Beginner testing water schedule - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner testing water schedule

Can't really find a 'beginner' testing schedule for setting up a new planted tank.

When to test ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphate, ph, kh, gh? How often?
Test ammonia and nitrites after two weeks or more frequent to see how it builds up/down?

I didn't test water in my nano and everything is running fine but I would like to do it better in my bigger tank.

Using ada aqua soil and some old filter media from other canister filter .
Changing water every day first two weeks. Every other day week 3. And slowly to once week..
Iwagumi with carpet plants.
No livestock until 0 ammonia and nitrites.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 01:59 PM
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Everybody has their own way of doing things when it comes to testing. I personally check the basic stuff before a water change. pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

The only time I test for phosphates is when I'm having a problem. GH and KH are tested occasionally, but since I use RO water and re-mineralize, I don't have a reason to check these often either unless like with phosphates, something is off and a problem needs to be looked into.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 02:07 PM
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When setting up a new tank, I test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph until the tank is fully cycled. Once I know I'm fully cycled, I only check ammonia and nitrite after adding livestock, changing filter media, or doing a major re-scape.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop View Post
When setting up a new tank, I test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph until the tank is fully cycled. Once I know I'm fully cycled, I only check ammonia and nitrite after adding livestock, changing filter media, or doing a major re-scape.

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How often do you test until cycled?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel95 View Post
How often do you test until cycled?
I test daily, sometimes twice a day. You want to be able to:

-witness the nitrogen cycle in action (NH4>NO2>NO3)
-add ammonia when it reaches zero
-do a water change when Nitrites become unreadable
-tell when your tank is able to process 2ppm ammonia into nitrate in 24 hours

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 07:10 PM
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Lots of things to change the answers. How often to test during a fishless cycle will depend on the methods used but generally if you are dosing ammonia to get it started, testing more often is required to keep the ammonia at the correct level. Not too low as to slow progress but not too high to kill all the bacteria. during the early stages, I only would test the ammonia as nitrite and nitrate are not expected to be there. After a week or two, I begin to expect those and begin to test for them. PH/GH/KH are much less watched until I really get the cycle finished, other than just a general idea of what my tap or source water will be. That lets me plan for future things.
What to test and how often depends on what amount of tinkering you will do to the source water. I tend to use the water without adjusting as I find it more fun to avoid the testing PH/GH/KH and the fiddle process. I adjust my stocking and plants to the water rather than the water to the plants and fish. There are so many which will grow in any water that I simply find it easier to go the low level maintenance route.
I do not asprire to be a super planted tank guy but I do insist that it all be as much fun as possible!
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