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frustrated by water

This is a discussion on frustrated by water within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have read that not shaking the bottles on the test kit enough prior to use can give false readings. I would try shaking ...

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Old 10-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #11
 
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I have read that not shaking the bottles on the test kit enough prior to use can give false readings.
I would try shaking the bajeezus out of them, like a minute or two per bottle, bang the bottom on the counter to loosen up solids, etc and try your tests again.
Also, try really rinsing your test tubes out between tests, and make sure that you aren't touching the ends of the tubes as this can contaminate your tests as well.
You could also try testing some distilled or bottled water for a baseline test.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #12
 
Ok, here's the new drama in my aquatic endevors. Went to LFS and here's the comparisons. Keep in mind that my tests were with API liquid master test kit, theirs was with API test strip(which they just dipped in vial and checked color,aren't you supposed to wait a bit?)

LFS MINE

ammonia-0.60 4.0
nitrates-15 5.0
nitrite-35 5.0
ph-7.4 7.4
hardness-300 ----
alkalinity-80 ----

Needless to say a slight difference. So I got another API liquid master test kit and so far just checked ammonia. It read 2.0
I just happened to have a jungle quick dip test strip and checked it with that. 3.0
This is driving me crazy. Fish are fine but what do I believe? Once I get this water chemestry under control I can enjoy this hobby,but It's not fun when you keep worrying if the fish are ok because you can't get the water right.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
 
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A couple observations.

First, this BioBoost you are adding, may be increasing ammonia. If it breaks down organics as it claims, ammonia is a by-product. Plus you did find ammonia in the tap water.

Second, i would get some live plants now, fast growing and here floating plants are best. These use a lot of the ammonia as their nitrogen, and nitrite is not produced so a double benefit.

Like others, i would have to question some of the test numbers, especially given the discrepancies which i cannot explain.

Byron.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:07 PM   #14
 
performed all tests according to instuctions (especially the shaking of the bottles)Was also told changing water too much,it's not in tank long enough to complete cycle
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerx View Post
performed all tests according to instuctions (especially the shaking of the bottles)Was also told changing water too much,it's not in tank long enough to complete cycle
Bacteria is not in the water, it is on hard surfaces so you don't lose anything by changing water. I wouldn't trust them if they say that.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:22 PM   #16
 
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Agree. There is a slight truth in this, but it does not justify the risk to the fish which to me is much more important. I'll explain.

Bacteria as Geo said live on surfaces in what we term biofilms. They are "sticky" in a sense and they adhere quite well. Once one establishes itself, it multiplies by binary division, which means dividing into two new bacterium. So changing the water has no effect on this.

However, ammonia is in the water, obviously, so changing the water will reduce the ammonia (and nitrite later in the cycle). And some do feel that this inhibits the "cycling" because less ammonia/nitrite means the bacteria will multiply slower, since they multiply in direct proportion to the "food" source, ammonia and nitrite. But, any ammonia or nitrite in the water--and i seriously mean any--is detrimental to fish. So it is more important to reduce the ammonia/nitrite as much as we can. The cycle may take longer to establish, but the fish will be healthier.

Water changes of half the tank volume every day if ammonia or nitrite is above zero is very wise. And to further help the fish, use a conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite. They will say on the label if they do. These are effective for 24-48 hours, depending, so the ammonia/nitrite remaining after the water change will be basically harmless.

Byron.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #17
 
levels not much different today,except nitrates little lower and ammonia at3.0 instead of 4.0. Couldn't find Prime anywhere around here so I ordered some online
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
 
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have you got any live plants in there,sorry i can't remember ?
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:19 PM   #19
 
added 7 live plants and did 50% water change yesterday. Checked today and ammonia was at .50. Nitrites were still way high, but things look better than before. Did another 40% water change today and finally got some Prime to add to it. We'll see tomorrow what's happening with levels
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #20
 
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plants will help.
keep in there
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