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kobelka
03-17-2014, 07:59 PM
Hi there,
I'm thinking about buying 3 hanna checkers, alk, cal, and phosphate. I've read a few bad and good reviews and wondered what users here have to say whether they are worth me buying?
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Dave

jorjef
03-17-2014, 08:32 PM
This is my experience.

Alk. Very easy and I believe accurate if you pay attention to detail.

Cal. A bit aggravating with the amount of steps to go through and MUST be anal with accuracy or results vary greatly.

Phos. No experience

mseepman
03-17-2014, 08:38 PM
I have Phos and ALK and they are great. I have heard nothing good about Cal checker

freeze
03-17-2014, 08:43 PM
Have phos and alk, and have been very good. Haven't gotten the calcium yet. Heard it's a little more "involved" but what test isn't, check this, add this powder, then drop this solution and so forth. Will give it a shot soon

Magickiwi
03-17-2014, 08:49 PM
I have all three and the phosphate is by far the worst of the them. Results have huge variations when performed back to back; and even when performed side by side with another Hanna checker. Hard to trust the results. The ULR phosphorous checker is a better option even though you have to convert to phosphate and change the units of measure.

The Alk and Cal both work great for me. They are in the same ballpark as results from chemical kits like the RSM series. Cal is a more involved test but once you get it down it's not really a big deal.

lastlight
03-17-2014, 09:10 PM
I use traditional Elos kits for Alk and Calcium. Alk because that test is SO fast and easy. Calcium because the Hanna version is complained about often.

Here's my experience using the Phosphorus ULR the other day.

Test 1 - 18 (0.055 ppm) spilled a small amount of reagent outside tube.
Test 2 - Lost track of time mixing the reagent and it reset. Reagent wasted!
Test 3 - 3 (0.0092 ppm)
Test 4 - 4 (0.012 ppm)

I honestly didn't think I spilled much on the first go but I sure HOPE that explains the wildly different values. Keep meaning to make a little funnel but get impatient lol. Tests 3 and 4 were very close so I'm sorta confident my levels are very low at the moment.

Delphinus
03-17-2014, 09:28 PM
+1 to the above comments. Alk is ridiculously easy and get good consistent results. Phosphorous ULR (where you have to multiply by 1000 and divide by 3.066 to get phosphate) is almost as easy to perform test but not quite (I find I will get variations in readings from one test to another, but if you think about it "ppb" is a VERY small resolution so it stands to reason there will have to be a small tolerance in values). Calcium is an easy test but has a few drawbacks, not the least that you need to distill 0.1ml of tank sample in "lab grade distilled water". Basically you are testing a droplet of water from your tank but diluted almost 50x (0.1ml into 5.0 ml) so accuracy is a bit of an issue especially given how sensitive it will be to possible contamination from your "lab grade distilled water" (I just use my own RO/DI which "ought" to be good enough...)

FishyFishy!
03-17-2014, 10:29 PM
I was looking at the Hanna's too.

Does anyone have any experiences with the Red Sea kits?

freeze
03-17-2014, 10:37 PM
I have them as well, have found the Hanna's way more consistent and easier. Red seas are okay but don't get the best or most consistent readings. They gave me a good ball park but nothing definate.

The Guy
03-18-2014, 05:17 AM
I have the Hanna phos checker and find it good, the only thing is the little paks of regent . They are a PITA, :wacko: wish they would come up with a liquid regent so you could just use a drop or 2 instead of trying to get all that powder into the test bottle with out spilling part of it.
I use Salifert testers for the alk, cal & mag.

mrhasan
03-18-2014, 06:03 AM
For alk, the accuracy of the device keeps me away (+/- 5% of the reading between 4.2 to 14). I keep my alk around 8 so that translates to an inaccuracy of up to +/- 0.4dkh. For a $60 machine, that's unacceptable to me.

Don't have any experience with Ca.

For PO4, I don't love it but I can't hate it either because of all the "guess the shade of green" test, hanna atleast get it "right" to some extend and I don't have to play the shades of green game.

Drfu
03-18-2014, 07:09 AM
I have all three and the phosphate is by far the worst of the them. Results have huge variations when performed back to back; and even when performed side by side with another Hanna checker. Hard to trust the results. The ULR phosphorous checker is a better option even though you have to convert to phosphate and change the units of measure.

The Alk and Cal both work great for me. They are in the same ballpark as results from chemical kits like the RSM series. Cal is a more involved test but once you get it down it's not really a big deal.

I have all three, i was fed up with color kits, to much judgment involved.

I have the ulr phosphorus, its the easiest of the three and i get the same results each time so i highly recommend it. Ask for alk/Ca i dont like the tips they come with to suck up the reagent, it seems to me you get a different size of air bubble each time this making the results a bit different each time. If you don't use the tips you are using more reagent and the results are different.

The Ca does have one extra step involved in it but compared to the API i used before its nothing like drop, shake, count, drop, shake, count.......

Does anyone have any advice on these tips/syringes?

Also i want to check my PH swing, i have never used a ph meter! How are they? Anyone recommend a good one, Hanna or something else?

rburns24
03-21-2014, 03:48 AM
That plastic tip that comes with the Alk kit is garbage, period. An insulin syringe is the way to go.

Drfu
03-21-2014, 04:44 AM
That plastic tip that comes with the Alk kit is garbage, period. An insulin syringe is the way to go.

So my question is can you use the syringe without the tip and just pull 1ml or does that throw off the results by using too much reagent?

rburns24
03-21-2014, 05:05 AM
Discard the tip and the syringe that comes with it and just use an insulin syringe, which you can get at Shopper's Drug Mart. That way, you can measure exactly 1 ml. of reagent. It's very accurate. The other thing you can do is use a 10 ml. syringe with a point on it for your water sample. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Wheelman76
03-21-2014, 05:49 AM
I have all three, i was fed up with color kits, to much judgment involved.

I have the ulr phosphorus, its the easiest of the three and i get the same results each time so i highly recommend it. Ask for alk/Ca i dont like the tips they come with to suck up the reagent, it seems to me you get a different size of air bubble each time this making the results a bit different each time. If you don't use the tips you are using more reagent and the results are different.

The Ca does have one extra step involved in it but compared to the API i used before its nothing like drop, shake, count, drop, shake, count.......

Does anyone have any advice on these tips/syringes?

Also i want to check my PH swing, i have never used a ph meter! How are they? Anyone recommend a good one, Hanna or something else?

Why do you think that you use more than 1ml reagent if you don't use the tip?

The Guy
03-21-2014, 06:28 AM
Why do you think that you use more than 1ml reagent if you don't use the tip?
I was wondering the same thing Jess, Huh! did I miss something:question:

Magickiwi
03-21-2014, 03:18 PM
My guess is that the reagent is caustic or would potentially degrade the syringe some how and that the plastic tip is made from a different material that can withstand it. I use the tip (that's what she said!) and I'm not very worried about getting too much reagent etc.

Drfu
03-21-2014, 03:46 PM
Why do you think that you use more than 1ml reagent if you don't use the tip?

I assume that without the tip you dont get an air poocket like you do with the tip thus you are using more reagent and throwing off the results. I have done Alk tests on the same water sample doing both with & without and i got different results. If i remember correctly my Alk with the tip was around 124 & with the tip it was 214.

I could try again just to see and use my crappy API as a comparison to see?

Oscar
03-21-2014, 05:50 PM
And what about the Hanna nitrate device?

I am using Salifert nitrite test which is pretty coarse. Is the Hanna nitrate tester a reliable substitute?

Mark 972
03-21-2014, 05:57 PM
Bad experience with the Hanna calcium checker! It registered 600 so we stopped dosing. After some advice from other people in the hobby, we purchased 2 other test kits - Elos and Salifert. Tested and compared and calcium results - Hanna checker was out of this world and other 2 kits matched at 420.

Drfu
03-22-2014, 02:20 AM
And what about the Hanna nitrate device?

I am using Salifert nitrite test which is pretty coarse. Is the Hanna nitrate tester a reliable substitute?

Only for freshwater