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Old 03-27-2012, 01:54 PM   #1 
MadameDesu
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Tap Water Conditions

Ok, so today I got my API Test Kit in the mail! Needless to say, I used it almost immediately!

I tested my tap water, so I could get some info from you guys as to whether or not it had problems. Here are the results:

pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
(Paper Strip Tests)
KH: 180 ppm
GH: 120 ppm

Is this normal? Is there anything I should worry about? I can do the tests again if something seems off.
Also, my tank is uncycled, but has traces of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
I may have to test the tank again as well.

Thanks,
- MadameDesu
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #2 
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Ok, just got done testing the tank water.

It's been about 5 days since I last changed it and I rinsed the filter out and topped the tank off a few days ago.

pH: 8.0-8.2
Ammonia: <0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
(Paper Strip Tests)
KH: 180 ppm
GH: 180 ppm

I guess since there's less ammonia and a bit of nitrite it means I have some bacteria in there?
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #3 
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On the #2 nitrate reagent bottle-be sure and shake, bang and shake some more...it tends to settle and can give skewed readings....

Be sure and follow the directions to the "T" especially on time lines, shaking between reagents and reading results....

Do both the high and low pH

On your source water-test both with and without the additives you normally use in the tank-drawn 2 clean glasses of water.......test-wait 2 hour and test-then test again in 24h so the water can degas for more accurate readings.
Test the tank water and compare all the numbers

This will tell you several things-and give you a base line
If something in your tank itself is causing changes-like substrate, decorations...etc....-especially the pH
Additives causing changes
How much CO2 is in your source water

Remember-often the best indicator of water problems is the fish and the power of observation.

You don't want to base water change needs on water prams alone-since we don't test for the DOC's (dissolved organic compounds) that also can be problematic-regular weekly water changes generally will take care of them.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:01 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
On the #2 nitrate reagent bottle-be sure and shake, bang and shake some more...it tends to settle and can give skewed readings....

Be sure and follow the directions to the "T" especially on time lines, shaking between reagents and reading results....

Do both the high and low pH

On your source water-test both with and without the additives you normally use in the tank-drawn 2 clean glasses of water.......test-wait 2 hour and test-then test again in 24h so the water can degas for more accurate readings.
Test the tank water and compare all the numbers

This will tell you several things-and give you a base line
If something in your tank itself is causing changes-like substrate, decorations...etc....-especially the pH
Additives causing changes
How much CO2 is in your source water

Remember-often the best indicator of water problems is the fish and the power of observation.

You don't want to base water change needs on water prams alone-since we don't test for the DOC's (dissolved organic compounds) that also can be problematic-regular weekly water changes generally will take care of them.
Good advice, thanks! I'll do the 2 glass test tonight and post my results tomorrow evening after it's sat for 24 hours.
I followed the directions exactly, as I always do (my parents were chemists, so I know how important procedures are with chemical tests).

The tank parameters are fairly accurate. I checked those twice and got similar readings.

One last thing, I use Tetra Aquasafe conditioner, but don't have a way to accurately measure the conditioner, so I kinda just put the smallest amount in that I can. Could that be affecting anything?
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #5 
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Alright here are my results from the first test (some weren't really one color or another, so I just put the closest 2 that the color was in between):

Untreated Tap Water
pH = 7.2
High pH = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.25 - 0.5 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrates = 20-40 (I did a second test about an hour later because I may not have done the first correctly. I got closer to 40 ppm)
EDIT: Apparently, the EPA website says that there should only be about 10ppm of nitrate in drinking water ...)


Treated Water (Tetrasafe AquaPlus with the smallest amount I could manage, and d'oh! I just realized I didn't shake the conditioner before I used it ...)
pH = about 7.2
High pH = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.25 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrates = 10 ppm (Second test: 10-20)

It looks like I don't need to worry about nitrite in my water, or pH for that matter.
What IS different are my ammonia and nitrate values; both went down after I treated the water.

Last edited by MadameDesu; 03-27-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:05 AM   #6 
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Alright, so here are the results from my second test, which was about 3 hours after the first.

Untreated Tap Water
pH = 7.6
High pH = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.25 - 0.5 ppm
Nitrite = 0.25 ppm
Nitrates = 20-40

Treated Water
pH = about 7.6
High pH = 7.4
Ammonia = 0.25 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrates = 10 ppm

A small change in low pH and an appearance of nitrite in the untreated water!
My last test will be tonight at around 8 (24 hours later), so I'll have those results posted so that we can speculate a bit more.

In other news, I really like testing the water, and may test the tank water today (changed it last night). I feel like a mad scientist with all of these colored vials >:)
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