Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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RainbowDash 02-12-2014 08:25 PM

What should I do...?
I am new to this fish world, and I just tested my tanks water. The parameters are as follows:

10 gallon tank

Temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit
GH- 60
KH- 240
PH- 7.5-8.0 (was a little iffy on being able to tell the exact color of the swab)
Nitrite- 0.5
Nitrate- 20

Chemicals I used are: Water conditioner/dechlorinator, Stress Coat, and Water clarity. Should anything else be added? I was thinking aquarium salt, but was unsure.

Is this a good reading? If not.. what should I do? How do I change it?

Thank you for help!:)

rsskylight04 02-13-2014 03:38 AM

You will need to test for ammonia as well.
How long has the tank been set up?
As long as you don't have high ammonia, you're looking pretty good. It looks like your bacteria/ nitrogen cycle is producing nitrate and therefore complete, but still not fully mature. In a mature tank, nitrite will be converted to nitrAte so fast you'll not be able to get a reading ( reading will= 0).
When did you last change water?
When your tank is fully and totaly established youll see nitrAte accumulate between water changes with no measurable ammonia or nitrite. Your test results will be somthing like 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10-20 nitrAte.

The only additive I use is dechlorinator for my water change water, not to say that you shouldn't use chemicals if you feel they help.

Instead of salt, I would add live plants to further stabilize your tank. My favorites are anacharis, hornwort, anubias, and hygro.

rsskylight04 02-13-2014 04:18 AM

Its really great that your testing your water and maximizing your chances for success. I hate dead fish. So sad.

Your test results for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are of primary importance because they directly affect the immediate health of your fish. Ammonia and nitrite are very toxic and must be kept near 0. Nitrate is less toxic but still harmful. I never let my nitrate get over 20 or immediate partial water change.

The other readings ( hardness and ph) tell you what type of fish your water is best suited for. They can also give important clues if you fail to establish a stable nitrogen cycle. I don't try to alter my ph because most fish and plants can adapt if its kept stable, but there are methods out there to raise or lower ph.

All this is just my theory, and there are other methods that might work as well or better.
Good luck,

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