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Old 11-05-2011, 03:01 PM   #1 
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elainevdw's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Nevada
Do water test kits expire?

So we've had Twilight for a week. The tank he's in was cycled when its prior occupant passed away, and had been sitting half full of water for about a month. My bf rinsed it out and replaced the filter before we introduced Twilight and we put freshly conditioned water in there. The biowheel and gravel is the same that was in there before, just rinsed off. And the biowheel had dried out due to the low water level while the tank was empty of fish.

I was expecting to have to re-cycle the tank, so I did a partial water change midweek and another partial water change today (about 50% of the 3 gallon tank). Today I tested the water and it was practically perfect, except for the ph. The ph was hard to figure, it looks like it's between the high and low range tests, so 7.4-7.6? Everything else was zero. I'm very skeptical about that, how are near perfect water parameters possible already? Are those bacteria really hardy enough to survive a month of neglect plus rinsing?

Or could my test have expired? It's the API master test kit with the bottles of liquid.

Thanks :) Oh and Twilight seems to be ok, he's eating 2-4 pellets in the morning/evening and swimming around. He's sleeping/resting at the surface above the filter intake a lot, but maybe he's just relaxing? Water temp is a consistent 78F.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Colorado
Good question. I wouldn't think so though. As long as they don't get wet they are good.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:16 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum.....

If ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are all are not cycled-unless you have a lot of live active growing plants in the tank.....

You know your nitrogen cycle is established when you have readings of-nitrate 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite spikes for several days.....

Your pH is fine.....

The nitrifying bacteria are dependent on oxygen and once the bio-wheel dried out all the BB died......

In 3gal filtered tank without live plants-water changes of twice weekly 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method-should maintain water quality provided that you don't overfed and uneaten food is removed within a reasonable time.
Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month with a water change...

Love to see some pics.....
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:32 PM   #4 
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Ahh thanks for the info. I'll do another water change on Wednesday, then, and keep checking the amm/nitri/nitra on the weekend water changes.

He seems to be super happy, the night after I posted this he started building crazy bubble nests.

I also got two ghost shrimp on Sunday... and I'm still waiting for signs of life from those "betta bulbs." If they're duds I might just get a live plant instead of trying to grow them from bulbs.

Here he is with his bubble nest, and the two ghost shrimp we added yesterday. He cracked me up today, he was flaring at me when I looked in through the sides of the tank... the bow in the front must make my face look smaller because he doesn't flare at me from the front, lol.

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