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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Water Test Kits

I am beginning to get more serious about planted aquariums after having beeen coasting in the hobby for several years and was wondering what brand of water test kits do poeple here recommend? I have a moderately planted 29 gal tank that I will hopefully be adding CO2 to in a couple of weeks. What tests do people normally test for and how often. I have several old tests that I think I should just throw away and get new (don't know what the shelf life is on these.). Sorry for the newbie questions! I don't want to get a lot of tests that I will never need but I also want to find out what I do need to know.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 07:11 PM
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I like API kits they are the easiest for me to read. I only test Nitrate and Hardness, though I do have a Nitrite ans Ammonia kit just incase. The reason I test Nitrate is to fine tune my fert dosing regime. Hardness (Kh and Gh) is also used for the same reason just not as accurate.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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I like API kits they are the easiest for me to read. I only test Nitrate and Hardness, though I do have a Nitrite ans Ammonia kit just incase. The reason I test Nitrate is to fine tune my fert dosing regime. Hardness (Kh and Gh) is also used for the same reason just not as accurate.
Do you use API tests for Kh and Gh? I have had problems with getting any usable results from these in the past. I will try calibrating these with the info given in the sticky. Thanks for the input!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 07:27 PM
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Yes the API kit for hardness has been real easy for me to read. Blue to yellow for KH and orange to green for GH.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 07:43 PM
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API are easy and cost effective Using their PO4 test too but its not a have to have it test for most. I tend to end up low on phosphates using R O.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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As I said earlier I think my test are just old and I should throw them away. My Kh worked as advertised but the Gh started out light yellow and after 160 drops was a dark brownish green. Weird! Time for a new test I think.
Thanks
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 03:02 AM
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160 drops!!! You have way more patience then me. I would just get a new kit.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 07:25 AM
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To me test needed are ammonia, ph, kh, gh and nitrates, Co2. Nitrates test beneficial to know if you are adding to many ferts and water change needed. Co2 can be checked by a few different ways becided the actual test. Check out EBay for a master kit. If you want to use injected diy Co2 you'll need high light. A low light tank doesn't need diy Co2. Co2 and light have to balanced or you get algae. The charts for Co2 don't work if you have buffers in the water.

I don't inject Co2 and have 40 watts of T8s over 29 gallon tank.


I read that you are trying to decide on a light. I have collected some info about light:
Bulb Comparisons output
Light examples


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 08:45 AM
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If you want to use injected diy Co2 you'll need high light.
Now where did you get this tidbit of information?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
A low light tank doesn't need diy Co2. Co2 and light have to balanced or you get algae. The charts for Co2 don't work if you have buffers in the water.
No, a low light tank doesn't NEED CO2, but it doesn't mean that the addition of CO2 to a low light tank won't help.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 06:17 PM
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Now where did you get this tidbit of information?
I assumed this so for read there has to be a balance between the light and Co2. I shall research it more.

Well I have found is if you have to much Co2 the fish will be gasping for air at the top. It is high light system that needs Co2.

Thanks for correcting me.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:47 PM
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Well I have found is if you have to much Co2 the fish will be gasping for air at the top. It is high light system that needs Co2.

Thanks for correcting me.
I think it's simply from adding too much, it has little to do with the light intensity however. More light means you have to add CO2......but you still get 10X more growth using CO2 on a low light tank(say 40-80 micromols), which is 1000% more more growth, pretty significant difference.

Many think they get less/little benefit out of CO2 on low light tanks so they do not use it, moistly out of ignorance or fear, not realizing it can offer really good benefits as far as growth and health.

So they think of CO2 as optional, yet add nutrients liberally.........

But C is about 40-50% of the plant bioamss, N is maybe 1%. CO2 comes in a little from the air, but the rates are 10,000x slower in water vs air, so the system is always CO2 limited. Adding about 10x the normal amount takes care of this limitation however and is still fine for fish etc.

So you can see, you get a lot more from the addition even in low light.
Here's a 1.5 W/gal low light tank with CO2:



Basically you get a lot more efficient use from the light by adding CO2, so this applies to all light levels that can grow plants........


Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I read that you are trying to decide on a light. I have collected some info about light:
Bulb Comparisons output
Light examples
Thanks for this info!
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