The Algae Control Test Kit from Red Sea is a phosphate and a nitrate test kit. If the Algae Control test was just a combination pack, we wouldn’t have much left to say about it but this new product from Red Sea is really geared to helping an aquarist to control algae growth; be it of the filamentous kind that grows on the rocks, or the symbiotic kind that can mask coral colors. The Red Sea Algae Control Test Kit not only tests for PO4 and NO3, but it does so at a low end range with great readability and it includes plenty of information on how how these readings pertain to the goals of beginner to advanced reef keepers.
The contents of the Algae Control Test Kit are all neatly contained within a water-tight plastic box, for easy storage and transport. Both the phosphate and nitrate reagents of the Algae Control Test Kit are liquid, each of the bottles have a different colored cap and would be hard to mistake for each other. The dropper portion of each reagent bottle also has a very fine tip for easily counting and dispensing the liquid drop by drop. The results of the phosphate and nitrate tests are read from a color wheel with a reasonably differentiated color scale. Having the second vial used in the color wheel holder means that any discoloration of your aquarium to begin with will be accounted for when reading the color scale.
The phosphate test is an iltra low range kind with a maximum of 0.64ppm (mg/l) so we tested the accuracy of the phosphate test kit against a Hanna colorimeter. we expected that the Red Sea test would be close but we were pretty shocked at the exact same reading of 0.08ppm from the samples of the same reef tank. Also. we are used to seeing phosphate test kits that have a maximum upper range of 2ppm or less but even the nitrate test of the Algae Control kit has an upper limit maximum resolution of 2ppm. We also tried the nitrate test and found it easy to use, but this time there was no saltwater nitrate colorimeter to check it against. Perhaps the one drawback of the ease of use of the liquid reagents of these low range test kits is that they require a long reaction time of 6 minutes and 9 minutes.
With their newest line of demanding aquarium products, so far we feel good about the quality and foresight which went into making and designing the Algae Control Test Kit. It’s as if Red Sea took everything that was wrong with their previous generation of test kits, and learned enough lessons to come up with a truly modern reef chemistry test kit but we’ll hold out final judgment until we put the Reef Foundation test kits through it’s paces. The Algae Control Test Kit has a suggested retail price of $49.99 and it has already begun distributing to retailers in the U.S.
FTC regulations require that we inform you that we were given this product for review, but our opinion of a product is never affected by how we acquire them.