Water parameters before or after water change. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

Simple question here but there seems to be a lot of different answers on the Interwebs. I'm looking for some opinions.

Do you take your water parameter readings before or after your water change?

If after how long do you wait?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:14 PM
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If you know what's going into your water, etc, not much reason to test either. I test nitrates now and again to see if they are creeping, but doing water changes on a regular schedule, TDS, etc, is usually always the same.

The only time I really tested before and after, was using my TDS pen to see how well flow was in my tank. Say your water is 200TDS in your tank and you are changing it with 150TDS water. You drain and then pour the water in and measure at different spots in the tank. If one side stays at 200-198-195-190 etc over a few hours and the side you dumped the lower TDS water in starts at 160-165-170 etc, you might not have enough flow. If after 5 mins, the whole tank is roughly within 2 or 3 TDS, the new water mixed well and you have good flow. My method anyways. lol.

Now, I just have a google calendar setup with all my days for feeding, ferts, water changes, excel, baby food, etc, that everyday I check my phone on what to do and do it and don't check much anymore.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:16 PM
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I test right after the change, maybe 30 minutes later at most if life is hopping. Based on that testing I dose to set parameters for GH, KH, NO3, PO4 and add my trace mix. The following day I record the TDS reading after everything has had a chance to fully mix and become stable.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
If you know what's going into your water, etc, not much reason to test either. I test nitrates now and again to see if they are creeping, but doing water changes on a regular schedule, TDS, etc, is usually always the same.

The only time I really tested before and after, was using my TDS pen to see how well flow was in my tank. Say your water is 200TDS in your tank and you are changing it with 150TDS water. You drain and then pour the water in and measure at different spots in the tank. If one side stays at 200-198-195-190 etc over a few hours and the side you dumped the lower TDS water in starts at 160-165-170 etc, you might not have enough flow. If after 5 mins, the whole tank is roughly within 2 or 3 TDS, the new water mixed well and you have good flow. My method anyways. lol.

Now, I just have a google calendar setup with all my days for feeding, ferts, water changes, excel, baby food, etc, that everyday I check my phone on what to do and do it and don't check much anymore.
Good info!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

I'm cycling two tanks so I'm checking them pretty often. They both have no ammonia or nitrites but the nitrates are really high (before the water change) so I was just wondering weather or not to even check before a water change.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

80 ppm nitrates
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2013, 11:38 PM
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

Yeah I know. I don't know why either.

My oebt tank is <5ppm and my crystal red tank is 20ppm.

The new tanks are planted with fast growing plants to help suck up the nitrates. I'm using prime in both tanks too. At least that is supposed to detoxify it. Not really sure what else i can do other than water changes. I'm doing 20% a week except this week I did 50% because of the high nitrates.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 12:59 AM
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The nitrates are going to get high like that during a cycle. I do 50% changes every other day on cycling tanks when they get above 80ppm. After a few days they should start dropping. All very normal with a tank cycling.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

Thanks ravensgate. So then since I have no ammonia or nitrites in my tank... Once the nitrates drop off I can add my shrimp?

The tanks have only been set up for a week. Obviously this isn't long enough to cycle a regular tank, but I used plants and filter floss from an already established tank, along with half water from that tank and half RO water remineralized with fluval shrimp minerals. I'm thinking this should speed things up significantly.....

Shrimpin ain't easy! Lol I feel like a noob.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 01:28 AM
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Should be ok though I'd still wait a week or two after the nitrates drop. Ammonia is the first to show up, then nitrites, then nitrates. Once your nitrates hit your tank is cycling. So now it's just waiting for them to go down. I wait for nitrates to drop to 0, then wait for pH and other params to stabilize (because they too can fluctuate with cycling). So I like to give it two weeks after the nitrates come down. Then retest everything for 3 days in a row right before I plan on adding livestock. Again just to be sure everything is stable. This means pH, GH, KH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrates. I also test TDS but that's not quite as high on my list of things to watch as the others.

That's just how I do, others do it differently and every tank is a bit different so your experience may vary.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Water parameters before or after water change.

Thanks sounds like a good guideline.
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