View Poll Results: Which Tests Do I Need?

Voters
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  • Alkalinity

    9 75.00%
  • Calcium

    11 91.67%
  • Iodine

    0 0%
  • Magnesium

    2 16.67%
  • Nitrite

    9 75.00%
  • Nitrate

    11 91.67%
  • pH

    12 100.00%
  • Phosphate

    5 41.67%
  • Silicate

    0 0%
  • Strontium

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Test kits???

  1. #1
    Senior Member CanadianGuy's Avatar
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    Test kits???

    Everything I read about test kits for starting a reef tank are different...some say you need more...others less...and some with totally different tests completely...

    What are your opinions on the basic tests that I need right away to start out with? I've left out Ammonia because it's obvioulsy important. Please mention any others that I forgot.

    What do you think is the best brand of kits?

    Thanks.
    James...

    "Knowing is half the battle!" ~ G.I. JOE

  2. #2
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    Salifert Test kits are my favorite.
    I chose all the kits there except for Iodine Silicate and Strontium. When you do have the money, i would get those as well, but they are not as "urgent" as the other kits. personally, i have every kit Salifert makes. i just like to know that if i ever have an issue in my water, i would be able to test every component of my water to try and pinpoint what might have gone wrong. but for starters you clearly need:
    Alkalinity and Calcium so that you can dose properly and make sure they are balanced - these are probably one of the most important for maintaining a reef tank. you will probably also use these a lot more often than the others as you fine tune your dosing.
    Iodine is important mainly for inverts who need to grow new skeletal shells (such as shrimp). if you arent going to be dosing it, then there really is no need for regular testing of it unless you intend to keep such inverts and notice they are having trouble molting.
    Magnesium is less important, but important nonetheless as it helps maintain your calcium levels. if you find you are having trouble keeping your calcium up, then you may need to test for and possible raise your magnesium levels. should be kept close to 1300.
    Nitrite and Nitrate are important when cycling your tank, and nitrate will of course play a significant role is making sure your live rock / live sand are breaking everything down and that you are not overfeeding. this could also help point out to you a possible cause of algae outbreaks.
    pH is important to watch for, and unless you get a pH Monitor (such as pinpoint) you will need the kit - can also indicate to you how much your alkalinity is buffering your pH level.
    Phosphate is important to make sure you do not have any elevated levels to prevent algae outbreaks and to keep corals from retarded growth.
    Silicate can also lead to algae outbreak, but nitrate and phosphates are more of a cause.
    Strontium has yet to be "proven" as needed. some even say it may be bad for your tank. it is found in coral skeletons either because they need it, or because it happens to be in the water and is similar to calcium, or because they want to get it out of the water and keep the water free of it.

    That should pretty much sum up what you have there.
    G'Luck James.
    Albert
    My Photos

  3. #3
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    You MUST at least have: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and PH test kits to test BASIC water conditions. No marine aquarium Hobbyist should be without these 4 tests. You can get the others after your tank is cycled or and the need for them is warranted. OR ... you can buy a multi test kit that contains these 4 and the other most common ones. It is often cheaper to buy them this way. I use and like the Sea Test brand.
    Rob

  4. #4
    Senior Member Conan's Avatar
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    I agree with salty dude. Ammonia is a must. I have the multi test one: ammonia, nitrite and nitrate plus pH all in one kit. It works fine.... I just don't remember the brand
    Do or do not. There is no "try" - Jedi Master Yoda

  5. #5
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    I agree with Alrha. Salifert has one of the best reputations for accuracy and ease of use. One rule of thumb that I have seen on other forums is - don't dose unless you test for it first. It makes sense to me. Why add magnesium or iodine, if you don't know what your present levels are.

    Vickie

  6. #6
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    vickie, that goes without saying, it basic logic. would you raise the heat in your oven before you checked to see if the food might already be burnt? This is discussed also in the other thread: http://aquariacanada.com/forums/show...8739#post18739
    Albert
    My Photos

  7. #7
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    Sorry Alrha, I didn't read the other thread completely through.

    Vickie

  8. #8
    Senior Member CanadianGuy's Avatar
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    Ok, I picked up tests for Alk, Calc, and Nitrate, and I already had Ammonia, Nitrite, pH, and copper...I'll just pick up any others I need later...if I need them at all.

    Thanks all!
    James...

    "Knowing is half the battle!" ~ G.I. JOE

  9. #9
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    no need to be sorry vickie, i was just pointing it out for others.
    Albert
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Hi,

    there is a littlle problem with the pool statistic. Would it not be more interresting to see the proportion of people who thing that a test kit is usefull and not (vote for a particular test kit)/(total of vote for all the test kit)

    like for PH it would give 100% think that it's a most to have

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