Please welcome back aquarium expert Steven Pro to tell you about the Red Sea test kits
now on sale at That Fish Place.
When I was originally approached to write a blog entry for test kits, I was somewhat at a loss. What do I say about test kits? A test kit is a test kit, right? You put water into a vial, follow the directions, add some drops, and read the results. Well, not all test kits are created equal. There are some important differences when one sits down and evaluates them all.
First of all, Red Sea makes a kit for almost anything a hobbyist could desire to test for. They have test for standards such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, to reef kits such as pH, alkalinity, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, to ones for more obscure parameters like silica, dissolved oxygen, and residual ozone. Red Sea also makes a full range of test kits for freshwater, as well, including important tests for freshwater planted aquariums like carbon dioxide, iron, and both general hardness and carbonate hardness. To do them all justice would take pages and pages, but I want to point out a few test kits and their particulars that might not be as well known or recognized yet.
I have written and given presentations on marine fish diseases extensively. Inevitably the use of copper comes up. One drawback to using copper is certain test kits only accurately report the values of certain formulations of copper, so one must take special care to properly match the test kit with the medication being used. Red Sea eliminates that confusion by packaging both the copper test kit and the medication in one box for ready-made use. This falls in line with Red Sea’s motto of “making it easy”. By the way, the copper medication (Paracure) is also available individually for those that require additional copper for dosing larger tanks or for repeated usage.
Most titration style test kits, such as those for calcium, usually tell the hobbyist to watch for a color change from pink to blue. But, Red Sea goes a step further by including a color chart with their titration test kits which demonstrates both the starting and ending colors so the user does not have to guess which shade of blue is the proper end point of the titration.
With the color matching style of test kits, those in which the hobbyist must match the color of the reagent in the vial to a color bar, Red Sea has gone to great lengths to make their tests have very distinct color changes. Some other brands of test kits I have used have color bars that change from yellow, to darker yellow, to still darker yellow, to yellowish-green, to green with a hint of yellow. Very much ever changing shades of grey which make accessing parameter values somewhat difficult. Red Sea’s tests have very dramatic color changes which provide easy to interpret results.
Until next time,