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View Full Version : Which hydrometer should i believe?



satyra
08-08-2011, 12:35 AM
We have two hydrometers, one is "The Original SeaTest", the other is a Kent Marine hydrometer. Since we set up the sw tank, we have always used the SeaTest. The Kent hydrometer is a newer one that came with some equipment we bought.

Right now, the SeaTest is reading my tank between 1.023 - 1.024 which is what we normally keep it at, or slightly lower. The Kent hydrometer is reading at 1.028, or maybe a little higher.....thats a pretty big difference. We are testing the same exact water at the same time without mixing in any new water or anything. So which one should i believe?

digital_gods
08-08-2011, 01:09 AM
Try soaking the testers overnight in any fresh water to dissolved any salt buildup. The best option is a refractometer.

satyra
08-08-2011, 01:34 AM
Thanks ill try that and read it again tomorrow. Which is a good refractometer to use? Just did a google search and theres tons of different ones that vary widely in price. I need a nice quick, easy to use one thats accurate, on a budget.....not too much to ask is it? LOL

What about these, i have heard these mentioned here and there too?

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4690+4486&pcatid=4486

OOwl
08-08-2011, 07:22 AM
I finally bought a refractometer after about 20 years in the SW side of the hobby. It's kind of a pain to use and has to be cleaned and calibrated frequently so I rarely use it. What I'd do is take your swing arm hygrometers to a LFS that has a refractometer to measure their water (most do) and compare your unit(s) to theirs so you know how much (if any) each one is off. Then just use it at home, knowing that it's "X" amount off. Cheaper than buying an expensive one.

kleankord
08-08-2011, 08:34 AM
Thanks ill try that and read it again tomorrow. Which is a good refractometer to use? Just did a google search and theres tons of different ones that vary widely in price. I need a nice quick, easy to use one thats accurate, on a budget.....not too much to ask is it? LOL

What about these, i have heard these mentioned here and there too?

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4690+4486&pcatid=4486

WHOA. when you said on a budget, I thought you meant a limited budget. Pretty pricey but I'm sure you'll love it and get accurate readings.

This is the one I have.. and.. i don't really care for it.
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=10490

I've had to recalibrate it a couple times over the past 3-4 months and it's kinda hard to see unless you put it up against the light just right, but I wasn't ready to drop $100 on a unit yet. Previous to that I was using hydrometers but just didn't have the confidence in them

Typical Tony
08-08-2011, 08:36 AM
Try soaking the testers overnight in any fresh water to dissolved any salt buildup. The best option is a refractometer.

I agree, over time those swing arms will give out and if you're planning on doing a reef tank you will want a refractometer. Those big salinity swing will hurt you if you don't get it right.

Refractometers are easy to use i think, just drop water on the glass.. close the lid, look through the port hole and bam you can see your salinity.

satyra
08-08-2011, 10:06 PM
LOL...that one was pretty cheap compared to some of the stuff i pulled up! I soaked both of those hydrometers and today they read between 1.023 - 1.024, both were fairly close to each other. thats one thing we had not been doing, rinsing them off really well after we read the tank :( guess they just had some build up. still wanna look around for a refractometer though, that will prob have to wait until next month. we have some FW stuff to buy here fairly soon :D