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Featured Who's test should I trust ?

Discussion in 'Help and Advice' started by richard, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. richard

    richard Registered

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    I've been trying to raise my alk and calcium and get them balanced, and have been testing on a regular basis.

    I tested my water for calcium using salifert three times and got a reading of 385 and 390.

    I took a sample to my lfs store and they tested it with a salifert kit and came out with 490 so way out.

    The question is who's do i trust and what can I do to find the right result ?

    My kit is about 2 years old, but hasn't been used allot so I don't really want to get a new kit, do I need one ?
     
  2. Neil

    Neil Registered

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    I would say your test is out of date
     
  3. bec&mark

    bec&mark Registered

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    There should be an expiry date on the test kit box

    but from my understanding once a test kit is opened it only usually lasts about 6 months before it starts losing accuracy but not 100% sure if this is right?? Big Thumbs Up
     
  4. richard

    richard Registered

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    The box says 03 - 2015, I assume thats the date, but is that unopened ?

    Surely you don't have to replace all the test kits every 6 months ?

    All of my kits are around two year old, so do I need a totally new set then ?
     
  5. Inklinkerman

    Inklinkerman Registered

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    Get a third test, and compare!
     
  6. richard

    richard Registered

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    I had a test done at my other lfs last week and he didn't have a clue what he was doing, he said he had never tested for calcium before, and that came up lower at 320, but I have been dosing since then, but I was still testing above 370 with my kit last week.

    Only other option I have around me is dobbies and I don't really trust them with tests.
     
  7. richard

    richard Registered

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    The place that tested the calcium at 490 also tested my ph and kh which both came up at 7.7 and I've been adding equal parts of c-balance with some extra bicarb in my top of water so it doesn't really make sense that the calcium is high compared to the kh.

    I'm reading about the same as him with ph and kh, so its just the calcium that seems to be out.
     
  8. barracuda

    barracuda Registered

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    is there anyone local to you from here that can double check the reading?
    hard to say whos test is off, but yours is more near the mark.. :thumbup1:
     
  9. richard

    richard Registered

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    Wish there was some more local reefers around here, I Know one guy but i don't drive so I can't get over there for a while.

    I'll take a test over to dobbies this friday, check what date it says on there kit and see what they come out with, I'll ask them to double check it as well, and I'll test the same sample myself before.

    How long does everyone keep there tests for, is it by the date on the pack or is it best to get a new one every 6 months ?

    Thanks
     
  10. richard

    richard Registered

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    Also should I stop dosing c-balance until I know for certain what my calcium is at, or should I continue to add both parts each day as normal ?
     
  11. barracuda

    barracuda Registered

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    I would not dose anything more till your 100% positive you know the correct reading.
    i use till the date on the box, as you say wouldnt want to buy new ones twice a year.
    i currently just got the D-D mag,cal,kh test kit because i'm setting up a cal reactor and its a good bit of kit. :smile:
     
  12. richard

    richard Registered

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    I'll leave the dosing for now then.

    How are you finding the D&D kit ?
     
  13. barracuda

    barracuda Registered

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    Very good, thought i would try it as my kh and mag with the sali tests had run out. very similar to use as the salifert ones and its a high sensitivity kit to.
     
  14. richard

    richard Registered

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    Sounds good, and if there anything like the phosphate kit then they should be.

    Could try them if it does turn out that my calcium kit is wrong.
     
  15. barracuda

    barracuda Registered

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    Its on the back of the phos kit that i went for it, as that is very accurate.
    worth considering as an alternative.
     
  16. ZombieTuesday

    ZombieTuesday Registered

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    wow ,, my kits last weeks .. and not many of them .. NEVER had one last 6 months!
     
  17. wrigglytin

    wrigglytin Registered

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    Don't get too fixated on test readings, the main thing is stability in your tank, if you use a decent quality salt, and do regular partial water changes it should never be far out.

    The problem with dosing anything in a reef tank is all the parameters are linked, you dose one thing & another goes way out, so you dose something else to corect that and so on, you end up dosing loads of stuff and never having things stable...best advice i ever got was to stop dosing everything, just let things balance themselves out.
    Definitely avoid ph buffer too, that will always throw your kh/alk out.
     
  18. richard

    richard Registered

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    Only thing I'm dosing at the minute is c-balance, which should balance the readings shouldn't it ?

    I'm using tropic marin pro salt, and I think this is naturally low in kh, I'm going to take a sample of freshly mixed salt along with my tank water sample to the lfs tomorrow to check everything.
     
  19. wrigglytin

    wrigglytin Registered

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    Never used c-balance, but when i got started i was told & sold all kinds of buffers & boosters & i spent 90% of my time trying to get things stable....i stopped dosing everything & within two months all was stable, sure the ph is a little low around 8.0, but its pretty constantly there, same with everything else, nice and stable, everything is happy, all i do is weekly water changes, no dosing anything...oh except a dash of calcium every few weeks as that does gradually drop.

    Give it a try, & test kit wise all i've ever used is salifert, and never had any issues at all.
     
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