Need to buy a test kit - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I currently only have ph test kit, and need to go out and buy some new stuff to test my water. Can someone please tell me what test kits I need. I dont' really have teh cash flow for a 70 dollar kit either. I am tryign to work on a budget. All I need is a quick list fo the most important things to test, so I know what I need to buy. Thanks in advance guys. I am just gettign into this planted tank thing, and not havign too much luck.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:45 PM
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PH and kH to figure out if you get any CO2 into the tank via your DIY setup.

NO3 to see if your plants are starving.

PO4 if you have algae problems, to bring it in proportion with NO3.

NO3 and PO4 kits cost around $8 ea, kH around $5.

Hope that helps, and lot's of good luck to you!
:mrgreen:


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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That is what I figured. i have been lurkign here for a while reading as many posts as possible. But I just wanted a list in one spot just to make sure. So you have any recommendations on brands that work better than others, or a bunch packaged together to get more bang for my buck. Like I mentioned before, I am on a budget. I am just a poor college student.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
PH and kH to figure out if you get any CO2 into the tank via your DIY setup.

NO3 to see if your plants are starving.

PO4 if you have algae problems, to bring it in proportion with NO3.

NO3 and PO4 kits cost around $8 ea, kH around $5.

Hope that helps, and lot's of good luck to you!
:mrgreen:
Is it better to try to bring the NO3 and PO4 to proportion if you have an algae problem? or is it better to do a black out on the tank? I've seen people suggest one or the other. I currently have hair and beard algae and going with the black out approach with no fertilization. Algae isn't dissapearing but it isn't growing either. It only recieves indirect light from around the room and I turn the light on for maybe an hour to feed my fish BBS because there are apistogramma cacatuoide babies in there.
And I also have red sea test kits which is recommended by many people here
Added some carbon to the filter as I heard it removes some nutrients and tested water to have basically 0 phosphates and 0 nitrates
CO2 about 12ppm



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyDrake
So you have any recommendations on brands that work better than others, or a bunch packaged together to get more bang for my buck. Like I mentioned before, I am on a budget. I am just a poor college student.
MOST ppl are on a budget

I have fairly good results with Red Sea test kits for NO3 and PO4, and with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals kH kit. There are different opinions though, some ppl had trouble with Red Sea NO3 kits, also of course it depends on your degree of color blindness :mrgreen:

When you buy a bunch together you buy a lot of stuff that you don't really need... so I don't think that truly saves any money, unless you find a "master kit" that contains only tests that you want. I hope some day there will be an inexpensive, easy to read, and simple to use kit that contains CO2, NO3 and PO4 tests. And I hope for world peace too.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 09:20 PM
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Is it better to try to bring the NO3 and PO4 to proportion if you have an algae problem? or is it better to do a black out on the tank? I've seen people suggest one or the other. I currently have hair and beard algae and going with the black out approach with no fertilization. Algae isn't dissapearing but it isn't growing either. It only recieves indirect light from around the room and I turn the light on for maybe an hour to feed my fish BBS because there are apistogramma cacatuoide babies in there.
And I also have red sea test kits which is recommended by many people here
Added some carbon to the filter as I heard it removes some nutrients and tested water to have basically 0 phosphates and 0 nitrates
CO2 about 12ppm
I am not a big fan of blackouts... It's better to battle the source of the algae problems, by giving plants the best possible conditions. One hour photosynthesis per day does stop algae, but doesn't help plants a lot either.
I would try to get nitrates up to 5 ppm and phosphates to 0.5 (why did you buy the testkits?) and light the tank with some nice 2 W/gal for some 12 hours a day. Add lots of plants to the mix, and some very careful dosing of traces/iron and potassium, and everything should just fall in place.

Fast growing plants are the best algae killers!


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Quote:
Originally Posted by ming
Is it better to try to bring the NO3 and PO4 to proportion if you have an algae problem? or is it better to do a black out on the tank? I've seen people suggest one or the other. I currently have hair and beard algae and going with the black out approach with no fertilization. Algae isn't dissapearing but it isn't growing either. It only recieves indirect light from around the room and I turn the light on for maybe an hour to feed my fish BBS because there are apistogramma cacatuoide babies in there.
And I also have red sea test kits which is recommended by many people here
Added some carbon to the filter as I heard it removes some nutrients and tested water to have basically 0 phosphates and 0 nitrates
CO2 about 12ppm
I am not a big fan of blackouts... It's better to battle the source of the algae problems, by giving plants the best possible conditions. One hour photosynthesis per day does stop algae, but doesn't help plants a lot either.
I would try to get nitrates up to 5 ppm and phosphates to 0.5 (why did you buy the testkits?) and light the tank with some nice 2 W/gal for some 12 hours a day. Add lots of plants to the mix, and some very careful dosing of traces/iron and potassium, and everything should just fall in place.

Fast growing plants are the best algae killers!
Only my 10 gallon tank is infested.
So the test kit still being used for my 29 gallon tank and still fertilizing it as well. I'll probably give this blackout another day or two and if still no improvement, I'll try the battling out route.



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