An Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit should cost you around $15.00 USD if you get it online. Around here at the LFS, they run about $30.00. You need an ammonia (preferably the one with the yellow to green card), nitrite and nitrates. The other tests you see like GH, and KH are good but not necessary, and are usually used with planted tanks. On the ammonia test, you could buy a $4.00 test from WalMart, but if you have an ammonia spike, if you add any ammo lock or amquel plus to help neutralize the ammonia, your reading will not be accurate with that test. There's something about the ammo lock and amquel that will give you a false positive with that ammonia test (yellow to orange test card). That's why the test with the yellow to green card is better. The AP master test kit has the good ammonia test.
I got an ammonia test kit goin and this stuff called AMMO LOCK which gets rid of the ammonia I went 2 animal magic where my m8 luke works and got £3 knocked off since I'm a friend of the shop apparently only set me bak £10 the fish in animal magic hav improved greatly if u remember me talkin about what a state they were in they got new tanks and a new filtration system in and the fish r gleaming luke has done a great job cleanin and tratin the tanks every week big clap to luke!!!!!! this is hopefully the end of the deaths in my tank I lost another 1 of my cory cats this mornin it must b high ammonia levels!!!!!!
Okay, I looked back through this thread, and you haven't posted nitrates yet. Are they over 20 ppm? Also, how long have you had the fish in this tank? Give us the size, fish types and how many of each. I know it aggravating, but I lose track of what everyone has. If you can, add your tank(s) to your signature so we will already know most of this stuff.
ok I have had my tank for 4 months now so the fish have been in for about 3 months some of them a shorter period of time since I wait 2 weeks between each batch of fish I get there r no nitrates either gunnie! I thought that nitrates were the good chemical u need in the tank ??!! but there below 20ppm
Nitrates are what you look for when you are cycling a tank. They are the last phase of the biological process that we look for, but can be a problem for fish if they get above 20 ppm. They are not nearly as dangerous to your fish as ammonia or nitrites, but a good guide as to when tank maintenance is due. Of course 20 ppm is just a recommended guideline and may be too high for fish like discus which require more water changes than your average fish. A friend of mine with discus does water changes at least 3 times a week! Since it sounds like everything is okay in your tank, I'm at a loss. Since you got the basics covered, we need to know of any changes that were done to the tank lately. If all of your fish have been in your tank for 4 months, new fish are not the problem. A while back, did you do an extra throrough cleaning of your gravel (like under rocks and decorations) that hadn't been done in awhile? This could have stirred up anaerobic bacteria that had be contained until the gravel vac. I had this happen and it almost wiped out my whole tank. Let us know of anything different you've done with the tank lately no matter how small the change.
right ok I do a 25% -20% water change a week but last week I did a gravel vac (but I had done a gravel vac a month and a bit b4 that) ??? I'm glad u reply so quickly gunnie its good stuff and as u can c I did the signature thing u suggested it was about time I got it done and since its wet and windy over here in northern ireland iv only been out 2 get the nitrite test kit lol so would that extra gravel vac have mucked up my tank??? how often should I gravel vac?? u c I was gettin worried cause as I posted b4 there was a starngle like polluted surface at the surface of my water its hard 2 explain what it was it was like if u get an oil spill in the sea it looked like that kind of shiny polluted surface but its gone at the minute cause I did a water change on saturday (I do my water change every saturday)
but if there's no ammonia or nitrite or anythin I don't hav a clue what was causin it but I hav lost quite a lot of fish since I got my tank my estimate is about 13 5 hav been in the past 2 weeks I haven't changed the tank at all by the way no new ornaments or anythin I change my polyester filter pad every month and put a new 1 in my fluval 2plus filter I haven't changed the foam pads yet but will next saturday and don't worry I know 2 take only 1 of the pads out 1st then put the other new 1 in the followin week 2 keep the good bacteria , I clean my filter out every other week in the tank water ive taken out and there haven't been any new fish in about 3 weeks due 2 the depression in my tank lol so that's the life story of the tank at the mo lol any ideas