Freshwater Testing

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Pb43, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Pb43

    Pb43 New Member Member

    I just did purchased some new fish for my 29 gallon tank and had my water tested while at petsmart..looked good except my alkaline was a little low.
    She suggested a 25% water change & bacteria suppliment and water conditioner. I also bought a moss ball.
    I did the water change (rinsing the filters in the changed water I took as I saw on a you tube video on water changes) and put stress coat in (lady at PetSmart said since I have that that would be good for the conditioner) waited 15 to 20 then put the bacteria suppliment in..got the new fish in nicely after acclimating them good.
    This was yesterday. When I tested this morning the hardness appeared to be closer to the 150 than the 75 mark on the chart. And the nitrite was around the light pinkish of 1.0 area...I am thinking this change is due to my water change...I feel let things be will it correct itself? get better? Thank you for any suggestions on the freshwater testings you may have.
     
  2. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there. Welcome to Fishlore :)

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?
    What is the name of the bacteria supplement?
    What brand of test strips?
    What is your pH?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Pb43

    Pb43 New Member Member

    Please over look the errors in my post..it appears I need to fine tune before hitting post ;) I am interested mostly in making sure that during the water changes I don't mess up my water parameters...and fixing the low alkaline PetSmart suggested

    Yesterday PetSmart's testing the pH was 6.8.i can't remember the name of the bacteria suppliment as I am at work right now. The test strips I have are the 6 in 1 tetra strips
     




  4. DeerPark

    DeerPark New Member Member

    Your tank is in cycle. The only way to reduce nitrites is by doing water changes. Try keep your nitrites as low as possible for the duration of the cycle as high nitrites starve fish of oxygen and potentially kill them. If monitored correctly, these relatively safe low nitrite levels will convert over to nitrate and your worry is gone
     
  5. _IceFyre_

    _IceFyre_ Well Known Member Member

    Water changes don't cause negative parameter changes. It's more likely that your tank wasn't fully cycled to begin with and adding additional fish caused the nitrite levels to go up. You're now doing a fish-in cycle, which can be dangerous for the fish. I recommend testing the water every day if you can and if any nitrite or ammonia shows up, change the water until it reaches zero.
     
  6. DeerPark

    DeerPark New Member Member

    Stress coat will remove metals and chlorine from the water, so that's a must after water changes. Keep in mind, if you have ammonia readings, this is the first stage of the cycle and the above process on monitoring the nitrites that follow ammonia needs to be implemented
     
  7. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Ok. So you have the best test strips, although I do suggest getting the API Freshwater Master Test kit instead. It is more accurate.

    Water changes will not mess up your water parameters. The starting point is to have a cycled tank though. It is important to know what bacteria you used. If you used Tetra Safe Start plus, it is recommended to not test anything for at least 7 days. Because your parameters go crazy and will make you worry too much. If it is Stability, or API QuickStart then you can test daily and we can manage from there.

    The nitrogen cycle is a process that grows beneficial bacteria in your tank, that basically eats the most dangerous toxins and leaves manageable ones. It usually takes a couple weeks for the bacteria to grow, but in the meantime, it can harm or even kill your fish without proper management. So it is very important to do it correctly.

    Since you have fish in fish tank, I suggest purchasing Seachem Prime. It is a dechlorinator, but so much more than that. It protects your fish from the toxins while getting your tank in order. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates can become toxic and kill your fish, pretty quickly. Within just a few days actually.

    As far as your alkalinity. You want an alkaline or neutral tank. A pH of 6.8 is actually acidic. You want your gH and kH both in between 100-200. If either one is below 100, you may need to add a buffer to your tank. I would wait though. During the cycling process the values will fluctuate quite a bit. Your kH value directly effects your pH. If your kH is too low, your pH will be too low. So it is a good idea to watch it closely.

    I would test your tap water, and get an ammonia tester. Ammonia is the most important test, and it isn't included in the test strips.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Pb43

    Pb43 New Member Member

    Thank you all for your replys!!! I have read the articles on cycling in the forum. Who ever put that all in for us beginners did a great job. I will want to look it over again I believe. My tank was cycle properly before putting fish in.i had it tested before getting fish at PetSmart...this weekend I went for more fish and had them test again and the only thing off..they said...was the alkiline looked a bit off and I should add some bacteria suppliment...and that I should do a 25% water change...after such, and doing my own testing, I noticed things a little off and got concerned. I will look over your posts here more closely when I get home and pay attention to the changes in the tank....and thank you guys again.
     
  9. p

    purslanegarden Well Known Member Member

    If you say you were cycled before the fish, and after adding the fish, you have concern about the numbers, then it just seems that your new fish population affected the tank. It should take the bacteria a bit of time to catch up. Keep monitoring the parameters to make sure the fish won't be in too much stress as the system catches up.

    I don't remember that bacteria help the alkalinity situation so maybe the employee just got you to buy some bacteria supplement. However, others with better knowledge or experience can chime in on that part if there is any controversy on it.
     
  10. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    No it won't help with alkalinity, if anything it reduces pH at extremely minute levels as the stabilized ammonium converts. As @AllieSten said, don't bother with alkalinity at this point unless you have livebearers in the tank, it is high enough to not cause any issues.
     
  11. toolman

    toolman Well Known Member Member

    Good luck! Lots of good information from everyone, you can learn loads here. I don't have much to add other than welcome to FishLore, @AllieSten & @Sarcasm Included are among the best here. When you get time get involved in discussions and you will learn more.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Pb43

    Pb43 New Member Member

    Thank you!!! And ya they got me to buy suppliment and a moss ball... :/ I have the feeling some people there just think they know and give good guesses to people like me that clearly don't know! Lol anyway all your posts are a huge help! I came home from work the fish seem fine...oh and the bacteria suppliment I got was topfin bacterial suppliment for the one that was askin.. again thanks huge!
     




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