In addition to the easy-to-use Nitrate and Phosphate test kits, the NYOS Reefer line also includes some very well thought out tests for the mineral components of seawater, including Calcium, Magnesium and Alkalinity. With Ecotech Marine now distributing NYOS products in the U.S., American reefers are much more likely to see the NYOS tests on store shelves and we have therefore gone ahead and taken the Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium tests for a spin to see how they compare to what we’re familiar with.
First off we tried our hands at the NYOS calcium test kit, here at Reefbuilders we love Calcium and all our reef building minerals, Calcium, Magnesium and Carbonate Hardness (Alkalinity). NYOS describes their kits as easy to use, with laboratory quality results affordable to the standard saltwater aquarium hobbyist. The NYOS kits are made in strict batches as to not compromise on accuracy and quality control.
The NYOS Calcium test comes with enough indicator and titration solution for 50 test and the instruction manual comes with easy conversion factor and accuracy of 5mg/l. The three part process is easy to follow as each bottle is individually labeled with the correct order and quantity to be added.
As soon as you pull this test out of the box you can tell there is a little more to it then the simple two part NO3 and PO4 test. Like nearly all calcium tests, the NYOS Calcium test is a three part process and included in the kit, the three solution bottles, two precision syringes, one precision dosing tip, a small measuring spoon and one test vial.
As we had done with the NYOS Nitrate and Phosphate test we went right to following the pictogram instruction on the back of the booklet. The previous test had instruction for shaking and mixing the component. No such instruction where on the Calcium pictogram and we had to switch to reading the instructions straight from the center of the book.
You will add the precision dosing tip to the white syringe and notice an air bubble under the plunger, however this does not interfere with the test. Once you have starting adding part 3 of the solution the color change is easy to identify, going from pink to blue with little to no ambiguity. There is also an easy to follow conversion factor chart on the inside of the instruction manual for calculating results.
The NYOS Calcium test kit was a bit more of a challenge to use but after switching to the instruction inside the manual we had no issues. You can also watch this short instructional video which shows how to perform the tests.The most important part of testing calcium is seeing the color change from (usually) blue to pink, and with the NYOS Calcium test this color changing titration happened quite rapidly. The test results were easy to calculate and we would recommend this for any aquarium hobbyist.
Up next, the NYOS Magnesium test comes with enough indicator and titration solution for 50 test and the instruction manual comes with easy conversion factor and accuracy of 15mg/l. The three part process is easy to follow as each bottle is individually labeled with the correct order and quantity to be added. The Magnesium test kit comes with three solution bottles, three precision syringe, a measuring spoon and test vial.
All the test components are made in Germany in accordance with German test and regulatory standards including the reagents and droppers, and the test droppers have been specifically calibrated to ensure uniform drops during all tests.
Again you are going to want to switch to the written instructions or the instructional video for this one as the pictogram instructions are missing some of the shaking/mixing indicators. The NYOS Magnesium test kit was easy to use, the color change was easy to distinguish, and the test results were easy to calculate.
Last up we tested the Carbonate Hardness (Alkalinity) of our tank with the NYOS Reefer test. The NYOS Carbonate Hardness test comes with enough indicator and titration solution for 50 test. The three part process is easy to follow as each bottle is individually labeled with the correct order and quantity to be added.
The Carbonate Hardness test kit comes with two bottles of solutions, a 5ml syringe and one vial, as well as with all the NYOS test kits, the instructions as available as a pictogram instruction on the back of the booklet, and written inside the book. All NYOS instruction booklets are printed in six languages German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch.
The NYOS Carbonate Hardness test was super simple to use and easy to recognize the color change. You can also watch this short instructional video which shows how to perform the tests.
After reviewing all five of the NYOS kits, overall we found them easy to use, with simple instructions to follow and found the broad testing scale made it easy to decipher results. We also appreciated using the NYOS website and found it had great resources like instructional videos, and downloadable PDF of the instructions manual.
The entire NYOS testing line is comparable to kits that are available from Salifert and Elos, with a similar procedure for each chemical component. The NYOS line does try to minimize “user error” by using high quality syringes and droppers and we can vouch for the readability, and repeatability of the test results.
Furthermore, we don’t expect any of the manually performed test kits to be anywhere near research grade, so we won’t hold them to that level of scrutiny. The results obtained from the NYOS test kits were accurate compared to the values we already had for reef water using a diversity of testing methods including Salifert, Hanna, and Triton elemental testing.
At the end of the day, the choice of using the NYOS tests will depend on the cost in your local store, personal preference, and what matters to individual reefers in terms of cost per test, etc. The NYOS Reefer kits are reasonably priced, easy to use, and now available in the USA.