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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to buy an accurate test kit to find out what's going on with my nano tank. What's the best buy for the bucks?
 

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I bought the Saltwater Master Liquid test kit and it is crazy to try and read the results. They give you these little color charts to put behind the test tube. It is so hard to tell which color it matches.
 

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Very true. I too bought the Saltwater master liquid test kit and it is very difficult to read the results. I am going to look into getting salifert as well. If you are looking for something cheap, get something that works right the first time. I bought my test kit combo for $25, but I am going to have to replace it anyways.
 

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Salifert.

Maybe Hatch or LaMotte, but they are too pricy for what they are.

PinPoint meter for pH.
 

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Tom,
What about Salifert's Phosphate test? Is there any phosphate test that gives a true quantitative measure of total phosphates? Aren't phosphate test similar to Iodine where they only measure one phosphorous bound molecule? Or like where some Iodine test kits measure Iodine, Iodide, etc.?
 

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jlscrug said:
Tom,
What about Salifert's Phosphate test? Is there any phosphate test that gives a true quantitative measure of total phosphates? Aren't phosphate test similar to Iodine where they only measure one phosphorous bound molecule? Or like where some Iodine test kits measure Iodine, Iodide, etc.?
The issue with all of the hobbyist level kits is that they cannot get reactivity from phosphorus atoms incorporated into the structure of many organic molecules, as the structure-activity-relationship of these compounds often does not match that of the reactive parts of the phosphate molecule. When testing for phosphate, we depend on this reactivity to make a relatively accurate yet inexpensive test kit that is reasonably safe to perform by the general public (remember that we live in a litigeous society...). So, as a result, we cannot buy test kits which require the digesting of the organics in appropriate media at appropriate temps to release the total phosphate available in a system sample for conversion to a test-responsive form (see the Millero Chemical Oceanography text for an outline of one such procedure). Although this does mean that we cannot determine total (sigma) phosphate, it does NOT mean that the phosphate tests we have are without use. If we have detectable free inorganic phosphate in the system, you can bet that in addition to higher animal wastes that there is an organic source for the release of inorganic phosphate as bacteriological decomposition/utilization of DOCs releases these substances into the water column, but remember, this free phosphate is almost immediately captured by other bacteria, algae, and/or any organism exposed to the water column in close proximity to the release site.


If you have measurable phosphate in the water, then you have phosphate issues and need to work on maximizing phosphate export. Anything we can do to remove some portion of the free phosphate will help export it from our systems vefore it becomes locked up in some bacteriobiological sink, so the use of GFH, GAC, skimming, algal export, kalkwasser in the skimmer intakes, water changes, detrital siphoning, even exchange resins all have merit if used appropriately in controlling phosphates.


To answer your question, yes, there are MANY difficulties using the hobby level test kits to accurately quantitate phosphate in the water column, but for this nutrient, it is not so much that we know how much we have, rather that we know that there is enough phosphate in the system to trigger a test kit response at all in spite of the biological and abiotic sinks present in most marine systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
looks like i'll be picking up some salifert test kits this weekend. Thanks guys.
 

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Im looking to get a new kit also since im getting more into reefs and was wondering does everyone buy a Salifert test kit? I just looked on Marine Depot and is was $257 for the total kit. Heres the link-

http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_test_kits_salifert.asp?CartId=

Anyway just wondering if there was a cheaper alternative to this and what it was. If there really isnt I guess im buying a Salifert test kit! Later Ryan
 

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I've got a new tank up, what kind of test do I need? I have the master test of amonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate. If I buy salifert test is that still the same ones I'll need?
 

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To start a system, you'll just need the nitrogen kits (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate), a pH meter, refractometer, good digital thermometer, calcium, alkalinity, and possibly Mg, although you really will not need the last 3 until after the tank has cycled and you're ready to start supplementing for Ca and Alk.
 
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