[Reef Junkie Insider Interview Series] How To Make Your Test Kits More Accurate

People either love testing their tank’s water (that’s me) or they hate it. Despite how you feel about testing your saltwater aquarium’s water, it needs to be done and when do test, here’s how to make your test kits more accurate. Don’t miss the super-simple DIY project as well!


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Comments for this article (12)

  • John bell says:

    Thanks mark and dr Tim
    For that short vid about test kits as they can be a bit difficult to understand some times

  • Mike Gosselin says:

    Were Can I get that acid from I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

  • Simon K. says:

    Great job Mark and Dr. Tim!
    I really enjoy watching these interview videos because I always seem to learn something new, keep up the great work!

  • Phil Maznyk says:

    Great video Mark. Tim is a very smart man.

  • Jim F says:

    Could vinegar be substituted being that its a mild acid and more user friendly?

  • Jim says:

    Hi People
    I have had many arguments over test kits and the readings they give
    including ammonia, you will never (IMO) get the desire results from a test kit. Perfect water but they will get close
    I don’t actually know any one that has got a perfect reading, we did a test 2 months ago, for all the ranges we then did the same test 1 hour later and guess what different readings and this was done by a marine biologist in a quartine environment, I am not saying don’t use them I am saying Don’t take them as the last word and yes the equipment is kept in acid. the most important thing to remember when using the kits is be informed, be clean, be prepared, and a little of this and a little of that will not hurt your tank. just to prove a point test some sea water from the ocean WOW the readings go over the top. best advise read read read and read some more. and listen to a Mark Callahan he is on the right track to a better more healthy tank

  • Beetle Bailey says:

    Hi Everybody,
    its not Dr Nick here,most auto shops will sell hydrochloric acid ,its the acid used in car batteries, a 1% solution is really weak but always treat any acid with caution and always add acid to water NEVER water to acid
    Bye everybody !

  • Keith Hays says:

    Mark and Dr. Tim, Great Information! I am always glad to see science as the basis for information being delivered. In this hobby, that is quite frequently the exception.

  • Mike says:

    HI Mark:
    Aquarist have to remember that test results are a snapshot of the water parameter right now. It is better to check water’s parameters over a period of time to see how it is trending.
    If we check calcium (as an example) and it is 400ppm we might think that the water is fine. If we checked again tomorrow and it is say 350ppm, then a different picture is seen (calcium is being used at a fast rate).
    One other point: check as many parameters as you can to get an idea of the water stability. Many chemical rely or react based on a second element. Calcium and Magnesium is an example of this. Changing one element can affect all the others as well.

  • Russell Jones says:

    I live in Australia with the Great Barrier Reef on my door step (15 minutes by boat) could I use some natural sea water from the reef to calibrate my tests

  • Kevin J says:

    Sorry Beetle sulfuric acid is used in car batteries. But, the rest of info is correct. Go by the AAA rule. Always Add Acid. If in doubt get a bigger sample than normal and have it tested in a water lab.

  • Jason K says:

    Is there something wrong with the video? About 25 seconds into it, it fast forwards to the end?

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