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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have a suggestion for their fav brand?

Tried to recently purchase Salifert but they’re hard to find. The one place that had them just emailed and said they have no idea when the shipment is coming in so have no ETA

I’d also be willing to go for a digital test if a good one exists


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Anyone have a suggestion for their fav brand?

Tried to recently purchase Salifert but they’re hard to find. The one place that had them just emailed and said they have no idea when the shipment is coming in so have no ETA

I’d also be willing to go for a digital test if a good one exists


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The Salifert kit, IMO, is the gold standard for K testing, in our hobby. I suspect that COVID is causing issues bringing these over from the EU, as I've found that several Salifert kits are harder to come by, recently. A good, but inferior, kit is the JBL freshwater kit. If you want to spend ~$400, there are digital tests, but I think that these are not necessary for hobby purposes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Salifert kit, IMO, is the gold standard for K testing, in our hobby. I suspect that COVID is causing issues bringing these over from the EU, as I've found that several Salifert kits are harder to come by, recently. A good, but inferior, kit is the JBL freshwater kit. If you want to spend ~$400, there are digital tests, but I think that these are not necessary for hobby purposes.
Ok thanks for the input. I suppose I’ll keep waiting on the salifert


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A LaMotte or Hach colorimeter is the silver standard. A lab with a bench colorimeter and professional staff woulld be the gold standard. LaMotte is less expensive than Hach. The LaMotte colorimeter is $1,170.00 and their Potassium test is $77.70. Salifert is the bronze standard. So maybe it's safe to say, Salifert is the gold standard of the bronze standards.
 

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A LaMotte or Hach colorimeter is the silver standard. A lab with a bench colorimeter and professional staff woulld be the gold standard. LaMotte is less expensive than Hach. The LaMotte colorimeter is $1,170.00 and their Potassium test is $77.70. Salifert is the bronze standard. So maybe it's safe to say, Salifert is the gold standard of the bronze standards.
No doubt that we can be parted from our money, but I am curious if you've actually used these professional-grade kits and, if so, have you calibrated them? I'm genuinely interested in knowing if they deliver what their price would imply.
 

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No doubt that we can be parted from our money, but I am curious if you've actually used these professional-grade kits and, if so, have you calibrated them? I'm genuinely interested in knowing if they deliver what their price would imply.
I have the LaMotte colorimeter because I have a very hard time reading the color on other test kits. I show the test results to my wife and she has a hard time reading them. LaMotte technical support says the colorimeter does not need to be calibrated. But testing a reference standard certainly would be interesting. Test results so far have been consistent with what I expect to find. The Phenol Red pH test seemed off to me so I bought a pH pen to check it. I calibrated the pH pen and it's results match the colorimeter. The cost benefit is definitely questionable for an aquarium hobbyist. I won't be able to afford it anymore when I retire. So I need to figure this stuff out and work out my issues before then.
 
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I have the LaMotte colorimeter because I have a very hard time reading the color on other test kits. I show the test results to my wife and she has a hard time reading them. LaMotte technical support says the colorimeter does not need to be calibrated. But testing a reference standard certainly would be interesting. Test results so far have been consistent with what I expect to find. The Phenol Red pH test seemed off to me so I bought a pH pen to check it. I calibrated the pH pen and it's results match the colorimeter. The cost benefit is definitely questionable for an aquarium hobbyist. I won't be able to afford it anymore when I retire. So I need to figure this stuff out and work out my issues before then.
When you're ready, take a look at the Salifert kit. It VERY clearly changes color (quite abrupt) at the appropriate point. I've calibrated it against a reference (close enough = creating a known K quantity in distilled / RODI water) and it holds from one kit to the next.
 

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That's good @Deanna, I look forward to trying the Salifert Potassium test kit some day. The colorimeter has been better for testing Nitrate. It is more accurate. But at such a cost. It's not like a colorimeter saves you any time testing. You have to spend the same amount of time preparing your sample. The only thing it does is to help you read the results better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A LaMotte or Hach colorimeter is the silver standard. A lab with a bench colorimeter and professional staff woulld be the gold standard. LaMotte is less expensive than Hach. The LaMotte colorimeter is $1,170.00 and their Potassium test is $77.70. Salifert is the bronze standard. So maybe it's safe to say, Salifert is the gold standard of the bronze standards.
Maybe consider salifert being the gold standard of aquarium hobbiest kits lol

I looked at both Lamotte and hatch, but only at their reagent kits, not their lab grade colorimeter stuff.

Seems like the hatch kit would work, but looks a little labor intensive, and is $230. The lamotte kit is cheaper and looks easier to use, however it only reads K at certain levels with the lowest being 8ppm. And I need more like 0-10ppm detection.... so neither of these will work for me... at least not at the moment.


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The Salifert freshwater K test kit does seem to be out of stock everywhere...these guys say you can pre-order it....hmmmmm

Salifert test kit
This is where I pre ordered it. Got an email basically saying “no idea when you’ll end up getting this, let us know if you want to cancel”

Suppose I’ll wait lol


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Whoops typo 0-20ppm.

That’s normal for a planted tank right?? Lol I should figure this out before I buy something that won’t work


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Below 8-10 isn't normal, although that is not to say that it won't be ok. In fact, I think that they often tend to these low levels in the EU. Typically, here on TPT, you will find that K ranges the widest of any macro in it's use. You will find it anywhere from 10ppm to no complaints at 50-70.

My personal opinion is that, while I try to keep them on the low side (below EI recommendations and more toward PPS levels), it is more important to keep macros in balance with each other (ratios). I also include Ca, Mg and S in this "macro" category.
 

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For those who were looking for the Salifert test: I found it on the big-E auction site last night from multiple vendors, listed in stock. Thought I'd pass on the find since several people said they were having difficulty sourcing it.
 

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Maybe consider salifert being the gold standard of aquarium hobbiest kits lol

I looked at both Lamotte and hatch, but only at their reagent kits, not their lab grade colorimeter stuff.

Seems like the hatch kit would work, but looks a little labor intensive, and is $230. The lamotte kit is cheaper and looks easier to use, however it only reads K at certain levels with the lowest being 8ppm. And I need more like 0-10ppm detection.... so neither of these will work for me... at least not at the moment.


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You can extend the range of a test by diluting the sample with distilled water. One part distilled water to one part sample doubles the range. Two parts distilled water to one part sample triples the range and so on up to nine which is ten times the range. This throws off your test results though because the ratio of water to sample might not be accurately measured. I use a graduated syringe but I still don't trust my measuring. Hach is the Rodeo Drive of testing. It's like Boardwalk in Monopoly. LaMotte is Park Place. The tests are labor intensive. They have tiny measuring spoons for powdered reagents and pipettes for measuring liquid reagents. There are strange procedures like inverting the sample 120 times in two minutes and scanning the blank. Also, If ever you should make a mistake, well there goes a $2.00 to $4.00 test. I have to throw out at least one test a week. It makes you really concentrate.
 

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For those who were looking for the Salifert test: I found it on the big-E auction site last night from multiple vendors, listed in stock. Thought I'd pass on the find since several people said they were having difficulty sourcing it.
You'll want to be sure that you are getting the "Freshwater" test kit and not the "Reef" test kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You'll want to be sure that you are getting the "Freshwater" test kit and not the "Reef" test kit.
I was wondering if this would make a difference.

I was told the salifert nitrate test for saltwater would also work fine for freshwater.... and it seems to produce about the same results that my API FW test does


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I was wondering if this would make a difference.

I was told the salifert nitrate test for saltwater would also work fine for freshwater.... and it seems to produce about the same results that my API FW test does


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Yes, the saltwater NO3 test is identical to their newer freshwater NO3 test. The only thing they changed is the scale, bottle and color card. In fact, I prefer their saltwater NO3 test to the newer freshwater test. I haven't tried calibrating their reef potassium kit in freshwater. Perhaps others, that have, can comment.
 

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Is there any reason the saltwater potassium test wouldn't work for freshwater?
Yes, but it could be any number of reasons. Since no other members have commented on it, I've ordered a saltwater kit to see if I can make it work. I'll report back once I receive it.
 
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