- Refractometer for Reading Salinity with Calibration Fluid - Bulk Reef Supply
Why does BRS recommend this?
If you have been using a hydrometer and have never tried a refractometer then you should really invest in one. They use much less water, and can easily be calibrated for accurate repeatable readings. For the most accurate readings you will want to calibrate the refractometer to the solution you will be reading, and that is why we always include a bottle of Aqua Craft Calibration Solution at 35ppt (1.026sg) to keep your reef tanks salinity spot on.
Must have equipment for aquarists! Easily and accurately measure the salinity of your tank. Simple to use and read. This unit automatically compensates for temperature. FREE Salinity Calibration Fluid included. Calibrating your unit ensures correct salinity readings.
Refractometers are one of the best pieces of equipment an aquarist can purchase. It not only ensures accurate measurements of salinity but it is also infinitely easier to use and read.
Range: 1.000 - 1.070 SG
Comes with the following:
- Carrying Case
- Screw Driver for calibrating
- Adjustable eyepiece
- Salinity Calibration Fluid. Calibrates to sg 1.026 (35ppt)
Steps to calibrate your unit:
1) Using the dropper place a few drops of the solution on the glass and close the lid.
2) Looking through the unit and turn the screw until the unit reads sg 1.026 (35ppt)
3) Screw the cap back on your calibration solution for storage. It is important that the cap is on tight or water will evaporate and ruin the solution.
*** Do not calibrate using RO/DI water as this will not give accurate readings for saltwater aquariums***
Recalibrate Often By Andrew on 5/21/2020Andrew would recommend this product to a friendOverall this is certainly a decent, functional instrument at a reasonable price. As others have noted, frequent calibration is needed to ensure accurate results.
Doesn't hold calibration well at all By CK on 5/3/2020CK wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI wanted to like this refractometer, most of BRS's own products are really good quality. This was not the case with the unit I received. It can't hold calibration for more than a few minutes. I calibrated using Pinpoint Calibrating fluid every 5 minutes for 20 minutes and got readings +- 0.004 EACH TIME. One reading would read 1.026, then next would range from 1.030 to 1.022 within five minutes. This means to use this properly you have to calibrate before every single reading, and take the reading as fast as possible and hope the calibration hasn't fallen out of alignment. Compared to my 3 year old amazon refractometer, which held calibration through ALL the tests with only a +- 0.001 difference. I hope BRS increases the quality of this refractometer as it's an essential piece of reef equipment that we shouldn't have to worry as much about trusting. I personally recommend the Hannah Salinity checker as a good option and alternative to this refractometer.
These may all be different... By Glenn on 8/18/2019Glenn would recommend this product to a friendI bought this same refractometer 2 years ago from BRS. It was garbage from day one. The focus knob never worked and it never made a straight line..always vague...probably not the piece of equipment you want to be terrible when first starting out in the hobby.
Well, that refractometer eventually got so out of whack that I couldn’t even manually calibrate it. I left a bad review and looked elsewhere. After seeing how much digital refractometers cost and then realizing that they can be extremely unreliable, I decided to try this one again and hope for 2 years of use again and maybe something better will be released by the time this one screws up.
The one I just received is very different than the one I bought 2 years ago. In the new one, it has the brs logo inside when I look into the peep hole and also, the adjustment knob works. The box is the same, but the foam on the inside is also different. And this one came with a pipet and a little bitty screw driver.
In hindsight, I should have sent back the first one when I first realized how crappy it was. I’m sure their customer service would have gladly helped me out. But as they say, no good deed goes unpunished.
A must have By Clarence on 11/27/2018Clarence would recommend this product to a friendBeing new to this hobby, I've already come to dislike and not trust hydrometers. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get a consistent reading. And when I'd take a water sample to my LFS, my salinity was way off. Several people suggested making the switch, and this combo made sense. Now my readings are right every time. I did find I was calibrating it a lot at first. But now I'm very gentle with it when setting it down on a hard surface. I give it time to reach room temp before using it, and I follow Randy's advice on use and care. I've lost track on how many tests I've done now without having to re-calibrate it. It looks and feels well made. And I'll never use hydrometers again.
It is what it says. By Alex on 9/22/2018Alex would recommend this product to a friendI am on my second one, my first one worked for at least 3 or 4 years before it had a sudden meeting with my floor. This one seems just as well built as the previous. If you are still stuck on the swing arms, please pick this up. Accuracy aside, it is just so much faster!
Best on the market and very cheap By Margo on 9/16/2018Margo would recommend this product to a friendI looked all over and this one is the best quality and by far the cheapest. I used to have an instant ocean hydeometer. That was good at first but became very inaccurate. I totally recomend upgrading even if it is pricy for you. Love this
Must have By Scott on 7/9/2018Scott would recommend this product to a friendEasy to use and calibration solution is a must to know if salinity is correct in your tank
doesn't last By Ian on 6/28/2018Ian wouldn't recommend this product to a friendworks well initially but no longer (after a year) hold calibration. Almost screwed me up big time until I realized it is unreliable
Won't stay calibrated. By cory on 4/23/2018cory wouldn't recommend this product to a friendUnit will eventually rust internally, and will not hold calibration for more than 30 seconds. I got about 1 year use before it started slipping.
Hydrometers are good. The people who bad mouth hydrometers DO NOT know what they are doing, or how to properly clean/maintain a good hydrometer....and yes I used the refractometer along side the hydrometer. ....
What a world of difference! By Ray on 4/3/2018Ray would recommend this product to a friendI always used the cheap plastic hydrometer types to check salinity. As soon as I received the refractometer, out of the box it was simple to calibrate, easy to read. What really got me was that once I had it calibrated and adjusted my salinity to 1.026 I noticed how far off my plastic jobs really were. It was also guess work to adjust salinity with the old hydrometer. Within days of using the refractometer, I quickly adjusted and learned exactly how much salt mix I need
Doesn't stay calibrated. By JCT on 3/19/2018JCT wouldn't recommend this product to a friendThis Refractometer does no stay calibrated. Maybe I received a defective unit. I calibrated with standard 35ppt solution. Let the sample set for a minute or so to let it adjust temp wise before dialing it in... Flushed the prism and plastic cover with RO/DI water and dried clean with the supplied cloth. Tested the same solution again and the reading was 3ppt thousand higher than the previous reading. So I adjust the screw once again to the 35ppt border line on the scale. Cleaned the unit again same process. Tested the same calibration solution again and was different from the last reading. Im actually afraid to use this thing and don't trust it. I'm not sure if the adjustment screw is turning or backing off by it's self or what.. With all the good reviews I really wanted to like this product. It is easy to read in the right light though.
Great product By Trever on 12/24/2017Trever would recommend this product to a friendEasy to use. Easy to calibrate. Glad i bought it.
*** Do not calibrate using RO/DI water as this will not give accurate readings***
All my water is from RO/DI water, how do you calibrate this?
You calibrate it using the included 35ppt/1.026 calibration solution. The solution is a known standard, so you put that on the slide and then adjust the refractometer to 35ppt/1.026.
Where can I get the calibration solution?
Thanks for getting in touch with us in regards to calibration solution for this refractometer. You can purchase more of this on the page that I have linked below. I can say that the included bottle of solution will last quite a while. Please let me know if there is anything else that we can assist with. Thanks!
Whats different between the less expensive ones and this? Looks the same and is calibrated for seawater.
Is this unit calibrated specifically for seawater? Or seawater and brine. I was looking at red seas refractometer and theirs is calibrated for seawater only. I know that brine differs from seawater.
The refractometer is set up for levels around 1.026 SG or 35 PPT. Unfortunately these are not designed for brine water levels. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
So the number I read is the one right below the blue right? Sorry I'm new to this. Thanks.
Does this have an adjustable eyepiece? These old eyes require it to focus right.
This will have an adjustable eye piece for focus. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
So I received my Refractometer today and the calibration fluid says 35 ppt @77 deg when calibrating should the solution be @77 degs. The Refractometer says calibrate it at 68 degs. Or does this matter
These recommendations from the manufacturer are due to the temperature at which the refractometer was calibrated, and in the case of the fluid, the normal aquarium salinity at the typical aquarium temperature. In the case of our use, the temp of the fluid sample will rapidly match the temp of the refractometer, and as these are ATC units, they will adjust for minor temperature differences. What we recommend is that you keep and calibrate your unit at the temp (most likely room temp) at which you will normally take your readings, and try to use a consistent light source as well.
In your answer about accuracy, you state that it is +/- 0.01 SG. That would mean, if I get a reading of 1.026, the true value could be anywhere from 1.016 to 1.036. That would be very unreliable. Did you mean to write +/- 0.001? That would make this refractometer twice as accurate as the Milwaukee electronic refractometer, which would be great. Which is it?
Sorry about the typo there, and thanks for bringing that to our attention! That should actually read accuracy +/- .001 SG!