Kessil

easier way to test water parameters?

Chrism1330

Supporting Member
Hey guys wondering if there’s an easier way to test MG, KH, and CA. As of right now I’m currently using the Red Sea kit, but it’s so tedious being precise with drops and shaking for x amount of seconds ect. What do you guys use to test your water parameters?
 

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Hey guys wondering if there’s an easier way to test MG, KH, and CA. As of right now I’m currently using the Red Sea kit, but it’s so tedious being precise with drops and shaking for x amount of seconds ect. What do you guys use to test your water parameters?


I have hanna checkers and salifert tests as well, this little device makes a world of difference not having to shake the vials and having water seap out the top making tests inacurate. Hannas are a bit easier as they show a actual number. However salifert ones aren't very hard and roughly both types of tests takes me same amount of time to preform. Sorry I've never used the red sea ones so can't give proper feed back on them. But if yours works similar to the ones I have this device will make it a heck of alot easier to do. Got it from Amazon for around 30 bucks. There are different types beyond the one in my picture. So I personally just went for decent price and decent reviews.

If money isn't a issue there are things like neptune tridents that do it automatically. One day I hope to get one but to $$$ for me presently.
 

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I second the Hanna checkers, at least for alkalinity, phosphates, and nitrates. I do the nitrate test first since that test has the longest wait time after shaking, then phosphate, then alkalinity. If you time it right, you'll get all three test results at the same time.
 
Thirding Hanna checkers. Before integrating automated testing/on my coral QT system, I typically use the Hanna alk checker, API calcium (cheap, easy, don't need a precise number), didn't test magnesium, and used Hanna for phosphate and nitrate.

If it is within your budget, I'd advocate automated testing, but that's a function of my perspective which is, "Automate everything you can, within reason, so that you can have data with minimal hands-on time." The Neptune Trident is one option for this, but there's other options (Alkatronic, Mastertronic, Reefbot, and others).
 
I would ask yourself if you really need to be checking Mg, or even Ca. I have never tested either one. I dose two part and Mg and Ca have come back in a normal range every time on ICP.

I could see this changing once my tank gets to the point of massive consumption but it’s not there yet.

For a newish tank..don’t even waste your time IMO, just do regular water changes.

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If you're colorblind, absolutely go with the Hanna kits! Alk is the most important, and you can stick with your current kits for Mg and Ca until you use them up. I test Ca/Mg maybe monthly.

The Hanna tests are definitely slower than say a Salifert kit (once you get really good at titrations). But they take out a lot of the subjectiveness of the tests.

Spend more time observing your tank, photographing corals, reading, and keep posting questions here! It will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
 
Appreciate all the responses from you guys cause it helps out a lot to get an insight of what you guys are doing when it comes to testing. thank you!
 
Not sure if I would agree 100% with not testing mg and ca. We have had a few people here recently which had very low mg when dosing all for reef, and had problems with their gonies.

It really depends on what you are dosing. If you dose Kalkwasser, checking ca would be helpful as your uptake could be reduced depending on what's in your tank.

Testing them weekly should not be necessary though, but infrequent testing would not hurt.
 
I use Hanna for Alk, Nitratr, Phos. I don't test Ca very often (have Salifert test). I test Mag maybe every 3-4 weeks (Salifert) since I use Randy Holmes Farley method of dosing mag and not testing for it often. I also use a Smart Stir. You can get an insert for that unit from Etsy so that the Hanna checker vials fit perfectly:

 
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I use Hanna for Alk, Nitratr, Phos. I don't test Ca very often (have Salifert test). I test Mag maybe every 3-4 weeks (Salifert) since I use Randy Holmes Farley method of dosing mag and not testing for it often. I also use a Smart Stir. You can get an insert for that unit from Etsy so that the Hanna checker vials fit perfectly:

Just ordered this. Thanks for sharing. I thought I had already all of these little helpful upgrades. :).
 
I use Hanna for Alk, Nitratr, Phos. I don't test Ca very often (have Salifert test). I test Mag maybe every 3-4 weeks (Salifert) since I use Randy Holmes Farley method of dosing mag and not testing for it often. I also use a Smart Stir. You can get an insert for that unit from Etsy so that the Hanna checker vials fit perfectly:

Just ordered this. Thanks for sharing. I thought I had already all of these little helpful upgrades. :)

I also use amongst other things these


And this


And this

 
Just ordered this. Thanks for sharing. I thought I had already all of these little helpful upgrades. :)

I also use amongst other things these


And this


And this

Ordering that cuvette stand, thank you for recommendation! I was always confused why nobody made something to get the little reagent packets into the tube without spilling half of it lol
 
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