Measure Aquaponic Calcium with Taylor Test Reagents

This is adapted from the Taylor Test website, to better suit the needs of Aquaponics enthusiasts.

You can get the reagents you will need online, or from a local pool supply store. In the USA, Leslie Pools will have the reagents, but you can find better prices if you figure out where all the pool guys buy their supplies. On 12/14/2014, Leslie Pools online showed the price as $28.97 + tax + shipping for the reagents. I recall purchasing them a pool supply company for $16ish.

The reagents we need are all in dropper bottles.  Taylor Test uses a letter after the reagent to indicate the bottle size. A = 3/4 oz. C=2oz. E=16oz.  Because of the differing usage levels, I recommend buying the R-0011L in the A size. It matches up well with the other reagents in C size.

The Reagent Shopping List

  • R-0010-C Calcium Buffer. Good for 70 tests.
  • R-0011L-A Calcium Indicator Liquid. Good for 100 tests
  • R-0012-C Hardness Reagent. Good for 50-150 tests, depending on your calcium level.

The regular procedure has a resolution of 4ppm. The Alternate procedure has a resolution of 10ppm, but half as much reagent and uses an API test tube (which you already have) instead of a 25ml container (which you might need to buy).

One thing that can make the whole process easier is the Taylor Technologies 9265 Magnetic Mixer. It stirs the sample for you during the titration, uses LED lights to help you see the process, and includes a 25ml sample container + the necessary batteries. Not a must-have, but definitely a neat gadget that makes the process easier.

Procedure:

  1. Rinse and fill container with 25mL of water to be tested
  2. Add 20 drops of R-0010 Calcium Buffer. Swirl to mix
  3. Add 5 drops R-0011L Calcium Indicator Liquid. Swirl to mix. Sample will turn red if Calcium is present.
  4. Add R-0012 Hardness Reagent dropwise, swirling and counting from each drop, until color changes from red to blue. Always hold bottle vertically to ensure proper drop size.
  5. Multiply drop of R-0012 Hardness Reagent by 4. Record as parts per million (ppm) Calcium as Ca2+. You can also multiply by 10 for Calcium Hardness as Calcium Carbonate.

Alternate Procedure:

  1. Rinse and fill API test tube to the line (10mL) with water to be tested.
  2. Add 10 drops of R-0010 Calcium Buffer. Swirl to mix.
  3. Add 3 drops R-0011L Calcium Indicator Liquid. Swirl to mix. Sample will turn red if Calcium is present.
  4. Add R-0012 Hardness Reagent dropwise, swirling and counting from each drop, until color changes from red to blue. Always hold bottle vertically to ensure proper drop size.
  5. Multiply drop of R-0012 Hardness Reagent by 10. Record as parts per million (ppm) Calcium as Ca2+. You can also multiply by 25 for Calcium Hardness as Calcium Carbonate.

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