Nyos have produced a range of well packaged, affordable and easy to use “REEFER Test Kits” so we thought we’d see how they measure up on my 40 gallon mixed reef system. Each test kit gives you 50 tests, except the Nitrate test kit which gives you 40. So if you test your system once a week, that’s almost a full year’s worth of tests, which isn’t bad at all. What was really interesting though, was the expiry date on these test kits. Most test kits expire about a year after purchase in my experience, however these were dated for mid-late 2019, which was a really nice surprise. Perhaps that was a coincidental accident on the ones we have, or perhaps these test kits last long than others, either way, it was great to see.
Nyos REEFER Alkalinity, Calcium & Magnesium Test Kits
The alkalinity and calcium test kits are very similar to other brands and quick to use. The most notable difference in these test kits compared to others we are more familiar with is how quickly the colour change takes place. Adding the final reagent must be done slowly, as there is a drastic colour change from drop to the next, which gives you confidence in an accurate final reading. This was one point that we really liked about the Nyos test kits.
One important point to note with these test kits is the accuracy range. The Calcium test kit is accurate within 5ppm. The Magnesium test kit is accurate within 15ppm and the Alkalinity is accurate to the closest degree of carbonate hardness (dKH). So while the Calcium and Magnesium test kits will be more than suitable for even the most technical reef keepers, reef keepers with SPS tanks may want to check out the Professional Carbonate Hardness test kit.
We found all the test kits easy to use, with simple instructions and easy to mix and measure out reagents. But the one we were really impressed with was the magnesium test kit. In the past this has been a very tedious test to run as with other brands it often meant carefully timing and mixing each drop for several minutes. The Nyos magnesium test however was very straight forward with no ‘timed drops’ of reagent, just a simple titrate method much like on most alkalinity tests. This was a real time saver and a big plus for reef keepers that don’t enjoy testing their water regularly.
Nyos REEFER Nitrate & Phosphate Test Kits
The Nitrate and Phosphate test kits were very simple to use and generally very similar in setup to other kits avialable. However, we did like the fact that the test vials have really good seals on the lids. So there is absolutely no leaking or dripping when shaking them to mix the reagents. Ending up with wet fingers has always frustrated me when using other test kits. So extra ‘intuitive’ marks for Nyos on that one. Even if that were to happen though, the colour charts are made of a photo-type card stock that is very durable and would likely hold up well in wet hands.
The colour change in the reagent is easy to see, even when it’s not held right up against a window. But most importantly, the difference in the final colour is easy to match up on the colour charts for both the Nitrate and Phosphate test kits. We had no trouble lining up the results even when the colours were just one shade different.
Nyos advertise their REEFER tests kits as highly precise and “intuitive”, which is an interesting word to use for a test kit. But after using their test kits we really did find the setup, mixing and equipment to be more intuitive than other test kits we’ve used. The instructions are very clear with easy to follow and understand pictures. The included syringes were sized appropriately for the specific test, with a 20ml syringe being included with the Phosphate test kit. Saving you the trouble of reloading a 5ml or 10-ml syringe multiple times. The powdered reagents dissolved quickly and the colour changes were clear and very definitive, which is extremely helpful in pinpointing accurate test results. Our only criticism is that the alkalinity, calcium and magnesium tests kits have plastic test tubes instead of the glass vials included with the nitrate and phosphate test kits, but that’s just to be picky. Overall, the small differences in the Nyos test kits make them easier to use and more practical to use regularly.