TEST KITS FOR NEW TANK? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone!

Looking for some suggestions on test kits for my new 100 gallon planted. Will be running CO2 and light will be 3.2 WPG. I will also have a pH controller/monitor on it so dont need a pH kit.

What test kits do I really need?
Which ones do you recommend?
Dont want to break the bank on the test kits if I dont have to.

This will eventually lead me to another post on fertilizing but that is for another day. Been doing alot of reading on the board and getting alot of information that I am trying to digest.

Much appreciated!!!!

Mike
100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 05:18 AM
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You need pH, kH, gH, nitrate and phosphate. I use a Wardley's mid-range pH test kit. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals nitrate, Hagen phosphate, and Tetra gH and kH.

If you want the best you get LaMotte, but the ones I have all work just fine.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2003, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again Rex!!!!

Mike
100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 06:48 PM
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well, while we're on the topic...

i would like to know if i need to buy a kh kit. i will have my co2 tank (10 lb pressurised) set up soon. so i'll definately need a ph kit.

i have read that kits lose their effectiveness over time (as they age). my lfs can test my kh for me. so, rather than buy a kh test kit would it not make more sense just to test for kh at the lfs, say immediately before adding co2, and then perhaps in a week, and then maybe sporadically thereafter? as long as i don't change substrates, and my water source for changes is identical, would the kh likely fluctuate?

thanks in advance.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 07:54 PM
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Buy a KH kit. They're so cheap and worth every penny. It's important to know your kh readings with co2 injection. You could overdose your tank assuming your kh is 3 when its actually 6. It's so much more convenient to just get a test result on the spot. Hopping in the car and driving to the lfs for a kh test doesn't seem to make much economic sense.

Marcel

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75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2003, 11:53 PM
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Marcel... what makes the KH change? Does it change? What would it tell you? For a given hardness of your tap water, how does the tank water vary from that?

I always thought that KH and GH are somewhat constant, perhaps raising gradually over time due to evaporation, or decreasing due to plants getting their C out of bicarbonates which should not happen...

I thought in the formula which calculates CO2 in your water KH is the constant (for your water, of course), and the pH the variant...


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2003, 01:16 AM
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Your tap water kH can vary.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2003, 06:56 PM
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well, if the tap water kh can vary significantly over time, i'll get the kit. it's not so much the outflow of cash that i'm concerned with, it's having an extra kit in the tank stand. kind of running out of room.

just for the record, what other things could cause your kh to fluctuate? it's been a while since i took chemistry, so i'm thinking that the amount of co2 you pump into the system (within reason) wouldn't dramatically affect the kh. perhaps some of chemistry dudes can answer this.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2003, 07:06 PM
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Not sure WHY the tapwater would fluctuate, I guess it depends on where it is coming from. Mine is pulled out of some wells...

I don't think adding CO2 will affect the KH at all. However, for different levels of KH, your pH will change in different ways when adding CO2. Low KH = less buffering = bigger pH fluctuations.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-24-2003, 08:11 PM
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would the addition of C02 to the water affect the results of the KH test?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2003, 12:15 AM
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kH seems to slowly drop in my tanks. Also if your city has different water sources that can cause the kH to vary. Besides, how you would figure your CO2 levels without a kH test kit?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2003, 01:16 AM
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Kh actually rises in my tank, I'm not exactly sure why, but I think some of the gravel in my tank is calcium carbonate. Gravel which I enherited with the tank when I bought it 5 years ago. The kh seems to rise quicker when the co2 concentration is higher, I suspect its due to the carbonic acid dissolving the calcium carbonate quicker. My tap water kh is around 2. My tank kh is usually between 5-6. Lower, immediately after a 50% water change and a little higher right before. I wouldn't have known these details about my tank and water conditions without a kh test.

Marcel

FILSTAR Pimp #2

75 gal heavily planted,50/50 Black beauty,Eco-complete substrate, Pressurised CO2 with solenoid, ph controller, AB Reactor 1000, 330 watts 9325K GE PC lighting,Ehiem Liquidoser, 2-Filstar xp3 canisters.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2003, 02:26 PM
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I do need a KH test


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2003, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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You guys got a good suggestion as to where to purchase these tests? is it better to purchase them separately or in a "master" kit? Thanks. Will be getting them this weekend...LFS is a tad on the pricey side I think.

Mike

Mike
100 Gal Planted, two Filstar XP3, Milwaukee SMS 122 pH controller, Milwaukee reg/bubble, compressed CO2, reactor 1000, 7 WCMM, 12 Ottos, 14 neons, 1 SAE, 3 German blue rams, 2 Florida Flag Fish

10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-26-2003, 01:07 AM
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A master test kit is a good first purchase. I buy some at Wal-Mart and the rest I mail order.
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