ReefBot nitrate testing

Neptune

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I recently added the ReefBot to my setup since the Trident does not test for nitrates or phosphates. I have Googled this question but cannot seem to find an answer. When manually testing nitrates the kits seem to always want me to shake for 30 seconds the 2nd reagent for the nitrate test to make sure the liquid is mixed properly and I had read online that if that is not done the reading may not be accurate. Since I cannot remove the ReefBot cover while it is testing I am wondering if the bot mixes the 2nd reagent for at least 30 seconds? If it does not, is it giving me an accurate reading? Things that make you go hmmmmm......
 
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I like it so far. I am using API test kits since that's what I have an abundance of in stock. I have several freshwater tanks as well and have always used API....seems to work well.....so when I started with saltwater I just naturally continued with API.....but I digress. The only discrepancy I have found so far is the alk is testing at 10 every time I test with no changes no matter what I do. However, on my Trident the alk fluctuates every time. Seems odd.....but I'm thinking as long as everything is stable and testing consistently at the same readings then I'm good with that.

I mainly tried the alk on the ReefBot just to see if it was in line with the Trident. I feel confident with the Trident so most likely I'll gravitate to doing nitrates, phos and maybe Iodine since Triton has me dosing Iodine.

Anywho, to answer your question, I like the ReefBot so far and have been grateful it was not been a total headache to set up. Until I'm ready to trust completely I still do manual testing every 3 or 4 weeks "just in case".....but for now it's all been good.
 

ca1ore

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I don't have the reefbot, but had asked this question previously. Apparently the mixing bars in the reefbot replicate the necessary shaking times for the API test.
 

Dilan Patel

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Hello, It has a magnetic stirrer which is the "shaking" required :). I depend on my reefbot and I love it. Hope this helps any other questions feel free to PM me and I can hopefully help you work it out.
 
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That’s correct - there is a magnetic stirring element for all 8 of the vials for your reagents, 1 for the rinsing chamber, and 1 for the test chamber.

I use Tropic Marin for nitrate and I’m happy with it.

Also, I tried Red Sea for Alkalinity which only reads in increments of .3 DKS (this is a test kit limitation, not a ReefBot limitation. Where as the Trident reads down to .01 - which is cool. Some may say this is an unnecessary level of accuracy - I say it’s still pretty nice when you are waiting for your reef to react to any changes!
 

Xclusive Reef

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i have a stupid question for some test kits there are 2 reagents, so when setting up the reefbot you need 2 slots for reagent 1/2 ? i do not have a reefbot and researching
 

Scott MacDonald

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i have a stupid question for some test kits there are 2 reagents, so when setting up the reefbot you need 2 slots for reagent 1/2 ? i do not have a reefbot and researching

That’s correct, so choose your test kits wisely.

The best configuration of test kits that I’ve seen is Red Sea Alk (1 slot), Red Sea Phosphate (2 slots), Tropic Marin (2 slots), and API Calcium (2 slots). I personally used all but the Calcium test kit at this point.
 
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i have a stupid question for some test kits there are 2 reagents, so when setting up the reefbot you need 2 slots for reagent 1/2 ? i do not have a reefbot and researching
Correct. Whatever test kit you are using will dictate how many slots you will have to use. Reefbot only allows certain brands of test kits for the different tests and the bot will allocate the correct number of vials/locations when you setting up any particular test.

I have had mine set up for a few weeks now and I also run the Trident tester. I have found pretty large discrepancies between the two units and I'm sure they may have some to do with different kits/reagents. For example, my Trident will say my calcium is at 440 and at the exact same time the Reefbot will say it's at 510. Initially I used my Hanna tester and found my calcium in this example to be 460. Therefore, I'm not 100% certain what to believe but I have decided that the Trident and Hanna to be closer in readings so I stick to that thought and focus on keeping the numbers stable regardless of which tests tells me whatever.

Since I have the Trident tester I mainly purchased the Reefbot to help me keep tabs on my nitrates and phosphates but since I had open slots I decided to have a "second opinion" on the calcium and alkalinity. For the record, the alkalinity is also measurably different than the Trident. The bot gives me 10 consistently and the Trident goes from 8.2 to 8.5 daily. I have the Trident set up for 4 tests a day. I used API test reagents in my bot mainly because I have a substantial amount of them, as I use API for my freshwater tanks so when I initially started with salt tank I just gravitated to that brand. After my API depletes I will be trying other brands that the bot allows just to see if I get similar readings.

Would I buy the bot again if I knew what I know now? Yes, not so much for the 3 top tests, as I feel more comfortable with the Trident for those, but definitely for the nitrates & phos. Even if they are not spot on reading wise, for me they are close enough and reassure me that my parameters are at least stabile/consistent.

Ok....so that was a LOT more information than you asked for...LOL
 

Xclusive Reef

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Correct. Whatever test kit you are using will dictate how many slots you will have to use. Reefbot only allows certain brands of test kits for the different tests and the bot will allocate the correct number of vials/locations when you setting up any particular test.

I have had mine set up for a few weeks now and I also run the Trident tester. I have found pretty large discrepancies between the two units and I'm sure they may have some to do with different kits/reagents. For example, my Trident will say my calcium is at 440 and at the exact same time the Reefbot will say it's at 510. Initially I used my Hanna tester and found my calcium in this example to be 460. Therefore, I'm not 100% certain what to believe but I have decided that the Trident and Hanna to be closer in readings so I stick to that thought and focus on keeping the numbers stable regardless of which tests tells me whatever.

Since I have the Trident tester I mainly purchased the Reefbot to help me keep tabs on my nitrates and phosphates but since I had open slots I decided to have a "second opinion" on the calcium and alkalinity. For the record, the alkalinity is also measurably different than the Trident. The bot gives me 10 consistently and the Trident goes from 8.2 to 8.5 daily. I have the Trident set up for 4 tests a day. I used API test reagents in my bot mainly because I have a substantial amount of them, as I use API for my freshwater tanks so when I initially started with salt tank I just gravitated to that brand. After my API depletes I will be trying other brands that the bot allows just to see if I get similar readings.

Would I buy the bot again if I knew what I know now? Yes, not so much for the 3 top tests, as I feel more comfortable with the Trident for those, but definitely for the nitrates & phos. Even if they are not spot on reading wise, for me they are close enough and reassure me that my parameters are at least stabile/consistent.

Ok....so that was a LOT more information than you asked for...LOL
if the bot gives you constant 10 for your alk and trident is at 8.2-8.5 thats a big freaken difference!! especially if you test with hanna and come close to the reading of trident.
 
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if the bot gives you constant 10 for your alk and trident is at 8.2-8.5 thats a big freaken difference!! especially if you test with hanna and come close to the reading of trident.
I absolutely agree....but my fellow hobbyist that swears by the Reefbot and the Apex (he hasn't gotten the Trident yet) and insisted I MUST buy them said "no biggie as long as it's consistent"......sooooo.......I continue to rely on the Trident for the big 3 and hope and pray the Reefbot is giving me somewhat accurate numbers on the nitrates and phos. I've been busy on a couple of big projects for work so I have been too lazy and tired to double check the nit & phos manually....but I would be using the same testing reagents that I have in the bot....the API......so I should double check just to see I suppose.

Some folks told me early on that one should never rely on automatic testing/tracking because you lose a grip on what's going on in your tank.....but I know myself and know if it's easier for me then I'll do better in the long run.....and I like being able to see if there are any spikes I need to be aware of. For the price of the Reefbot I don't truly feel like I'm getting my money's worth due to it's lack of giving me data that matches other methods.....but....again.....that may have nothing to do with the Reefbot and more to do with the particular testing kit/agents I'm using. I do plan to get some other brands soon to compare....if the numbers tend to be more in line with the Trident and my Hanna testers then I will feel better about my purchase.

I had read nightmare stories about the total PITA it was to set up the ReefBot.....but I didn't find it to be much of a challenge....although my buddy stressed that I watch the set up video and not deviate from it in the least little bit and don't skip to another step before the other was finished. The main challenge I had was in my lack of understanding that there was a section in the bot software where I was supposed to program in how much RODI water my container had and how must capacity my waste container had. It was never explained in anything I read/saw. I only discovered it when the bot kept stopping and sending me messages about my RODI was empty or my waste container was full. Thankfully I had my knowledge from my Apex setup and learned about that......so the light came on in my head pretty quickly and I searched out where to set my waste container to "no limit" and my RODI to it's container amount.
 

ingchr1

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...For the record, the alkalinity is also measurably different than the Trident. The bot gives me 10 consistently and the Trident goes from 8.2 to 8.5 daily. I have the Trident set up for 4 tests a day. I used API test reagents in my bot mainly because I have a substantial amount of them, as I use API for my freshwater tanks so when I initially started with salt tank I just gravitated to that brand. After my API depletes I will be trying other brands that the bot allows just to see if I get similar readings.
Could just be the API test kit. After reading this thread, I saw this thread:
 
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