Salinity Checking … What To Trust …

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clm65

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I have had the Milwaukee unit for a year or so. I loved it at first, but the readings started to get inconsistent when compared to a calibration solution or a calibrated refractometer. I ended up getting TM hydrometer, and so far I trust it. But a couple weeks ago I tried the Milwaukee again. It read about 1.022 with the 1.025 calibration fluid after calibrating it with steam distilled water. Even though it did not indicate that the battery was low, I changed out the battery, and now it is pretty much spot on with the calibration fluid. So if your Milwaukee readings seem off, try swapping out the battery with a new one. And also make sure you are filling the little dish completely with sample water, and give it a little time to acclimate temperature.
 
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Saltyreef

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ahhh! I thought it was the usually newbe hydrometer from Petco
Swing arm hydrometers are pretty accurate as long as you gauge and mark the sweet spot with a better calibrated unit :)
A lot of people still use them with hand drawn markings matching a trusted refractometer and the refracto gets to rest safely in a drawer for the rest of its life lol.
 

salty joe

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I bought the hydrometer, but I'm disappointed because the scale on it does not allow you to calibrate to RODI water....it simply doesn't go low enough. You also have to adjust for temp, since it's calibrated to 77 degrees.
I consider it a plus that it will only measure a tight range.
I don't know if it's been mentioned but it's critical to spin the hydrometer to remove air bubbles.
I trust my hydrometer. Even it should happen to be off by a blonde hair, it will be consistent.
It is easy to read the hydrometer since I made a 'vase' from 2" acrylic pipe that doubles as a storage container for that lunker hydrometer.
 

acabgd

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TM hydrometer is a beast. I bought one that sits with my LFS now and I use it occasionally to check my salinity (although not as frequently as I'd like). Its precision cannot be beaten and is definitely the "source of truth" for me. For daily use I have a Pinpoint salinity meter which I find accurate enough as long as the battery is good.
 
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Gup

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I calibrate my refractometer before every use. For some reason it just seems to go out of whack in between usage
 

salty joe

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Ditch the refractometers and get a good hydrometer. Always accurate, never needs calibration.
I have both. I agree the TM hydrometer is great to have.
I like my refractometer for the convenience, it's way faster than using the hydrometer. I check my refractometer against the boss hydrometer now and then and sometimes the refractometer needs a minor tweak.
 

Philly Reefer

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I have both. I agree the TM hydrometer is great to have.
I like my refractometer for the convenience, it's way faster than using the hydrometer. I check my refractometer against the boss hydrometer now and then and sometimes the refractometer needs a minor tweak.
I finally bought the TM Hydrometer when BRS got them on stock. Now, as you stated, I also still use my refractometer but I calibrated it with the TM Hydrometer
 
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