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froodyzoa

Hydrometers

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froodyzoa

I'm new to the community (just starting up my first pico reef) and have been doing some reading - I've heard that you shouldn't go for a cheap swing hydrometer because they're calibrated to one temperature, alas I am cheap (in this hobby, I know, a fatal flaw) and looking for ways out of the extra fifteen dollars. It looks like brewers figured this out - is there any reason this wouldn't work?

https://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/

 

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Clown79

It's not just about temperatures that make them unreliable.

 

All it takes is an uneven surface, a tiny bubble, or salt buildup and the reading will be inaccurate.

 

The $15 extra on a refractometer is worth it. Salinity level accuracy is important and a refractometer is far more accurate than plastic hydrometers

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Tired

That $15 extra can save you a lot more than $15 in lost livestock and frustration.

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JPD1980

Or have a look in some of the classifieds or eBay, I'd rather a second hand refractometer at that price point 🙂

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j.falk

Saltwater is not a cheap hobby and losing livestock because of inadequate / cheap equipment is a costly mistake that you'll soon regret.

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seabass

I have to admit that I primarily use a swing arm hydrometer.  I've checked it against my refractometer and it's reasonably accurate.  TBH, I can't remember now which way it's off. I need to check it again sometime.  I'm sure I can find my refractometer somewhere (haven't used it since I treated my fish using hyposalinity).

 

My swing arm hydrometer is just so quick and easy to use.  Do I recommend a swing arm hydrometer over a refractometer?  No.  But they aren't necessarily as bad as people make them out to be.

 

Of course you have to know how to use a hydrometer so that bubbles don't throw it off, and be willing to retest if you get a funky result.  I highly recommend testing against it against someone's refractometer (maybe your LFS) before trusting it as accurate.

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, seabass said:

I have to admit that I primarily use a swing arm hydrometer.  I've checked it against my refractometer and it's reasonably accurate.  TBH, I can't remember now which way it's off. I need to check it again sometime.  I'm sure I can find my refractometer somewhere (haven't used it since I treated my fish using hyposalinity).

 

My swing arm hydrometer is just so quick and easy to use.  Do I recommend a swing arm hydrometer over a refractometer?  No.  But they aren't necessarily as bad as people make them out to be.

 

Of course you have to know how to use a hydrometer so that bubbles don't throw it off, and be willing to retest if you get a funky result.  I highly recommend testing against it against someone's refractometer (maybe your LFS) before trusting it as accurate.

I'm much the same as above, I think the only time lately I have had my Refractometer out is when I was suspicious of the Hydrometer reading and checked against it. My Hydrometer is out by -0.01

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Perthreefer

I’d be wary of using one tbh. But tbh we’ve all been there, we probably all started with a swing arm hydrometer and moved on to a refractometer when it just would have become too catastrophic to get it wrong.

on the face of it, when you look at the things that have potential to destroy your tank within a matter of hours, salt imbalance and temperature are right up there. For the mediocre cost of good heaters, a refractometer, it’s worth the investment.

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Mkus

These are great no calibration!!! $60.00

6233A0A0-0E92-49E7-860F-5D970425E80B.jpeg

CAD181BA-E627-407D-8004-453EAF55B1AB.jpeg

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Perthreefer
2 hours ago, Mkus said:

These are great no calibration!!! $60.00

6233A0A0-0E92-49E7-860F-5D970425E80B.jpeg

CAD181BA-E627-407D-8004-453EAF55B1AB.jpeg

These still need to be calibrated now and again. Pretty much every measuring device apart from a tape measure needs to be calibrated to maintain accuracy.

I looked at these before buying my refractometer but the poor reviews put me off. Good to hear you’re having success with yours.

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D_Brinker
On 10/5/2019 at 9:16 AM, froodyzoa said:

I'm new to the community (just starting up my first pico reef) and have been doing some reading - I've heard that you shouldn't go for a cheap swing hydrometer because they're calibrated to one temperature, alas I am cheap (in this hobby, I know, a fatal flaw) and looking for ways out of the extra fifteen dollars. It looks like brewers figured this out - is there any reason this wouldn't work?

https://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/

 

for a hydrometer you really just have to rinse it and make sure there are no bubbles on the dial.

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Mkus
5 hours ago, Perthreefer said:

These still need to be calibrated now and again. Pretty much every measuring device apart from a tape measure needs to be calibrated to maintain accuracy.

I looked at these before buying my refractometer but the poor reviews put me off. Good to hear you’re having success with yours.

I've had great success with it it matched up with refactor I have never had to calibrate it just wash it off..

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Perthreefer
8 hours ago, Mkus said:

I've had great success with it it matched up with refactor I have never had to calibrate it just wash it off..

I’m not sure how frequently it would need to be calibrated but to maintain accuracy it should be done now and again. The same goes for refractometers obviously.

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