Test kits - What are needed? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Test kits - What are needed?

Hi guys, this is my first post here and so here it goes.

I would like to ask what are the most essential test kits we should have for any typical FW aquariums?

So far I have kH test (lost the paper for interpreting the water test), NH3 and NH 4 which is for ammonia and ammonium test if I'm not mistaken.

As far as I know, we would need kH, pH, NH3 and 4... what else am I lacking of?

I'm planning to add plants later on so I'm wondering if there is any other kits necessary.

Thanks

Last edited by Conspire; 05-15-2010 at 05:14 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 08:30 AM
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I was gonna suggest a combo set by companies such as API that way you'd have all in one....

But you already got kH, NH3 &4 if I read this correct; then the only other one's I'd suggest to get (and then you have everything needed long term and for staters) are
pH and NO2 (Nitrite)

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
I was gonna suggest a combo set by companies such as API that way you'd have all in one....

But you already got kH, NH3 &4 if I read this correct; then the only other one's I'd suggest to get (and then you have everything needed long term and for staters) are
pH and NO2 (Nitrite)
NO3 (Nitrate) too.

ETA - Welcome to TFK :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much guys :)

One more question, and it's a bit off topic. - Is it ok to have both algae eater and the one that does the dust sucking in any surface fish? I'm not sure what it is called.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 12:32 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the question...

And dont worry about the fact that you lost the card for the kh test- they usually don't have one.

You add drops until it changes color.

For the starting color, dissolve a bunch of baking soda in some water and add a drop or two.

That is the starting color.
(Don't try to actually test the baking soda water, it'll use all your test stuff... but 1 drop to know the color you start at wouldn't hurt.)

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post #6 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conspire View Post
Thank you so much guys :)

One more question, and it's a bit off topic. - Is it ok to have both algae eater and the one that does the dust sucking in any surface fish? I'm not sure what it is called.
Dust sucking surface fish? I'm not familiar...can you decribe what it looks like and maybe we can id it?

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post #7 of 11 Old 05-15-2010, 01:59 PM
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I meant to bring that up too, lol.

Maybe he means some type of filter-feeder? But then again they don't suck.

If I had to wake a WILD guess, do you mean an otto? a cory?
a pic would indeed help.

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post #8 of 11 Old 05-16-2010, 06:46 AM
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What ever fish you're ref to there as "cleaning" fish so to say - Its a common 'mistake' for newcomers to be talked into needing them by the stores. There's absolutely no NEED to have them in any set up. These fish just add to your bioload for no good reason, so unless you really LOVE pleco and alike there's no reason why you should buy any at all; in a well set up tank with live plants just have XYZ group of fish YOU love and that's it. And on a side note these "algae eaters" don't even eat all kinds of algaes only a very few types so that's pointless too (and again in a proper set up with good maintenance you will have no algae issues.

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post #9 of 11 Old 05-16-2010, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
Dust sucking surface fish? I'm not familiar...can you decribe what it looks like and maybe we can id it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
I meant to bring that up too, lol.

Maybe he means some type of filter-feeder? But then again they don't suck.

If I had to wake a WILD guess, do you mean an otto? a cory?
a pic would indeed help.
The fish I was talking about is suckermouth catfish. Sorry for not being clear enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
What ever fish you're ref to there as "cleaning" fish so to say - Its a common 'mistake' for newcomers to be talked into needing them by the stores. There's absolutely no NEED to have them in any set up. These fish just add to your bioload for no good reason, so unless you really LOVE pleco and alike there's no reason why you should buy any at all; in a well set up tank with live plants just have XYZ group of fish YOU love and that's it. And on a side note these "algae eaters" don't even eat all kinds of algaes only a very few types so that's pointless too (and again in a proper set up with good maintenance you will have no algae issues.
My local shop didn't ask me to buy it, however, I thought it would be better to have suckermouth catfish in a tank so that it will look nice and clean. Fortunately, I haven't bought that algae eaters and I don't think I'm going to get one since it doesn't eat all types of algaes. Thank you!

When you said good maintenance, how do you consider a well maintained tank? Regular water changes? I did have regular water once a week in the past, but I had a massive algae issues which I couldn't figure out where the problem lies.

I don't have plants yet for my tank, but I'm planning to have one later on. That should be fine right?
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-16-2010, 10:47 AM
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Click on any one of my tanks here http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...hp?userid=1029 the ONLY one that has a Pleco in it is the New 45g non of the other one's have any and I'd wanna have to say the tanks are looking clean don't they?
As long as you do a weekly water exchange as its needed for whatever stock and size tank you got you'll do just fine, occasionally run a sponge over the inside glass and done and everything looks just fine w/out the extra fish there.
If you had a stocked tank and no live plants that's extremely likely to be your algae issue right there cause there there's nothing taking up the nutrition. Go for a bunch live plants and you won't have that issue AND it looks extremely pretty IMO

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