Question about liquid test kit, which way is best?

fishyluv

Well Known
Member
HI there everyone! I have a API master test kit (liquid). To determine the real results, do you press the glass tube to the white area by the readings or do you just hold it slightly above and by the readings? I ask this because I notice when pressed, it gives you a more higher reading for your results than if you just slightly held it by or above? Which way is best??
 

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Hello Fishyluv,

I hold the test tube directly onto the color chart or even against a white towel or piece of paper. I don't have any ammonia issues so I cover all of the colors below the first (0) with my fingers. Sometimes you may get a glare of the other colors on the tube.

I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Aquarium Water/Test Kits section of the forum.

Thanks!
Ken
 

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  • Thread Starter
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Thank you aquarist48! I am showing no ammonia, no nitrites and my reading for nitrates are showing to be lighter than the 40 ppm., but it is darker than the 20 ppm. So would it be safe to say my reading is 30?? How often and how much water changes do you do when your readings are like mine? And 1 last question is what do your nitates normally need to stay at when your tank is thru cycling? Sorry I didnt do this in different paragraphs, can't get this computer to respond to that but will try to figure it out!!
 
HI Fishy.
Ideally you want to keep your nitrate reading at or below 10ppm. It's safe to say your nitrate is approx 30ppm. I would do a 50% wc to lower that below 20ppm. Wait 24 hrs and test trates again. If it reads over 20ppm after 24 hrs I'd do another 50% wc. That should get you in a good area. Then you can keep an eye on how fast your nitrates build in your tank. Then you can set your wc schedule (how much and how often) based on that number. Hope that was useful!
 
Welcome to Fishlore.

Unless you are keeping sensitive fish, the general rule is to keep nitrates under 20PPM, but anything up to 40PPM is acceptable if your fish are tolerating this level.

I use my nitrate level to determine how much water to change on a weekly basis. Most stocked tanks IME need 30-50% weekly water changes. This is a generality as every tank is different.

In looking at the fish stocked in your tank, you do have sensitive fish. Corys do not tolerate waste very well. In order to keep these guys healthy I recommend keeping the nitrates under 20PPM at all times.

Hope this helps to answer some of your questions.
 
HI FishyLuv,

Great responses from Fall River and Catsma. The information that I have seen also states, Nitrates are best kept under 20, but even up to 40 isn't so bad.

My tanks are well established and my stock doesn't change and I do not over feed my fish. I do water changes every 5 days faithfully. So it's rare that I test at all unless I am starting up a new aquarium.

The longer you are in the hobby, the more familiar you will become with your water parameters from the tap and in your tank, and what needs to be changed or tested and when. I've been in this hobby for 40+ years. You'll get there!

Ken
 

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