The Red Sea Calcium Pro Test Kit is one of the best performing calcium test kits for hobbyists.  With these tips, you can be sure you get the most accurate and consistent results possible with each and every test.  Even if your using a different brand test kit, a majority of this advice still applies and will help you develop healthy habits when it comes to aquarium water testing. 

Buy Red Sea Calcium Pro Test Kit

1. Stay Organized

The Calcium Pro test kit comes in a hard storage case with room for all of the necessary equipment including test vials, syringes, and reagents. Placing all of the equipment back where it’s supposed to go will prevent any of the reagents from cross-contaminating. If you wear gloves while performing the test, you can help to further reduce the risk of contaminating your reagents with tank water or anything else that might be on your hands. 

2. Test At The Same Time

Photosynthesis and other biological processes in the tank can change your water chemistry and, therefore, your test results throughout the day. The best approach is to pick a time of day, say 7:00 pm, then always perform your regular water testing at 7:00 pm moving forward. This will give you a more accurate read on your tanks' levels and how they are changing over time. Once your tank is mature and only requires weekly monitoring, just pick one day of the week and stick to it.  For example, 7:00 pm on Friday is your testing time each and every week. The regular frequency will capture things more accurately.

Test in natural daylight

3. Test In Natural Daylight

Our eyesight is a bad judge of color, especially under artificial lighting. Using natural sunlight coming through a window or even going outside while doing the titration process will make it easier to notice the color change you are looking for.

4. Consistency In Drops

Discarding the first drop of the reagent and then using the next five drops to add into the test vial will make sure that the proper amount of part A is being added. The exact size of each drop can vary slightly depending on how much pressure you put on the reagent bottle and if you add an extra drop or you think the drops were not consistent for some reason, we recommend starting over.  This is the area of the test where practice makes perfect. Over time you will become accustomed to the reagent bottles and the process of creating uniform drops.  In fact, this is probably one of the least controlled variables in your testing process that will lead to variances.  The more consistent you can be with each test, the better off you will be.  

5. Use A Timer

Many steps require a certain amount of time to pass before proceeding to the next step. We recommend using a kitchen timer or timer on your phone to ensure your allowing the proper development time when performing tests. 

6. Color Change Point

Add the drops slowly, one at a time when performing the final titration.  This allows you to notice the exact moment the red to blue color change occurs which means the most accurate measurement possible. 

Red Sea Syringe vs Hanna Instruments Syringe

7. Use The Hanna Syringe

The syringe from Hanna will give you the exact amount of used reagent needed to get your proper calcium reading. Red Sea’s syringe will require some math in order to get the proper reading.

8. Measure Beyond 500ppm

This test kit will measure over 500ppm. All you will need to do is refill the syringe and use the math on the card to get your levels.

Red Sea Calcium Pro Test Kit Expiration Date

9. Expiration Dates Matter

The expiration date should be on the back of the box and once the reagents expire, we recommend purchasing the reagent refill kit to continue testing. 

10. Store Vials In RO/DI Water

By storing your test vials with RO/DI water inside, you will reduce the chances of build-up or residue that might alter future test results. Another option is just to drop all the vials into a Tupperware full of RO/DI water. When it comes time to test, all you need to do is empty the vials and you won't have to worry about thoroughly cleaning or rinsing them.