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Good test kits & local water report

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Mark Lem, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Mark Lem

    Mark Lem Guru Class Expert

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    Hi gang
    Been doing planted tanks for 10 years with CO2, EI, good lighting with mediocre success...sometimes things are great, other times not so good. This winter I'll be starting a 180 gal (or there abouts) tank, high tech (adequate lighting, CO2, EI) planted etc. I want to do this tank consistently right, taking everything into consideration to have a high probabaility of success.

    Local water report lists pH as 7.8 with hardness of 122 ppm. The water company says in their intro that hardness is measure of Calcium and Magnesium, so is the 122 ppm they refer to the Total Hardness?

    Due to desire to add discus to tank and also I want to finally have some great plants, I'm thinking the above hardness is on high side (not sure though) and am considering an RO unit and mix result with tap water to get to desired KH etc. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, what is a good accurate test kit?
     
  2. anov50

    anov50 Lifetime Members
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    Ca and Mg is GH. 122ppm = 6.8 dgh if the 122ppm doesn't include the KH (carbonate hardness). Total hardness is GH + KH.
     
  3. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I'm not sure what all that you want to test. For KH, I use: LaMotte KH/Alkalinity Test Kit 4491- DR / Direct Reading Titrator Method

    Here are their Nitrate, Phosphate and Calcium test kits: http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_searchItem.aspx?vendorname=LaMotte&vendorcode=LM

    Here are some more LaMotte test kits like ammonia, nitrite, hardness, iron, pH, CO[SUB]2[/SUB], etc: http://search.aquaticeco.com/index?D=LaMotte&Nty=1&N=0&Dk=0&Ntt=LaMotte
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You should run a calibration of any and all test kits, but the Lamott and Hach brands have been the most consistent I've used and measured, well worth the extra cost IME.
     
  5. Mark Lem

    Mark Lem Guru Class Expert

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    I was thinking I should test for KH and try to get it down to 2-3 by mixing RO with tap, or maybe just reconstituting the RO with additives, I don't know. Also measure pH, not sure what else I should keep tabs on...I've been doing a planted tank for 10 years but half-assed with mixed results. I never measure anything so I don't know what is really going on in my tank or why things are good or not good. I've skimped with flow and a quality CO2 delivery. I want to change all that. With my new tank I want to know whats going on and why its doing well or not doing well. Feel the need to quantify my results (which I should have been doing all along). I'm willing to spend the $$ on the right things and figure an accurate test kit is a good place to start (as well as a load of Tom's manzanita!)


     
  6. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I use my LaMotte alkalinity test kit when I make my 4 dKH solutions. It does a great job.

    I rarely test my water now. I have test kits and the equipment needed to calibrate them, but I rarely use it. I used my ammonia and nitrite test kits when I recently set up a new aquarium with Amazonia. I dose EI and do water changes. This works for me. I'm just not very interested in testing like I used to be.

    Tom will tell you that it is a very good idea to get good CO[SUB]2[/SUB] equipment.
     
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