Help on water parameters, please :) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help on water parameters, please :)

I have little knowledge of maintaining water parameters. What are good water parameters and if it isn't appropriate like hardness, would I need to adjust it and how do I?

Lastly, what are some good, simple test kits that I could buy at like Petsmart or Petco?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 08:10 AM
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You have to be very careful about change properties of water. It is more important to have stable properties than adjusting them.

When my ph gets high I just put some sphagnum moss, which I first boil, in a bag in the tank. When the kh is low I add 1 tsp of baking soda to my 29 gallon tank.

May be able to get a combo test kit on EBay for a low price. Also check out Wall-mart.

For test need ph, ammonia, nitrites, nitrate test to check when the tank has finished cycling. Test for gh and kh good if you have plants. Most important is the ph and ammonia test. There is the item for ammonia test that sticks on the tank too.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will check them out!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUHK View Post
I have little knowledge of maintaining water parameters. What are good water parameters and if it isn't appropriate like hardness, would I need to adjust it and how do I?

Lastly, what are some good, simple test kits that I could buy at like Petsmart or Petco?

Thank you!
Water parameters depend mostly on the dKH and dGH, pH is also worth measuring. API (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals) is an adequate test kit brand that can be found at your local chain store.

The best way to adjust water parameters is by using RO water, it's the safest and easiest however not the cheapest. It depends on how good your tap water is to start with, some people are blessed with good water. Test it before deciding on what to do.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 09:10 PM
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For an established tank I like to test the ph, nitrates and Kh. Water changes when the nitrates get high. Ph and Kh test because I have lousy water. My water is very soft and alkaline. Most soft water is acidity. Thus if I lower the ph with peat it softens the water too.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 09:20 PM
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Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates are some of the most important parameters when first setting up a tank, as these can dramatically impact fish health. Ammonia and nitrite are extrememly toxic to fish, and harmful even in small doses.

Check out articles on cycling a tank, particularly "fishless cycling" and "silent cycling". It's important to properly establish a nitrogen cycle in a tank or you will have problems with ongoing fish deaths.

pH, gH and kH are important in terms of selecting plant and fish species that will thrive in specific types of water. Most fish and most plants can adapt to other water parameters outside of their target "ideals," but when it comes to breeding and specialized plants, sometimes you have to change your water in order to accomodate special needs.

If you are new to the hobby, my advice would be to start out with plants and livestock that can thrive in the conditions of your tap water. That's infinitely much less hassle in the long run. You can always specialize a little later on, once you've mastered the basics.





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