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FAQs about Titrametric Marine Water Test Gear, Use,

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Sure, you remember that good old Beach Boys classic, "Good, good, good, good titrations..."

LaMotte Test Kit for Calcium - Colorimetric Titrations - 8/10/03 Hey folks, For the life of me, I can't tell the difference between purple and blue. So, I'm not sure of the reading on the LaMotte Calcium test kit (it's anywhere between 480 and 700!) I wish they would make a test kit with color changes that are easier to differentiate!. Any Advice???   <titrations can be difficult to read for some, but really it's a matter of someone showing you good technique to do them. Most folks are too impatient in deciding the approach to the titration point. It's important to swirl/mix long enough to weather the slight teetering change zone. The diff should be rather pink V. blue here. If you feel frisky... do try Aquarium Systems calcium test kit. I like it much. Less accurate perhaps than LaMotte, but an easier color change> How do I know that the color change is blue? Is it the blue like on the box it came with? <not spot on...> Or is it the first noticeable blue-ish change? <an instantaneous shift in color, rather> I put a plain white sheet of paper behind the test container when making my reading, but still no help. Sometimes it looks blue, but if I tilt it, I can see purple. Thanx.-RY <I wonder if you are making the mistake many of us do and are expecting a change within a second or few of each added drop on the approach? My apologies if you have already, but do read the instructions thoroughly again, and follow to the letter. As you approach the titration point, take more time swirling and mixing. The change is night and day... not the impending blended color. Do hope this helps. Anthony>

Alkalinity Test kits, Canister filter inserts and Nitrate 5/24/05--Part3 - (And No Shills Necessary!) Thank you for the quick response to my questions below (and the free "keeping spouse happy with tank" advice)! <Glad to! As for the spouse... I am glad that others can benefit from my failures! Ha! Actually, my wife is very tolerant.> Per your advice, the lava rock is removed, and I'm planning on adding the remaining live rock in one batch (after confirming it is cured by keeping it in tub in garage). I'll also buy a better alkalinity test. I've been using Jungle Quick Dip strips, but they have always been "off the chart" in the "ideal" range. I've been questioning their accuracy. Any recommendations on best test? <Always choose an alkalinity test that is a titration type. Titration tests require you to add drops of reagent until a change from one color to another is observed. The value is calculated from the amount or number of drops of reagent that are added. Test kits for alkalinity that use dip strips or compare to a color chart are very unreliable. I am fond of Salifert and Tropic Marin alkalinity kits, but many good ones are available.> I'm going to go with selling the Fluval, but keeping the Eheim for the great water movement it gives me. I had heard--LFS--that filling the Eheim completely with the Eheim filters would "polish" the water without creating nitrates. Do you agree? Or would I be better just having the Eheim completely empty? (I'm the guy who knows there is no way I will be doing weekly maintenance on the canister--most likely just every month or two.) Thanks again for your help and great site. Greg  <I disagree with your LFS, but there is no harm in trying. If you observe nitrates after a couple of months, I would either step up the maintenance or remove all media from the canister filter.> P.S. I'm going to shill for you. I made an Amazon Honors Payment to you guys and was surprised that more people don't do the same. I'm always buying stuff from the LFS when I go in and pick their brains because I feel their time is worth something and they're in business to make money. More so for you guys who are doing this site free of charge to the fish-keeping world. Not everyone is made of money--although this isn't the least expensive hobby I can think of--but I'm still surprised people don't throw a bit more change/bills in your electronic glass jar. <Thanks for the contribution! It is refreshing and uplifting to cross paths with someone who is willing to voluntarily support something they

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