how often does everyone test the water in their tanks? you guys are prob going to get upset with me but i have only tested my water a couple times in the past year. I perform 25-40% water changes a week and add prime, My water is crystal clear and fish are doing great. I can seen to be abel to tell if something is wrong by the way the water looks or how the fish are behaving (thats when i test). I have been told in the past people test way to often and then try all these chemicals all the time because they are worried about what the tester shows....
So, go easy on me........
With regular water changes once a week you should be ok. Thats pretty much what I do, when something doesn't seem right I check. Although with multiple tanks I check a few whenever one seems off. I still like to check them all once a month though.
Good post. Since mine is somewhat new, but cycled, i still check it after every water change.
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Newer tanks need a little more testing than mature tanks older than a year. Once the tank is well established and stable, then testing can be reduced.
My 75g and 180g (when I had it), were well matured and since the initial cycle, I only really tested them within a week of adding new fish. The 75g tank, I have not tested for Ammonia, Nitrite since the last fish was added over a year ago. Nitrates always stay the same level and I do a 60% water change once a week which reduces it back. I test usually once a month. pH again, I test once a month.
My tap water is near perfect for Lake Malawi Cichlids and I know it doesnt change, the operator of the treatment plant lives 3 doors away from me and she always tells me if something is being added to the water system.
Once the tank is established it should remain reasonably stable and when this becomes evident, tests can be reduced and even eliminated, as Tazman mentioned.
It is true that after a time you can discern from the fish's behaviour if something is not quite right, and testing them to determine any water issues is advisable. After a period of years it is fairly easy to see something out of the ordinary.
As fish grow larger ,or more numerous, what once might have been sufficient,may need to be tweaked.
Testing the water after a water change,won't tell you much .
P.S. posted before reading Byron's response.
Once a tank has aged (6mo-1yr) I hardly ever test, maybe once every 3-6mo. If I see a problem, whether is be excess algae, biofilm, water coloration, or fish behavior I usually test then.
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