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mujtba
10/16/2008, 06:13 PM
I just got this bucket and Im sure this has been asked before but I cannot find it...

Do you know what these levels are out the box:

CA
ALK
MAG
PH

Please let me know. My bucket says more CAL, ALK now... not sure if its a lie.. plz help

Don-Coraleone
10/16/2008, 06:16 PM
i think every bucket is different..

flyyyguy
10/16/2008, 06:36 PM
420, 11, 1150 have been where the last few buckets I have went through are testing, but as said, there can be some variance

Mix up some water and test for yourself to be sure. There can be some pretty drastic differences at times. A year or so ago I got a few buckets that were testing were 340, 1200, and 1000 give or take.

mg426
10/16/2008, 06:39 PM
I get about 400 Ca 11DKH 1200 Mag. Salifert

DurTBear
10/16/2008, 06:58 PM
My Ca and Alk are 400ppm and 11dKH respectively. Can't remember the other specs.

rampantmarine
10/16/2008, 07:13 PM
to add to the others, the PH runs 8.3 from my test kits out of the box

spleify
10/16/2008, 07:15 PM
I would also suggest testing to see where the levels are.

Here is a link to a thread in the Reef Chemistry forum:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1287118

But please don't go by these #'s or others, it would be best to test you're mix.

HTH

Spleify

mujtba
10/20/2008, 06:08 AM
wow, i just tested this out of box and mag was 750... reef crystals is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!1

i can understand every box being different by maybe 50-100ppm, but by 500-600ppm is not acceptable.. total scam.

now i dont know what to dose daily to keep this up..

A sea K
10/20/2008, 07:04 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13581399#post13581399 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
wow, i just tested this out of box and mag was 750... reef crystals is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!1

i can understand every box being different by maybe 50-100ppm, but by 500-600ppm is not acceptable.. total scam.

now i dont know what to dose daily to keep this up..

I would double check your results before you buffer the tank. I had one of the "low" buckets of RC and the mag was still over 1000. My new bucket tested out at 1300. If yours is only 750 then something is definately wrong.

For the OP my last bucket tested out at 11dkh alk, 425 calc, and 1300 mag. I used Elos test kits and a newly calibrated refractometer, salt was mixed to 35ppt @ 78 deg.

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/20/2008, 07:04 AM
wow, i just tested this out of box and mag was 750... reef crystals is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!1


I think it is a lot more likely that your test result does not reflect RC salt mix for some reason, than that the mix actually varies that much. I've seen hundreds of posts of what is in RC salt mix, and even when they recently went through a period where calcium and magnesium were low, they were nowhere near that level.

mujtba
10/20/2008, 09:26 AM
okay, so what SG do you mix it at usually? what is a real GOOD kit to test calc, alk and mag... i have salifert rite now.

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/20/2008, 09:48 AM
It is not the sg that will make a difference to that magnesium number, but I suggest targeting 35 ppt natural seawater, which has a sg of about 1.0264. :)

The Salifert magnesium kit is a fine one generally, but it may be malfunctioning, or you may be using it incorrectly. Elos is probably also OK. Same for calcium and alkalinity (Salifert and Elos), with API maybe being suitable for these latter two as well.

NealNano
10/20/2008, 11:51 AM
My 2 cents on Reeef Crystal. I am not the biggest fan of this salt, it is ok. Will I use it again? No seems to be low in ca and high in alk. The mag has been good for me tested at 1400 last time I had my mag tested. That was from the tank not a fresh mix, I dont dose mag at all. I have had much better results with Tropic Marin Pro and HW Reefer salts. Reef Crystals seems to need more salt to make SG 1.025 than most other salts. That or both my hydrometer and refractometer are both off.

mujtba
10/20/2008, 12:42 PM
API doesnt have a MAG test...

well right now i have a NEW bucket of RC salt.. im stuck like chuck..

anyone know where i can get API stuff?

SL38
10/20/2008, 01:00 PM
I got about 410 ca and 10 alk. salifert test kit too

mujtba
10/20/2008, 03:49 PM
right, but what was the MAG?

stagefright13
10/20/2008, 03:55 PM
I got 1350 mag 420 calcium and 12 dkh from my last 2 buckets of reef crystals. I test each new drum and have never had a problem. I used Salifert test kits also. You sure you used a level scoop of the reagents?

Those results are at 1.025

theatrus
10/20/2008, 03:57 PM
I always get around 1300 Mg, 410ish Ca, 12 dKh out of Reef Crystals. Have been using it for almost 5 years now.

Billybeau1
10/20/2008, 04:19 PM
I'll have to agree. RC generally runs around 420 - 12 - and 1260 on the average.

I suspect you are not using your Salifert magnesium kit correctly. Sorry but it does happen. :)

I would review the instructions carefully on your kit and if you have any questions about the use, please ask.

FWIW, the magnesium test kit is one of the most difficult to get right.

Runfrumu
10/20/2008, 04:39 PM
Doesnt storage/shipping cause some settling? If so could his low test be a result of that?

I know when I open a fresh bucket, I pour half into the bucket I just finished, then shake both half full buckets a good bit then pour them back into one container.

stagefright13
10/20/2008, 04:53 PM
Settling is not a problem. Use a refractometer etc. to know how much is in the RO/DI water. 1/2 cup per gallon is only an estimate to achieve 1.020. Normally takes me quite a bit more to get 1.025. And that is where I test it at.

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/20/2008, 05:22 PM
Settling is not a problem. Use a refractometer etc. to know how much is in the RO/DI water

I presume he means settling/sorting by size or density in the bucket so that it is not uniform, not anything happening in the water. :)

It may happen, and is more likely to be a concern if the bucket is shaken a lot, or if you take out a vary small amount to make up some water (like 1-5 gallons) instead of a whole trash can full or more.

Still, folks have never reported that big of a deviation.

mujtba
10/20/2008, 08:58 PM
Is there a API kit for MAG?

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/21/2008, 07:50 AM
Is there a API kit for MAG?

I'm not aware of one. :)

mujtba
10/21/2008, 08:13 AM
so is there an EASIER, but EFFECTIVE mag test that salifert?

andrewkw
10/21/2008, 09:11 AM
I only used RC once and I got a mag level of 875 which is why I never bought it again. Calc was low too don't remember but below 400 for sure. I did test the mag several times with salifert. Test kit was working as I was getting 1300 in my display which I do add mag to.

mujtba
10/21/2008, 02:50 PM
what kind of mag do u dose? now the question is does your salifert work, and your display tank has 1800+ MAG and RC 800?

What other MAG test kits are good and easy?

mujtba
10/21/2008, 06:11 PM
?

Billybeau1
10/21/2008, 11:02 PM
The only two hobby grade magnesium kits I recommend are Salifert and Elos. Both deliver decent results for the reefer.

If you are crazy about a perfect number, you can certainly spend a few hundred dollars for an accurate number. I just do not think it is necessary for our needs. :)

andrewkw
10/22/2008, 07:11 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13591100#post13591100 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
what kind of mag do u dose? now the question is does your salifert work, and your display tank has 1800+ MAG and RC 800?

What other MAG test kits are good and easy?

I dose both bulk reef supply's mag and zeomag which is magnesium granules in my calcium reactor (when my stupid reactor is working).

if the mag was 1800 plus in display I think I'd see some signs of it or at least the hair algae completely gone :)

mujtba
10/27/2008, 06:17 AM
okay RC is the worst salt out there.. i made a fresh bucket of salt at 1.024 SG. MAG was 800 and CALC was 300. This is unbelievable... Anytime i do weekly water changes, my parameters will drop.. i have to now dose stuff to maintain it. My kit cannot be wrong twice..

mujtba
10/27/2008, 12:34 PM
FYI, I rounded up to 800 and 300.... I don't think I am doing the tests wrong.. if it was wrong even, I can be off 50-100ppm, but not by so much... TERRIBLE SALT! I have the bucket with the screw on lids.

Billybeau1
10/27/2008, 03:48 PM
Well you may have one of the last remaining bad buckets left from the oops last year.

I might suggest you start by slowly raising you s.g. to 1.026 or so. Then see where you are at. :)

mujtba
10/27/2008, 09:22 PM
I tried it before the the SG higher last week.. wow.. this salt is a POS..

TrouzerTrout
10/27/2008, 09:58 PM
Just out of curiousity, what grade are you in?

Billybeau1
10/28/2008, 08:24 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13632622#post13632622 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
I tried it before the the SG higher last week.. wow.. this salt is a POS..

Well, aside from the fact that are close to violating the Reef Central user agreement, Reef Crystals happens to be the most widely used salt in the U.S. Last I checked, even more than Instant Ocean.

I can't offer you anymore advice as it appears you are dead set on bashing Reef Crystals. :(

mujtba
11/03/2008, 06:18 AM
why would it violate Reef Central agreement? Is Reef Central a dictatorship? Or a community where you can share your experiences and likes and dislikes. I cannot detest a product that is widely used? Even the president gets bashed.

Anyhow, I tested it several times out of the box, and the MAG level is extremely low. I have tested Coral Sea Pro salt also, and it seems to be around 900 out the box, a little more than reef crystals. So MAG may be something that is low in salts. It doesn't matter what is widely used or not, the fact remains Mag was 500ppm lower than NSW.

So I added mag flakes to raise it. But I don't think that is the most inexpensive way to do this. I have to find a cheaper solution since I have to raise it each time I do a water change, which is every weekend.

LunarDDS
11/03/2008, 08:00 AM
If you really think the salt is that far off then just drop it in the trash and go buy something that you like. Don't get all stressed over how it's gonna mess up your tank. It will only do that if you use it. Go buy something else and forget about it. Easy fix

Billybeau1
11/03/2008, 02:34 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13671551#post13671551 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
why would it violate Reef Central agreement? Is Reef Central a dictatorship?

No it is not, however we do have rules in place to try and keep this a reader friendly web-site, for all ages.

Using abbreviations to state your opinion on a product that can be referenced as swearing is not very well looked upon here. I think we all know what you meant by POS. I think there are better ways of stating your opinion and still get your point across.

Anyways, back to the problem at hand, if you are dissatisfied with the mag content in the salts you use, there are certainly many others to choose from that have much higher levels out of the box where supplementing is not always necessary. :)

Idyfohu
11/03/2008, 02:55 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13583211#post13583211 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
API doesnt have a MAG test...

well right now i have a NEW bucket of RC salt.. im stuck like chuck..

anyone know where i can get API stuff?

I was going to help you and I just ordered my API stuff, which is on sale, with fixed shipped for a 160Gallon Reef Crystal mix for $32, but I'm good and decided to change my mind after seeing you interact with Billy, who is clearly trying to help you out...

:rolleyes:

Michael
11/03/2008, 02:59 PM
i use tm pro reef myself, however every poll ive seen here and elsewhere reef crystals always wins, its very popular,ive seen a couple of tests from reefers who have tested RC, and their readings suggest its got good values, hence why its popular i suppose, it may be a case of 1 bad batch, i doubt very much its a poor quality salt as suggested, if your not entirely happy then just change salts

qfrisco
11/03/2008, 04:31 PM
Well, I just got two 50 gallon bags of Reef Crystals today and we'll see what measurements I get. I normally use IO and dose to keep my levels up. I'm looking forward to the levels being right straight from the bag.

I'll post once I mix my first batch and test.

mujtba
11/03/2008, 05:25 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13674759#post13674759 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by qfrisco
Well, I just got two 50 gallon bags of Reef Crystals today and we'll see what measurements I get. I normally use IO and dose to keep my levels up. I'm looking forward to the levels being right straight from the bag.

I'll post once I mix my first batch and test.


thanks man.. let me know your results out the box.. What MAG TEST KIT do u use? I am trying to see if there is another one besides salifert that doesnt cost so much.. i already paid for salifert..

Billybeau1
11/03/2008, 07:37 PM
Well, like I said before muj, the only other hobby kit I have found effective other than Salifert is the Elos.

Those are the only two I trust.

Unless you go to the next level which would be spending 250 clams on a Hach General Hardness kit. This kit has the ability to measure general hardness in seawater.

General Hardness is basically made up of calcium and magnesium, so one would just measure the general hardness, measure the calcium and subtract to get magnesium.

That is assuming your calcium kit is reading correctly. :D

There is always an angle in this hobby. :)

All kidding aside, I think the Salifert or Elos magnesium test kit can deliver reasonably good results for the reefer. At least close enough for us to be concerned about. :)

iamthereefguy
11/03/2008, 08:05 PM
I use Seachem. Not that complicated.

qfrisco
11/03/2008, 08:05 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13674759#post13674759 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by qfrisco
Well, I just got two 50 gallon bags of Reef Crystals today and we'll see what measurements I get. I normally use IO and dose to keep my levels up. I'm looking forward to the levels being right straight from the bag.

I'll post once I mix my first batch and test.

So I mixed a small batch using RO/DI water (about 2.5 cups worth - a plastic drink cup from a local barbecue restaurant :-) ) and here are the numbers I got:

SG: 1.024 (Milwaukee refractometer)
pH: 8.3 (API)
Alk: 9 dKH (API)
Ca: 340 ppm (Elos)
Mg: 1200 ppm (Salifert)

A bit lower than what I was expecting, especially from what I've read.

Aside from the batch being a small one, this water was also not aged. Would that affect my measurements?

Billybeau1
11/03/2008, 08:20 PM
First off, most of us speak in terms of a salt being mixed at 35 ppt or 1.0264 . At least that is what all of the salts listed in my General Salt mix thread were mixed at.

This will make quite a difference in the levels you got, mixing at 1.024.

If you want Reef Crystals to deliver 420 ppm calcium, 11-12 dkh alk and 1275 or so mag, you will want to mix it to 1.0264 :)

qfrisco
11/03/2008, 08:31 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13676278#post13676278 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Billybeau1
First off, most of us speak in terms of a salt being mixed at 35 ppt or 1.0264 . At least that is what all of the salts listed in my General Salt mix thread were mixed at.

This will make quite a difference in the levels you got, mixing at 1.024.

If you want Reef Crystals to deliver 420 ppm calcium, 11-12 dkh alk and 1275 or so mag, you will want to mix it to 1.0264 :)

Good point. I knew I shouldn't have dumped my small batch of saltwater down the drain quite yet. :-) Oh well!

pcsimon
11/03/2008, 09:14 PM
I alternate between Reef Crystals and Instant Ocean, and can notice absolutely no difference. I have noticed that the Reek Crystals seem to make deposits (calcium?) on the bottom of my mixing tank if I leave it in there for more than a day.

qfrisco
11/03/2008, 09:28 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13676347#post13676347 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by qfrisco
Good point. I knew I shouldn't have dumped my small batch of saltwater down the drain quite yet. :-) Oh well!

Here are my updated numbers after mixing up another 2.5 cup batch of saltwater, but now raising the SG to 1.026:

SG: 1.026 (Milwaukee refractometer) - it was reading a hair above 1.026, but I would call it 1.0262 and not quite 1.0264 :-)
pH: 8.3 (API)
Alkalinity: 10 dKH (API)
Ca: 390 ppm (Elos)
Mg: 1275 ppm (Salifert)

Numbers are better, although I wish the Ca were higher. Altogether, not bad, though.

Billybeau1
11/03/2008, 09:49 PM
That's closer to the numbers I would expect from RC.

You are in the ballpark. :)

Michael
11/04/2008, 12:00 AM
apart from billys tests on salts heres another reefers, it from 1 of our guys over here, its suggests billys findings are on the same sort of results, theres only a few points between then, im not saying these test results are accurate but its another opinion on parameters

http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/showthread.php?t=246450

mujtba
11/04/2008, 05:45 AM
Wow, QFRISCO, you are really getting those numbers on your salt???!!?? Okay so I use a HYDROMETER to measure my salt SG when i make it. Should I use a refractometer? At this point I will just think either I got the worst batch of salt made, or I am completly measuring the test wrong.

if I should get a refractometer, please tell me where i can get one, and which one...

I see Reef HD Salinity Refractometer on the auction site, or Salinity Refractometer with ATC by Sybon. In the Picture for the ATC one, I see a small chemical bottle. So my question is with a Refractometer, do I need to purchase chemicals periodically as i test my SG? For example, with a HYDROMETER, you buy it once and it is good to go and easy to measure salinity and no need to purchase additional items ever. Is a refractometer the same? Buy once and measure anytime? Or do I need to purchase other stuff occasionally... because i change my water weekly.

Billy, I think if after getting the refractometer I still do not get correct results, If you want, i can ship you a 20oz of fresh RC water so you can test.. whaddya say?? :confused:

qfrisco
11/04/2008, 06:41 AM
mujtba - my guess right now is that your hydrometer is way off, and you're mixing saltwater with a much lower salinity than you think, causing your measurements to be much lower. For example, with the two batches that I did, raising the SG by a mere 0.002 caused a 50 ppm rise in Ca, and a 75 ppm rise in Mg.

So if your hydrometer is way off, your numbers could also be way off.

As for which hydrometer to get, I think pretty much any being sold by Marine Depot, or Drs. Foster & Smith will be good. Buy one with ATC (Automatic Temp Calibration) as they automatically adjust based on the temperature of your water. You should be able to get a good one for about $40.

You really just need to calibrate your hydrometer once every few months. At the very least, you can use distilled water, but ideally you should use the Pinpoint solutions to calibrate. But that's it. There's no need to constantly recalibrate the hydrometer. The chemical bottle in the picture of the ATC one is probably some calibration fluid.

mujtba
11/04/2008, 08:30 AM
Wait, so I do not need a refractometer? I need a better hydrometer? I am guessing I could be off too with the SG.. Could you please give me a few names of what to buy? Is a refractometer the same as hydrometer? Do i need to use a hydrometer WITH a refractometer? Im confused now....

Michael
11/04/2008, 08:32 AM
forget the hydrometer, get a refractometer, and make sure your sg is at 1.026 when re-testing, you will find the levels are then at the levels billybeau mentioned, unless you have a 1 off bad batch

qfrisco
11/04/2008, 08:36 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13678518#post13678518 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
Wait, so I do not need a refractometer? I need a better hydrometer? I am guessing I could be off too with the SG.. Could you please give me a few names of what to buy? Is a refractometer the same as hydrometer? Do i need to use a hydrometer WITH a refractometer? Im confused now....

I'm sorry - I meant to say "refractometer" when I said "hydrometer" in a few parts of my message. Must have been too early. :-)

Really, the only brand I can vouch for is Milwaukee, but they are more pricey, usually in the $70 range. I got mine used for $40 from a local reefer. But like I said, many people have success with the refractometers available at Marine Depot or Drs. Foster and Smith.

A refractometer is the same as a hydrometer in that they are both used to measure specific gravity in a solution, but a refractometer is much, much more accurate than a hydrometer.

My message above should have read (I couldn't edit my previous post as it's been more than 60 minutes since I posted it):

"mujtba - my guess right now is that your hydrometer is way off, and you're mixing saltwater with a much lower salinity than you think, causing your measurements to be much lower. For example, with the two batches that I did, raising the SG by a mere 0.002 caused a 50 ppm rise in Ca, and a 75 ppm rise in Mg.

So if your hydrometer is way off, your numbers could also be way off.

As for which refractometer to get, I think pretty much any being sold by Marine Depot, or Drs. Foster & Smith will be good. Buy one with ATC (Automatic Temp Calibration) as they automatically adjust based on the temperature of your water. You should be able to get a good one for about $40.

You really just need to calibrate your refractometer once every few months. At the very least, you can use distilled water, but ideally you should use the Pinpoint solutions to calibrate. But that's it. There's no need to constantly recalibrate the hydrometer. The chemical bottle in the picture of the ATC one is probably some calibration fluid."

mujtba
11/04/2008, 09:40 AM
Okay so I see this one for $40: Salinity Refractometer with ATC by Sybon

Any good?

Billybeau1
11/04/2008, 10:02 AM
It should be fine. Most refracts are pretty straight forward. Some of the more expensive ones just have more bells and whistles.

Just remember to get the Pinpoint 53 mS calibration fluid as distilled or ro/di water likely wont work.

mujtba
11/04/2008, 10:37 AM
Okay I ordered the Marine Depot Salinity Refractometer for $39. Has good reviews. But I do not see a pinpoint 53 MS Calibration fluid.. what do i do? where do i get that? is it like WD-40?

"The Refractometer is a must have for all hobbyists. The proper salinity is crucial for the survival and health of your fish and corals.

This high quality refractometer is extremely accurate and easy to use and calibrate. Calibration is simply done with a few drops of distilled water. This model also features ATC (automatic temperature compensation).

Adjustable eyepiece
Carrying case
Pipette
Calibration screw driver
Range for Testing: 0-28%
Division: 0.20%
"

qfrisco
11/04/2008, 11:14 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13679221#post13679221 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
Okay I ordered the Marine Depot Salinity Refractometer for $39. Has good reviews. But I do not see a pinpoint 53 MS Calibration fluid.. what do i do? where do i get that? is it like WD-40?

"The Refractometer is a must have for all hobbyists. The proper salinity is crucial for the survival and health of your fish and corals.

This high quality refractometer is extremely accurate and easy to use and calibrate. Calibration is simply done with a few drops of distilled water. This model also features ATC (automatic temperature compensation).

Adjustable eyepiece
Carrying case
Pipette
Calibration screw driver
Range for Testing: 0-28%
Division: 0.20%
"


I guess Marine Depot doesn't carry it, but Drs. Foster and Smith appears to. Here's what you need: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=18717

Put a few drops of the calibration fluid onto your refractometer and adjust the calibration screw so that the meter reads 35ppt or 1.026 SG. Then you're done. I'd just do this every few months or so, to make sure your refractometer is still calibrated. But my refractometer hasn't budged in the past 11 months - it's still dead-on.

Many refractometer instructions (my Milwaukee does) call for calibrating with distilled water. In this case, you put a few drops of distilled water onto your refractometer and adjust the calibration screw so the meter reads an SG of 1.0. But it's preferable to use the Pinpoint solution as it is calibrating your meter for the SG range that you are more interested in, in the 1.025 range, as opposed to 1.0 (or 0 ppt).

mujtba
11/04/2008, 12:24 PM
can we use RO-DI water instead of distilled, if I take that route?

If it is set to 1.0, I assume you dip the refractometer in the fresh salt water, or fish tank water, and it displayes the SG of the water?

sorry if some questions sound silly...

qfrisco
11/04/2008, 12:36 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13679796#post13679796 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
can we use RO-DI water instead of distilled, if I take that route?

If it is set to 1.0, I assume you dip the refractometer in the fresh salt water, or fish tank water, and it displayes the SG of the water?

sorry if some questions sound silly...

RO/DI is technically not the same as distilled water, but I guess in a pinch, you could substitute the two. Distilled is pretty easy to get at most grocery stores, and is cheap. When I first got my refractometer, I used distilled water to calibrate, then tested my RO/DI water. Both gave the same reading. But as I said before, if you calibrate at 1.0 SG, your readings in the 1.025 range might be slightly off. That's why it's desirable to use the Pinpoint solution.

Here's how a refractometer works - at one end of the meter, there is a pane of glass, which is actually one side of a prism. The other end of the meter is where you look to see what the reading is. As you are looking into one end of the meter, you "aim" the other end at a bright light source (could be your aquarium lights, or in my case, my kitchen light.)

You drip a few drops of the liquid you're testing onto the pane of glass (the prism). The liquid, even though it's only a few drops worth, refracts the light, and the amount of refraction changes depending on the liquid's SG. As you look into the meter's sight, you will see a series of horizontal lines, each corresponding to a given SG or PPT, and the refracted light is projected by the prism into the sighting screen. Then, it's as simple as reading which line the refracted light aligns with.

It's a pretty low-tech device, but the genius is in it's simplicity.

mujtba
11/04/2008, 01:17 PM
ok so what does calibration mean? if i drop few drops of distilled water on the glass pane, what does it do? after i drop the distilled, i then drop salt water drops on it?

and I can do this each time I do my weekly water change?

Michael
11/04/2008, 01:21 PM
have a look at randys words on refractometers it may help, fwiw gfrisco is doing a good job, well done mate

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/index.php

spleify
11/04/2008, 04:47 PM
Ok, so long story short. I just opened up a new bucket of reef crystals that I have had for a couple months now. Last time I ordered I ordered 2, I will usually order once I open my last bucket, so it has been a while since I got these. The last bucket tested out pretty consistent at 410-425 CA. I open up the new bucket and make a 25 gallon batch, tested it today(after 3 days mixing in the bucket) and my CA tested at 300, Salifert. I thought for sure I did something wrong, so I tested again, still 300.
I brought a sample to my LFS, and HE tested it with Salifert 340, I tested it with his kit, again 340. ARGGG, man I thought I was over the bad batches of salt, this is so frustrating. I guess its good at least I test my new water, and bolster it any way, I will just have to add more Calcium.

The alk tested 12
MAG 1200
79 degrees
35 PPT

Spleify

mujtba
11/10/2008, 07:11 PM
Ok so my Marinedepot refractometer arrived today. Here are my readings on the reef crystals:

SG: 1.026 (Marinedepot refractometer)
Ca: 375 ppm (Salifert)
Mg: 1050 ppm (Salifert)

Now i tested the SG several times, and it was right at 1.026. The strange thing is that my hydrometer reads it at 1.028. So the refractometer I assume is the correct reading....

however it is safe to say that the salt is lower than i expected.. sux.. i can understand one of the two being low, but both low sucks..

qfrisco
11/10/2008, 07:42 PM
And just to add, I broke open my second bag of Reef Crystals, and it tested similarly to my first bag. At least in my testing, Reef Crystals is definitely in the low end of the acceptable ranges for Ca and Mg, but they're good enough for me.

mujtba
11/10/2008, 08:38 PM
Ok thanks Q... ill use the salt up this time, but i wont get it again...

qfrisco
11/10/2008, 08:49 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13721356#post13721356 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
Ok thanks Q... ill use the salt up this time, but i wont get it again...

Which salt did you use prior to Reef Crystals? Now that you've got a refractometer, I'd be curious to see how that mix compares to Reef Crystals as far as Ca and Mg go.

redfishsc
11/10/2008, 09:11 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13628875#post13628875 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mujtba
FYI, I rounded up to 800 and 300.... I don't think I am doing the tests wrong.. if it was wrong even, I can be off 50-100ppm, but not by so much... TERRIBLE SALT! I have the bucket with the screw on lids.


I don't know if someone mentioned this or not ( I read through the thread briefly) but you need to mix the dry salt up inside the bucket. The minerals can settle out -- meaning much of your calcium chloride might be at the bottom, same with the mag.


Just roll the bucket around, or better yet, take an empty, dry bucket and dump it back and forth to mix it well.

mujtba
11/11/2008, 06:31 AM
Ok I will roll the bucket around.. thanks for the tip...

I use Coral Sea Pro before this.... i need to measure that now. i think i have some left, so i will test it..

my refractometer is awesome.. i love using it.. makes me feel like a chemist.. lol

so going forward, i dont need to worry about the hydrometers reading being much higher than the refractometer?

should i make an SG of 1.026 or lower??

redfishsc
11/11/2008, 06:40 AM
I ignore the SG side of my refractometer and measure the salinity at 35ppm, which is about 1.026. The 35ppm is so much easier to read, at least on my refractometer.

Randy Holmes-Farley
11/11/2008, 10:37 AM
I don't know if someone mentioned this or not ( I read through the thread briefly) but you need to mix the dry salt up inside the bucket. The minerals can settle out -- meaning much of your calcium chloride might be at the bottom, same with the mag.


Just roll the bucket around, or better yet, take an empty, dry bucket and dump it back and forth to mix it well.

FWIW, since the particles in the mix represent different sizes and densities, I think you are at least as likely to actually cause inhomogeneity through particle sorting than you are to homogenize it that way. I would not recommend that procedure.

I would recommend mixing up as large of a portion of a bag or bucket at once as you can accommodate to help smooth out such inhomogeneity issues. :)

fishkillers
11/11/2008, 11:04 AM
true!

mujtba
11/17/2008, 06:11 PM
Here are my readings on the Coral Sea Pro:

SG: 1.026 (Marinedepot refractometer)
Ca: 420 ppm (Salifert)
Mg: 1110 ppm (Salifert)

Looks like it outdid reef crystals... i guess i will have to buy another bucket of this and mix both when i make water..

sucks.. stupid me for trying something new...

Billybeau1
11/19/2008, 11:23 PM
muj, you haven't calibrated with the Pinpoint yet have you ?

Your refract is off. You cannot calibrate most refractometers with distilled or ro/di. Regardless of what the manufacturer claims.

Your numbers on the Red Sea Coral Pro look more like it was mixed at 1.023

Get the Pinpoint 53mS calibration fluid and let us know what the difference is.

If I'm wrong, I'll buy you a beer. :D

mujtba
11/20/2008, 06:32 AM
you're right, i caliberated it with distilled... so the difference can be that much, from 1.026 - 1.023!!?!! that would surely lower all my parameters... that almost means that the hydrometer that i have been using so long, would need to read at 1.029 to equal to 1.026 on my refractometer... big difference..

Billybeau1
11/20/2008, 11:19 PM
Yes. My refractometer is off .003 with ro/di as opposed to the Pinpoint.

Most have reported a .002 to .004 difference.

And yes, it makes a big difference in your calcium, alkalinity and magnesium levels. :)

mujtba
11/22/2008, 04:40 PM
ok i dont get it,, i have the pinpoint fluid, but when i put some drops on the lens, it looks like it contains salt in there..

the directions for distilled water is to bring the BLUE line down to 0 SG where it connects with the white line..

so where should the blue line be if I use pinpoint?

how do i calibrate with it? im confused... i dont want to break the refract...

qfrisco
11/22/2008, 05:01 PM
The pinpoint solution should be exactly 1.0264 ppm or 35 sg out of the bottle. So put some drops of the Pinpoint solution onto your refractometer then read what it says. If it doesn't read 1.0264 or 35 sg then your meter is off.

I don't know about your particular refractometer, but there should be a calibration screw somewhere - on mine it is right behind the glass pane covered by a rubber protector. Just use a small screwdriver (probably came with your refractometer) and turn it until the reading says 1.0264 or 35 sg. That's it.

mujtba
11/22/2008, 05:14 PM
yes i have the screw too.. i didnt know it had to be at 1.0264, so i turned the screw all the way to 0 sg!!!

dam.. wish u guys told me in advance.. i hope i didnt break it..