Last Friday, 28/04/2017 we received first-hand Aquaforest’s new CA (calcium), MG (magnesium), KH (alkalinity) tests. Apparently and from the look of the boxes, we could only hope for the best. Packaging like Aquaforest has already accustomed us, beautiful, bright, full of colors and reflections. As they say, the visual impact sells by itself. In this case and after testing them, we noticed that it is not only the visual aspect, the tests are very good … but you will soon understand why.
Let’s start with Calcium. A very simple test to do, who is accustomed to salifert tests won’t notice great differences in this one´s execution . It´s a simple and very easy test, with a very good color variation. The test starts to be a pink liquid, then changes to violet and when we get to the right value it turns to a tone of blue, which allows us to easily identify the result looking at the color variation.
A pack can allow you to do from 55 to 65 tests and like all Aquaforest tests, it comes with a reference solution certified by the ICP machine of Marinlab, which allows us to “test” the test itself. Another plus point for this product is that the “card” with the instructions and with the table results is waterproof, which is very good for any oversight that may happen. Another advantage is the “test tubes” that are made of a hard plastic that does not brake easily. I happened to drop one, as I already dropped several “test tubes” from other brands that soon cracked while this one remained intact.
Magnesium. I´m going to be honest with you. When I first read these instructions and translated them into portuguese, long before I saw anything else from the test and it even was out on the market, the instructions frightened me. I looked at the pamphlet, and saw a “picture” where the number of drops of A-MG changed according to the value of calcium and I immediately started thinking about difficult things, but it did not happen. What happens is that for a maximum accuracy of this test we have to base ourselves on the calcium we measured before, but that by “defect” will certainly be in the number of drops that they indicate as standard, that is 5 drops A-MG. This situation just does not happen if the calcium in our aquarium is dangerously high or low. Here’s the example:
CA – 530 – 470 mg / l – add 6 drops of the solution A-Mg
CA – 460 – 380 mg / l – add 5 drops of the A-Mg solution
CA – 370 – 300 mg / l – add 4 drops of solution A-Mg
Summing up, unless our calcium is too high or too low, the amount of A-MG to add is always the one that’s indicated as standard on the instruction card and results. Once again here you can see the care and “Reefer Sense” that Aquaforest has. Innovates, does a precise test, but does not stop thinking about the ease of use, and the person who is actually using the test.
Results whise, such as calcium, the color variation is also very good, going from pink at the beginning of the test, to violet and finally strong blue, which allows us a good visualization of the exact result. Also as in calcium we have the reference solution certified by the Marinlab IPC machine This test allows you to do from 55-60 tests within the default values.
KH, one of the most used tests by reefers, is a test that has to be easy to perform, and easy to see results. Once more Aquaforest did not complicate. The KH test of Aquaforest is a very easy test to make: 3 ml of aquarium water, 3 drops of reagent A-KH, 1 ml of reagent B-KH in the 1 ml syringe, and then start pouring until you see the color change, which in this case, as in the other two, is also very good and easy to read since it ranges from green at first, through to violet and ending in the right result with a strong and vibrant pink very easy to identify. The next step is to check the amount of liquid left in the syringe and confirm the result in the table. The test is just this, easy, fast and accurate.
Like the AC and MG tests, the KH test comes with the reference solution duly certified by Marinlab, and can go from for 78 up to 100 tests within ideal KH values.
As you can see the tests are really very good, Aquaforest continues to impress not only by the visual aspect of their products, but also by the quality of them as well, as the “Reefer Sense” that you see in their products. We have as an example the range of products for coloring and feeding of corals that have all the same dose: 1 daily drop per 100 lt of water. It may not seem important but for those who dose 4, 5 or 8 products daily, it makes a lot of difference not to be forced to have a table to know how many drops of product X or Y you have to dose. It is a great facility for us as users of the products. In the case of tests, they are very easy to do and with two great advantages, despite the written instructions in Portuguese, they have quick instructions on the back of the results sheet, which makes it even easier to do them without having to read constantly. Just follow the graphical indications, and with the reference solutions there are no doubts about the accuracy of the test.
Despite everything, I think that only using them you can find something less good but I can ensure you that in these tests it won´t be easy. We could say that the flasks of the reagents are weak or soft, but we would be lying, almost everything is perfect in the tests and in my opinion to be 100% perfect I would only change one thing: the syringes of 3 ml. It’s not exactly a problem, it’s just a suggestion for improvement that could be made for the tests to achive perfection. I would change the color of the piston from the syringe as it is not easy to check how much water we have when the piston is black and the numbers in the syringe also . As you look it can be dificult to see the numbers. My opinion is that one of the parties should be of another color, eventually the numbers or the piston of the syringe. In 1 ml syringes it makes no difference because we have many numbers and we can identify well the number before the piston, but in the 3 ml syringes this does not happen. This isn´t a great reason for why the test is not perfect, but it would certainly be an improvement to make towards helping the user.
In short, for me they are easy, accurate and with the advantage of being able to “test the test”.
From TopCorals and in my personal name they are totally APROOVED … Once again congratulations and thank you Aquaforest for helping in the evolution of this hobby and for thinking about the customers and users first …
The tests will be on market next week and the price is :
Cálcio – 14.90€
Magnésio – 14.90€
KH – 9.90 €