View Full Version : Hydrometer needed
05/17/2006, 12:51 AM
would a peppermint shrimp die b/c of the salt level being to high or too low in our tank? Looking at getting a hydrometer, what is a good price, or does anyone have one they would sell me?
05/17/2006, 07:08 AM
A hydrometer? Like a plastic swing arm thingy?
You need someone with a refractometer to come check it. I realised once I got my refractometer that I was keeping my salinity very high.
Maybe you mean one of those glass floating thingies?
You can always get a LFS to check it for you. I think they'll check something that basic for free.
05/17/2006, 08:59 AM
The Coral Reef calibrated mine for me when I bought it, but it's probably due to be calibrated again. You can usually get them around $10, but if I could go back in time I would have saved my money and bought a refractometer. If only that were the biggest thing I've wasted money on. :(
Anyhow, you're welcome to come borrow my swing arm, but I can't guarentee it's accuracy.
Mel, how far was yours off? When I bought mine it was of by .001, I'm curious how far out of whack they can get. I think Runner nearly nuked a tank awhile back because of a faulty swing arm, maybe he can chime in on how inaccurate they can be. Oh, and to answer your first question: Yes wrong salinity can kill things.
05/17/2006, 10:58 AM
Shrimp (and other critters with exoskeletons) are particularly sensitive to specific gravity and quick changes to it. I always drip acclimate any of these new additions very slowly (at LEAST 2 hours) and make sure that I don't pour large quantities of fresh topoff water on them.
As far as swing arms, when tested against a refractometer, mine read low by 0.003 (quite a bit off). Once you know that though, it's easy just to adjust for it. Where I think these swing arm gadgets are dangerous is that the arms can stick/drag and not float freely, or bubbles can get stuck to the arm and make it read high. That said, they are definitely the cheapest way to go. Always double test and always wash the thing off after you use it and you can probably avoid most of the problems with them. Swing arm is definitely better than nothing because evaporation and mis-cues with salt measurement can bounce the salinity around quite a bit if you don't monitor it.
Also, you seem to be brand new, so don't be insulted if this is really obvious, but only replace evaporated water with fresh water (salt doesn't evaporate)... the person that I got my first SW tank from did not understand this and she had the salinity off the scale high.
05/17/2006, 02:22 PM
Who wants to bring their refractometer to the meeting so I can calibrate mine??? I'll pm Art to see if he has one I can calibrate against...
05/17/2006, 02:55 PM
here yopu go look here
05/17/2006, 04:12 PM
Are all refactometers created equal? That seems like a good deal on one, but I've seen them anywhere from $50-100 in other places. What are the things to look for and are any brands known to be superior or inferior?
Sorry for the hijack Andy, but it does relate somewhat. :)
05/17/2006, 05:03 PM
THe Highjack is ok Kevin, it is usefull knowledge.
DM, yes I am an extereme newb to reef/saltwater, and no I am not insulted, I didn't know until today that you top off with fresh water.
If Kevin's Hydrometer is half way correct then I believe that I have solved my salinity problem, at least for the time being. Got more live rock today, That puts us at 2lbs. of live rock in a 2.5 gallon tank. Looks like someone found a small pile of rocky rubble on the ocean floor in there but hoping that the tank cycles soon and can get some corals in there. I believe that we have a highjacker on our live rock in the for of a couple pollops of mushroom coral, hope they survive the cycling of the tank. When do you need your hydrometer back by kevin, anytime before you move or sooner. Well I just posted a novel, if anyone can think of any other newb mistakes I might make let me know. Thanks for all the help so far.
05/17/2006, 05:10 PM
PA has some info on their site. PA Sybon (http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=REFRACT-HD&Category_Code=Hydrometer) I use the Sybon myself and am happy with it but I havent had it long enough to say much more than that. We do fairly regular group buys from there too so you could save a bit on shipping but I wouldnt wait to save $2-3 bucks on shipping.
05/17/2006, 05:29 PM
Gives me something to save up and bug the time out of my wife for now. Which shouldn't be too hard, she is catching the reef fever almost as bad as I am now. LOL
If you want a hydrometer, I can give you my old one (assuming I can find it, which I think I can) and I'll calibrate it for you. LMK. I can bring it to the meeting.
05/17/2006, 10:18 PM
That would be awesome, except I don't think I am going to be able to make it to this meeting. My mother in-law is going to be here and be helping us pack up to move out to west town, well at least to help us pack up. We haven't gotten into an apartment building yet. Maybe I could meet you somewhere Dave and pick it up. I just need something til' I can afford a refactometer, and if I can get yours then I can give Kevin's back to him before he makes his big move to Ill. Thanks again .
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