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Testing Help!

Renelope

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Hello,

I'm really new to the SW aquarium world and I've got a question to ask everyone... I'm looking to have a reef tank and I am wondering about test kits... I've got the API master kit currently - but I know that I will also need to purchase a few more tests to get things going, Alkalinity, CA, MG, Phosphate -
My question is, out of the kits I still need to purchase, are any of them worth the money to buy the Hanna Checker pocket testers?

They are pretty pricey but right now having to add reagents and shaking a ton and making a mess isn't so much fun for me - so if anyone has any feedback on the best bang for my buck - the one test they would splurge and get a fancy tester on, which would be it?

Thanks!
 
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CORALUST

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We use the Hanna Checkers for Calcium and Alk testing and love them. We use Red Sea testing kits for Magnesium. They are pricey but we trust the results. They all require some level of mixing and measuring and mess (I personally hate testing...lol) but these are the products we use. For me, I have to stay focused with NO interruptions or else I mess up and they are too expensive to have to dump a test because I got interrupted and can't remember if I added the reagents correctly or pressed the C1 button or whatever..lol. Good luck and happy reefing!
 

Scurvy

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IMO I'd only spend the $ again for the Hanna alkalinity (dkh) and low range phosphate kits. They're simple, accurate and make me not dread testing so much especially with the frequency of alkalinity tests. I'd prioritize this one over the others. For the rest I personally like Salifert for accuracy and bang for the buck.
 
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Renelope

Renelope

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We use the Hanna Checkers for Calcium and Alk testing and love them. We use Red Sea testing kits for Magnesium. They are pricey but we trust the results. They all require some level of mixing and measuring and mess (I personally hate testing...lol) but these are the products we use. For me, I have to stay focused with NO interruptions or else I mess up and they are too expensive to have to dump a test because I got interrupted and can't remember if I added the reagents correctly or pressed the C1 button or whatever..lol. Good luck and happy reefing!
Thank you!
 
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Renelope

Renelope

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IMO I'd only spend the $ again for the Hanna alkalinity (dkh) and low range phosphate kits. They're simple, accurate and make me not dread testing so much especially with the frequency of alkalinity tests. I'd prioritize this one over the others. For the rest I personally like Salifert for accuracy and bang for the buck.
Thank you! That's great feedback
 
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GoVols

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Thank you! That's great feedback
Welcome to Reef 2 Reef. :)

API cal and alk are not bad.

These are the kits that I like:
Cal - Red Sea Pro
Alk - Hanna alk check
Mag - Salifert... (Red Sea Pro gives high mag. readings) :(
Nitrates - Saliert
Phos. - Hanna Phos or ULR checker.

Regards, GoVols
 

PatW

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Nitrate - Red Sea Pro. It can detect levels down to .25 ppm.
Calcium - API works ok here. I use Red Sea Pro.
Alkalinity - API is pretty crude. A drop is the difference between DKH 10 and 11. I use Red Sea Pro but Salifert is good also.
Magnesium - I prefer Salifert.
Phosphates - Hanna ultra low range.
 

jsker

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Welcome to Reef 2 Reef. :)

API cal and alk are not bad.

These are the kits that I like:
Cal - Red Sea Pro
Alk - Hanna alk check
Mag - Salifert... (Red Sea Pro gives high mag. readings) :(
Nitrates - Saliert
Phos. - Hanna Phos or ULR checker.

Regards, GoVols
+1 on the above

I use to stick with one kit, but now have switched to a combination. The Hanna tests can be tricky but are spot on when a true reading is needed.
 

@croman

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Hi, since you are starting out new for the time being you dont need anything complex right now. Just the Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate (Salifert/API/Red Sea) will do for now, Calcium, Mag, DKH are mostly needed when you start putting corals in, but if you are doing regular water changes these parameters shouldn't go out of whack. The salt that you add contains these in the right quantity, only when you start out stocking SPS you really need to worry about Ca, Mg, DKH. Just my opinion. Sometime when you are new to the hobby doing all these test may seem overwhelming.

I would recommend you get the Hanna checkers later on if you really need them, but not now.
 
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GoVols

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Hi, since you are starting out new for the time being you dont need anything complex right now. Just the Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate (Salifert/API/Red Sea) will do for now, Calcium, Mag, DKH are mostly needed when you start putting corals in, but if you are doing regular water changes these parameters shouldn't go out of whack. The salt that you add contains these in the right quantity, only when you start out stocking SPS you really need to worry about Ca, Mg, DKH. Just my opinion. Sometime when you are new to the hobby doing all these test may seem overwhelming.

I would recommend you get the Hanna checkers later on if you really need them, but not now.
Welcome to Reef 2 Reef.

And thank you for your incite. :)
 
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glb

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Here's what I use:

Alk and phosphates: Hanna Checkers (totally work it and reagent refills aren't expensive)

Ca, Mg, Nitrates: Salifert (easy to use, accurate, and inexpensive)

Salinity: handheld refractometer ( not expensive and much more accurate than a hydrometer)

Continuous pH monitor- got one on amazon for about $40.

I use API when I cycle a tank to measure ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Once the cycle is over, I do a big water change and switch to the better kits. Good luck!
 
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Renelope

Renelope

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Hi, since you are starting out new for the time being you dont need anything complex right now. Just the Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate (Salifert/API/Red Sea) will do for now, Calcium, Mag, DKH are mostly needed when you start putting corals in, but if you are doing regular water changes these parameters shouldn't go out of whack. The salt that you add contains these in the right quantity, only when you start out stocking SPS you really need to worry about Ca, Mg, DKH. Just my opinion. Sometime when you are new to the hobby doing all these test may seem overwhelming.

I would recommend you get the Hanna checkers later on if you really need them, but not now.
Great advice! Thank you! I think my hatred for testing the Nitrate one specifically with all the shaking (and spilling) has me worried about adding in all these other tests. I definitely do plan on doing corals, so I'm more or less just trying to plan out for the future :)
 

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