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A newbie fisher here. I have had a 10 gallon for ages, never tested the water, just been lucky I guess. I just set up a 37 gallon and tested the water. I have no idea what I am looking for though. I have searched for a chart that matches the one on the back of the bottle with no luck. I do not know whether it is good bad or otherwise.
PH 6.5 or 8.5 shows two distint colours on the strip
Newbie fish hobbyist
|Posted 28-Nov-2009 14:31|
Welcome to Fish Profiles.
Actually NH3/NH4 is Ammonia, and should be "0"
in a cycled tank.
NO2 is Nitrite. That is the middle step in the Nitrogen
Cycle where waste products from the fish go from Ammonia
to Nitrite, to Nitrate (NO3).
In a new tank, just starting to cycle, the ammonia can
reach 6ppm (parts per million). Bacterial colonies develop
that change the ammonia to Nitrite. Then bacterial
colonies develop that change the nitrite to Nitrate.
Nitrite can reach 10ppm.
Then Nitrate accumulates. We remove the excess nitrate
through water changes, gravel vacuuming, and live plants.
The nitrate in a planted tank should run around 10-20 and
in a non planted tank, we should strive for a nitrate
reading of zero.
So, as your tank cycles, first the ammonia will spike (rise)
And then the nitrite will start to read and climb (while the
ammonia begins to decline, and then the nitrite will
start to decline as the nitrate starts to appear and climb.
When ammonia and nitrite reads zero and the nitrogen appears
then the tank is cycled.
Cycling a tank either with fish (not recommended, but
popular) or fishless cycling, will take a tank about
4-6 weeks. Only when fully cycled, is it then "safe" to
add the fish you really want to keep.
Check out this article (one of many available) on fishless
pH is the measure of the acidity of the water. 7.0 is
neutral, lower than 7 is acidic, and higher than 7 is
alkaline. Once you decide upon the actual pH of the tank
you should then (IMO) decide what types of fish you will
keep in the tank.
You can have water with a pH in the 6's and then treat
it to keep African Rift fish which prefer water in the
8's, and conversely you can have water in the 8's and
keep tetras, which prefer water in the upper 6's.
Or, you can skip the expense of constantly treating
the water, and keep fish appropriate for the pH that
you have coming out of the tap.
KH is the Carbonate Hardness of the water. This is a measure
of the buffering capability of the water. GH is the
General Hardness of the water.
A GH/KH of 0-50ppm (0-3degrees) is great for Discus, Cardinals,
Tetras, etc. and live plants.
50-100ppm (3-6 degrees) is great for just about all
tropical fish (Angels, Tetras, Cichlids, Botia, and
100-200ppm (6-11 degrees) is good for most tropical
fish including all livebearers (swordtails, guppies,
mollies, and goldfish).
140-200ppm (8-12 degrees) is good for all marine fish.
200-400ppm (11-22 degrees) is good for Rift Lake Cichlids,
Goldfish, and Brackish water fish.
Strips are the least expensive way to test your water,
but, they are also the least accurate. They are subject
to errors from aging, exposure to heat, light, and moisture.
And, they can pose problems for folks who have
difficulty with determining just what color they are looking
A better type of test kit is one that uses liquids that are
mixed with a water sample, they have been geared to show a
sudden shift of color when the correct ratios of test
chemicals vs water sample occur. Depending upon the kits
a blue changes to yellow or a green to yellow, etc.
In those kits, you count the drops and the number of drops
corresponds to the number of degrees, and thus the ppm.
Aging is the only problem with those kits. Be sure to check
the expiration dates on the packages.
Personally, I'd shift to the test kits similar to this:
These test kits are available at darned near every LFS
in the nation.
Also, you can take a sample of your tank water to just about
any LFS, anywhere, and they will test it for free. Of
course, in return they expect you to purchase any chemicals
from them in return (it's not necessary, but sort of
I'd take a sample in and have them test it to confirm
your results, and to determine which actually is the correct
reading for your pH.
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 28-Nov-2009 16:05|
|Posted 28-Nov-2009 16:07|
This post has been deleted
|Posted 10-Feb-2015 05:28|
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