Water Testing Foolishness - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-09-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Water Testing Foolishness

I've had a 10gal invert tank set-up for about 5 weeks now, and cycling seemed to be going pretty well at first, but...I just could not get my ammonia down to zero. I have shrimp in that tank so it's particularly important that the water params be perfect. I've been doing water changes basically every day.

As most of you are familiar with: no ammonia is a bright yellow test tube, and ammonia appears as varying shades of green. So, yeah. The room the invert tank is in has bright green walls. Turns out the light reflecting off bright green walls can make a bright yellow test tube look greenish. I am such a dork. I didn't realize until I did a test of my tap water and brought the invert tank test tube into the kitchen to compare.

I have no idea how many extra water changes I've done over the past few weeks.

Anyway, now that I've aired my shame publicly: Hi, I'm Jo. I've mostly posted on the betta forums, but I've kept a couple of types of tropical fish in the past and was recently bitten by the bug again.


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post #2 of 7 Old 01-09-2012, 09:58 PM
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On the bright side your inverts probably loved all the fresh water!
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-09-2012, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Haha, you know, I didn't think of it that way. If I have to make a weird fish keeping mistake, I'd much rather make one that that actually benefits them!
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-10-2012, 05:09 PM
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This is a good lesson for all of us. To avoid this problem, I always view tests in front of a window or open door, but never in direct sunlight. But use daylight, not artificial light which can cast colour hues of its own.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #5 of 7 Old 01-10-2012, 05:20 PM
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I've almost freaked out a few times for exactly this reason. Now I make sure I am holding the tube full of water and the color chart under the same light source.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-10-2012, 05:28 PM
Wow I gotta remember that LOL. At least you figured it out thank goodness ;)

Fish are God's RAINBOWS underwater

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-11-2012, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Let the record show that I now conduct all water testing in my kitchen. I have to say, this is definitely the easiest solution to an ammonia problem that I've come across so far.
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