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Old 12/19/2009, 05:09 PM   #1
stiltman
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refractometer

I'm shopping for one now, since I've been using a $7 hydrometer for the last 2 years I'm thinking I can get by with one of the cheaper models out there.

Is there much difference between the best and the cheapest? So far I just see that calibration may be a bit easier in the more expensive models. Is calibrating hard?

I'm thinking about the lower end models from big al's or foster and smith's.

Thanks.


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Old 12/19/2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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MarineDepot has one on sale right now for $39.99, reg $59.99. I think my wife saw my email and bought me one


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Old 12/19/2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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I got mine from ebay and it looks just like marinedepot for 39.99 but it was only like 20.00 I can't say if is as good but looks the same and works great for me.


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Old 12/19/2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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i think its all the same. just depend on.... if ur a brand name junkie or not and if u want to pay more for the extra feature


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Old 12/19/2009, 07:30 PM   #5
tkeracer619
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ebay for half off specials. $20 all day long. Make sure to get one for aquariums that has the proper scale and some calibration fluid.

I really am surprised LFS don't have them for $30. They would sell one to every customer and make good profit vs selling them for $100 and maybe selling 1 a year...


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Old 12/19/2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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I have one like the "Marine Depot" version and it is just fine. I do recommend getting a standard solution to calibrate with over using RO water. RO will get close but if your buying a refractometer "close" is not what you are interested in our you would still playing with a swing arm.


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Old 12/19/2009, 08:29 PM   #7
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thanks all


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Old 12/19/2009, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
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MarineDepot has one on sale right now for $39.99, reg $59.99. I think my wife saw my email and bought me one
+1
I have the MarineDepot one as well, for the same price. It is not at all difficult to calibrate and very easy to use. I calibrate mine monthly with RO/DI water.


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Old 12/19/2009, 10:03 PM   #9
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got mine on ebay also. easy to use


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Old 12/19/2009, 10:09 PM   #10
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$27.00 shipped ATC refractometer on ebay.
And I have been calibrating with distilled water. Most likely
will purchase the AMP salinity calibration fluid on my next
bundle online purchase.


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Old 12/21/2009, 01:10 AM   #11
TRichardson79
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Got mine from Bulk Reef Supply for $40 and it came with calibration solution.


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Old 12/22/2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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wasn't there a link somewhere to making a proper calibration solution?


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Old 12/22/2009, 02:18 PM   #13
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maybe consider a better hydrometer

I can recommend Tropic Marin Precision hydrometers (accept no substitute) instead of a refractometer. I cant be bothered calibrating a refractometer. I am not alone. I bought my 260 gal reef set up from a guy that had the salt way off because he hadnt calibarated his refractometer. There is a highly accurate hydrometer out there, it is much more accurate than any aquarium refractometer and never needs calibration. It is
Tropic Marin Precision hydrometer (accept no substitute)
It is accurate to 0.0005 count those zeros folks, it is about 10X more accuate than aquarium refractometers (whose scales doent even go that low).
they are about $36 and really easy to use.


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Old 12/22/2009, 05:25 PM   #14
Jared J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbardwel View Post
I can recommend Tropic Marin Precision hydrometers (accept no substitute) instead of a refractometer. I cant be bothered calibrating a refractometer. I am not alone. I bought my 260 gal reef set up from a guy that had the salt way off because he hadnt calibarated his refractometer. There is a highly accurate hydrometer out there, it is much more accurate than any aquarium refractometer and never needs calibration. It is
Tropic Marin Precision hydrometer (accept no substitute)
It is accurate to 0.0005 count those zeros folks, it is about 10X more accuate than aquarium refractometers (whose scales doent even go that low).
they are about $36 and really easy to use.
haha, didn't you say that already?


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Old 12/22/2009, 06:18 PM   #15
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PA has a Vertex ATC one for $35: http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merch...Code=VX-MI-RF1


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Old 12/22/2009, 08:38 PM   #16
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Ebay here and it was shipped from china. Has a finger adjustable calibrator and I have found that it is the best thing since folding money was invented.


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Old 12/22/2009, 08:39 PM   #17
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wasn't there a link somewhere to making a proper calibration solution?
wouldn't that be distilled water? That is what mine calls for.


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Old 12/22/2009, 08:48 PM   #18
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wouldn't that be distilled water? That is what mine calls for.
Most refractrometers have the ppt scale opposite of the specific gravity. I use this side for calibration. You can make calibration fluid of different salinity by using 1 gram of salt per one liter of water. This equals 1 ppt, so 10g of salt in one liter of water = 10 ppt and so on.


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Old 12/22/2009, 08:49 PM   #19
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Mine refractometer only calibrated properly with calibration solution. RO water calibrated .005 high.


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Old 12/22/2009, 09:58 PM   #20
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im looking at them on ebay also, i have seen the mrange from 29.00 shipped all the way to 45 or so. some come with a temp tester and PH tester for abotu 45 oor so also. not sure if its worth it for the PH tester. Anyone on the digital PH tester? two links
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Salinity-Ref...3D10%26ps%3D63


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Old 12/22/2009, 10:04 PM   #21
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check this one out

http://cgi.ebay.com/Salinity-Meter-w...item4cec2dc0ef


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Old 12/22/2009, 10:38 PM   #22
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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that all refractometers are most certainly not created equal. While yes, any refracto is better than the junk hydrometers, some are definatly built better than others. I have two that I use on a regular basis. One has been dead on for two years and been through lots of abuse. The other (which was purchased three months ago) needs to be calibrated constantly and will shift readings if you don't handle it with great care. If you hold a $40 + $80 dollar refracto in your hands, I bet you'll feel the difference in weight alone. Just my humble opinion.


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Old 12/23/2009, 01:08 PM   #23
Jared J
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Quote:
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wouldn't that be distilled water? That is what mine calls for.
No, distilled water will calibrate your refrac to 0, but it's really best to have a reference solution to check against. Someone had posted the amounts of distilled water and grams of salt to get 35ppm but I can't seem to find it anywhere.


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Old 12/23/2009, 03:18 PM   #24
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No, distilled water will calibrate your refrac to 0, but it's really best to have a reference solution to check against. Someone had posted the amounts of distilled water and grams of salt to get 35ppm but I can't seem to find it anywhere.
35 g/L = 35 ppt


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Old 12/24/2009, 07:59 PM   #25
Jared J
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35 g/L = 35 ppt
Yeah, that sounds about right but someone had a formula for a small batch. It was like 8oz water and ? grams of salt.........or something like that. made enough of an accurate solution to keep in a small jar.


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