Water tests for planted aquariums - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Water tests for planted aquariums

If you were to have professional water tests done, which elements/minerals would you have tested?


We have a small agricultural lab in town, but the price for a full screening is a little steep. I'm wondering if there is a more concise list of the things we would like to keep tabs on in planning dosage of fertiliser.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 01:13 PM
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If I were interested in micromanaging the tanks I would start with high quality testing supplies at home. Then, whatever was not in that kit/set might be a target for lab testing. Especially if the lab was expensive. Better to spend some money getting supplies that can be reused, so trends could be monitored, not just a one-shot test.

I would expect to find NO3, NO2, NH3/NH4, P, Fe, GH, KH, Ca, pH, and TDS available in a high quality product. If keeping shrimp or snails is the goal, then a copper test would be high on the list. (I do not know if one is available)

I think it would be good to test for K, also. I have not looked for this one, but I understand potassium is one of the harder ones to test for. Might be worth getting a lab test done occasionally, if a home test is not available.

The other thing I would look into is this:
If there is something that you suspect in the water or soil/substrate that may not be common enough to test for so that hobby (or higher than hobby quality) kit is not available that would be something to test for at a lab. This might include things like pesticides, or other things.

The next level of testing would try to answer this question:
OK, so the tests revealed high levels of X.
If I use this filter media or a certain treatment to remove it...
How many liters of water will it treat before I have to rejuvenate or replace that media?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 05:02 PM
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Cool

Just a side note. I've been able to get in with a local University's Biology/Ichthyology lab and get extensive tests done for an 'under the table' 10 bucks. Hush hush.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Heh, not bad, would be closer to $75 here.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2016, 10:41 PM
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JBL have tests both for potassium and for Cu. Both have worked rather well for me. The potassium test is perhaps not the most exact one but I would think one might be of at most 5ppm which really should not pose much of an issue.

Other than that I think water tests are a total pain in the ass and I hate them with all my heart.
I also hate runing a planted tank without knowing if there is enough of everything for the plants in the water which makes for an interesting combination.


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