• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Water parameters problem

rca.myworld

Member
Joined
23 Jul 2020
Messages
34
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Hi All,

So I have finally ordered the test kit and now become a bit paranoid about aquarium colony.

I have recently established this new planted tank with Superfish home 80 - low tech (JBL volcano rocks and Tropica soil power) running on internal filter, I had taken off plastic and bottom parts and lights but had to install them again due to not ordering new lights.
This was established in July and I use both water and filter from my old tank which is running smoothly since June (maybe I rushed things a bit). Get the water checked at Pets at home and they give it a green signal so I put some platties from the old tank with a single shrimp in there for 5 days and then get guppies plus cardinal tetras and 2 more shrimps in there as well. I am using Prime to dechlorinate water.
Testing through API 5 in 1 test strip and getting this reading for this aquarium

GH - 120
KH - 40
PH - 7.0
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 40

The small aquazone28 tank which I established back in June now only got platty frys, it hasn't got any soil just the sand and gravel plus driftwood, grass and java moss on the wood which is thriving. When I initally set it up I was using Lovefish tapsafe and filter boost and I have got a sponge on the intake in aquazone, i think that's the reason some of the frys lived plus java moss and wood.
The water paremeter on this one are:

GH -180
KH - 40
PH - 7.5
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 20

I was reading on some forums and it seems that my parameters are a bit out. Should I be worried about PH, GH and Nitrite? What should I do to lower it? I am thinking of doing a test on the tap water just to be sure but I am thinking from reading and watching youtube videos that I should bring the level of Nitrite down to 0 and should bring the PH to be in 6.5-7.0 range and GH to be lower on the soft side.

Also I ordered a water butt to store tap water for 1 day before I change it, although I have heater but tap water in my area is cold even now, in winter it would be a bit too much so don't want to give plants or fish a shock when changing water, am I correct in doing so.

Sorry for the lengthy post!

Thanks
 

hypnogogia

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2017
Messages
638
Location
Oxfordshire
Your nitrite is high and should be lowered. Suspect your tank is not properly cycled yet. GH is in ppm I’m assuming? So it would be 7.2 dGH, which is ok. Your KH is low at 2.2 dKh and should be about 3-4.
Don’t bother testing your tap water. You are better off looking at the water company report for your area. That will tell you about the hardness levels as well as nitrates in your tap water.

You can increase Kh by adding a KH2CO3 to the water. To lower your nitrite, I’d suggest adding some tetra safestart to more quickly establish your bacterial colony and get the tank fully cycled. Have you tested for ammonia?
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @rca.myworld
So I have finally ordered the test kit and now become a bit paranoid about aquarium colony.
Testing through API 5 in 1 test strip...

I'm a bit confused. Are the API 5 in 1 test strips the same as the test kit that you also mention above? Or, have you ordered another test kit? If so, which? I haven't used the API test strips but test strips generally are not reliable.

JPC
 

sparkyweasel

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2011
Messages
1,883
Should I be worried about PH, GH and Nitrite?
IF those reading are right you need to reduce the nitrite, check if it returns, and if so, find out why.
If there was any nitrite when PAH tested your water, I'm sure they would have flagged it up, and sold you some magic cure. :)
Water changes will help. opinions are divided on filter boost products, but they may help and won't hurt.
pH and GH you don't need to worry about for general community fish and plants, only if you want to keep some really sensitive species or get into breeding (again only some species are fussy, but more of them are fussy ehrn it comes to breeding and fry survival).
KH, if the test is accurate would be better a bit higher, for stability.
As @hypnogogia says your water company's report would be useful, you can get it from their website.
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,244
The fact that a tank set up in June (and is probably cycled) is still showing 0.5 nitrite does suggest that the test strips are not reliable.
Rather than this assumption, I’d investigate the nitrite levels
eg, Seachem Multitest Nitrite/Nitrate (or similar kit that includes a reference standard)
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @alto
Three guesses as to what hospital labs have used for years ;)

Hospital labs may well use some test strips as there are some good ones from the likes of Macherey-Nagel, Hach and LaMotte - to name a few. Unfortunately, some of the test strips used in the aquarium hobby, as you will know, often give erroneous readings.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi Everyone,
To lower your nitrite, I’d suggest adding some tetra safestart to more quickly establish your bacterial colony and get the tank fully cycled.
I can vouch for the efficacy of Tetra SafeStart. It is an excellent, trustworthy product. I have cycled a tank in just six days with SafeStart. And, I've cycled other tanks using this product. Just ensure that the SafeStart is within its expiry date - ideally with a few months to spare. Then, before adding to the tank water, it is vitally important to give the bottle a very good shake beforehand. The liquid coming out of the bottle should be cloudy, not clear. Obviously, the starting ammonia level is important as is water temperature, pH, KH, etc. If anyone has any problems using SafeStart, just PM me.

JPC
 

rca.myworld

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Jul 2020
Messages
34
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Many thanks everyone.
@jaypeecee : API 5 in 1 Test strips are the only testing kit I have. Sorry if I confused you guys. By the way is there some other way to test this? if there is please let me know.

@hypnogogia : Yes it's in PPM. One other thing is that upon setting up the big tank, I didn't use anything but Prime and water from small aquarium plus filter media. I have lovefish filterboost which is same as Tetra safestart so I will put it in tomorrow. I will do this first before adding KH2CO3 .
In terms of amonia all i got is this API 5 in 1 test strips which test GH, KH, PH, Nitrite and Nitrate. I am new to this and certainly testing so please let me know if there is any specific testing kit I should buy.

@sparkyweasel : No, unfortunately they tested the water and said it's ok to add fish. They didn't mention anything regarding this.

I will let update here tomorrw.
 
Last edited:

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @rca.myworld
API 5 in 1 Test strips are the only testing kit I have. Sorry if I confused you guys. By the way is there some other way to test this? if there is please let me know.

I suggest you take a look at the following:

https://www.ntlabs.co.uk/browse-products/indoor/aquarium-lab/aquarium-lab-multi-test/

Other people may have other suggestions but the above kit should include the major water tests and I seem to recall that it's quite economical.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @rca.myworld
I have lovefish filterboost which is same as Tetra safestart...

The P@H product may have the same intended purpose but their product is extremely unlikely to contain SafeStart. Having said which, it shouldn't do any harm adding the P@H filterboost to your tank. I seem to recall that SafeStart is available from P@H.

JPC
 

rca.myworld

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Jul 2020
Messages
34
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Hi,

@jaypeecee Is NT labs test different than the API 5 in 1 test I'm using? pardon my ignorance but it's just have ammonia more in the test otherwise it's the same test but rather than strip it's a liquid form.
P@H actually gave me 2 bottles, one is Tapsafe and the other is filterboost and now I have the PRIME as well.
TapSafe is same as PRIME I think as it dechlorinate the waters while Filterboost is the bacteria boost which establishes the bacteria for the filter in the start.
Yes I have just checked their website and they do have SafeStart. Is there any other difference b/w all of these? I will take these tomorrow just as a safety measure to the shop and ask them.
Thanks
 

oreo57

Member
Joined
19 Jun 2020
Messages
197
Location
USA
Sorry only familiar w/ Prime soo keep that in mind.

Measurable nitrites are ALWAYS a problem.
You should treat the tanks w/ Prime till nitrites are zero...

Ammonia isn't much of a problem in small quantities at ph's of 7 or lower.
Above that ammonia becomes more toxic (shifts to the more toxic form)


The 2 part nitrogen cycle (well 3 part but Nitrates to elemental Nitrogen isn't usually available in quantity) can be sort of diagnosed based on amount of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
Not that it always helps though..

Tapsafe and Prime are not close to the same from what I just gathered.
I'd pick Prime over anything really. Saved my fish on more than one occasion when biofilters crashed.. ..

As to gH.. too low is much worse than what some consider too high.
Granted certain plants/fish/shrimp do have slightly specific "likes"..

400ppm is not unheard of or unreasonable.
 

rca.myworld

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Jul 2020
Messages
34
Location
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Morning guys,
I have just done the testing this morning without adding anything using the same API 1 in 5 test strips (after reading here know test strips are bad so will be ordering NT labs test kit soon).

Superfish Home 80
--------------------------
GH - 60
KH - 40
PH - 7.0
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 40

Aquazone 28 litre (small, the one which brings a reading of 180 GH yesterday)
-------------------------------
GH - 60
KH - 40
PH - 7.5
Nitrite - 0.5
Nitrate - 20

Now I am not sure if these tests are valid, I haven't changed any parameters or anything. Maybe me being novice in using test kit might be another explanation :confused:, Today I was extra careful in everything.
Shall I still add the Lovefish Filterboost as bacteria enhancer in the Home 80 as discussed previously? I got 2 plants today so will be adding these to Home80

Thank you very much for the replies.
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @rca.myworld
Is NT labs test different than the API 5 in 1 test I'm using? pardon my ignorance but it's just have ammonia more in the test otherwise it's the same test but rather than strip it's a liquid form.

The problem is that what you have right now (API) are test strips. Generally speaking, test strips do not give accurate/reliable results that can be trusted. Liquid reagent tests are much better in this respect.
API Master Test Kit is pretty good.

Yes, I do believe the API Master Test Kit is reliable from what I've read. So, that's worth considering. But, between the API and the NT Labs Aquarium Lab Multi-Test Kit, I'd choose the NT Labs kit simply because it includes KH and GH, which are both important.
Yes I have just checked their website and they do have SafeStart. Is there any other difference b/w all of these?

See posts #11 and #14 above.

JPC
 
Last edited:

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,933
Location
Bracknell
Hi @rca.myworld

If you are using Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder, I think you'll find that it releases ammonia into the water for a few weeks, which wouldn't be good for any livestock. Please note the advice given on Tropica's website:

"Aquarium Soil Powder ensures good and active growth from the beginning, and boosts the red plant shades. It is a complete bottom layer, which can be used without any other types of bottom layer. Aquarium Soil Powder is further an active bottom layer that lowers the pH value and slightly affects the water chemistry. We recommend that you change 25-50% of the water min. twice a week during the first 4 weeks after establishing the aquarium".

You should have been advised of this when you made your purchases.

JPC
 

Similar threads

Top