Easy Reefing, Reef,fowlr. For The Beginners/minimalist | Page 5

  1. MightyNanoTank Well Known Member Member

    @grantm91 Yeah - API is good for a rough baseline. Once you start getting into the smaller details, you want to know a more precise value with a test that can test in the lower-range. I use Salifert for my Nitrate tests, I got it off eBay for $15, it's a good alternative as oppose to one of the most expensive brands. Red Sea's test kits are like easily in the $30, balling @stella1979 :p The Salifert Nitrate test will give you a better reading than the API for sure, since it'll show you from 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, and 5 PPM range. I will say though, when using the Salifert, it's hard to differentiate between 0.5 and 0.2 PPM, but at least you know it's less than a 1PPM value, which typically is what you'll need to know.

    By the way, I officially hate you guys! Since seeing all your new tank set-ups and rockscaping. I have a gnarly itch, I mean GNARLY itch to completely re-do my entire scaping with Pukani rocks... ugh. I think I mentioned that I've been unhappy with it since day 1 because I had to rush the process. Lesson learned for everyone out there, patience is key, and do it right the first time!

    But anyways, I think the wife would probably kill me at this point :nailbiting: in wanting to re-do my whole rock work.
    I think I am going to keep myself busy with something else lol.
  2. stella1979 Well Known Member Member

    @grantm91 My tap is at 40 too! That's why the RO system was a good investment, I needed it for FW too! Though FW must be remineralized, I use SeaChem Alkaline Buffer, Replenish and Fresh Trace. The Red Sea kit doesn't test that high but you can always use it to do a dilution test so it's still quite handy. I now have API, Salifert and Red Sea for nitrates and found the original tap water API test results to be true. 40ppm out of the tap, smh:facepalm: I think in my area it's due to fertilizer run-off, there is actually quite a bit of farm land south of Miami.

    Not exactly ballin' @MightyNanoTank :D We're still slowly switching out and so far I've only got Red Sea for nitrates and phosphates. Currently still using API on a few and I'm starting to hate it for SW. I'm not so sure that Red Sea is that far off Salifert with pricing, though I haven't run ALL the numbers. I know the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro kit tests for alkalinity, magnesium and calcium and sells online for $50. Three tests from Salifert will run into the $45-$50 range too for me, so it's a matter of preference I guess. The foundation kit is next on the supplies wishlist. ;)

  3. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    Thankyou both for the brake down of the kits from your first hand experience its really appreciated, @stell1979 do you just dilute your tap water with RO to combat the nitrates because thats what i was thinking i could do ? Or do you use full RO and buffer it up?

  4. MightyNanoTank Well Known Member Member

    Hey - I was also curious, what's the TDS on the waste water? Have you ever checked yours @stella1979 , specifically for Nitrates and TDS?

  5. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    Not even got a tds metre lol I'm a salty cow boy all i need is a parrot and a patch il be a pirate I'm pulling it together now, just been looking at the salifert test kits on amazon only £10 but i feel like getting them all haha. Im ordering a tds metre now too any recommends quickly lol or what to look for in one any key words?
  6. stella1979 Well Known Member Member

    Hahahahahaha! It's great to see the jealousy going both ways @MightyNanoTank I hate you both too... for your lights!!! But I can't afford the Radion that I really want so I'm looking at upgrading my T5's.

    So, @grantm91 I thought I would dilute too. I tried that in buckets and ran a few tests. Finding that a 60% RO mixture still left 10-20ppm nitrates, and that I was dealing with an incredibly high GH, I went for it, started using straight RO, and gave Seachem a little more of my money. I use their Alkaline buffer to raise my KH, Replenish to raise GH and Fresh Trace to replace healthy minerals. :D It's not for everybody but I like that I can get GH and KH levels right where I want them for FW. Thanks once again to Miss @CindiL , I feel like I kind of know what I'm doing here and I'm thinking of one day setting up a soft water tank... maybe.

    @MightyNanoTank - I've never checked my waste water but now you've got me thinking... ;)
  7. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

  8. MightyNanoTank Well Known Member Member

    @grantm91 so I don't have a hand held TDS meter. I have the TDS unit that hooks into my RODI unit and that's what I'm using to monitor it. I was overwhelmed when I did look at the hand held TDS meters on Amazon though lol.

    @stella1979 yeah I was really curious what the waste water was coming out as, because you might be able to reuse as your freshwater tank water changes without needing to put too much stuff into it. Just a thought
  9. greenbonsai Well Known Member Member

    The HM tds-3 or HM tds-4tma are the most trustworthy, lower cost handheld tds meters. They're the same brand as the inline tds meters that @MightyNanoTank has on the RO/DI unit. I think most people get the model 3 because it can be recalibrated using this: C-342 – HM Digital.
  10. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks @greenbonsai funny enough the one i was looking at, cheap too lol.
    Guess who has came to live at my house... cb675ae6c86f44bb84573105b8f45558.jpg 4799829ed47575a5e1799301667e82ae.jpg picked him up this morning acclimated him just now he appears to be coping well with the flow to my surprise. Hopefully he can stay. He was a little sheepish toward my neon gobys warm welcome haha.
  11. greenbonsai Well Known Member Member

    You sure didn't sleep on that purchase long!

    Love that wicked finnage.

    Thought I should mention the COM-100 – HM Digital too. It's the company's higher end tds meter and is very accurate, waterproof, and doesn't need to be calibrated as often (if ever). They are much more consistent, but 2-3 times the price of the other models I linked in the last post.
  12. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    The finnage really did it for me and the colour, i like bright primary colours usually but he is actually pearlescent. Really has added variety this guy i have the dippy mad clowns and goby he is my mr majestic. I thought about it and the only thing was the flow worried me, but the only way to find out was to get him, did all the reading i could but the opinions out there were so mixed literally all i could do was try for my self. Il just have to see how he does. I think I'm going to get the cheap tds just to have some physical experience. How good are the digital ph meters are the worth the money ? You guys used them??
  13. MightyNanoTank Well Known Member Member

    I've never used the digital PH meters. I rarely check my PH anymore. Since it can fluctuate throughout the day... it's a parameter I do not want to chase for, if that makes sense.
    I just use the API test kit for that, so I would save a few bucks and skip on that if I were you.
  14. stella1979 Well Known Member Member

    Yay Grant! You'll have to let us know how he does...

    I hate testing pH and have been wondering the same about digi meters... if you find someone with good experience with one brand or another, I'd love to hear about it.

    Edit: I agree @MightyNanoTank - I don't want to chase either but it would be nice to have an easy way to check if I'm ever in that desirable range. I don't usually have a hard time with colors but that high range API kit frustrates me.
  15. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    Yes il let you know how he does, i don't check ph much really too i just seen them cheap and if its just a case of dip it in and its accurate why not for the price but il skip for now.
  16. greenbonsai Well Known Member Member

    Yeah I would save your money on that since the API works well enough. I'm sure you noticed that same brand, HM Digital makes digital pH meters. Some even do pH, tds and temp: COM-300 – HM Digital.

    They also have one for salt measurements: SB-1500H – HM Digital
  17. stella1979 Well Known Member Member

    I actually don't mind running tests... even bought better test tubes and a rack for doing it. But, I'll say it again... I HATE the pH test. I think I'll start a thread asking for people's experience with digi meters.

    Edit: Same time posting as you @greenbonsai I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only one who feels like the high range pH test is often guess work.. as in, I'm often guessing which color my test is closest to. Admittedly, this is often in FW.
  18. MightyNanoTank Well Known Member Member

    So one thing came to mind a while back... you know, with all the water tests, especially to those who test daily and then you use tank water for feeding. Just becareful, especially if you use or plan to use an ATO in the future. It's not dire, but a 5-10ml drop in water is enough to trigger my ATO to put fresh water back in the tank. So over time it has a potential to drop your salinity slightly and raise calcium if you dose Kalk in your ATO. What I do to combat this, is i have some extra fresh SW mix that I put into the tank before I take the tank water out to use. In a smaller system this might affect you a bit more than others. Anyways, just my random OCD thought process lol.
  19. stella1979 Well Known Member Member

  20. grantm91 Well Known Member Member

    That sounds ocd but your tanks the best nano i seen so carry on, i can pick loads of faults with mine little bits of algae come and go, i just have to control my ocd and not start messing all the time,il never win lol. The only thing i do is top off my self with straight RO and i check salinity a lot, especially when i got a mix going ready for a change i don't want fluctuations as i think it makes my bta go walking round the tank and its not good for anything in there.
    @greenbomsai the multi test ones jump massively in price lol. Il get two cheap ones and tape them back to back .