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Product Review: Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca, KH, Mg)

Disclosure Statement: I am not employed in the aquarium industry, am not paid or receive “kickbacks” for my reviews, and I am not involved in any sort of sketchy deal. These reviews are purely my honest assessments, and I apologize for any personal bias that may arise during these reviews.

Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca, KH, Mg): A

I recently decided to live on the wild side and try the new Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca, KH, Mg)…wow…that’s a long name. I chose to go with the Red Sea test kit for several reasons – mainly to try something new, but surprisingly, also cost! I purchased the multi kit through Bulk Reef Supply (long time customer there), and it was $49.99 to test the main three: calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.

I’ve always thought test kit manufacturers should make an initial pack and then sell refills to reduce costs all around. I was quite impressed that Red Sea went that direction with refill packs costing about $13. (There’s about a $10 savings when purchasing all three refills rather than the full package.)

Next is packaging. Wow, Red Sea did well on this front. The external box can be thrown away, and the internal box is plastic.  Along that line, the test direction/result cards are laminated to help prevent water damage. However, these cards are not waterproof – as mine were nearly ruined by the calcium reactant leaking during shipment.

The equipment inside the packaging was great too. The vials are glass with screw-on lids. Varying the syringe tip color was a nice bonus to help prevent cross-contamination between the different chemicals. However, I’m a bit on the fence on the titrator. It’s nice to be able to drip/swirl at the same time, but I noticed I lost a fair amount of control on how much I was dropping into the vial.  The Red Sea syringes tended to squirt faster than I appreciated.

Getting the actual results was a bit disappointing.  Red Sea actually requires…*gasp*…math to calculate the chemical level results.  For instance, if there was 0.64ml of titrant remaining in the syringe, the user must subtract 0.64ml from 1ml to get 0.36ml titrant used. The 0.36ml number may then be used on the card to get the alkalinity result. This may be nit-picking, but unfortunately mental math is not a worldwide standard, and most reefkeepers do not keep a calculator handy.

Testing alkalinity:

Testing calcium:

Testing magnesium was a bit of a pain since it required adding a drop, swirling, then adding another drop, swirling, etc. five times.  But, this was not anything prohibitively annoying.

Overall, the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test kit is a great kit at a reasonable price.  The tests were overall not difficult to conduct, and the results are very clear.  I think I would be 100% satisfied if Red Sea just tweaked their next batch of laminated cards to “titrant remaining” rather than “titrant used” and placed a seal over all bottles to help prevent leaks.

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