What are the minum tests for FW planted aquarium?
I just set up a new planted tank, and am 82 YO, so I don't want a lot of work.
The tests that you will need to do are Ammonia,nitrites,and nitrates. If you are going to run Co2 (note you don't have to but if you are) you will need to monitor that as well. You should also test your hardness of your water and Ph at least once or call your local water company and get those numbers so you know what fish can live in your parameters
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.:wave:
I agree with Boredomb, though here I would say you could live without ammonia and nitrite if you plant the tank well and go easy on introducing fish, and are regular with partial water changes [hope these are not too much work for you.;-)]. It has been years since I have tested either ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate is useful, periodically, as it can indicate pending trouble. The pH test is similar. Generally speaking, I only test for pH, and that only a few times a year unless I am fiddling with water parameters. Nitrates never vary in my tanks now, so maybe once or twice a year, but the result is always the same.
The GH is crucial to know, both for fish and plants, but a test kit is not necessary unless one is going to be adjusting the GH. Ascertaining the GH of your tap water from the municipal water people is sufficient. The should also know the pH, which will get you started.
if your looking for as little maitence as possible I wouldn't go with the co2. co2 requires dry ferts in most cases and aestimative index dosing. its a ton of work upfront until you get things dialed in and you more then likely will see 3728109372108 different types of algae until you get it dialed in if you have the light output to match the co2.
stick with low light no co2 - less work
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