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Trident Owners - Do You Still Test Manually?

If you own a Trident, do you still perform manual tests?

  • Yes

    Votes: 31 53.4%
  • No

    Votes: 27 46.6%

  • Total voters
    58

nickkohrn

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Question: If you own a Trident, do you still perform manual tests with the test kits that you used prior to acquiring a Trident, such as Salifert, Hanna, Red Sea, et al. Why do you, or do you not, perform manual tests?

I tried searching for threads that involve discussions about whether Trident owners still test manually, but Trident and manual testing did not yield great results since manual tests can be performed via Trident, which is not what I was attempting to find answers to. So, I created this thread with, hopefully, sufficient SEO so that it appears in search results for others that may look for answers to this question.
 

Woodneers

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Yes, I test the big three in descending order of importance as needed. Check alk a couple times a week with the Hanna and cal and mag once a week or so. Seems to be working well so far. For me it goes back to the old motto, Trust but Verify!
 

ca1ore

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I was only really testing alk prior to trident. Probably hadn’t tested for calcium in a year prior, and never tested for magnesium. I still run a hanna alk test occasionally, though much less frequently than I did - one a month nominally. I think it’s a good idea to have some comparator to the trident. Accuracy is an elusive animal with hobby grade testing, so having an additional data point seems prudent to me.
 
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revhtree

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I do not.
 
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DLHDesign

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No.

The Trident for me isn't about chasing a specific number - it's about keeping things stable at whatever number my tank happens to be at given all that I've got set up. For that reason, using a different testing method would actually be counter to my goal. Or rather; it would only be testing the testing method - not telling me anything useful about my tank.
 

Thales

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I did a lot at the beginning until I felt comfortable that the Trident was eliable. I will manually test alk once and a while for kicks.
 

Js.Aqua.Project

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I test dKH, Ca, and Mg about twice a month since mine has been running to verify the Trident is within what I consider an acceptable range of accuracy (+/- .2 dKH, 10 Ca, 10 Mg).
 
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nickkohrn

nickkohrn

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I’m not sure what the point/question is. If the Trident is accurate you shouldn’t need to test. If it’s not accurate then there’s no point in using it. It seems the real question is ‘do you trust the trident’s results?’
The point of the question is to see if hobbyists are still using their test kits to get more than one measurement for a parameter. Redundancy is something that’s talked about throughout this hobby, so why should we rely on one form of testing? I will be installing my Trident on my current build, and I plan to compare the results from my Trident to those of my Hanna and Salifert test kits to ensure that there is not a large discrepancy that causes me to make unnecessary changes, regardless of whether I trust the Trident or not.

I think that using the Trident will help me identify trends rather than me relying on it for results that are as close to true as possible. It will allow me to be more relaxed in my testing schedule, but I plan to continue testing manually so that I don’t lose that connection with my system. If I’m going to be testing nitrates and phosphates, then what’s a few more quick tests?
 
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Sleepydoc

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The point of the question is to see if hobbyists are still using their test kits to get more than one measurement for a parameter. Redundancy is something that’s talked about throughout this hobby, so why should we rely on one form of testing? I will be installing my Trident on my current build, and I plan to compare the results from my Trident to those of my Hanna and Salifert test kits to ensure that there is not a large discrepancy that causes me to make unnecessary changes, regardless of whether I trust the Trident or not.

I think that using the Trident will help me identify trends rather than me relying on it for results that are as close to true as possible. It will allow me to be more relaxed in my testing schedule, but I plan to continue testing manually so that I don’t lose that connection with my system. If I’m going to be testing nitrates and phosphates, then what’s a few more quick tests?
I go back to my original question - if you don’t trust the results, why are you using the test? What happens if there’s a descrepancy between The trident and the other test kit you use? Which one do you believe? And which is more important - accuracy or precision? If the trident is consistently reading 0.5 dKH high, does it really matter if it’s consistent?
If you feel you gain something by doing the test then fine, but I think we need to be honest about testing accuracy, precision and interpreting the results. Taking one hobbiest grade test and comparing it to another doesn’t really give you much.
redundancy in equipment is one thing, but in testing it means something else.
 

Djtonton

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I don't test manually, HOWEVER, I wish they gave us more calibration fluid so I could calibrate more often.

If they could work in a regular calibration into the testing and add another reagent bottle, that would be sick.
This is a genius idea love it! @Terence any chance we could get this in production. I would love to calibrate my system more than the one time per chemical swap out.
 

The Camaro Show

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I still test alk 4 times a week or so via Hanna
Calc 2-3 times via hanna
Mag I hardly test
Po4 I test 2x a week via Hanna
No4 is maybe once a month maybe twice using Red Sea.
I have had very accurate readings on my trident but still like to double check my prams and make sure they are on point. Especially for the amount invested you should test regularly regardless!
 

saf1

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I do not. I think someone above already raised the counter question. Why are you testing manually when you bought the automation tool. It makes no sense. More so if you are testing a couple times a week manually. Checks and balances, that is fine and reasonable.

In fact that is more or less what I do. Trident runs the tests. On the other hand I do run 2 ATI ICP tests a year. I collect the water sample at 11:50 AM just before the trident runs its next test battery. I also take a cup of water to run a manual test (ALK only since Hanna's kit is stupid easy to use). Let the trident test, mark the numbers run the Hanna ALK test, compare - have always been the same within their respected tolerance. Then wait a week or so and compare to ATI's results. What can I say - every time everything is pretty much spot on.

I see no reason, in my case, to run manual tests. Checks and balances are taken care of so I'm happy. I've had Ca drift on me but that was my fault. I let the reagents get too low. Replaced and everything went back to normal. Not sure if this helps any but in my case I'm pretty thrilled with the Trident.
 

roberthu526

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I go back to my original question - if you don’t trust the results, why are you using the test? What happens if there’s a descrepancy between The trident and the other test kit you use? Which one do you believe? And which is more important - accuracy or precision? If the trident is consistently reading 0.5 dKH high, does it really matter if it’s consistent?
If you feel you gain something by doing the test then fine, but I think we need to be honest about testing accuracy, precision and interpreting the results. Taking one hobbiest grade test and comparing it to another doesn’t really give you much.
redundancy in equipment is one thing, but in testing it means something else.
I think the OP is looking for experience regarding how much the users trust Trident in the long run. Just because Trident readings show 8 dkh for 12 consecutive months doesn't necessarily mean the actual alkalinity in the water have been consistently at 8 dkh. What if there was a malfunction in the firmware of the hardware and the machine was just reporting 8 dkh no matter what? If the user manually tested once a week or once a month, this kind of mistake could easily be avoided.

I would not call manual testing alongside Trident pointless for sure. Redundancy in testing is still helpful I believe.
 

45ZoaGarden

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I still test. I test nitrate and phosphate once a week. The big three once a month to make sure the trident is within marginal error. Even if it is stable, alkalinity stable at 6 is not good. So I make sure the trident is on the up and up once a month. I trust the test results, I just consider it “maintenance” to keep it in line. I understand The trident is more precise then out test kits. I guess I just don’t 100% trust a machine
 

Samina

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I do not. I also have a KH Gaurdian on the same system and the results are relatively within .05-.1 dKH of each other. I know it’s a bit of overkill having both on there but it makes me feel better having the same information come from two independent sources.
 
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nickkohrn

nickkohrn

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I think the OP is looking for experience regarding how much the users trust Trident in the long run. Just because Trident readings show 8 dkh for 12 consecutive months doesn't necessarily mean the actual alkalinity in the water have been consistently at 8 dkh. What if there was a malfunction in the firmware of the hardware and the machine was just reporting 8 dkh no matter what? If the user manually tested once a week or once a month, this kind of mistake could easily be avoided.

I would not call manual testing alongside Trident pointless for sure. Redundancy in testing is still helpful I believe.
I wish that I had thought of your given example because that’s a great explanation of why I intend to continue manual tests, even if less often than I currently perform them.

I build software for a living, and I know how challenging it can be, even before integrating it with hardware that is responsible for maintaining a healthy aquarium. If there’s a large discrepancy between my Trident and other test kits, then it will spur me to find the cause. If it’s a simple user error, then that’s easy to rectify. However, if it’s not a user error, then I may be able to save my system from potential disaster.

I’m not worried about a difference of 0.5dKH, or even 1dKH, if the results are precise. I simply want to monitor trends and ensure that I am able to catch potential issues early.
 

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