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nim75sg 30-08-2005 01:33 PM

Lab Grade Test meter
Been using a refractometer for quite sometime and found that being a precision optical instrument, it has its own flaws like requiring periodic calibration to preserve the accuracy and traceability of the instrument. But it is a pain in the neck performing such calibration and I am sure many owners of this animal will agree with me especially those wearing glasses.

Because of these setbacks, my friends and I were discussing the hassle of using the refractometer and how our world will change if there's an alternative to this. All we want is a simple tool to check the salt level for our tanks as and when we like without any hassles.

Most important, it has to be affordable and idiot proof! :o

Don't have to wait too long as my lobang gave me a tinkle that he has found the ideal tool which meets my requirements during one of his business trips. Like an excited child looking for a new toy, collected it for evaluation and has been more than a month now playing with this new toy.

Here is my review of the ideal tool for all serious saltwater hobbyist!

First Looks
The tool in question is an OEMed version of a reputable brand which was displayed during the AquaRama event and are happy that they didn't sell it to me then.

I give this product 9 out of 10 for such an impressive packing and must admit that it is the best I have ever experienced in terms of packaging for a testing equipment as compared to the likes of other vendors.

This is actually a 3-in-1 meter which measures Temperature (Celcius), Salinity (ppt) and Specific Gravity (1.024) in digital format and there is no need to use a conversion chart or estimates visually on a hydrometer dial. It accurately converts the values for you!

It has an auto-shut off feature within 1 minute which is good for an absent-minded reefer like me and a hold button for locking the measurement on the readout while reading from a sump or from the tank.

Other than this, it also has a temperature auto-correction feature which waits for about 10 seconds for the temperature to stabilize before reading the appropriate Salinity or SG measurements from the Digital LCD display.

The packaging also includes a 40g bottle of 35ppt NaCl Calibration Fluid and 6 pieces of LR44 Toshiba watch battery resulting in 3 extra batteries. The meter only uses 3 batteries ... what a great product!

Working It
Taking measurements with this product has given me nothing but enjoyment with the press of a button and I am able to have an instant reading for temperature, salinity and specific gravity of the tank. No matter how many times that I dipped the meter in the sump or tank, it always registered the same readings.

You may also laugh at it when I said that even my 8 year daughter including my maid can do it but it can't be said of for the refractometer.! :rolleyes:

It also provides easy, fast and accurate readings every time and automatically adjusts for water temperature condition unlike the traditional hydrometers or refractometers which do not compensate for the water temperature.

Overall, I am very pleased with the product so much so that it's time to dispose of the refractometer and smash the Coralife hydrometer with a hammer. :D

Last Say
IMHO, this professional product is so much better than the refractometer and are very impressed with the build quality and even more impressed with the accuracy when compared with the inexpensive Hydrometers.

Also having 4 reef tanks so this comes in real handy and certainly is a worthwhile investment for any saltwater aquarium irrespective whether you're having a specialized reef or mixed reef tank.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that I am only a hobbyist and are writing this review in my personal capacity to share my views to fellow reefers and do not have any invested interest in any commercial entities representing products (dry food, equipment, etc) relating to aquarium fish keeping irrespective whether in freshwater, saltwater or planted tank.

nim75sg 30-08-2005 01:38 PM

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Here is a pic of the tool with the 3 spares LR44 batteries and the calibration solution:

nim75sg 30-08-2005 01:47 PM

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Another view of it and here are the specs:

Measurement target: Seawater and/or Synthetic Seawater
Measurement Method: Electric Conductivity Measurement System
Salinity Measurement Range: 5ppt-40pptwith accuracy of 2 ppt variance
Temperature Measurement Range: 0 - 70 deg Celcius with accuracy of 1 deg variance
Specific Gravity: Range 1.000 - 1.032 with accuracy of 0.002 S.G. variance
Power Supply: LR44 or LR1154 Button Battery x 3 pcs
Battery Life: About 3 months based on 3 times use per day
Size: 16.4 (D) x 32 (H) x 255 (W) mm
Weight: Approximately 57g (including battery button)

nim75sg 30-08-2005 02:37 PM

2 Attachment(s)
There is also a safety Water Line mark for indicating that the tester can be dipped above this line.

The pic below shows the waterproof sensors which the surface is plated with gold protecting the sensors inside.

nim75sg 30-08-2005 02:44 PM

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A closeup view of the 35 ppt NaCl calibration solution and the other pic shows the size of the tester in relationship to a Nokia 6260 handphone.

nim75sg 30-08-2005 02:47 PM

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The pics below shows the 3 different readings from their respective functions ie temperature, SG and salinity.

nim75sg 30-08-2005 02:57 PM

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Hydrometers are nice and inexpensive, but they are be inaccurate as the tester shows a different readings than the hydrometer from the same container of water.

nim75sg 30-08-2005 03:18 PM

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A helper playing with the tester in a newly setup of using "mother nature" sea water tank. :D

bonjour2 30-08-2005 05:15 PM

Bro , where u get such a good lobang?Is it reasonable pricing?cos 1 mth back I was quoted for $225 for a similar meter like yrs , :mad: :mad: :mad: I won't mind paying if the price is good , this is indeed a breakthrough equipment !!

wlchew 30-08-2005 05:26 PM

wow...another great product :p ...I have been using coralife deepsix for years. it is one of the better hydrometer around but it is not too accurate. I hv been trying to look around for this stuff...

I have few question below:

1) Where can I buy it??
2) why that reefer wear "red"-rubberband? :p
3) If my Q1 is not available, can you please help ..maybe other reefer may be interested and you can start a Bulk-Order for it.. :p

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