Testing Salinity - What do you use?

Kups

Active member
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I've been using a refractometer but have been having to calibrate it frequently. Thinking about going digital or maybe buying a better refractometer. What do you use and are you happy with it?
 

Rush Battle

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I use a high quality conductivity meter. I got it used on eBay with appropriate probe for very little compared to new. I don’t remember exactly but it was definitely less than $200. It has changed my approach completely; it’s so reliable, consistent and easy to use compared to my nice refractometer. I highly recommend trying to find one. Calibration fluid is not expensive and easy to use
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35ppt

Comrad Snowflake
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Los Angeles
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I've always used a cheapo refractometer, it looses calibration so easily I calibrate with every single time I use it. Even if I just calibrated it two minutes ago. It's ridiculous. I'd like to get a Vee Gee eventually. I hear those will keep their calibration. I also have some hydrometers but the refractometer is faster for me.
 

Rush Battle

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I've always used a cheapo refractometer, it looses calibration so easily I calibrate with every single time I use it. Even if I just calibrated it two minutes ago. It's ridiculous. I'd like to get a Vee Gee eventually. I hear those will keep their calibration. I also have some hydrometers but the refractometer is faster for me.
I have a VeeGee myself, and it’s so much easier and more consistent to use a 4-probe lab grade conductivity meter. I have checked calibration with sealed packets 5-6 times since I last calibrated, it reads exactly the same every time.
 

35ppt

Comrad Snowflake
Location
Los Angeles
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I have a VeeGee myself, and it’s so much easier and more consistent to use a 4-probe lab grade conductivity meter. I have checked calibration with sealed packets 5-6 times since I last calibrated, it reads exactly the same every time.
Can't get more consistent than calibrating every time. :sneaky: In your experience do the Vee Gee refractometers hold calibration better than the $30 ones? I've heard mixed things about the digital conductivity meters. It would be nice to not have to strain my eyes to try to read the refractometer though.
 

Rush Battle

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Can't get more consistent than calibrating every time. :sneaky: In your experience do the Vee Gee refractometers hold calibration better than the $30 ones? I've heard mixed things about the digital conductivity meters. It would be nice to not have to strain my eyes to try to read the refractometer though.
Yes, in my experience the VeeGees are much more accurate and precise over time than the cheap refractometers. I have compared the Vee Gee and the conductivity meter to the Milwaukee digital and the Milwaukee is less precise, and somewhat less accurate than VG and definitely inferior to a good conductivity meter.
 

35ppt

Comrad Snowflake
Location
Los Angeles
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Yes, in my experience the VeeGees are much more accurate and precise over time than the cheap refractometers. I have compared the Vee Gee and the conductivity meter to the Milwaukee digital and the Milwaukee is less precise, and somewhat less accurate than VG and definitely inferior to a good conductivity meter.
Good to know! What's the model number of that thermo scientific conductivity meter you have?
 

Rush Battle

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Good to know! What's the model number of that thermo scientific conductivity meter you have?
Here is a link to the series of my portable meter, but it isn’t important the exact model. Check out the specs, this range works well for conductivity 1 μS/cm to 200 mS/cm. Randy HF has an older meter that he has had good success with, and I know big money, food fish aquaculture folks that use newer models.

 

clsanchez77

20 Year Noob
Location
Metairie, LA
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I've always used a cheapo refractometer, it looses calibration so easily I calibrate with every single time I use it. Even if I just calibrated it two minutes ago. It's ridiculous. I'd like to get a Vee Gee eventually. I hear those will keep their calibration. I also have some hydrometers but the refractometer is faster for me.
same here. I used to have an expensive one....all steel I guess and real heavy and it lasted me 10 years....then I dropped it. Could not find a replacement so I now gave a cheap plastic refractometer. I learned the hard way to to calibrate often.
 

clsanchez77

20 Year Noob
Location
Metairie, LA
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I'm going to get a Vee Gee. I like refractometers and it sounds like they are very reliable.
Looks like the ATX-3 is the only one rated for full strength seawater that is auto temperature compensating (ATC). If you get it, let me know what your thoughts are:

Would be nice to have one like I did 10 years ago and not have to recalibrate it weekly.
 

Rush Battle

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Looks like the ATX-3 is the only one rated for full strength seawater that is auto temperature compensating (ATC). If you get it, let me know what your thoughts are:

Would be nice to have one like I did 10 years ago and not have to recalibrate it weekly.
That’s the model I have, it works well.
 

Paul B

Well-known member
Location
Long Island NY
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I use a cheap, swing arm hydrometer. To calibrate it, which I do almost every time I use it, I call the airlines and book a flight to a tropical location where my last fish came from. Get on the plane and have a glass of Merlot. At the airport I rent a car (an American car) then I drive to a marina and rent a boat.
Take the boat out to a coral reef and put the swing arm hydrometer underwater.

Pick it up and read it. Wipe it off and draw a line on it where the arm rests.
Get back in the boat, go to the car, drive to the airport and fly back home where I test my water and make sure the arm floats up to the line on the hydrometer. :p

It's very accurate.



 

Mattman1977

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My wifey bought me the Hanna checker one with temp after her dog got ahold of my brs refractometer. I really like it. Super easy to use. I do check it from time to time with the little pouch stuff they sell.
 

Colin_S

Member
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England
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I've just ordered the Hanna one as well. I've only use one I bought off Amazon. It'll be interesting to see how they compare
 

Mattman1977

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I've just ordered the Hanna one as well. I've only use one I bought off Amazon. It'll be interesting to see how they compare
You will be happy with it for sure. Just check it every 4-6 weeks with the enclosed packets. I only calibrate it if it’s off. Won’t go back to refractometer or swing arms after how easy this one is to operate.
 

Colin_S

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England
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i've heard good things. I like the added temperature gauge as well
 

Wyster

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Hanna for me, Although after a few months use I have had to send back to Hanna for repair as the power switch is not working, I callibrate with soloution once a month.
 
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