, and API Nitrate test kits, which all agree with each other. I am currently working with Lou at Tropic Marin USA to get to the bottom of this. According to him, my test kit is from a 'very new' batch. Apparently, 'those ReefBot guys are buying them almost as fast as we can make them'. Ha!
Thanks for the feedback! We are always here if you require any further assistance!
Many reagent companies are getting out of stock because of the “ReefBot guys” ;)
 

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