Need help with my test results
I'm a complete novice and I would really appreciate your expertise. I just did the API 5 in 1 test strip and these are my results: NO3=0, NO2=0, PH=7.0,, KH=40, GH=30. Are these safe numbers?
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First off Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.
Second off a little more detail is needed to be sure if those are safe numbers.
By just those numbers yes they are safe but What or have you tested for Ammonia (NH3)?? How long has the tank been set up for? Has it been cycled??
My son has been cycling it for the past 5 or 6 weeks maybe more he is away for the next few days and asked me to do the test for him so I don't no what the Ammonia (NH3) results were. Which is why I am a novice..lol. It has no fish in the tank
Do you know how he has been cycling it?? Is there live plants in there?
No live plants but I think he put Ammonia into the tank and has been doing water changes. The reason I'm asking these questions is we are going to surprise him by buying his first fish before he comes home for his birthday. We know exactly what he wants so I don't mess it up.
Those results look good, but you will need the ammonia reading. Personally I dont trust those 5in1 strips.
When I started, I also bought those strips cause the LFS recommended it to me. But they are not accurate, if you are serious about water conditions, which any aquarist should be, you will rather buy your son an API Master testkit which will last him for years.
And he will never have to guess about water conditions again and will save a lot of fish just by having the right testing equipment.
Thats just my opinion, but maybe there will be some other replies, who had success with the 5in1 strips.
Thanks for the advice this new hobby has taught my boy patience.. I keep asking him "When are you going to fill your aquarium?" I will let him know the test results I'm sure he knows more then me about the Ammonia levels.
polynesia, I too am very new to this hobby and agree with jpbotha. Maybe instead of buying his first fish buying him the API Master Kit would be a better surprise for him. It sounds like your son is really being patient and caring about his potential fish pets, so this test kit would be something he will love having for years to come. You can find them as cheap as $17 (US) on Amazon up to $30 in a local lfs here in the states. I noticed that you are in New Zealand (beautiful country btw) and I am sure a few clicks of the mouse will find you one either locally or shipped to your door in short order.
The cycle involves seeing the ammonia spike first, followed by the nitrites then the nitrates. The only trouble with the test strip (as inaccurate as they may be they are better than nothing) is that it does not indicate ammonia (as mentioned already) so you've no way of knowing if it spiked already or if it is sitting very high as we speak. Unless you've seen the nitrite and nitrate spike you've no way of knowing... even though after 5-6 weeks it probably should have.
I've no direct cycling experience as I went with lots of live plants and skipped that step altogether
The API master test kit would be a great investment as it tests for Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH (high and low ranges) The hardness kit (GH and KH) is separate and fairly inexpensive as well but may not be needed if your water source is constant around the numbers you mentioned. Even if the strips were 100% off, your hardness would not be too bad. Mine started out at over 350ppm which is over twice what the charts in the API kits even go to. What a pain the first time I ran the hardness tests, one drop cap and shake, two drops cap and shake, three drops .... all the way up to over 20 for each test.... now I cheat and start with 12 drops.
Thank you, I agree the API master kit sounds like a good investment and a good birthday present since I looked up prices her in New Zealand are just over $80 a lot of money for a 13year old.
Update: I was curious if there was a better price and found a new kit for $69.90 it's as good as I'm going to get here in NZ
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