Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   what parameters to test the quality of water ?? (

jusabuketin 12-07-2008 03:59 AM

what parameters to test the quality of water ??
hi. what basic parameters should i test for the quality of aquarium water ?
Eg. pH, turbudity, water hardness and any more ?
thank you

Little-Fizz 12-07-2008 07:44 AM

The most important ones are ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. These ones are key to your fishes healthy and the cycle of the aquarium. When buying a test kit I recommend API's liquid master test kit that includes these tests, as well as a high pH tester.

Have you looked into the cycling process of a tank yet?

jusabuketin 12-07-2008 09:07 AM

hi. thxs for the advice =]
sry i kinda noob here. can u explain wat u mean by the cycle ?
thank you =]

Little-Fizz 12-07-2008 10:08 AM

Check this out. Basically the cycle of the aquarium is just building beneficial bacteria inside your filter and tank before adding the fish. This way you can add fish without having to worry about poor water quality and tons of water changes.

jusabuketin 12-07-2008 10:21 PM

alrit . thxs alot ! =]
so the ammonia shd be 0.
nitrite shd be 0
nitrate shd be 10 - 20 ppm

alrit thxs =]

may i ask 1 more thing. if i wan to check the hardness of water. wat is the suitable range of value of hardness to keep a good quality of water . =]

Little-Fizz 12-08-2008 05:59 AM

Well... That depends, do you know for a fact that you have hard water? Unless you know for a fact you have super hard water I wouldn't worry about it, because even if it's just slightly hard you wouldn't want to be constantly messing around with your water chemistry when your fish will thrive just fine in that water.

Right, thats what a cycled tanks parameters read. In your tank, expect to see ammonia first then once they go down your nitrites will spike, generally my nitrites always get stuck. But then 3-4 weeks into the cycle I do a little water change and those nitrites disappear and you're left with the perfect range of nitrates. Are you planning on doing a fish cycle or a fish less cycle?

jusabuketin 12-08-2008 06:18 PM

thxs for the advices.
i just read up on wat is fishless cycle and i believe i will avoid tat method.
i am curious. may i know how these bacteria are form to convert those ammonia? do i have to do something so that the bacteria will exist or they will just appear on its own ?
thxs again =]

Little-Fizz 12-09-2008 07:04 AM

You don't need to add the bacteria. You can, and it will make it go faster. If you add a product like cycle.

When I cycle my tanks I just float a nylon sock filled with fish flakes, then the fish flakes rot and you have ammonia. The rest happens by itself

iamntbatman 12-11-2008 06:45 PM

A few comments: as the article said, ammonia and nitrite are deadly to fish, so both of these should stay at zero at all times. Nitrate is much less harmful but it doesn't hurt to keep it as low as possible. If you can get it down to 5 ppm, great, but 10-20 ppm is a more reasonable level. Once it gets above about 40 ppm, you've got a problem and need to start doing some water changes.

Different fish prefer different hardness levels. Some, like Amazonian fish (especially things like discus) need incredibly soft water. Others, like livebearers and especially the African rift lake cichlids, prefer extremely hard water. This goes for pH as well - different fish prefer a broad range of pH values. However, hardness and pH are usually tied to what's coming out of your tap at home, and it's almost always better to keep your pH and hardness where they are rather than messing with them as pH swings can kill fish.

Oldman47 12-15-2008 06:27 PM

If you don't have any fish yet, you can let the ammonia levels get to about 5 ppm and let the nitrite levels go completely out of sight while cycling. Once you have fish in the tank, the ammmonia and nitrites must both be kept below 0.25 ppm. The usual approach is to dose ammonia by some methos to 5 ppm and try to keep it there with daily additions until it processes the whole dose in 24 hours. By that time nitrites will have gone out of sight but you keep dosing the ammonia daily until you see the nitrites come back down to zero. When you can dose to 5 ppm ammonia and measure both ammonia and nitrites 12 hours later and get zero detectable levels, you can think about adding fish. At that point you do a huge water change to get nitrates below 40 ppm, and lower would not hurt, then you add your fish.

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