I finally got a chance to play around with my new Hanna Calcium Checker so I thought I would write up a quick blog about using it. The above photo shows everything that come with the checker, minus an extra sample cuvette. I will have to saw at first glance the checker is a little intimidating. I really don't have much of a science background so seeing the syringes and the tips was at least a little intimidating to me. The laminated card that came with it, along with a good video put out by Hanna (see below) really helped though. Like I have said before I don't like the tests where you have to compare the sample to a color coded card so the digital read out of the checker in my opinion is worth a little extra work. So here we go, first step is to turn on the checker by simply pushing the black button and add 1ml of Reagent A to a sample cuvette using the syringe with the white plunger.
I think one of the things that threw me off a little bit in using the syringes were the tips. When you pull the plunger back the tip fills up, leaving an air bubble. To me this just seemed like I wasn't getting the correct amount, but I trusted the test and went on. The second step in the test was to add RO/DI water to the 10ml line on the cuvette.
I like that they provided the dropper to get the RO/DI water. After you get the proper amount of RO/DI water you place the cuvette in to the checker (no need to shake it), shut the lid and push the button. This zeros the checker. Once the checker is zeroed it will display "C - 2".
Now comes the tricky part. Using the syringe with the green plunger you have to measure 0.1ml of tank water. This is a fairly small amount, but if you add too much or not enough it will skew the test results. Hanna recommends that you fill up the syringe all the way to 1ml and then add your sample water until the plunger is at 0.9ml. After you add the tank water sample you have to add the contents of a Reagent B packet.
One little trick that I leaned from watching the video was that if you cut off two sides of the packet you can make a nice funnel to add the reagent. Once the reagent is in you have to shake the cuvette vigorosly for 15 seconds and let it sit for another 15 seconds to let any bubbles settle out.
After the 30 seconds you place the cuvette back in to the tester and push the black button again to get your results. Here is what my water tested:
A little higher then I expected but I'll have to deal with that later. Here is the video that Hanna put out (if you have a checker I think its worth the watch):
All in all I'm pretty happy with the checker. Even though it was a little intimidating at first once I went through the process to use the checker I found it fairly easy to use.