Tank Water tests

  1. dahly Member Member

    In my one month as a "Tropical Fish Hobbyist" I have had my tank tested 2-3 times a week at the lfs.  They use 5-1 test strips with a separate strip for ammonia.  Although they are not "old" strips at all, that variances would be almost comical, if it weren't so critical.  I bought my own test kit, one with test tubes and drops, trusting I'll get more accurate readings.  However I find that the color in the test tube always seems to appear closer to the color I wish it to be, then maybe what it is in reality.  What do my fellow hobbyists use to test the water and do you really trust the readings? 
     
  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Sometimes the colors are so close it's hard to tell what the true reading is. I'd go with the color you wish it wasn't, and do your water changes to fix it. If you did it the other way, you'd be risking your fishie's health. Which master test kit did you get?
     

  3. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit and it is much more reliable than the strips.
    Carol
     
  4. dahly Member Member

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  I am using the Aquarium Pharmacuticals test kit too.  Yesterday, my water tested at O, 3.0 and 20, pH 8, hardness at 250 using strips at a LFS.  Tonight at my favorite LFS (a little further down the road) the Nitrites were tested at 5.0. :(  I came home and tested them myself, using the Aquarium Pharmacuticals test kit, and recorded < 2.0. ???  The "color" was confirmed by my wife and 14 year old, independant of one another.  I guess that I will for now on, do my own testing.  I'd prefer quick and easy at a LFS, and a chance to see all the fish while I'm there, but it appears that the strips are not accurate.  Live and learn! ;D
     

  5. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Sorry you've had such a hard time-don't give up ;) i really like doing my own testing, that way I know how carefully it was done.
    Keep up the water changes and keep us posted.
    Carol
     
  6. dahly Member Member

    Butterfly, since my tank seems to be cycling I'm hesitant to do yet another water change.  Would it be bad to let it go a week to see if it cycles itself?  The White Skirts are doing great.  The lfs says they are so hardy that they would be very surprised if they died.  I've cut waaay back on my feeding 4-5 Omega One "First Flakes" twice a day.  They all get at least one flake each mealtime.  And no left overs on the substrate.  Let me know what you think.  Thanks, Glenn