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Test Results

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by travdawg, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, I got the test kit this evening, & have done my first test.... My kids kept asking "Did you get a laboratory daddy?". heh Anyhow, the results are below:

    PH: 6.4
    amm: 0-.25
    No2: 0
    No3: .20-.40

    So... Whats that mean??? Are my Nitrates high? Or is that an average number? I assumed that the closer to 0 the better. I just did a 20-30% water change last night, so it definitely seems high to me.
     
  2. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Test Results

    I would test your tapwater. You need to know what you are putting in the tank so that you can evaluate the dilution of nitrates etc. in your tank. If the nitrates in your mains water are high it will take more changes or higher volume changes to dilute the nitrates in your tank. Your tank water nitrate levels will always be higher than your mains water unless you have a vigorous plant population or resort to chemical reducers, which I don't advise.

    Your PH is a little on the low side but the nitrate levels are not seriously high. Try to keep to an absolute maximum of 40, ideally below 20 for sure.

    You've a trace of ammonia that you need to keep an eye on. Aim for a zero figure. Is your tank recently set up and what type of filtration do you have?

    Ian
     
  3. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Test Results

    Its a HOB filter. My tank is 10 gall. I really couldnt tell what color the water for the Amm test more closely matched, so I just kinda called it between the lowest. I will test my tap tonight. Amm may also be high, due to a 20-30% change done the evening before.
     
  4. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Test Results

    You'll never increase the ammonia content by adding tapwater. Is your set-up fairly new? If it is then the amm could be the tail end of the cycling process.

    The HOB filter should be adequate for your 10 gal tank. When you clean it don't replace with all new/clean media at the same time as you'll lose your nitrifying bacteria and this could cause an ammonia 'spike'.

    Small volume tanks are very much harder than large ones to maintane the correct chemical balances, especially if you overstock with fish.

    Ian
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Test Results

    You can test, but you can avoid that altogether if you so chose. Then go back and mess the tank up in a controlled manner:)

    I do large water changes, then add the nutrients back and guess the 2-3x in the middle week how much the plants might need.
    This makes sure the plants have enough, CO2 is about the only thing I might need to test for.

    Generally, if you add as many plants from the very start as will fit, you'll never see any NH4 in a new set up.

    Testing is good to see what's involved, how to interpt the results and see what assumptions we assume with test. They very good to see what rates your tank uses.

    But these rates can and do change, the rates are like moving targets.

    But...........we can beat these moving targets by doing one little assumption........assume that the at maximum light and growth under non limiting conditions, the rate will never be lower.

    So what assumptions you chose are very important........

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  6. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Test Results

    Well, tested my water again tonight, the Nitrate levels were up to 80, but the Amm levels are down to 0. Not really what I wanted though. Can I have some advice on what I should do here, to drop the Nitrates? A large (50%) change, along with another deep gravel clean? Next week I plan on changing out the SS completely, with some Eco Complete... I hope that will tame my Nitrate levels for good. Since I will be on top of cleaning it from the get go.... and adding plants as well.
     
  7. travdawg

    travdawg Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Test Results

    Tom, in your post, I really dont understand what you are telling me to do... You have to understand, I am a total noob to this, & the things that I know, I have largely learned from reading online, & not really from practical experience. I hate to sound like an idiot... But the fact is, when it comes to this stuff, I am really learning from the bottom, or lower than the bottom... like a hidden subbasement or something. hehe

    Anyhow, I ran 3 water tests tonight.... Test one was on a cup of tap water I let sit out for around 20ish hours... Results :

    PH: 6.6-6.7
    Amm, Nitrite, Nitrate : 0

    Test 2 was on my tank :

    PH: 6
    Amm: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 60-80

    Test 3 was ran, after I stirred up the gravel (creating ALOT of floating debris) with the gravel vac, which I had covered the end with a fancy filter (old pair of panty hose). I changed out about 50% of the water in this manner, stopping on an occassion to rinse out the "filter" with tap water. Once that was done, I dumped about 2.5 galls of the water back in, & repeated the process again. The water was still cloudy, with unsettled matter, but I was really not getting much more mulm in the filter... I then topped off my tank with tap water, with a dechlorinator (by Hagen). My post change results are:

    PH: 6.4
    Ammo: 0
    Nitrite: 0 (though darker than it was before, by just a hair... dunno how that could be, since it was 0 before, & the tap showed 0)
    Nitrate: down to 10ish!

    Man, I hope that it hasnt shot back up tomorrow. A small increase will be ok, but if I get a huge spike, I will be quite upset. I skipped my fishes nightly feeding, & removed the last fake plant I had in the tank, in favor of a piece of obsidian a friend brought me from California. I dont like the way it is positioned, but until I am able to make a few more changes in the tank, its gonna have to stay that way!

    Again, please comment, if you have anything at all to say. I welcome the feedback as a learning experience!
     
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