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Cheap Refractometer


Nov 24, 2002
Hey all:

AES has a salinity refractometer for only $23.50. I do not know how good it is but this is a very low price for this piece of equipment. The link is here:

Cheap Refractometer

I remember that a couple of people had asked about this equipment in the past so I thought that I would post it. Oh, AES also has a 1400 gph submersible pump for $23.00. just look in the specials section. Hope this is helpful to someone.

That is cheap and well worth it!

I think they were selling for 50 - 60 pounds over here
Colin, I would seriously consider getting this one, but like George, I know nothing about refractometers. What makes this bargain-basement model so cheap? Why are others so ridiculously expensive? I'd be buying this because I'd expect it to be leaps and bounds better than the swingarm I'm using now. I don't want to be burned by getting something that breaks, is inaccurate or is difficult to use...that defeats the purpose of replacing my swingarm. Do you have knowledge of/satisfaction with this specific model? :?


It actually says on the blurb beside it on the site that, "It is similar to our high quality SR1, but these are not as durable or well made." so thats the answer i suppose???? Havnt used that model and i dont think it actually specifies what model it is??????

The model i got for a guy is by TMC-LTD the same company that makes Tropic Marin
Hey everyone. I bought a refractometer for my Reef tank about 4 months ago from National Industrial Supply. It's reasonably priced at around $40-50. Half price from the other ones I've seen on the market. I know it's about twice as much as the one you found, but if it's not an Automatic Temperature Compensation unit you'll have to adjust the value against the temperature. Plus it's in a foam case and includes the dropper. It's a good investment no matter what type you buy, just makes life easier when you don't have to adjust for temperature.

Anyway you can pretty much find them on e-bay. Here's a link to one of their auctions.

Salinity Refractometer
Note: Link edited by tonmo, to make it a TONMO.com-friendly eBay link! :)
I broke down and got one of those National Industrial Supply ebay ones just recently. It's an "RHS-10ATC" The S stands for salinity, the ATC for automatic temperature compensation. The model has two designs, a new one and an old one...mine's the older design. No real difference in the new model, it would appear, except for a slightly more convenient calibration screw and a few more metal parts. The manual makes it quite clear these are from China, but I don't know who the manufacturer is. These are EXTREMELY common, though.

I've tested mine out...first, I calibrated it with distilled water, and then tested it on tankwater. It seems very easy to use and accurate. I'll probably look into finding some known saline to further test it, and I'll let you know how it comes out in regular, daily use. Right now it's a cautious thumbs up.

I've been using the NIS equipment for the last 5 months now and have felt it to be extremely acurate. I picked up both the refractometer and the digital ph meter for about 100 together.

The owner of NIS Charlie Downs is a friendly guy and delivered it to me himself since he's only about 20 minutes away from me. Really nice guy with a respectable business. If you're wondering about the results of the refractometer ask him he'll let you know how acurate it is. In fact when I got mine it was already calibrated using RO/DI water. Anyway he's a nice guy and I'm glad you've been happy with it so far.

BTW... Thanks everyone for this site. Everyone's content is very interesting and useful. I've only recently started keeping my little Octopus, but have been learning a lot from this site lately. Thanks.

Hi all,

I bought the RHS-10ATC refractometer a couple of months ago when my LFS was having a big sale. I think I have the older model. My only complaint is that after some use, it doesn't hold its calibration very well and you have to recalibrate frequently. I keep a small bottle of distilled water with it to make this easier.

Another person who uses this model had the Daylight Plate break off the prism assembly. The instrument has to be handled with reasonable care, but then, I've never broken mine.

So does a refractometer tell you the same information as a hydrometer? I know a hydrometer gives you the info as specific gravity. I'm assuming a refractometer just gives the info in salinity? If not, what's the differance? And if you can get a hydrometer for cheep cheep, why would you need to spend so much more for a refractometer? As usual, the more I learn, the more I learn how much more I need to learn. Lol.

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