Testing kit

Fisher123

Member
Hi everyone,

I would like to ask how to use the fresh water master test kit I just bought. I did everything In The instructions, but the numbers look to perfect to me. I just received 3 new fish and want to make sure the tank is ok for the new guys.
 
Best Answer - View Dunk2's answer

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
Hi everyone,

I would like to ask how to use the fresh water master test kit I just bought. I did everything In The instructions, but the numbers look to perfect to me. I just received 3 new fish and want to make sure the tank is ok for the new guys.
API kit? What is too perfect? How long has the tank been running?
 

Lebeeze

Member
How long has the tank been running?
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
API kit? What is too perfect? How long has the tank been running?
About 3 weeks. The numbers I’m getting. The high P.H is 7.4 the ammonia is 0 the Nitrite is 0 and the Nitrate is also 0
Dunk2 said:
API kit? What is too perfect? How long has the tank been running?
 

Dunk2

Member
Unfortunately, that’s not perfect. The lack of any nitrates means your tank isn’t cycled.

What is your pH and when did you add fish to the tank?
Edit: Sorry, I see your pH. That‘s fine for cycling.

I’m guessing you just added fish and you weren’t adding an ammonia source of any sort to the tank before adding them?
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
Hey there!
Just confirm that you are running the test procedure correctly. The Nitrate Test process for API is rather more detailed and I know people that got 0PPM because they tested wrong. 0 ammonia and 0 Nitrates is rather weird because in the Nitrogen Cycle; Ammonia is produced by Fish waste and organic Decaying material, then that is made into Nitrites which is then made into Nitrates (nitrates are much less toxic then the other two)
Also what is your tank size, do you have any live plants and what kind of fish do you have (I'm asking that way I can measure bioload)
 

Dunk2

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
0 ammonia and 0 Nitrates is rather weird because in the Nitrogen Cycle; Ammonia is produced by Fish waste and organic Decaying material, then that is made into Nitrites which is then made into Nitrates (nitrates are much less toxic then the other two)
A fully cycled tank is typically 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some level of nitrates. I’m guessing all the OPs numbers are 0 because he just added an ammonia source (fish).
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
Hey there!
Just confirm that you are running the test procedure correctly. The Nitrate Test process for API is rather more detailed and I know people that got 0PPM because they tested wrong. 0 ammonia and 0 Nitrates is rather weird because in the Nitrogen Cycle; Ammonia is produced by Fish waste and organic Decaying material, then that is made into Nitrites which is then made into Nitrates (nitrates are much less toxic then the other two)
Also what is your tank size, do you have any live plants and what kind of fish do you have (I'm asking that way I can measure bioload)

I have a 30 gallon new tank... i now have 4 glofish, one gourami, one red tail shark and my friend today got me a snowball pleco.
Dunk2 said:
A fully cycled tank is typically 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some level of nitrates. I’m guessing all the OPs numbers are 0 because he just added an ammonia source (fish).
Not sure if the tank is cycled, do you think my fish are ok in the tank?
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
I have a 30 gallon new tank... i now have 4 glofish, one gourami, one red tail shark and my friend today got me a snowball pleco.


Not sure if the tank is cycled, do you think my fish are ok in the tank?
Read this. Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle. I’m pretty certain your tank not only isn’t cycled, but it just started to cycle when you added fish.

Your fish will be fine until the ammonia level starts rising (which will happen soon).

If you don’t have Seachem Prime, I’d suggest you get some. And be prepared to do a lot of water changes (maybe daily) to keep ammonia and nitrite levels safe for your fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
Hey there!
Just confirm that you are running the test procedure correctly. The Nitrate Test process for API is rather more detailed and I know people that got 0PPM because they tested wrong. 0 ammonia and 0 Nitrates is rather weird because in the Nitrogen Cycle; Ammonia is produced by Fish waste and organic Decaying material, then that is made into Nitrites which is then made into Nitrates (nitrates are much less toxic then the other two)
Also what is your tank size, do you have any live plants and what kind of fish do you have (I'm asking that way I can measure bioload)
No live plants all fake. Do you think the snowball pleco is going to be ok?
 

Lebeeze

Member
You are performing a fish in cycle. You will need to do alot of work to make this go smoothly without losing fish. I would suggest looking up how to do a proper "fish in cycle"
 

Dunk2

Member
P.S. After adding an ammonia source, a full cycle typically takes 4 - 6 weeks.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Lebeeze said:
You are performing a fish in cycle. You will need to do alot of work to make this go smoothly without losing fish. I would suggest looking up how to do a proper "fish in cycle"
I’m I using hardy fish? Or should I move my pleco to my old 10 gallon tank for now?
Fisher123 said:
I’m I using hardy fish? Or should I move my pleco to my old 10 gallon tank for now?
What type of work do I can start doing it right away? How much water daily or weekly to take out? I really don’t want to lose my fish
 

JettsPapa

Member
Hello,

It sounds like you're doing a fish-in cycle, maybe inadvertently, but that's okay. Just test your water often, probably daily, and do water changes as needed to keep your combined ammonia and nitrites definitely below 1.0 ppm, and ideally not over 0.50 ppm. Your fish will be fine if you do that.

Eventually you'll start to see some nitrates, but it may take a while. For now I wouldn't bother testing for that every day; maybe every third day.
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
I’m I using hardy fish? Or should I move my pleco to my old 10 gallon tank for now?


What type of work do I can start doing it right away? How much water daily or weekly to take out? I really don’t want to lose my fish
The most important thing you can do immediately to keep your fish healthy is to understand the nitrogen cycle.

The amount of water you need to change and when depends on your test result.

See JettsPapa post above.
 

JettsPapa

Member
Fisher123 said:
What type of work do I can start doing it right away? How much water daily or weekly to take out? I really don’t want to lose my fish
We posted at almost the same time, so maybe you didn't see my reply, but do water changes according to your test results, not any set schedule.
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
As far as a quick cycle, I just had to do this. I had to take in my friends fish because they were moving and I didn't have time to cycle. It gets tedious at times but your fish will hopefully be fine (I had no dead fish). First off, Add Beneficial Bacteria. I used; Aqueon Pure Beneficial Bacteria, and API Quick Start. For the development of your filter, use SeaChem Stability. If you see your Ammonia levels or Nitrite levels go up, do a 50% water change which will remove a good amount of the ammonia and nitrites. Then if you find out that you have 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 5-40 PPM of nitrates you will be cycled, although wait a few days to make sure no Parameters change. As for as your fish they should be fine and maybe add Stress Coat and/or Stress Zyme in your tank. This process is exactly what I did and my tank is fully cycled. As for as your pleco he should be fine. Although plecos love live plants so I would suggest something bushy like a short mid ground plant such as Java fern. Don't add anymore fish. Don't just take my word look up fish full cycling tips
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
As far as a quick cycle, I just had to do this. I had to take in my friends fish because they were moving and I didn't have time to cycle. It gets tedious at times but your fish will hopefully be fine (I had no dead fish). First off, Add Beneficial Bacteria. I used; Aqueon Pure Beneficial Bacteria, and API Quick Start. For the development of your filter, use SeaChem Stability. If you see your Ammonia levels or Nitrite levels go up, do 50% water changes which will remove a good amount of the ammonia and nitrites. Then if you find out that you have 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 5-40 PPM of nitrates you will be cycled, although wait a few days to make sure no Parameters change. As for as your fish they should be fine and maybe add Stress Coat and/or Stress Zyme in your tank. This process is exactly what I did and my tank is fully cycled. As for as your pleco he should be fine. Although plecos love live plants so I would suggest something bushy like a short mid ground plant such as Java fern. Don't add anymore fish. Don't just take my word look up fish full cycling tips
Oh and doing 50% water changes are
VERY
important
 

Dunk2

Member
In my opinion and experience, there’s only one way to do a “quick cycle”. . . Adding bio media from a fully cycled tank.
 

Noroomforshoe

Member
Wow, a snowball pleco? Is it really? was he like $20?
So I read this whole thing, I must have missed were you said the tank size, age, and fish species.
It sounds like you tested the water too soon, it sounds like you added fish to a brand new tank.
So you are doing a fish-in cycle. And if im right, your doing a fish in cycle with an expensive wild-caught pleco. Your best bet would be to call up every pet store, starting with non-chain stores, and ask if some one will give you used filter material. Then get that stuff into your filter. and start following directions from this site for a fish-in cycle. You asked if your fish will be ok. It completely depends on how well you keep up with water changes and tests. And if you get used filter media, you could be leaps ahead of the game.
FYI, Wish I had a snowball pleco!
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
In my opinion and experience, there’s only one way to do a “quick cycle”. . . Adding bio media from a fully cycled tank.
What is bio media? I have my old 10 gallon with 5 platys in there.
Noroomforshoe said:
Wow, a snowball pleco? Is it really? was he like $20?
So I read this whole thing, I must have missed were you said the tank size, age, and fish species.
It sounds like you tested the water too soon, it sounds like you added fish to a brand new tank.
So you are doing a fish-in cycle. And if im right, your doing a fish in cycle with an expensive wild-caught pleco. Your best bet would be to call up every pet store, starting with non-chain stores, and ask if some one will give you used filter material. Then get that stuff into your filter. and start following directions from this site for a fish-in cycle. You asked if your fish will be ok. It completely depends on how well you keep up with water changes and tests. And if you get used filter media, you could be leaps ahead of the game.
FYI, Wish I had a snowball pleco!
Yea it’s an amazing fish never saw one before. It was 20 dollars. Can you believe a sunshine pleco is 100 dollars?? I have an old 10 gallon but still have a few fish in there, what do I take out?
 

JettsPapa

Member
Fisher123 said:
What is bio media? I have my old 10 gallon with 5 platys in there.
The stuff in your filter. It could be a sponge, cartridge, bag of ceramic rings, etc, depending on the filter type.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
As far as a quick cycle, I just had to do this. I had to take in my friends fish because they were moving and I didn't have time to cycle. It gets tedious at times but your fish will hopefully be fine (I had no dead fish). First off, Add Beneficial Bacteria. I used; Aqueon Pure Beneficial Bacteria, and API Quick Start. For the development of your filter, use SeaChem Stability. If you see your Ammonia levels or Nitrite levels go up, do a 50% water change which will remove a good amount of the ammonia and nitrites. Then if you find out that you have 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 5-40 PPM of nitrates you will be cycled, although wait a few days to make sure no Parameters change. As for as your fish they should be fine and maybe add Stress Coat and/or Stress Zyme in your tank. This process is exactly what I did and my tank is fully cycled. As for as your pleco he should be fine. Although plecos love live plants so I would suggest something bushy like a short mid ground plant such as Java fern. Don't add anymore fish. Don't just take my word look up fish full cycling tips

Oh and doing 50% water changes are
VERY
important
Thank you for answering so quick. What should the numbers be to know when to do a 50% water change?
JettsPapa said:
The stuff in your filter. It could be a sponge, cartridge, bag of ceramic rings, etc, depending on the filter type.
Should I switch the new filter with the old cartilage from my 10 gallon?
 

Dunk2

Member
I doubt there’s enough media in the 10 gallon to instantly cycle this tank. Maybe jump start the cycle, but not instant or necessarily quick.

And you can’t remove all or too much of the media from the 10 gallon because then you’ll have this same issue with that tank.
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
Fisher123 said:
Thank you for answering so quick. What should the numbers be to know when to do a 50% water change?


Should I switch the new filter with the old cartilage from my 10 gallon?
So at around 1PPM I would do my first one. In a day or so your tank will go to 0.5 PPM. Keep your Ammonia at around 0.5-1 PPM that way your bacteria can function. As long as you dose API Quick Start or other things like it your Ammonia and Nitrites will detoxify so your fish will be safe for about 24 hours or so. Allowing ammonia to stay in the tank means that the beneficial bacteria can grow through eating the ammonia. So leaving a little bit of ammonia in is critical. Do 50% water changes every other day or every two days but the frequency of your water change will ultimately depend on your parameter situation which will vary. If you feel that your fish get shocked during a 50% water change then try a 25% water change. If you do a 25% water change you will have to do it more frequently then the 50%. Make sure the water you add in for the water change is around the same temp as the aquarium water temp, make sure the water you are adding is dechlorinated and make sure the water is very similar in ph. This will all help the fish in not getting shocked. Also, adding live plants to an aquarium can help with reducing ammonia and Nitrites because the plants will use the nutrients.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
So at around 1PPM I would do my first one. In a day or so your tank will go to 0.5 PPM. Keep your Ammonia at around 0.5-1 PPM that way your bacteria can function. As long as you dose API Quick Start or other things like it your Ammonia and Nitrites will detoxify so your fish will be safe for about 24 hours or so. Allowing ammonia to stay in the tank means that the beneficial bacteria can grow through eating the ammonia. So leaving a little bit of ammonia in is critical. Do 50% water changes every other day or every two days but the frequency of your water change will ultimately depend on your parameter situation which will vary. If you feel that your fish get shocked during a 50% water change then try a 25% water change. If you do a 25% water change you will have to do it more frequently then the 50%. Make sure the water you add in for the water change is around the same temp as the aquarium water temp, make sure the water you are adding is dechlorinated and make sure the water is very similar in ph. This will all help the fish in not getting shocked. Also, adding live plants to an aquarium can help with reducing ammonia and Nitrites because the plants will use the nutrients.
Ok thank you very much for explaining can I just do a 20% water change every day for the next week?
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
Ok thank you very much for explaining can I just do a 20% water change every day for the next week?
Have you read all the information provided to you in this thread, including the link to the nitrogen cycle?

A 20% water change may or may not be enough. The amount of water changed depends on the results of your tests. During the cycling process, daily testing and water changes will likely be necessary.

Edit to add: Be sure to temperature match the water you're adding to the temperature of the tank and add dechorinator. As previously suggested. . . Seachem Prime.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
Have you read all the information provided to you in this thread, including the link to the nitrogen cycle?

A 20% water change may or may not be enough. The amount of water changed depends on the results of your tests. During the cycling process, daily testing and water changes will likely be necessary.

Edit to add: Be sure to temperature match the water you're adding to the temperature of the tank and add dechorinator. As previously suggested. . . Seachem Prime.
Yea I am reading the articles from yesterday. Someone said prime and stability should I get both? And use both at same time? Also when I do the water changes should I vacuum, bc I hurt that is not good in the beginning.
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
Yea I am reading the articles from yesterday. Someone said prime and stability should I get both? And use both at same time? Also when I do the water changes should I vacuum, bc I hurt that is not good in the beginning.
I'd recommend Prime and Tetra Safe Start Plus (a bottled bacteria). Be aware that there's a lot of debate about whether bottled bacteria speeds up the cycling process. . . Either way, plan on 4 - 6 weeks for a full cycle.

I'd hold off on vacuuming for a couple weeks unless you see a build up of poop and/or excess food. Be careful on the amount you're feeding.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
I'd recommend Prime and Tetra Safe Start Plus (a bottled bacteria). Be aware that there's a lot of debate about whether bottled bacteria speeds up the cycling process. . . Either way, plan on 4 - 6 weeks for a full cycle.

I'd hold off on vacuuming for a couple weeks unless you see a build up of poop and/or excess food. Be careful on the amount you're feeding.

Ok thank you. I have the stress zyme the natural bacteria is that the same as the safe start? I have to order so just want to make sure.
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
Ok thank you. I have the stress zyme the natural bacteria is that the same as the safe start? I have to order so just want to make sure.
Sorry, I'm not familiar with Stress Zyme. As bottled bacteria goes, I think Safe Start is recommended most.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
Sorry, I'm not familiar with Stress Zyme. As bottled bacteria goes, I think Safe Start is recommended most.
Ok I am going to order them today but they do take about 4 days to come. Can you look at the picture and for the meantime can I use these?
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
Fisher123 said:
Ok I am going to order them today but they do take about 4 days to come. Can you look at the picture and for the meantime can I use these?
For me I think the Aqueon Pure BB balls are also great additive along with all the other suggested things. What was said about 20% everyday was correct. Its a little bit of tough situation mathematically. Id do 50% every couple days to let your BB catch up and eat ammonia. 20% water changes will most likely keep replacing ammonia, and you won't really get anywhere. If you think 20% is the right choice , go for it, but I personally recommend a 50% for every few days.
 

Dunk2

Member
Again, there is no set or pre-determined water change amount when a tank is cycling.

The amount depends on testing results.
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
Yes what was said is correct. Your going to have to play around with it a bit in order to get the results your looking for. I'm just letting you know on what worked for me but it will vary for every bioload, every fish types and just every person.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Bruinfishkeeper1 said:
Yes what was said is correct. Your going to have to play around with it a bit in order to get the results your looking for. I'm just letting you know on what worked for me but it will vary for every bioload, every fish types and just every person.
Ok thank you to everyone that responded I’m going to order those 3 today and start every other day with 50% water change. I always had the 10 gallon tank with only platys, now I’m looking to move into different species of fish and I feel like a newbie. I guess I am really. I appreciate everyone on here and this site is really amazing and helpful.
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

Member
Fisher123 said:
Ok thank you to everyone that responded I’m going to order those 3 today and start every other day with 50% water change. I always had the 10 gallon tank with only platys, now I’m looking to move into different species of fish and I feel like a newbie. I guess I am really. I appreciate everyone on here and this site is really amazing and helpful.
Don't worry you got this! Just stay confident, connected and current on your fish knowledge. A great Starter fish for 10 gallons are Neon Tetras. These guys are absolutely lovely and I still keep them around
 

mattgirl

Member
Fisher123 said:
Ok thank you to everyone that responded I’m going to order those 3 today and start every other day with 50% water change. I always had the 10 gallon tank with only platys, now I’m looking to move into different species of fish and I feel like a newbie. I guess I am really. I appreciate everyone on here and this site is really amazing and helpful.
Do you plan on keeping the 10 gallon tank up and running? How long have you had it running with fish in it?
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
mattgirl said:
Do you plan on keeping the 10 gallon tank up and running? How long have you had it running with fish in it?

Sorry for taking so long to respond. I had the 10 gallon for 3 years up and running with usually just platys ( I love the live breeding) sometimes different fish. I’m keeping it up and running for now until this take is fully established.
 

mattgirl

Member
Fisher123 said:
Sorry for taking so long to respond. I had the 10 gallon for 3 years up and running with usually just platys ( I love the live breeding) sometimes different fish. I’m keeping it up and running for now until this take is fully established.
If you are planning on breaking the 10 gallon down once this tank is cycled you could speed up that process by moving the cycle from the 10 gallon over to the 30 gallon. Just move the filter all the decor and as much of the substrate as you can. There will be bacteria on everything in the 10 gallon.

There may not be enough to handle the higher bio-load you have in the 30 gallon right now but it shouldn't take long for the bacteria to catch up with it. Just run the ammonia/nitrite tests daily. If the total amount of both adds up to 1ppm change enough of the water to get it back down to no more than .5 Moving the bacteria from your own cycled tank will work 100% better than anything you can get n a bottle.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
mattgirl said:
If you are planning on breaking the 10 gallon down once this tank is cycled you could speed up that process by moving the cycle from the 10 gallon over to the 30 gallon. Just move the filter all the decor and as much of the substrate as you can. There will be bacteria on everything in the 10 gallon.

There may not be enough to handle the higher bio-load you have in the 30 gallon right now but it shouldn't take long for the bacteria to catch up with it. Just run the ammonia/nitrite tests daily. If the total amount of both adds up to 1ppm change enough of the water to get it back down to no more than .5 Moving the bacteria from your own cycled tank will work 100% better than anything you can get n a bottle.
Oh please help. Mattgirl my red tail shark is laying in the side on the bottom of the tank but he is still breathing what can I do please help!!
 

Dunk2

Member
Fisher123 said:
Oh please help. Mattgirl my red tail shark is laying in the side on the bottom of the tank but he is still breathing what can I do please help!!
What is the ammonia and nitrite level?
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
What is the ammonia and nitrite level?
When I tested yesterday both were zero
Fisher123 said:
When I tested yesterday both were zero
Should I do a 50% water change right now??
 

Dunk2

Member
Test now and I’d suggest a partial water change. When did these symptoms start? And which tank is he in?
I suggest a quick test first.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
It just started maybe 2 hours ago, going to test right now and I’ll let you know... I’m so upset I’m shaking he was fine last night.
Fisher123 said:
It just started maybe 2 hours ago, going to test right now and I’ll let you know... I’m so upset I’m shaking he was fine last night.
He is in the 30 gallon... should I put him in the 10 gallon? Would that help?
 

Dunk2

Member
I wouldn’t put more stress on him at this point by switching tanks.
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
I wouldn’t put more stress on him at this point by switching tanks.

Oh no the amp is is 0.50 omg what to do
 

Dunk2

Member
Water change. Any nitrites?
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Dunk2 said:
Water change. Any nitrites?
Nitrites are showing zero
Fisher123 said:
Nitrites are showing zero

Omg I’m crying I did a 50% water change he is laying on his side barley breathing not moving!! What can I do tear ugh my heart
 
  • Thread Starter

Fisher123

Member
Fisher123 said:
Nitrites are showing zero



Omg I’m crying I did a 50% water change he is laying on his side barley breathing not moving!! What can I do tear ugh my heart

If I have 0.25 ammonia should I change some water? I did 50% yesterday and 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite
Dunk2 said:
What is the ammonia and nitrite level?
Should I do a water change with 0.25 ammonia in the tank? I did 50% yesterday
 

JettsPapa

Member
Fisher123 said:
If I have 0.25 ammonia should I change some water? I did 50% yesterday and 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite
Probably not. Just keep checking it every day and change it if it gets higher. It's my understanding that 0.25 ppm is within the margin of error for the test anyway.
 

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