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blaster
09-25-2008, 04:05 AM
What is the best one?

Chowder
09-25-2008, 04:09 AM
Hanna Photometer.

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/hn-po4lr/Hanna+Low+Range+Phosphate+Photometer.html

christyf5
09-25-2008, 04:13 AM
My vote is for the Merck Phosphate test kit. Pricey but works like a charm.

http://oceanaquatics.com/store/product/2673/Deltec-Phosphate-Test-Kit/

trilinearmipmap
09-25-2008, 04:33 AM
The Merck test kit works very well, especially for detecting low levels of phosphate. However the refills cost too much.

Has anyone checked out the Elos test kits?

Delphinus
09-25-2008, 04:57 AM
The Elos PO4 test kit is easy to use, like most Elos test kits, but not very good at low range numbers (like most PO4 test kits).

I tried the Hanna photometer and disliked it. Could not get a steady reading. I tried new reagents, I tried other photometers and it was always the same story. 0.00, 0.10, 0.02, 0.04, 0.16 ... etc. .. It was all over the place. I would have had better accuracy just by waving my hand over the test sample and then stating the first random number that came into my head. I can do that without spending $160.

The Merck/D-D test kit is pricey but has a good low range and most importantly I *get the same results, test after test*. It can tell you down to 0.000 to 0.008 which the Hanna photometer can't even go down to (0.00 or 0.01 is all it would tell you, if you can ever get the #'s to read the same twice in a row). So my opinion is that the Merck/D-D is the only one worth its price.

My advice after 2 years of convincing myself that test kit after test kit must be faulty because they would either tell me zero (or random numbers like in the case of the Hanna) .... is that PO4 testing is overrated. I don't know. I feed pretty heavy and I can not get a PO4 reading. NO3 out the wazoo. If you have high PO4 then I think something's off. My $0.02 anyhow.

trilinearmipmap
09-25-2008, 02:05 PM
The main use of my Merck phosphate test kit was for a one-time reading to assure myself that my phosphates weren't high.

I also use it for my FW plant tanks.

Oceanic
09-25-2008, 11:00 PM
Some people don't think that zero phosphate is actually a good thing. Some Zeovit users are actually dosing small amounts of phosphate in order to keep some color in specific species.

blaster
09-25-2008, 11:59 PM
I'm starting to think phosphate testing is overrated.I have a merk kit and its always at 0.Yet i still get algae.I think nitrates may be better to keep in control.

christyf5
09-26-2008, 12:05 AM
I think the phosphates get immediately (or pretty darn close) tied up in the growth of algae. SInce the alge is harbouring them, theres none to be measured. I have close to zero phosphates and have caulerpa glueing all my rocks together. I have to "harvest" it monthly from one of my birdsnest corals.

Johnny Reefer
01-30-2009, 02:38 AM
I just got a Hanna HI 93713 Phosphate low range photometer and I am confused by the readings I got from it.

For my reef tank I got 1.82mg/L.
For my FOWLR I got 2.70mg/L.
WTF? My PO4 has never been above 1.00. My FOWLR tested at that for a time in í06.

The powder was not completely dissolved when I put the sample in the photometer. They say to shake it gently. But they also say to time it for 3 minutes once the sample is in the photometer. But Iím assuming time is of the essence, given the 3 minutes timeframe? I canít be standing there shaking the sample hard for 10 minutes until the powder is dissolved, can I? They say not to let it stand for too long. They say nothing of ensuring the powder is fully dissolved. But they do talk about debris and bubbles throwing the reading off.
Oy vey! Yet another test kit with crappy instructions.

The leaflet says it measures PO4≥ˉ. I see on Wikipedia that thatís inorganic phosphate. Okay.

The leaflet has conversions. To convert PO4≥ˉ to P2O5 multiply reading by 1.49.
To convert PO4≥ˉ to P multiply reading by 0.33.

I have been using the Elos PO4 kit for testing up to now. I should state that I do not read this test exactly as directed by Elos. They say to look down at the sample through the top of the vial. I have always looked from the side, as this is how other test kits are.

Latest readings with Elos was yesterday.
Reef: < 0.1
FOWLR: 0.1

If I convert my Hanna readings to P, I get.
Reef: 1.82 x .33 = 0.6006 mg/L. This is more like it!
FOWLR: 2.7 x .33 = 0.891. Again, more like it!

I donít get what Iím missing here.

Iím assuming P is organic phosphate? Maybe I should just be happy with the converted readings I get of that? I have read/heard that organic phosphate is the more important phosphate to keep tabs on anyway?

Sorry. This chemistry business is one of my weaker aspects of the hobby.

Anyone with any experience or light that could be shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx much,

Lance
01-30-2009, 02:54 AM
I think the phosphates get immediately (or pretty darn close) tied up in the growth of algae. SInce the alge is harbouring them, theres none to be measured. I have close to zero phosphates and have caulerpa glueing all my rocks together. I have to "harvest" it monthly from one of my birdsnest corals.


I agree with Christy. I read somewhere that it is very difficult to get a proper reading on phosphates unless your tank is algae free. Who has that?
I kind of monitor the algae growth: if it starts to grow faster I change out the Rowaphos and add a little Phosphate Destroyer from Tailored Aquatics. Seems to work for me.

Johnny Reefer
01-30-2009, 06:00 AM
I just got a Hanna HI 93713 Phosphate low range photometer and I am confused by the readings I got from it.

For my reef tank I got 1.82mg/L.
For my FOWLR I got 2.70mg/L.
WTF? My PO4 has never been above 1.00. My FOWLR tested at that for a time in í06.

The powder was not completely dissolved when I put the sample in the photometer. They say to shake it gently. But they also say to time it for 3 minutes once the sample is in the photometer. But Iím assuming time is of the essence, given the 3 minutes timeframe? I canít be standing there shaking the sample hard for 10 minutes until the powder is dissolved, can I? They say not to let it stand for too long. They say nothing of ensuring the powder is fully dissolved. But they do talk about debris and bubbles throwing the reading off.
Oy vey! Yet another test kit with crappy instructions.

The leaflet says it measures PO4≥ˉ. I see on Wikipedia that thatís inorganic phosphate. Okay.

The leaflet has conversions. To convert PO4≥ˉ to P2O5 multiply reading by 1.49.
To convert PO4≥ˉ to P multiply reading by 0.33.

I have been using the Elos PO4 kit for testing up to now. I should state that I do not read this test exactly as directed by Elos. They say to look down at the sample through the top of the vial. I have always looked from the side, as this is how other test kits are.

Latest readings with Elos was yesterday.
Reef: < 0.1
FOWLR: 0.1

If I convert my Hanna readings to P, I get.
Reef: 1.82 x .33 = 0.6006 mg/L. This is more like it!
FOWLR: 2.7 x .33 = 0.891. Again, more like it!

I donít get what Iím missing here.

Iím assuming P is organic phosphate? Maybe I should just be happy with the converted readings I get of that? I have read/heard that organic phosphate is the more important phosphate to keep tabs on anyway?

Sorry. This chemistry business is one of my weaker aspects of the hobby.

Anyone with any experience or light that could be shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx much,
Bump.

marie
01-30-2009, 06:09 AM
I'm one of those ostrich people (I keep my head buried in the sand :redface: ) If everything is going good then what I don't know won't hurt me. It's working so far and I do keep a very close eye on the animals to make sure nobody is off colour or unhappy

The only thing I've tested for in the last 6 months has been alk (If my alk drops I assume my cal is dropping too)

I've even given up testing Mg, If the coraline stops growing on the glass then I add a few cup fulls

fkshiu
01-30-2009, 06:29 AM
I'm with Marie. I don't remember the last time I tested for phosphates or nitrates or even pH. I test for Ca, Mg and Alk maybe once a month. I usually use the state of my livestock as a measure of my levels.

awa1979
01-30-2009, 08:14 AM
I dont test for phosphates, I dont have an algae issue and everything is happy and growing.

Not to mention API kit records 1.0ppm sometimes 2.0ppm but the Elos kit shows no phosphate every time.

So one of them is off.

Delphinus
01-30-2009, 09:15 AM
I gave up on the Hanna photometer altogether, found it a very cumbersome way to test.

Never could get the powder to dissolve. I both called and emailed Hanna Instruments about this, they didn't really have anything profound to say about it (they basically read the instructions to me). Although I did finally get someone who said that's why you have the 3 minute timed reading, to allow the undissolved powder to settle.

Thing that really drove me nuts is I couldn't get consistent readings from it. But then I was getting way lower numbers than what you got, I'm surprised, you definitely seem to have unbound PO4 in your water.

I think, FWIW, the tester is better for measuring trends in the 0.x range (not 0.0x range like some people on RC were claiming. "Oh I added Rowaphos and my PO4 went from 0.08 to 0.06!" ... IMO those people aren't using the tester correctly. With a potential error of plus/minus 0.04, the only real significant digit interpretation is going to be in the tenths not the hundredths. Again IMO.) I think trending is probably more useful than understanding whether it's P or PO4/3- or P or P205... I don't know, that whole phosphate stuff is getting kind of low level chemistry if you ask me, I didn't quite get that part either.

Good luck sorting it out.

buddyreefer
01-30-2009, 10:06 AM
i hate testing with kits, so frustrating as there is so much variations with everything, i am now a firm believer in 20 percent water changes a week. i just have pumps all setup so its a breeze don't understand why people hate changing water so much its pretty routine and only takes half an hour as long as you've had some sw mixed up in the garage. I do dose 2 part tho. and i take my water to the lfs for testing if something seems amiss.

chevyjaxon
01-30-2009, 10:28 AM
i hate testing with kits, so frustrating as there is so much variations with everything, i am now a firm believer in 20 percent water changes a week. i just have pumps all setup so its a breeze don't understand why people hate changing water so much its pretty routine and only takes half an hour as long as you've had some sw mixed up in the garage. I do dose 2 part tho. and i take my water to the lfs for testing if something seems amiss.

+1

ALL test kits suck i hate them i never use them i just watch my ph and fly by the seat of my pants too many variables with all test kits i like my pinpoint ph monitor period:twised:

Skimmer King
01-30-2009, 02:19 PM
IME /IMO Test kits are there to second guess you in the hobby, When you look at your tank and you say yup somthing is wrong, then most likely there is something wrong. you are going to know its your tank you see it every day.
I never tested for Nitrates ever, since i have been under the red light hearing if you have a sand bed then you don't have nitrates, well I have nitrates i have around 10-15 from my test kits. and i have a 2-3 inch sand bed. SO Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I never checked for magnesium so i was curious and i bought a Mag kit and like i new 1350 was my test final...

Then I read and heard that dripping Kalk will slow down Nitrates and help kill Algae along with that it help with PH great so i addded a reactor aand its is still there.

I start trialing the fauna marine. And then i have to test for PO4 i dont check PO4 never have. so i get a kit and test .01 i guess that is enough to fuel Red turf algae. who knew i didnt.

So Mike sends me all the fixings ULTRA BAK for PO 4
ULTRA BIO for NITRATES.
ULTRA MIN s FOR ammino acid to help with the color. WOW the PO 4 is dropping fast along with the red Turf is going away again from my previous tank before i trnasfered it all over. love the stuff and i test once every 2 weeks and now once i get this ULTRA BIO it will work faster on the PO 4 and i have seen major changes in the color and the corals too and the PO 4 is almost gone thanks to Aqua digital..

and this is not a hype or sales pitch this is coming from MIke here who dont like to spend too muc on retared stuff , other then SKIMMERs:lol:

Johnny Reefer
01-30-2009, 03:38 PM
Ya, after reading some responses, I'm tending to agree that this PO4 testing is overrated, too, and that the tank itself is the best parameter. I guess my curiousity gets the better of me. That, and I shelled out 250 bucks for this thing and now that I have it I'd like to know how to work the damn thing. In hindsight, a waste of $, I suppose. I'll see if I can find any talk of the Hanna on RC.

Thanx much,

christyf5
01-30-2009, 04:14 PM
I have the deltec phosphate test kit, it seems to be getting the job done and my tank reads 0.008 or 0.015 depending on when I test. Good enough for me and its in line with the hanna meter when I get my water tested at OA.

For the most part, I still believe that what caulerpa is in my tank is still sucking up most of the phosphates. Its ok though, my fish eat it pretty quick and what is living in there is towards the back of the tank. Out of sight out of mind I say :wink: