How Do You Keep Your Tank In Check Constantly? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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How Do You Keep Your Tank In Check Constantly?

I've kept shrimps before and a small planted tank and from my limited experiences, I've had a lot of problems keeping up with the measurements of just two or three tanks. So for those of you that have 3+ tanks how do you do it?

Referring to keeping your PH at a certain level, nitrate levels down, and so on?

How do you measure the levels, especially for PH, and stabilize it? I bought those little PH measuring devices at the LPS, the test solutions, and its a PITA to measure it and its pretty unreliable. The colors kept changing and I wasnt really sure what the PH really was. And to think of doing this for all of the tanks?

I've looked into Milwaukee PH measuring device, but its so expensive. Is there a cheaper, similarly easy method of measuring your ph accurately? Maybe an alternative different brand?

How do you guys keep up with all of your tanks? How often do you measure your tanks, especially for KH, GH, Nitrate, etc?

Whisper 'Come on, whats the secret'

I have no CO2 injection yet.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 07:00 PM
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I have 6 tanks, I keep a computer log of all paramaters. I really dont monitor anything but PH, due to my co2 injection, and that is done with PH Controllers. I dose based on a schedule that has worked for me, and keep track of which tanks need what on my computer, which I sync with my WinMobile phone, so it reminds me to do those things I need to do. As far a water changes are concerned I keep 100 gallons of RO water circulating in 2 55 gallon plastic barrels which I add a buffer to, and keep heated in my fishroom. I change water on all tanks once every 2 weeks on Thursdays, since its one of my days off. I remove water through a hose out to my lawn ( which looks really green, the lawn that is ) then refill using a large pump and a hose from the barrels of reconstitued RO water. I can do all the tanks in about an hour.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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====Test Kits Questions=====

I read that the test strips are useless and the drops are better. However, my experience with drops is that they're a bit hard to read and the results are not clear as reading numbers. I've had results were the color is different from the colors we have to match it with and it sometimes change between immediate tests.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...54&pcatid=4454

How long until they expire anyone knows?

I don't have CO2 injection and I plan to do at least 25% water change per week, which test kit do I really need? I also need it for shrimps.

If I want to measure PH what electronic device is low in price and is still good? Drop solutions might be cool but I dispise trying to read it.

EDIT: I found this link here

http://cgi.ebay.com/HANNA-HI-98103-P...QQcmdZViewItem

How accurate is that? It says something like 0.01 ph? Is that any good?

---EDIT------It has a +-of 0.2 ph. Is there a way around it and is it still good? I just checked up on it.
====RO Water===

Where do you get them and how much, method especially inexpensive or free is best ?

From what I sort of understand, they help keep your water stable right?

Is it just good enough to do 25-30% water changes per week with tap water? Sounds like a simplier method.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:22 PM
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That PH monitor would work fine. As far as RO water I have a 100GPD unit, It was not cheap, but the water is pure after it comes out, all I do is put in a buffer and let a powerheard run in the bucket until the PH reaches 7.0, then its good to go. I dont test anything else but PH and like I mentioned before I have a PH controller that shuts down my co2 when the PH hits too low a level.

You can buy RO units that make less water per day, that are cheaper then the one I'm using, but I needed the large amounts of water for all my tanks. If you have 2 small tanks then look for a 25GPD unit, and buy a 35 gallon plastic trash can with a lid, drill a small hole in the lid, and insert the RO water tube into the lid, hook it up and turn it on. At 75f an RO unit rated at 25GPD should make 25 gallons RO is not necessary, but my water isnt the greatest. You local LFS can test your water for you, ask them what you would need, or if the tap is fine.

Testing should be done until you get the hang of your tanks, I tested Nitrates, Phosphate, and GH, KH, and PH. I also got a little excited and tracked Iron for a while, but gave up after I decided to put EcoComplete substrate in my tanks. I dose Phosphate weekly, but no longer test it, since I have gotten the dosing for my tank pretty much down pat. I no longer test GH/KH but I have RO water, and add a buffer based on a PH goal of 7.0 and I have all softwater fish.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Referring to this item

http://cgi.ebay.com/HANNA-HI-98103-P...QQcmdZViewItem

Since its accuracy is only +-0.2, is that accurate enough or should I go for the more expensive hanna models that are +-0.1 and 0.05 and more therefore more accurate?

Or is that cheap one good enough. Any opinions?

I'm mainly using it to measure shrimp and moss tanks.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:41 PM
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I would think that the cheap one would be fine, .2 seems like alot, but since you not controlling co2 with it, it should be fine. If you want better you will need to pay more for it. I would buy the cheap one and save up for an RO unit, start with pure water and adjust it to where you want it to be.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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I dont have money or an extra place in my house for one.

Is tap water not okay or something? I like it simple.

-------

If I do plan to eventually get CO2 what accuracy should I look for so I dont have to go back and buy another later on?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:00 PM
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no tap can be fine, just condition it before using. I would also have it tested to see what is in it

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:52 PM
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Hi Natty

If you get any electronic pH meter, be sure to follow the directions for
pH/ORP Meter Maintenance. These are from your Hanna ebay site.

After use, always rinse the probe with water, clean it with HANNA HI7061 cleaning solution (Click Here) and store the probe with HANNA HI70300 storage solution (Click Here).

Never let probe dry and Never use distilled/deionized water for storage purposes.


Here's a better site: http://www.digital-analysis.com/Tarticles.htm

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natty View Post
I dont have money or an extra place in my house for one.

Is tap water not okay or something? I like it simple.

-------

If I do plan to eventually get CO2 what accuracy should I look for so I dont have to go back and buy another later on?
Absolutely no problem with using tap water as long as you treat it with something like Prime. A lot of folks do not test their tanks for anything unless there are problems. Testing/adjusting your pH is not necessary unless you are going to keep a type of plant or fish where the pH is critical to their survival. The majority of plants and fish will adjust to whatever water you put them in. If you have a new tank though you should test for ammonia when cycling it. The best way to have stable pH is to leave the tank alone, there are more problems caused by trying to adjust pH than caused by leaving it alone. If you decide to use CO2 you can get a drop checker to monitor CO2 levels you do not need to use a pH controller or tester.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Which test kit should I keep aside in case I ever do need them and how long do solution tests last until they are expired and are no longer accurate?

Thanks for all the answers

EDIT

Referring to the post before this. What about crystal red shrimps? They are known to be very sensitive to water condition?
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