Saltwater Test Kits - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Saltwater Test Kits

Can I use a saltwater KH and PH test kit and get accurate readings for freshwater? I have a couple of test kits and would like to use them up before purchasing new ones. The measurement ranges are within my parameters, but do I have to use a conversion factor?

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 04:08 PM
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The SW pH tests I've seen don't go below 7.8 because an ideal SW pH is 8.2 (thus its more of a 'high range pH test kit'). Aside from that, the pH kit should work.
Kh kit may or may not work. I'm not sure if FW kh test kit would be affected by the extra buffering and salt in SW.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 07:21 PM
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I wouldn't trust the results. I know for sure my Calcium kit for saltwater does not work correctly on fresh water.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
I wouldn't trust the results. I know for sure my Calcium kit for saltwater does not work correctly on fresh water.
Curious as to why not? Calcium is Calcium no? The only issue I could see would be that a Calcium test kit for SW would only be made for much higher concentrations than one for FW.

I have a Red Sea SW Calcium kit and it seems to work. I just need to add *alot* less reagent to get a color change.

Or maybe it's not giving me correct readings?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 03:59 PM
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I am by no means an expert, but in my opinion, I would suspect that most, if not all SW test kits can be applied to freshwater, but some may have limited use.

Sailfert are one brand I know of that develop a lot of SW tests, and some are suggested for FW as well....
Quote:
Salifert Profi Test Kits
Salifert Profi Test Kits for reef, marine and advanced freshwater aquarists are some of the most precise and accurate test kits on the market. Kits are available for all aspects of the aquarium's chemistry, covering organic and inorganic pollutants as well as valuable marine trace elements to allow for accurate dosing when additives are required. The kits feature bold colour changes and good colour comparison charts and offer quick and easy water testing. Most are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments (unless otherwise stated).
This is taken from a large online UK retailer; Aquatics Online. It states that some are Marine only, but I suspect that this is more due to the levels of each compound found in FW as opposed to SW and the range of the test kit, not because of an innability to work.
Here is my thoughts on those kits...
Iodine (Test range: 0.01 - 0.15ppm) & Strontium (Steps of 5 mg/L)
Not found in FW aquaria and not needed (ignoring debate about shrimp/iodine use ), or at very very low levels (below 0.01ppm).
pH (Test range: 7.4 - 8.7)
Range higher than normal FW water
Magnesium (Steps of 30mg/l) & Boron (Steps of 0.5 mg/L)
Resolution is not small enough for the relative small amounts found in FW.

These are my theories as to why they are considered only for Marine use as surely those developed for SW have to take into account many more dissolved substances (salts) and higher TDS values that would be more likely to cause false results, than those that are found in FW. Put simply, FW is far "purer" than SW in terms of dissolved compounds.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith
Curious as to why not? Calcium is Calcium no? The only issue I could see would be that a Calcium test kit for SW would only be made for much higher concentrations than one for FW.

I have a Red Sea SW Calcium kit and it seems to work. I just need to add *alot* less reagent to get a color change.

Or maybe it's not giving me correct readings?
The CALIBRATION level is totally different. I did an experiment, added NaCl(table salt, did not know how much exactly to simulate saltwater so I added to saturation) and got very different Ca reading! So the correct result is somewhere in between. Anybody can try that.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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I did the same experiment as shalu above and salinated the water prior to a KH test. The Tropic Marin saltwater KH test kit game me exact reading whether fresh or salt. I'm surprised...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 02:27 AM
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That's good to know, although kh/gh kits for freshwater is readily available. Maybe more people can do the same test on different kits, so we will have more info on which kits can be used, which can not. I think I have the AP calcium kit for salt water.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I started this thread is beacuse I am about to add CO2 to my tank and I am finding my water conditions strange. I have a high Ph, stable at 8.1, I have hard water with a GH of around 13, but my KH is at 7.5. I keep african cichlids (Tanganyikan ones that generally don't eat plants) that require a high Ph. If I look at the CO2 tables, given my KH, to add 20-30 ppm of CO2 I'll have to lower my Ph significantly. I am of the understanding that I should not fight the KH problem with additives as it confuses lots of other stuff. I'd like to try the EI for my ferts, but need to get the CO2 up there. Any advice?
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