reference solutions - What is that and how to use it?

An aquaristic reference solution is a sample of salt water with “very accurately adjusted and given water parameters”!

Reference solutions distinctly improve the quality of the water parameters you measure by your own! This is recommended because:

  • ailable test kits are more or less accurate in showing the value. This can change even for test kits of identical manufacturer in case of different lot numbers.
  • Habits of user and reading errors are reason for wrong measured results

Using reference solutions 0. You check the accuracy of test kits first and then 0. adjust all later measured test results accordingly

reference solutions are available only in very good pet shops and in Online shops.

Working steps

step 1

  • Make a test with the salt water of the reference solution (not yet with water from your tank). You need 2 values:
  1. the value that came from the manufacturer of the reference solution (together with the reference solution)
  2. the value you measured with your test kit
  • In best case the values are identical

For future tests of your tanks water, you take exactly the value your test kit is showing you

step 2

Normally there is a slight deviation between the value of the reference solution (manufacturer given) and the value you have measured of the reference solution

  • The easiest way to use the built-in function “Correction of measured water values based on measurements of reference solutions” (In the menu settings)
  • Manual account (Linear deviation, recommended method) Correction factor = Setpoint (reference) / own measured value (reference) Result: Measured value (aquarium) X correction factor
  • Manual account (Deviation Offset) Offset = Setpoint (reference) - own measured value (reference) Result: Measured value (Aquarium) - Offset
  • For all future tests, regard this difference and add/subtract from the value shown

Repeat steps 1.) and 2.) for

  • Test kits for different water parameters to be checked (e.g. Magnesium, Alkalinity, Nitrates…)
  • Next (identical) test kit in case of a different production lot or different manufacturer

This procedure is only applicable if the test kit is functioning in general and the deviation is not more than 20%