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Interpreting Water Test Results

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,867 ✭✭✭ TechnoFreek


    Hi,

    After a bad experience with my first tank and goldfish and following advice on here, I'm in the process of setting up the tank as a tropical tank.

    http://touch.boards.ie/thread/2057716538/4/#post102965927

    Taking all precautions:
    I started the fishless cycle using fish flakes a couple of weeks ago. The heater is also in and working away.
    I did a 25% water change a day ago.

    I ordered the api fresh water master test kit and due to some eBay seller shenanigans it only arrived today so I missed the early cycle ascents and descents.

    I am just wondering can anyone help me understand my test results as taken today a bit better.

    First up, the ph from tank water is measuring 7.6. As a beginner I want to go with hardier types as recommended to me on the above link. How suitable is this ph and if not, what do I need to do to fix.

    Secondly, the ammonia colour reading is very very low but I'm not 100% convinced it's zero. But equally it doesn't look as high as. 25.
    Nitrites are a definite zero.

    Nitrates look to be a colour between 10 and 20. Those two colours are very similar to my eyes!

    Can my ammonia levels be greater than zero if nitrites are zero and nitrates up?
    What are my next steps

    Thanks in advance


«1

Comments



  • PH 7.6 is fine for most fish and plants that you'd get in a fish shop.

    Until your ammonia is zero and stays zero don't add any fish. After 2 weeks you mightn't have built up enough beneficial bacteria to process all of the ammonia yet (some is getting processed as you are getting nitrates). Keep going as you are until everything stabilises then gradually add fish so that your bacteria colony only has to grow a small amount at at time to accommodate the change in ammonia emissions.




  • It works like this

    Ammonia -> Nitrite -> Nitrate

    Ammonia is produced by fish waste or rotting food in the tank.

    Your tank produces a bacteria that turns Ammonia into Nitrite.

    When Nitrite is produced your tank develops a new bacteria that turns Nitrite into Nitrate.

    If you have low Ammonia , Nitrite and higher Nitrate it means your tank has everything it needs to be cycled.

    Nitrates are removed in 2 ways. Water changes and Plants ( eg Java Moss and Duckweed )


    Can you create a project thread and post pics of your setup?




  • Thanks dude. Yeah, tested the water again yesterday and ammonia was a definite yellow (zero reading) so I went ahead and got a couple of guppies.

    For now though I've just converted my old existing 18l tank to a tropical one.
    Car insurance came this month so that has put plans on hold for a 60l setup this month.

    I will indeed create a project thread once I start this tank as I have a few questions too!
    Sit tight though as it could be a couple of months before I'm kicking it off!

    Thanks for all your help and advice so far.




  • Fish are almost in the tank a week so I guess a partial water change is due soon.

    After the change (using treated water) do I need to recheck the water for changes in ammonia, nitrites or nitrates.
    Any thing I need to watch out for of can I just do a simple water change and relax?

    Any other tips?

    Thanks




  • Fish are almost in the tank a week so I guess a partial water change is due soon.

    After the change (using treated water) do I need to recheck the water for changes in ammonia, nitrites or nitrates.
    Any thing I need to watch out for of can I just do a simple water change and relax?

    Any other tips?

    Thanks

    Ammonia

    You always need to make sure your filters are handling fish waste.

    When getting more fish ( Dont add alot at a time, acclimatize correctly.

    Get these as they are cheap.

    Airline

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/3pa/Meter-Clear-Aquarium-Hose-Pipe-Fish-Tank/B00KBM5YLM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1491474039&sr=8-3&keywords=air+line+aquarium

    Airline Valve

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/fish-tank-Regulating-valve-Aquarium/dp/B01FSDJH98/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1491474082&sr=8-5&keywords=air+line+valve



    This is done as follows.

    1. Empty the fish and Shop water from the bag into a bucket.

    2. Connect the valve to the airline siphon water from your aquarium into the bucket with the fish.

    3. 3 to 5 drips a second is good and leave for a few hours.

    4. Later.... Scoop the fish using a net into your aquarium.

    When cleaning your filter media, DO NOT PUT IT UNDER THE TAP

    If it a few squeezes in the bucket of old aquarium water and pop it back in.



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  • Thanks for the quick reply dude! So when I do my partial water change, Retest for ammonia? Should I be expecting a zero reading or is there a safe tolerance (e.g. 0.25ppm) then a worrying level?




  • Thanks for the quick reply dude! So when I do my partial water change, Retest for ammonia? Should I be expecting a zero reading or is there a safe tolerance (e.g. 0.25ppm) then a worrying level?

    When you do a water change, test the water a day after.

    Ammonia might have a little spike as a water change will remove Ammonia Nitrite and Nitrate out of the water.

    10% water change a week should be Fine

    Remember to Siphon fish waste out of your gravel




  • Perfect. So a day after the ammonia should be back down to zero?

    Also, any recommendation for a siphon kit?
    As mentioned before I'm still on the small 18l tank and there's just a couple of very small guppies in it so waste is small enough so far

    Thanks




  • Perfect. So a day after the ammonia should be back down to zero?

    Also, any recommendation for a siphon kit?
    As mentioned before I'm still on the small 18l tank and there's just a couple of very small guppies in it so waste is small enough so far

    Thanks

    Best to think about it this way.

    Ammonia - Nitrite - Nitrate should be detectable but in safe ranges using your kit.

    You need all of them so each type of bacteria can feed and produce the next.

    As for a Siphon, Measure the height of your tank and go to a petshop to see which one will fit




  • Great, I'll do the water change soon, then test those three the following day. Might report back results for your opinion.

    Thanks a million!


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  • Great, I'll do the water change soon, then test those three the following day. Might report back results for your opinion.

    Thanks a million!

    Dont forget a Pic :)




  • FFS.

    Going to bed Thursday evening I thought one of the guppies was acting a bid odd. Hanging around the top of the tank. Came downstairs yesterday morning and hed passed away, floating at the top

    I was late home from work yesterday so I was straight to bed. Downstairs this morning and the second was dead at the bottom.

    What is going on. This is very disheartening.

    I've tested the tank water there. Can anyone please help me piece this together as I really feel like throwing the towel in.

    The ph test reads the max 7.6
    The ph high test reads either 7.4 or 8. Finding it hard to tell the difference between those two colours.
    Ammonia is zero
    Nitrites are zero
    Nitrates look to be 20. Maybe even 10.

    Thanks




  • Can you take a picture of your setup




  • Will do. I'm out of the house for the day but will do it later.

    What are you thinking might be the issue?




  • Will do. I'm out of the house for the day but will do it later.

    What are you thinking might be the issue?

    I don't now. It's hard to say without seeing the tank




  • This do. Not a great shot but I can try get better ones if there is something you want to focus on.
    Thanks a million.

    IMAG0125_zpsmc4zplm6.jpg




  • Is there any fish left?




  • Is there any fish left?

    No. Two guppies were in there. Both died within a day of each other




  • Are you ever down in Naas?




  • Is the filter turned off in that picture?


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  • Is the filter turned off in that picture?

    No. It's on. Just obscured by the poor lighting!




  • Are you ever down in Naas?

    Not really to be honest but thanks for the offer.
    I just don't see how this hobby can be that difficult.

    My water parameters test OK. I've measured the water temperature at a fairly even temp.

    What else could it be? Filter not moving enough water? I have a fairly even temp though which would indicate movement in water.

    I feed them very little, using tropical flakes. Literally a flake.

    I just don't know.




  • Not really to be honest but thanks for the offer.
    I just don't see how this hobby can be that difficult.

    My water parameters test OK. I've measured the water temperature at a fairly even temp.

    What else could it be? Filter not moving enough water? I have a fairly even temp though which would indicate movement in water.

    I feed them very little, using tropical flakes. Literally a flake.

    I just don't know.

    it could be anything.... Oxygen, water perimeters, heat and so on.

    I can sort you out with Gravel, Foam filters and Aquarium water and Java Moss for free when im back from holidays



    I also have a simple setup for my betta fish with no issues

    414197.jpg




  • Thanks for the offer dude. It's just so disheartening that I can't manage to keep a couple of fish in a tank without them dying within a week. It shouldn't be this hard!

    It really has made me feel like packing it in and has almost put me off going the 60l route.




  • Thanks for the offer dude. It's just so disheartening that I can't manage to keep a couple of fish in a tank without them dying within a week. It shouldn't be this hard!

    It really has made me feel like packing it in and has almost put me off going the 60l route.

    You should try having a 200ltr Marine Tank crash with the loss of €600 worth of fish lol




  • Ouch! So I'm not the only one this happens to?!




  • Nah, it's pretty much how we all start - we make every mistake in the book, get scolded on on-line forums and eventually get competent.




  • Ouch! So I'm not the only one this happens to?!

    you have to remember you are not mother nature.

    you can only try to recreate what she does for your fish.

    Its all about research and practice.

    I have 10 years experience in fish keeping in both Tropical & Marine and stiff lost young fish


    @Sleepy - was it you who picked up stuff from me in Celbridge before?

    I would have been under a different account back then




  • Might have been!

    IIRC, we have the same first name IRL?


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  • Sleepy wrote: »
    Might have been!

    IIRC, we have the same first name IRL?

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=73942491&postcount=115


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