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Refractometer - cleaning

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mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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I just bought my first refractometer. cool toy! :) my hydrometer was actually off by .001 so my salinity is a tad lower than what i thought.

my question is how do you clean your refractometer? just a paper towel or will that scratch it? also i put 2 drops on the lens - is that right?

it didn't come with instructions but i think i remember reading it was 2 drops.
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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The instructions for my refractometer say:
Clean the instrument between each measurement using a soft, damp cloth. Failure to clean the prism on a regular basis will lead to inaccurate results and damage to the prism's coating.
As for how many drops:

....place 2-3 drops....
 

mattseattle

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:) thanks for the instructions. i'll just use the same type of cloth i use to clean the outside of my acrylic tank. i think that is probably less abrasive than a paper towel.
 

Gina

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Mar 6, 2004
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Maryland
We use one for our tank also and clean it with a soft towel after every use and 2 drops is sufficient.
 

mattseattle

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hehehe - if i would've only looked on the webpage where i purchased it from they had an entire page to calibration and using.

here are the instructions for future reference:

Place 2-3 drops of saltwater on the main prism and look through the eyepiece. Take the reading where the boundary line of the blue and white intersect at the graduated scale. The scale will provide a direct reading of parts per thousand salinity on the right hand scale and specific gravity on the left hand scale. Clean the prism carefully using a damp soft cotton cloth. DO NOT use a paper towel to clean the prism as it may scratch the glass. DO NOT immerse refractometer in water.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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yeah, more fun than the hydrometer i was using! :) and definitely more accurate. i now have to bump up my salinity a tad bit to get it up to 1.026
 

cookiemn

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Jan 17, 2004
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Kirkland
Matt,
where did you buy your refractometer and for how much? I have been hemming anf hawing about getting one.
 

Gordo

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Jun 27, 2003
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Location
Olympia, WA
When using the meter make sure you don't have any air bubbles between the prism and the little water spreader outer flip down do-hickey. It will skew the results.
 

mattseattle

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thanks for the tip gordo

nikki - yeah that is the same unit i bought and about the same price. i should've checked our sponsors first.....bad matt!
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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Seattle, WA
hey Trevor,

I went to Home Depot and rented a 3000 watt generator! :) more than enough power to keep everything in my tank happy for 19 hours. 19 hours! they said 12 but took them 19 to get it back up! ugh! everything made it through fine....temperature didn't flucuate, skimmer didn't stop skimming.....only thing i didn't run off the generator was the metal halides. didn't think i wanted to chance it but i'm sure it could've handled them as well.

I think I'll probably do some research on Inverters and buy one. The generator was a little noisey for my 6 story balcony.
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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Seattle, WA
well during the night i ran it for 30 minutes on an 1 hour off or so then at 7:00 a.m. i just ran it all day till the power came on. no one complained or at least they didn't come knocking on my door. i couldn't hear the generator in my bedroom so i doubt others could hear it in theirs but to be safe i didn't run it all night. that is one reason i am going to look into inverters because i figure they are silent :)
 

esmith

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Oct 9, 2003
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451
Location
Shoreline, WA
Aha, good idea running 30 on hour off. Just meant you had to stay up all night right? ;)

I have a 1000watt inverter, but have not purchased any batteries yet, as I have been working on building an automatic switch to control when I loose power. Doesn't do much good if you're not there to hook it up.

I'd check out Costco, that is where I got mine, $69.95 for the 1000watter, and they also had a 400 for $24.99.

Eliyah
 

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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Location
Seattle, WA
yeah i was up all night....i laid on the couch and tried to nap but that didn't work well.

so the inverter just hooks to a car battery, correct? 1000w should do the job. how large is the unit?
 
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