Drops, Color Cards and the New Kid on the Block


Eating your veggies, testing your saltwater tank: two things you don’t like but are necessary.
In this episode of Mr. Saltwater Tank TV, I show why testing your tank is important and I show you a great new piece of equipment that makes testing easier and more accurate than ever.
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Comments for this article (21)

  • Martin B says:

    I’m convinced now… I need those Hanna checkers.

    As usual Mark, I like your videos.

  • jeff says:

    hi mark, wondering when you were doing a video on hanna checker, just ordered 1
    yesterday phosphate checker, first saw them listed on ebay.
    Hope they do one for magnesium, cause testing for magnesium with my elos test kit is giving me headaches, lol
    regards jeff (discosurf)

  • I talked with Hanna this week and the Ca, Mg and Nitrates are in development. Hanna will no doubt make sure they are up to spec before they release them but when they do, I’ll let everyone know

  • Chris says:

    hanna phosphate checker you are right it is great.i can’t wait for a magnesium checker i hate doing that test.i never know if i did it right.i don’t know if you know Mark BRS is sell The Hanna Alkalinity Checker.

  • Mack says:

    I’m not going to be throwing out my old test kits, but I know what I’ll be replacing them with when I’ve counted the last drop in the bottle.
    A question though. Besides impure water and salt mixtures, how do phosphates get into the tank. Can it come in food as well? Even during my cycle (which was VERY short due to a variety of macroalgae in the fuge and display tank) the only time I ever have a measurable amount of phosphates is right after a water change. And even then it’s not up to the .25 ppm yellow with a tiny bit of green that’s between the other two yellowish greens (or is it greenish yellow?).

    It really will be nice to get rid of the color matching cards.

  • Chris says:

    I am definitely going to get those checkers!

    I also use this reef management software to track all my water conditions which I find useful it graphs all the data. When I get the checkers this all will be so much more easier.

    here is the software that I use: http://reef.aquariogest.net/ .

  • Mike says:

    Did Hanna give any type of time frame when we can expect the new models? Are we talking months, a year or longer?

    Also, why the change from phosphate to phosphorous for reef junkies? What are you looking for and what should that reading be?

  • Mike…Hanna did not give me specific time frames. I would expect to see at least 2 checkers this year, but there can always been unforseen issues that come up during product development.

    Reef Junkies went to phosphorous as the phosphorous checker measures down to parts per billion. The reef enthusiast checker reads down to parts per million.

    Since there are more SPS freaks (with very low nutrient tanks) as reef junkies, I recommend reef junkies get the Phosphorous checker as their tanks will have very small amounts (hence the ppb) of phosphates/phosphorous.

    Finally, suggested levels are all outlined on the “Mr. Saltwater Tank Test Kit Recommended List” that you can download here

  • Nick Vento says:

    Man thanks for the heads up on these Hanna Checkers, THEY’RE AWSOME!!! I’ve fighting with my API kits and what a pain in the butt, yeah im getting these for sure, thanks again

  • Will Haider says:

    I went to the the Hanna website and the testers are quite expensive $50.00

  • sos says:

    on your checker page you say, “Reef Junkies: You need the Alkalinity, Phosphorus (Ultra Low Range) and Nitrite (Ultra Low Range).”

    why is it important to get the nitrite kit? assuming my tank is cycled shouldn’t nitrite always be zero or below testable levels?

    also what is the difference between the phosphorus test and phosphate test?

    Do all hanna checkers only require one reagent?

  • sos says:

    Sorry let me expand my question more on the phosphorus vs phosphate. I see that one test for a lower amount, but why does it test for phosphorus instead of phosphate?

  • It is a matter of semantics.

  • sos…the nitrite kit is recommended for reef junkies as part of being a reef junkie is all about having the latest and best gear out.

    All checkers only require one reagent.

  • On one level, $50 is more than $25-$35 you can get for regular color card/titration test kits. However, when you consider the headaches saved, ease of the test, and increased accuracy, the increased cost is completely worth it. Add in the fact that when you run out reagents with the Hanna checker, you buy more at a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new test kit like you have to do with “regular” kits.

  • Will Haider says:

    Im not saying I won`t buy them all but for most people its quite expensive for just one test kit I would like to see them make one that has all the stuff needed for a reef tank cal,alk,mag,etc. for about $100.00 I think would be better.

  • Jacob says:

    I think i don’t need a test kit because my store give out free water tests and my local fish store is right around the corner but i will probably get one some day

  • Mike says:

    Hey Mark, great vid. Nothing can help the hobby more than easy, reliable testing. That said, how many “doses” of reagent come with each kit? Just curious what my cost per test is going to run. Is the reagent pre-measured?

  • Warren says:

    Mark great video as usual. Thanks for doing them. Your videos are a great resource for a noob!

  • I¡¦ve recently started a web site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  • Santa Monica Filtration says:

    Finally found the videos on this site, instead of at youtube 🙂

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