New 10 Gallon - Test Strips Vs. Master Test Kit

  1. A

    A White Cloud Minnow Initiate Member

    my 10 gallon tank has been running for about 2 weeks now. I bought the strips a couple of days ago, and it said 0 ammonia 0 nitrites, and 6 nitrates. I just tested it again, and got .25 ammonia, and 0 nitrites and nitrates. I am thoroughly confused. I am planning to stock this tank on Fri with a betta and a couple of guppies, would I still be able to do that based on the new readings? Pls help.

    EDIT— The second testing was with the API Master Test Kit
     




  2. Fanatic

    Fanatic Fishlore VIP Member

    Did you actually cycle it?
    Unfortunately, the test strips are inaccurate and shouldn’t be used. Properly testing your water means you’ll need a liquid test kit. You can buy the liquid testing kit on Amazon.
     




  3. OP
    OP
    A

    A White Cloud Minnow Initiate Member

    I am not sure if it actually cycled, I did buy the API Master Test Kit which has liquid testing, and I added the safestart in the beginning of the two weeks. From my experience, guppies and bettas are pretty hardy. Could I add them in and cycle the tank with them?
     
  4. Rtessy

    Rtessy Well Known Member Member

    I'm sorry to say, but if you didn't add a source of ammonia, it's not cycled.
    You could do a fish in cycle, but it would require daily water changes.
    Are you planning on adding the guppies to the betta tank? You know bettas may kill them because of the bright colors. Do you have a backup tank for the betta if this is the case?
     
  5. Mick Frost

    Mick Frost Member Member

    Bettas aren't as hardy as people think, especially for Nitrite toxicity. Poecilia (Guppies, Mollies, Endlers), on the other hand, are tanks. A lot of people here think it's cruel, but I've never lost a Molly to fish-in cycling.
     
  6. finnipper59

    finnipper59 Well Known Member Member

    According to your API kit, your tank is not cycled and whether you do fishless or fish in cycling, it usually takes 5 to 7 weeks to properly cycle a tank. The biggest problem with a fishless cycle is finding pure ammonia. If you go to your local market and find clear ammonia with no lemon or lavender scents added and it only says ammonia on the front, you'll assume it's pure. But then turn the bottle and look at ingredients. You will see the word surfactants so it's a no no for fishless cycling. If your really lucky, your pet shop might carry pure ammonia, but unlikely. There is an ammonia available specifically for cycling aquariums called Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride, that includes instructions on dosage, but then you have mail order time to wait for. I'm not a big fan of fish in cycling, but it can be successful as long as the water is tested and partially changed to keep the ammonia down. There are water conditioners available that not only get rid of chlorine and chloramine that also detoxifies ammonia. Just do NOT use Ammolock. The way it detoxifies ammonia prevents the bacteria from breaking the ammonia down into nitrites...so no cycling. A good water conditioner to use is Aqueon water conditioner. My second choice would be Prime.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    A

    A White Cloud Minnow Initiate Member

    I did add a source of ammonia, I have been putting fish food into the tank. Would guppies do well with a fish in cycle? I am willing to do daily water changes and testing.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    A

    A White Cloud Minnow Initiate Member

    Yes, I have a backup tank.
     
  9. Dch48

    Dch48 Well Known Member Member

    With no nitrates showing on the API kit, the tank is not fully cycled yet.