Hanna Checkers and Test Kit suggestions?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by kinetic, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I'll need to test for more than just Ammonia/Nitrites soon.

    It's been awhile since I last tested a lot, so was wondering what you guys would recommend. I'm fine with either just regular test kits, or if you think a Hanna checker would be more accurate and better, I'm up for that as well. One Hanna checker is about the same as a couple test kits... so it's worth it I think.
    • Alkalinity - there seems to be two different ones, which is better?
    • Calcium - seems to be just one, is this one better than a regular test kit?
    • Phosphates - there's three different ones? Phosphate Low Range, Ultra Low, High Range. I hope to keep my phosophates pretty low, so I'm thinking probably just need to get Low Range or Ultra Low?
    • Magnesium - I'm planning on using the Salifert kit
    • Nitrate - Salifert kit
    I don't want to start spending a ton on dosing yet, and don't have the space for a full on CaRx, so I think I may just keep anemones and clownfish for awhile. Eventually I'll probably get back into SPS, but I think they'll just be wiped out by the anemones anyway... But I want to get all these tests ready just in case.
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Hanna ultra-low range is the phosphate tester you want. The rest are not really accurate in the ranges we need.

    For the others, I would say stick with simple chemical test kits, whatever you find to be easy.
    If they are hard, you will skip testing, which is worse than a bit of accuracy difference.

    Given no SPS, my recommendation is this:
    Use cheap API tests. Skip Magnesium.
    Send out your water for fancy testing every 6 months.
  3. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Hanna alk checker For the win (get the dkh version not the ppm a they're the same, just unit output difference). No mucking around with color matching/changing. This is the one tester I use a lot and only taking 60 seconds to test and getting a number as a result vs a color is well worth it.

    If you plan to keep low phosphates, get the Hanna Phosphorus checker as it's more accurate. Requires that you do a small conversion to get phosphate measurement, but accuracy is worth it.

    I use Salifert for calcium, magnesium and nitrates.
    JVU likes this.
  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I like the Red Sea slightly better than the salifert for ca alk mg. Hanna for po4
  5. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    Agree on the Hanna Alk checker for ease of use. I test all every few days and this makes it easy.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    PremiumAquatics is having a sale on their Red Sea kits, I'll probably grab some:

    I'll go with:
    • Alkalinity - Red Sea (for now, until I get SPS)
    • Phosphate - Hanna Ultra Low Phosphate
    • Calcium - Red Sea
    • Mag - Red Sea
    • Nitrate - Salifert (I've been using this one, super easy and works well)
    @rygh you're right, probably can skip magnesium for now, but I'll grab a test kit on sale just in case. It should be awhile before it expires. What fancy testing should I do? I keep hearing about ICP and Triton things, even @robert4025 has some thing where we can send it in?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    It depends where you want to keep your tank levels. If you are going for low levels of nitrate, the low range Red Sea will be much better than salifert.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    OK great, good to know. I think I'll try to keep nitrates fairly low. My salifert test is almost brand new, so I'll wait until it runs out and probably pickup the Red Sea version. The salifert can do lower if you look in the side of the vial and do some division. Kind of honkey, but I think it'll suffice for a bit.
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I really like the simplicity of the API alk test kit. Only one bottle, drop until you see a change.

    All these othe kits with multiple reagents or god forbid the powder you need to add with the tiniest spoons ever created. Hell no.

    edit: all test kit = alk test kit... auto correct, it's a mixed blessing sometimes.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    kinetic likes this.
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    The salifert mini spoons really test my ability to hold still. If I can get a perfect scoop into the vial without spilling, I feel like a damn superhero surgeon.
    Chromis likes this.
  11. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    This made me laugh as I have the same issue and occasionally have to start over cuz it didn't make it all into the vial!
    kinetic likes this.
  12. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    yup! I had to restart my nitrate test twice today =P

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