Okay, you've convinced me to test my water. So tell me what to do. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, you've convinced me to test my water. So tell me what to do.

I've decided to go ahead and test my water to see if there's anything I'm missing by not testing. Please tell me what to test and what the tests will tell me.

I currently have on hand a number of tests I can use:
  • Normal test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (the main thing I normally use)
  • GH and KH test kit
  • TDS meter
  • Phosphate test kit
  • Iron test kit (very old)
What else do I need?

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:47 PM
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Is there still time to talk you out of testing?
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:47 PM
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Copper test is the only other one I would suggest, just to be sure!
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Is there still time to talk you out of testing?
LOL! Why would you want to do that?

I'm fine. I have the stuff to do the tests so why not. It'll be interesting to see what I find.

Since I've been keeping my tanks for over 5 years in this water, I don't expect the test results will send me running to get RO units or anything. But maybe it'll help me with some of the plants? Either way, I'm curious so I figure why not give it a shot.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
Copper test is the only other one I would suggest, just to be sure!
What would I find out with the copper test? Would I be looking to see if my water has a high copper content? Would this be for plants, fish, shrimp and/or snails?

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:14 PM
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If your shrimps and snail are fine, I wouldn't worry about copper. They're your test kit.

If you want to save money. Go on your local waterworks website. They've tested your tap water and the results are open to the public.


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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
...Go on your local waterworks website. They've tested your tap water and the results are open to the public.


Pretty much if you can drink the water most plants, fish & inverts can live in it.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
- Charles Darwin

Keep the species that are adaptable, it's a hobby not a science project.
-Dogfish
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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If your shrimps and snail are fine, I wouldn't worry about copper. They're your test kit.

If you want to save money. Go on your local waterworks website. They've tested your tap water and the results are open to the public.
My RCS colony is over 4 years old and I have over 100 amanos in my tanks. I'm breeding assassin snails to combat the overpopulation of MTS snails in my tanks. So I think my shrimps and snails are fine.

I just checked my local water reports. The latest one they have out is a brochure designed to convince people it's okay to drink the water without any real breakdown of what's in the water. The most recent breakdown I could find was dated 2010, but used data from 2008. So I don't think those reports are of much use to me.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post


Pretty much if you can drink the water most plants, fish & inverts can live in it.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
- Charles Darwin

Keep the species that are adaptable, it's a hobby not a science project.
-Dogfish
Non-testing Heretic
My fish and inverts can definitely live in my water. They've been doing it for years!

But I keep seeing all these people advising others to test this and test that which seems kind of nuts to me. But then I started looking around and realized that I had the tests so I figured to give their idea a try and see what I find. I'm willing to be open minded. Besides, I think it's a good idea to understand what these people see that's so important about all the testing.

I have to say I'm a little surprised that they haven't jumped in to advise me on what to test and all. I opened myself up to hear what they have to say, but so far, none of them are saying much.

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:43 PM
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i would agree that a copper test is pointless since you have such a large invert population as it is.


i have to ask though. why do you have all of the tests and yet you have never used them?

eitherway i'm super curious to see what they say.

Will
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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I have them because I have a natural curiosity and they're pretty cheap.

So tell me what to do. Which tests should I run on my tap water and which should I run on my tanks?

Vicki —Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) • Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) • Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 08:07 PM
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I like to use a copper test when getting water from a new source, just to make sure. Copper pipes are notorious for adding small amounts of copper to your water, though, letting the water run for a minute before using it for aquarium water solves this problem. However, I like to once over a new faucet or water source before using it Call me overly cautious but hey whatever LOL
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
I have them because I have a natural curiosity and they're pretty cheap.

So tell me what to do. Which tests should I run on my tap water and which should I run on my tanks?
Run them all on your tap water, write down the results. Theres your starting point. Adjust ferts based on these numbers.

Run them all on your tanks, catalog the results per week, theres your change. You can now, for example, see the effects of your ferts, of your feeding, your stocking level, etc.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Pretty much if you can drink the water most plants, fish & inverts can live in it.
haha hey Dog!
I can drink my water but house plants, tank plants and fish fail exposed to it. Is what it is. Salt regen Kinetico water softener.
http://www.kinetico.com/?gclid=CMaOn...FYLb4AodK0oAmA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
But I keep seeing all these people advising others to test this and test that which seems kind of nuts to me.

I have to say I'm a little surprised that they haven't jumped in to advise me on what to test and all. I opened myself up to hear what they have to say, but so far, none of them are saying much.
Am I in the soup 2 nutz group?

Pretty sure I posted that my tap is crap so I'm stuck using 100% RO. It's just a game of trying to reduce water changes here.
Plants need NO3, PO4, trace minerals, Ca & Mg (all agree?) Using RO I need to add it. Reducing my water change schedule TDS lets me know as organics build up (make sense?). 2 weeks between water changes (maybe more) just testing to keep the food in the tank for the plants and the water clean enough for the fish.

Saw the OP with zero replies, saw what you were checking. List looked complete based on my needs. As mentioned in other threads as long as I have NO3 10-30ppm, PO4 2-5ppm and TDS doesn't rise more than about 100ppm I don't change water.

After being burnt by moving 12 miles and having water issues I'm just not as trusting as I use to be.

After losing MANY fish to that ion exchanged water and then MANY more to internal parasites I don't skip using entry quarantine on anything added.

>30yrs tanking and never tested anything except during a new tank cycle or random pH tests. After payments were made lessons were learned.

You know where you are the water is good for your use.
With a new source are you sure without testing? Think that's all I posted on the topic.


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Last edited by wkndracer; 08-15-2012 at 09:16 PM. Reason: *
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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well like i do

i've got the kits so i've tested everything ican
tap water gh/ kh nitrates nitrites, ammonia. phosphates, iron, copper
and i've tsted tank water before and after water changes. with uv lights on
before lights come on, after lights go out

im curious too but its not gonna tell u really anything u need to know
other than ur plants can use X amout of nutrients per day

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