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Testing Reagents

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Hogie View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 12 2017 at 1:50pm
Make sure when testing that your reagents are good. I just got a new bottle for my ALK hanna tester when I tested with my old bottle, my alk was 155 ppm (or 8.6 dkh) which is right where I try to keep it. When tested with the new reagent, it was 120 ppm (or 6.6 dkh). I thought that must be wrong so I retested both and 154 and got 118. I went out and bought a different reagent and tested again and got 122 ppm. So, then I took the water to a LFS and had them test it and they got 6.4 dkh. So, the reagent in the original bottle that I've been using forever has to be bad!

This explains a lot of what's been going on in my tank! Everything is doing pretty good, but one coral will suddenly and randomly die off (overnight it will be all white) and when I put in a new coral, it either dies or struggles for months until it starts to grow.

So moral of the story is, make sure your reagent is good!
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phys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2017 at 4:52am
I always throw out old reagents when i run out of the other for this single purpose.
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2017 at 10:32pm
Good advice.
Checking/verifying numbers is good practice.

An LFS and/or tank maintenance service burns through reagent fairly quickly with multiple tank water samples. They usually notice right away, by referring back to the testing history, when a bottle of faulty reagent has been received/used.

Along this same line, not too long ago I was checking salinity of the water in the bag holding a fish from Rusty's Reefs. It was way high, like 1.030.   

But it wasn't what I thought. The problem was with me. My refractometer was off. Turns out that Rusty had compared three separate salinty standard solutions from three separate manufacturers. They each agreed.

Since then I have compared refractometers and hydrometers that I come across, finding all of them to be reading wrong, mostly too high. Even when calibrated with pure water, they are wrong, as was mine!

But so what. It doesn't really matter much. Fish and coral can live just fine in salinity(specific gravity) anywhere between 1.018 and 1.030 and they tolerate modest variations that come quickly. Currents can bring water of varying specific gravity and heavy storms can dump so much fresh water that there can be a significant drop in salinity in a very short amount of time.

It's not a bad idea to always check the salinity of the water surrounding a newly acquired animal and adjust accordingly. I do not suggest drip acclimation as that causes more problems than it solves. I just take a few more minutes to acclimate an animal to higher salinity.

Aloha,
Mark
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