Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Questions about testing (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/questions-about-testing-18379/)

SolaceTiger 10-05-2008 05:09 PM

Questions about testing
 
So... by browsing the forum, I'm kinda thinking that testing your water is a good thing, although I think mine is probably fine.. fish seem just fine. Although, if I were to buy a test kit.. not the strips.. but.. whatever the regular kind is... can someone give me a range of how much it would be? Can you use them more than once or is it single use? I have a 10 gallon tank with 2 red eye tetras, 3 bloodfin tetras, 2 mixed fruit tetras, and 2 ottos... although I'm not sure if they will survive, considering I didn't know you should quarantine them first... but it definitely makes sense. Anyways, sorry for rambling. Any one to answer my questions? :)

Edit: Also, I've never heard of a brackish water tank... what's the difference?

Little-Fizz 10-05-2008 08:25 PM

Hey there, it would be in your best interest to pick up an API liquid master test kit. It tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. It lasts forever, and is worth the money. You'll probably spend around 30 bucks on it.

Have you cycled your tank or read up on the cycling process?


Brackish tanks have salt in them but they aren't a full marine environment.

SolaceTiger 10-05-2008 09:10 PM

I honestly hadn't heard of cycling before I came on here. So that's very new to me. However, I do know to dechlorinate the water and such, before adding fish to the tank. Most of the fish I've had in the tank I've had for 6 months plus, and I've never tested the water or anything..never occured to me I guess. Common ignorance. Luckily though I haven't had any major problems. A couple fish have died here and there, and I suppose I never knew why. Figured if it was something major, they'd all follow but everyone looks nice and healthy. I clean the tank and vacuum the gravel, and remove the ornaments about once a month... I know it should be bi weekly or so, but I just don't have the energy sometimes. Also, thanks for the info about the brackish tank. I googled it to and found out some things.

jeaninel 10-05-2008 09:19 PM

Yes, API liquid master test kit is recommended to have on hand. In a cycled tank your ammonia and nitrite readings should be 0 and nitrate should be kept under 40ppm (under 20ppm even better). You reduce nitrate levels when you do water changes.

SolaceTiger 10-05-2008 09:27 PM

Can you possibly post some places where I could find one?

Also does anyone use these? Or something similar? http://www.petco.com/product/102743/...-Test-Kit.aspx

jeaninel 10-05-2008 09:42 PM

Do you have a Petsmart near you? If you print out the online Petsmart price they will price match it in the store which is usually higher priced than the online price. Petco should carry it also.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2754034

SolaceTiger 10-05-2008 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeaninel
Do you have a Petsmart near you? If you print out the online Petsmart price they will price match it in the store which is usually higher priced than the online price. Petco should carry it also.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2754034

Thanks, although it seems I've found one cheaper I think.. on aquariamguys.com

I'll have to eventaully buy one somewhere, now that I'm more aware. :o Thanks!

iamntbatman 10-06-2008 01:35 AM

Aquariumguys.com usually has some of the best prices around on aquarium equipment.

That kit will essentially test for the most important water parameters and give you many, many tests, so it will last you quite a long time.

Those Mardel monitor things are useless. They're inaccurate, expensive, and they eventually start to fall apart in your tank and make a mess. Periodic testing with a liquid kit is definitely the way to go.

Little-Fizz 10-06-2008 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolaceTiger
I honestly hadn't heard of cycling before I came on here. So that's very new to me. However, I do know to dechlorinate the water and such, before adding fish to the tank. Most of the fish I've had in the tank I've had for 6 months plus, and I've never tested the water or anything..never occured to me I guess. Common ignorance. Luckily though I haven't had any major problems. A couple fish have died here and there, and I suppose I never knew why. Figured if it was something major, they'd all follow but everyone looks nice and healthy. I clean the tank and vacuum the gravel, and remove the ornaments about once a month... I know it should be bi weekly or so, but I just don't have the energy sometimes. Also, thanks for the info about the brackish tank. I googled it to and found out some things.

I'm glad you have decided to research on how to best look after your fish. Just so you know its best to do weekly water changes. I know some people do biweekly, but every week my tanks get about 20-25% of the water changed out and replaced. This include a gravel vac. You don't need to condition the water when adding new fish, unless your using something like stress coat and then thats a good idea. But the only time you should really add water conditioner is when your replacing tank water, then you add it directly to the water before you put it in the tank , not after.

Luckily for you you won't have to worry about the cycle, your fish have already survived it :lol: a 6 month old aquarium is definitely cycled and read for fish. Just out of curiosity, what size is your tank and how many fish\ what kind do you keep in it?

And just so you know, with weekly water changes and an aquarium thats been set up as long as your has, you don't have to test the water as frequently. I honestly only test the water for fun now a days, unless I see a fish who doesn't seem to be doing to well. Or my algae is growing out of control :? then I know to check nitrate levels and do a large water change.

SolaceTiger 10-06-2008 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little-Fizz
Quote:

Originally Posted by SolaceTiger
I honestly hadn't heard of cycling before I came on here. So that's very new to me. However, I do know to dechlorinate the water and such, before adding fish to the tank. Most of the fish I've had in the tank I've had for 6 months plus, and I've never tested the water or anything..never occured to me I guess. Common ignorance. Luckily though I haven't had any major problems. A couple fish have died here and there, and I suppose I never knew why. Figured if it was something major, they'd all follow but everyone looks nice and healthy. I clean the tank and vacuum the gravel, and remove the ornaments about once a month... I know it should be bi weekly or so, but I just don't have the energy sometimes. Also, thanks for the info about the brackish tank. I googled it to and found out some things.

I'm glad you have decided to research on how to best look after your fish. Just so you know its best to do weekly water changes. I know some people do biweekly, but every week my tanks get about 20-25% of the water changed out and replaced. This include a gravel vac. You don't need to condition the water when adding new fish, unless your using something like stress coat and then thats a good idea. But the only time you should really add water conditioner is when your replacing tank water, then you add it directly to the water before you put it in the tank , not after.

Luckily for you you won't have to worry about the cycle, your fish have already survived it :lol: a 6 month old aquarium is definitely cycled and read for fish. Just out of curiosity, what size is your tank and how many fish\ what kind do you keep in it?

And just so you know, with weekly water changes and an aquarium thats been set up as long as your has, you don't have to test the water as frequently. I honestly only test the water for fun now a days, unless I see a fish who doesn't seem to be doing to well. Or my algae is growing out of control :? then I know to check nitrate levels and do a large water change.

My tank is just 10 gallons, and I have 2 otto cats, 2 red eye tetras, 3 bloodfin tetras, and 2 mixed fruit tetras, so yea i'm at my max for fish. Yup, the only time I do add the water conditioner is when i do water changes, but i've always just dumped it in the aquariam while adding the water. i fill my aquariam with a watering can.. i suppose i can just mix it in there instead.


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