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What’s everyone’s thoughts on aquarium testing kits (Newbie)

Nathanh2150

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@erwin123
Thanks for your message I can do a quick water test now before I do any Maintenance to the tank if that helps.
The test strips only tell me about the
NO3
NO2
GH
KH
PH
CL2
Also with lighting the photos was only taken with the twinstar light on no phone flash the lighting is more to the back of the aquarium as there is a piece of aquarium bog wood sticking out of the top of the tank can also take photos to show. The twinstar lighting only has red/blue/white/green led lights

@Andy Pierce Id ideally would love to get this resolved as its starting to become more of a faff than an enjoyment I totally understand that when I come into aqascaping that it wasn't gonna be a slice of cake and there would be hurdles along the way which I'm more then happy to get resolved to take full enjoyment of the aquarium and scape but for the first time doing a fully planted tank and the costs that have gone into it to enjoy the benifits would be a good outcome in the end but I'm just new to this and would appreciate any guidance. Even to have someone pop over to help or redesign my aquarium to make it work would be amazing but i know that's not possible with current times.

In the aquarium I have
7x rainbowfish
5x pepper cory's
6x Sterbai cory's
1x bulldog pleco
2x endler guppys
1x female fighter ever so friendly
1x blue shrimp
3x Celestial Pearl Danio

@bazz
Photo attached of the lighting unit on the aquarium
 

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PARAGUAY

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Why not arrange to go over to Scaped Nature your in Norwich.Sure they would help as you want to speak in person. I would not change the EA Aquascaper fertiliser. Remember all these lovely aquascapes the owners all have had the problems you have at some stage. What probably makes this hobby is that it is not a piece of cake and getting a end result of nicely planted tank healthly fish etc the reward of the effort will come through.
 

mort

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This thread has basically gone the way of your last one and like in the other I think the problems are still the same. I know it's really frustrating but I don't think any test kit will benefit you at all I'm afraid as it still looks like a combination of high light, poor CO2 distribution and low plant mass.
Limiting the fishes feeding isn't ideal. If you fed them little and often so that no leftovers polluted the tank then they would still be actively picking around unless you are specifically talking about feeding the plec. None of your other fish apart from perhaps the guppies will really eat much algae.

So I think like advised by others you'd be better served looking at the fundamentals, changing perhaps to a more basic approach and sticking with it for a few months to see what it does. At the moment your algae growth is far stronger than your plant growth which is the issue and if you can turn that tide so the plant growth picks up then you will slowly begin to win the battle.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Why not arrange to go over to Scaped Nature your in Norwich
My suggestion as well.
Id ideally would love to get this resolved as its starting to become more of a faff than an enjoyment
Just stop testing and watch the fish and plants. Your eyes will tell you more then any test kit.

If you want to think of it in a more <"scientific manner">? You are conducting <"a bioassay"> and using <"Bayesian probability">.

cheers Darrel
 

Nathanh2150

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just done a deep clean on the scape trimmed some plants re-planted them took any leaves off that looked to be worse for wear to help the plants recover. done a 50% water change on the aquarium once all has been cleaned to get rid of any algae also cleaned all the dragon stone's leaving two with a small amount of algae nothing to serious then that will keep the pleco happy :D. I have decided to lower my lighting from 50% to 25% see how that work and after a wile I can up it slowly also I have changed the co2 bubble count from 10 to 4 just in case that was a factor into the algae issues. I have kept the co2 and lighting on the same schedule as before 6hrs 3pm-9pm lighting and 11.30pm-8pm co2 kept the temperature of the tank to 25'c. I shall add photos later once the fish have settled and the lighting is better :D
 

bazz

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Hi mate,
Not sure we were both in the same ballpark earlier.
I run a 5kg co2 bottle with a 2 reg co2 art regulator bubble count 10 per minute the co2 checker is lime throughout the day untill co2 is turned off though a plug timer which comes on at 11.30-8.30pm.
You stated you were injecting 10 bubbles/minute and I explained that I was injecting 4 bubbles/second on a similar sized tank, have you now turned it down to 4/minute?
I know counting bubbles is not an exact science due to many differing parameters but it should be somewhere in this vicinity.
If were injecting 10 bubbles/second and you were not gassing your fish I suspect you have a leak.
Cheers!
 

Nathanh2150

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@bazz hi no worries is it possible that you could add a video of your co2 bubble count so that could ideally help me out when I’m setting up the co2 as I don’t want to be in a situation where there’s too much 😊

This is my co2 atm unless it’s wrong hehe
 

bazz

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This is my co2 atm unless it’s wrong hehe
OK, That looks about right. Obviously keeping an eye on your drop checker and doing a PH profile will help confirm that you've nailed it.
Cheers!

@bazz the video you sent won’t work not sure why 🙃
Apparently still going through the checking procedure, will edit above post when it becomes available.
 

Nathanh2150

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@bazz ok shall grab some destilled water tomorrow to set up my ph reader as haven’t had chance to grab any today as was doing the tank ☺️ And shall keep an eye out for ur video 👍🏻
 

mort

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If you are swapping from 10 bubbles a minute to 4 or so a second I would really keep an eye on the fish and drop checker because it's easy to cause problems. It might be safer for you to slowly up the bubble count from what you had it at to a higher rate, over a few days. Not every tank is the same with flow and stocking so it could be that you need less co2.
 

John q

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Nathanh, if you haven't already altered anything then please don't, other than reduce your lighting intensity to 25%. Next on the list (and probably the crucial part) is to do a ph profile as suggested by bazz ,(with your current injection rate), bubbles per second mean nothing, and doing a drastic change now could endanger your livestock.

Take 1hr readings of the ph from when the gas comes on and goes off, highlight in that report (which you post on here) when the lights turn on.

Then and only then can folks advise you how to proceed with the next step.

@Nathanh2150 Close your eyes. What do you hear? ... Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet? 😉
 

Nathanh2150

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@John q hi John I have added a video of the co2 atm that’s a couple of posts above this one please could you take alook as I have changed the 10 bubble count and now worried as I don’t want to upset the fish 🐠 hehe also I have now added below some photos of the tank from today’s cleaning 🧽 also the current state of the co2 reader
 

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John q

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Yes I've seen the video, and your dc looks OK, so no need to panic.

My post above and possibly misplaced quote from kung-fu (i'm old) is an attempt to suggest to you the path you're taking at the minute is failing and its time for a re think.

The point of doing a ph profile will allow people to determine if your injection rate is good or needs a tweak, then and only then can anybody advise you to increase or decrease the bubble rate.

I believe you have a ph meter? Spend tomorrow doing a ph profile.
Ph prior to gas on =
Every hour on the hour =
Lights on time =

Hope this helps.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
just done a deep clean on the scape trimmed some plants re-planted them took any leaves off that looked to be worse for wear to help the plants recover.
I'd probably avoid doing to much deep cleaning or plant trimming, just let the plants grow for a while.
ok shall grab some destilled water tomorrow to set up my ph reader as haven’t had chance to grab any today as was doing the tank
Distilled water won't read pH7. You need to use a "pH buffer", pH is a <"really strange reading">. We buy these pH buffers for the lab., because making them isn't entirely straightforward.

cheers Darrel
 

Nathanh2150

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@dw1305 hi I do have a ph reader but this will be the first time for me setting it up there are 3 bags to set up the ph reader I have added photos below. I have seen some videos on YouTube on how to set them up but if there’s anything I need to be a wear off ?
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
@dw1305 hi I do have a ph reader but this will be the first time for me setting it up there are 3 bags to set up the ph reader I have added photos below. I have seen some videos on YouTube on how to set them up but if there’s anything I need to be a wear off ?
No not really. Just pour the buffer into the DI water and then make it up to the right volume. You can use kitchen scales to weigh the water, 1cm3 (1 ml) weighs 1 gram (a litre of water weighs a kilogram).

cheers Darrel
 

Nathanh2150

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@dw1305 ok awesome I shall get it set up tomorrow once I have finnished work then on Wednesday I should do a hour schedule on the ph of the tank throughout the day then upload the results on this page 🙂

@John q looking on setting up the ph reader tomorrow and doing the testing on Wednesday so if I start the ph reading’s at 11.30am as that’s the time the co2 comes on in the aquarium and keep doing the readings every hour so at
11.30am,12.30pm,1.30pm,2.30pm,3.30pm,4.30pm,5.30pm,6.30pm,7.30pm,8.30pm the co2 turns off at 8.30pm and the light at 9pm so do I do my last ph reading at 9pm?
 

John q

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If you start doing the readings just prior to gas coming on (11.25 am) then follow your above times for the other readings, do the last one at 8.30pm just as the gas goes off.

The main thing people will be looking at is how much of a drop you get by the time the lights come on and then how stable that drop is for the remaining duration of co2 injection.
 
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