I tested my tank with API liquid master test kit - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-06-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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I tested my tank with API liquid master test kit

It says ph:7.6 High range ph: 7.8 ammonia: 0.25ppm nitrite:0 nitrate: it's between 40-80ppm not sure. Is this bad? I never tested my tank before...
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 12:24 AM
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When you test for Nitrates you need to shake the heck out of both bottles, at least a solid minute of good vigorous
shaking for each.
I tend to shake them together, and to do the Nitrate test first so that my arm isn't tired when I get to it.
Also, you need to let the tube set for a minute or two after you add the drops to the water and shake it up.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 01:30 AM
If regent #2 of the nitrate API test is not shaken well it will result in a false low reading according to API Tech support (not high)....

Liquid Nitrate Test Kits from any manufacturer can have a common problem with their last test solution. For some companies, it is bottle number 3, but for us it is bottle number 2. One of the ingredients wants to solidify out of liquid solution. If the test bottle sits for any period of time, this can happen. If this does happen and the test is performed without Bottle # 2 mixed properly, then you can get a falsely low reading. I have never heard of falsely high readings with Nitrate Kits. I would try tapping your Bottle # 2 a few times on a table or counter top. This should loosen-up anything that has solidified. Then I would shake this bottle for about 2-3 minutes, to really mix it up. Try the test again and hopefully this will fix you problem. With regular weekly usage, this bottle should only need to be shaken for 30-60 seconds.

Although some feel that because nitrates are not as toxic as ammonia or nitrites, high nitrates are not a problem. In fact, high nitrates are not good for fish and can stunt growth, cause health problems and shorten life spans. In general, we should have tank nitrates < 20ppm, lower the better.
There are little/no nitrates in natural fresh water.

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 03-07-2012 at 01:34 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 02:10 AM
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You have a reading of .25 ammonia which is not good. It should be 0. Also nitrates are a bit high. Ideally you want to keep nitrates under 20ppm. You should do a water change to get these numbers down. Is this a fairly new tank?

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ogre44 View Post
When you test for Nitrates you need to shake the heck out of both bottles, at least a solid minute of good vigorous
shaking for each.
I tend to shake them together, and to do the Nitrate test first so that my arm isn't tired when I get to it.
Also, you need to let the tube set for a minute or two after you add the drops to the water and shake it up.
yeah i watched that from youtube video clip to be make sure before testing so i did just like they did. Maybe i should test one more time just for Nitrate.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeaninel View Post
You have a reading of .25 ammonia which is not good. It should be 0. Also nitrates are a bit high. Ideally you want to keep nitrates under 20ppm. You should do a water change to get these numbers down. Is this a fairly new tank?
no i cycled the tank about a bit more than 2years... i haven't treated it well for 9month during that process because i was away from home for awhile maybe that's how it got a problem. For Nitrate, it was really red like a blood color... but i will test it again since you guys desperately suggest to do so.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 08:32 AM
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Be sure to test your water supply too in order to have an understanding of what the new water being added to your tank contains. My water has .25 ammonia right out of the tap, so I cannot do a water change and expect to lower that number. My PH is 8.2 and is extremely hard. Great for live bearers tho.
Great info on the shaking and solidifying materials. Thanks for that!!

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 12:01 PM
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I would suspect that your high ammonia and nitrate is due to the neglect you mention. Regular water changes every week without fail are essential to maintain water stability. Live plants, if lots of them, can lessen the need for water changes somewhat, also provided the tank is not overstocked but biologically balanced (fish load to plant to water volume). Feeding less also keeps better water quality.

The unfortunate part of any deterioration is as AbbeysDad correctly mentioned the long-term effect on the fish. Some are more sensitive to this than others, but once it happens there is a detrimental effect on the fish's physiology and future health that cannot be reversed. We may not be aware of it, or sometimes we are when future disease appears that can often be traced back to this time. The fish may simply have a shorter than normal lifespan.

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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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oh i just figured it out why Nitrate is so high... it's probably overfeeding problem... so decaying foods are piled on the bottom of the tank so i worry now whenver my giant albino bristle moves around he makes substrate messy so does with decayed or decaying whatever food or other stuffs that are stayed on the bottom until today. So, when i do water change i shouldn't touch substrate and those decayed stuff right? i tried few times to clean those with my tank vacuum and it just made it worse so... i only take out the water since then.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-07-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by David007c View Post
oh i just figured it out why Nitrate is so high... it's probably overfeeding problem... so decaying foods are piled on the bottom of the tank so i worry now whenver my giant albino bristle moves around he makes substrate messy so does with decayed or decaying whatever food or other stuffs that are stayed on the bottom until today. So, when i do water change i shouldn't touch substrate and those decayed stuff right? i tried few times to clean those with my tank vacuum and it just made it worse so... i only take out the water since then.
We're talking two different things in this thread, so to make sure we all understand each other, I'm going to explain them.

First, the ammonia/nitrate rise likely occurred because you weren't doing weekly water changes and the plants simply couldn't keep up. I'm taking the 9 month neglect you mention as the lack of weekly water changes and such. Unless there are very few fish, and lots of plants, weekly water changes are essential to keep the biology stable.

Second, once things are back on track, during the weekly water change--and provided you are not overfeeding--the substrate can basically be left alone. Waste will accumulate and work its way down into the substrate where bacteria break it down (Malaysian Livebearing snails help this a lot). Nutrients are released for the plant roots, nitrates will occur for other bacteria to use, etc. The natural biological system in the substrate is really quite complex and best left alone. But the weekly water changes are another thing as I've said above.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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