View Full Version : True Hardness & Alkalinity Test Kit
I've already purchased Prime, Tanganyika Buffer, Cichlid Lake Salts, Ammonia & pH Alert and will be picking up Stability and necessary test kits before I start cycling my tank and condition the water.
May I know which test kits I need to purchase to test True Hardness & Alkalinity of African Cichlid Lake Parameters in particular Lake Tanganyika listed under here Cichlid FAQ? http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Cichlid.html
Do I purchase MultiTest: Marine pH & Alkalinity for Alkalinity Test? Can I assume this is also included in MultiTest: Marine Basic and thus will be more worthwhile if I also need Nitrite & Nitrate and Ammonia (Free/Total). Perhaps I may still need a pH meter to measure beyond what the kit can support for Lake Tanganyika higher pH.
What about True Hardness Test Kit? I don't see Seachem has any. Is true hardness equal to measurement of calcium and magnesium only? I reading somewhere in the forum that gH test kits give false reading. Does that mean all gH test kits in the market only measure Total Hardness (calcium, magnesium and others)? Do I need to worry about what these gH test kits can't measure if I'm only using Tanganyika Buffer and Cichlid Lake Salts during and inbetween water change since I can't alter other components? If I do not need to worry and can use other gH test kits, what parameters should I be refering and aiming for?
Since the pH test don't really help for higher pH, if I were to use other gH & kH combine kit, will the kH test give false reading as well?
Pls assume I know nothing 'cos I really don't even after reading tons of material. All I have is information overload and more confusion.
Appreciate some help here.
Tech Support EH
Hello Carz! Thanks so much for buying our products and also for your questions. I know all of the information out there can be quite overwhelming at times, but we try and make our products as simple and fail-safe. All of the cichlid products are designed to mimic as closely as possible the natural environment of the fish that are being kept, and they actually do a very good job of doing so!
Hardness and alkalinity are two different things; alkalinity is a measure of the ability of a solution to resist change in pH on the addition of acid and is dependent on concentrations of all of the buffering ions in solution, including carbonates, borates, phosphates, sulfates, iodates, chlorates, etc. General hardness is true hardness and is a measure of dissolved divalent cations, specifically calcium and magnesium. This question from our FAQ may be somewhat helpful:
Q: Is there anything I can purchase to help me monitor the Cichlid Salt content in my tank? I know to use a hydrometer when checking the specific gravity in my reef tank (add fresh or more salt to maintain the level) but I believe I can't use the hydrometer in this case? Any suggestions?
A: Conventional hydrometers are skewed to measure salinity in sea water. Sea water is denser than the African rift lakes that you speak of. It may not be an accurate measure for the fact if you use other companies "rift lake salt" products, these products may be heavily influenced by sodium chloride. This heavy influence of sodium chloride will not replicate the lakes environment.
Our Cichlid Lake Salt has a relatively low chloride content, unlike other products, which is more conducive to replicating the natural environment of the rift lakes. Instead of using a hydrometer to measure total dissolved salts, I would be more concerned with GH (general hardness which is more specifically measured as calcium and magnesium), especially if using our Cichlid Lake Salt. GH test kits are inexpensive and can be found at most aquarium stores.
Though we do not make a test kit for GH, but if you are at all concerned with this, then they are very commonly sold at LFS. I would recommend getting a pH probe meter if you can; these will give the most accurate pH reading possible. As far as other test kits are concerned, I would recommend the following, especially during the cycling process:
Here is some information about Lake Tanganyika chemistry that our products will help you establish and maintain in your aquarium:
*pH ranges from 8.8-9.4
*General hardness ranges from 3-5.5 meq/L
We hope that you will be very successful with your new tank, and let us know if you have further questions in the future!
I tried a few lfs but none has any Seachem Test Kit though they may other Seachem products.
Your dealer locator doesn't work either for Singapore.
Can you advise which lfs will have them? Otherwise, can I have your distributors contact so I can check with them which lfs they supply the test kits to?
While waiting for reply, I search in Amazon for Seachem MultiTest: Marine Basic to find 3 listing with 3 different item model numbers: 990, 992 and 900.
990 seems to be the correct MultiTest: Marine Basic:
992 seems to be MultiTest: Reef Special:
I got no idea what is 900:
Even though shipping is costly, in the even I can't purchase locally, kindly advise what is the correct part number for MultiTest: Marine Basic.
Tech Support EH
I am going to check with our international sales manager to see who he can recommend you get the test kits through in Singapore. As far as items the numbers, 990 is the Marine Basic, 992 is Reef Special, and 900 is not a valid item number. I'll PM you as soon as I hear back about locating the products in Singapore. Thanks!
Tech Support EH
You are very welcome!
Kindly advise how can I tell the expiry date of Seachem MultiTest Kit.
Tech Support AN
Our test kits do not have an expiration date. They will have an indefinite shelf life as long as they have been stored under normal conditions and have not been contaminated. If you would like to ensure that the kit is working properly, simply run the test as normal, except use the included reference solution in place of your tank water. Your result should be very close to the known value of the reference. I hope this helps!
How about manufactured date if given the lot number? If so, how do I decipher it?
Sorry, the reason I asked is I still have to purchase marine basic online 'cos local distributor/dealers don't have it and won't bring it in due to low demand as he can't bring in loose qty. Moreover, his order for other products just came in and it will take sometime for the next shipment. The distributor said 2 yrs shelf life though. Maybe typical for our tropical weather here.
I'm just think I should be careful since I'm getting it online and refund will be impractical due to return shipping cost.
Tech Support EH
I certainly understand what you're saying. Though the kits should not expire, we will be more than happy to provide you with the manufacture date, if you would be willing to provide the lot number for us to reference.