Need assistance deciphering my water parameters with the API master test kit - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Need assistance deciphering my water parameters with the API master test kit

I tested my tap water with the following results. What does it all mean? My goal is to set up a 55g community tank with some live plants.

PH: 7.6
High PH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5

GH: 14 drops needed to turn from orange to green
KH: 9 drops needed to turn from blue to yellow
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:55 AM
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I tested my tap water with the following results. What does it all mean? My goal is to set up a 55g community tank with some live plants.



PH: 7.6

High PH: 7.8

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 5



GH: 14 drops needed to turn from orange to green

KH: 9 drops needed to turn from blue to yellow


Then you would be able to have a healthy community tank with some healthy plants. These water parameters are fine. What fish are you looking at getting?


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Haven't decided on my stocking yet. Most likely small fish. Liverbearers and schooling fish. Planning on going light on the stocking since I'm just a beginner.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:58 AM
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It shouldnt matter much, but be aware that your pH might change significantly on standing. Mine comes out of the tap at about 7.8 and after 24 hours on the counter can drop all the way to 6.9.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:59 AM
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Haven't decided on my stocking yet. Most likely small fish. Liverbearers and schooling fish. Planning on going light on the stocking since I'm just a beginner.


You would be good with most if not all plants that I am aware of. And most fish as well. Just list some fish you have an idea and I could help letting you know if they would be fine.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info @clownplanted. Do you know of any species off the top of your head for small livebearers or schooling fish that would not do well with my water parameters? I prefer to just keep fish that will thrive in my water parameter's environment. I've been thinking about guppies, mollies, platy or swordtails as my option for livebearers. For schooling fish, I was thinking about rummy nose tetras, cardinal tetras, zebra danios, or tiger barbs.

PS - I pulled the trigger on the 48" Beamswork DA FSpec light thanks to your research and data.

@osmosis, thanks for looking out. I actually did test the water that's 1 week old as well (fishless cycle in an empty 29 gal tank). The pH range was 7.8 - 8.0 the few times I tested it. It was consistent with the pH level directly from the tap (without a waiting period).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 01:46 PM
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Need assistance deciphering my water parameters with the API master test kit

Again should not matter really. Most fish you buy locally will already be acclimated to your water parameters. I cannot think of any that would not do well with yours.

Glad you liked the par data I did for that light. It is a great light for sure as I have two of them.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 04:23 AM
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I didn't see any really direct answers, so here's my attempt:

PH: 7.6 - slightly high, but no big deal. Target pH depends on your fish. Most like pH around 7.

High PH: 7.8 - use the high pH test when your pH starts to get higher. That you measured 7.6 with one kit and 7.8 with the other, it should give you an idea of the general margin of error with these test kits. Again, no big deal.

Ammonia: 0 - should always be 0. Harmful to fish. Fish produce ammonia as waste, then bacteria in your tank break it down into Nitrites.

Nitrite: 0 - should always be 0. Harmful to fish. Other bacteria break down the Nitrite into Nitrates.

Nitrate: 5 - pretty good. If you don't have plants, then keep this as low as possible for the fish. If you do have plants, then keep this above 0 but not too high. Somewhere in the 5-20 range is good for the plants to use as fertilizer, but won't really harm the fish. A water change is about the best way to reduce nitrates.

GH: 14 drops needed to turn from orange to green - fairly typical, but I think it's on the hard (high) side. For most fish, this is fine.

KH: 9 drops needed to turn from blue to yellow - a bit on the high side. I think something like 4 is more typical. Should be fine for most fish.
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