Test kit (master freshwater)

  • marcus
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marcus created the topic: Test kit (master freshwater)

Everyone that owns fish should own a good test kit and I am very supprised at the number of people that own fish don't have one.your fish live in water and the condition of your water is the key to keeping your fish healthy and well. you chose to put fish into a tank so you owe it to them to do your best at keeping them in perfect conditions.the only way you can do this is testing the water with a test kit on a regular base. If you have a problem with your tank then you will need to test more often. A reliable test kit will cost around £20-$40. thats very little to what it costs to set up a tank with fish. And it will be a lot less if you end up with a problem as medication for large tanks will not be cheap.

So what should you look for. You need the basic info that will be:

Ammonia, level- should read 0%PPM in your tank
nitrites, level-should read 0%PPM in your tank
Nitrates ,level-should read between 0% & 40%PPM in your tank
PH, oscars can cope with a wide range of PH but around 7 is ok

There are two kit types are on the market that are paper strip type, that you just dip into a sample of water. These are poor as far as I have found and are not that reliable. Liquid type that you take a sample of water and then add a measured amount of fluid,this will change the colour of the water that you then compare to a colour chart. These types are your lifeline in keeping the tank water in tiptop condition. There are a few makes on the market and I cant say that one is better than the other but liquid tests are the way to go. you could also take a sample of water to your local shop but again these sometimes dont give you all the info you will need. If you want to keep fish then buy a good liquid test kit before you buy your fish. below is a picture of the type of kit you should look for. This is the minimum you will need.


This type of kit will give you readings from 0%ppm to 8.0%ppm for Ammonia.
0%ppm to 5.0%ppm Nitrites - 0%ppm to 160%ppm Nitrates-PH reading from 6.0 to 8.8
It comes with all the info in a manaul and is easy to use but some care must be taken as wrong amounts of fluid added to sample water will give wrong test results.It has lasted me a long time for the cost with regular testing and I think its a fair price for a healthy fish tank. I rate it as 10/10


When you have a problem and ask anyone on a web site for advice you will be asked for your water parameters,or tests, Please,Please,Please post what you read off the test chart and not just say its OK or fine. this is very little help for the person helping you.your water condition could hold the key to the problem. :)

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  • Necromancer4
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Necromancer4 replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

excellent post

Warning..I will offend you at some point!!!


my goal is simple a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all
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  • marcus
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marcus replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

Thanks lets hope people read it and act on it. will make all there fish happier. )

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  • biggamehunter
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biggamehunter replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

great post marcus............as always
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Nickisue replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

Marcus, Thanks that is a wonderful post and something all fish keepers shoud know. I gotta tell you till I talked to you all I had no idea, But it will be great to know if I have a problem.

I do have a question, Toay I tested my water and these were my findings
Amonia 0
Nitrate 5 ppm
Nitrite 0
PH 7.6
These look good to me but my last water change was March 27th. Is that a really long time? I can normally go about 8 days but I did a water change today anyway as they all got one.

Thanks for your help
Nicki
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Necromancer4 replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

your water parameters are great. keep doing what your doing

Warning..I will offend you at some point!!!


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Nickisue replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

Thanks they looked too good to be true so I tested twice to check and got the same answers! I guess something must be right!. Thanks for your reply Necro

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farmgirl1989 replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

I relly liked the information you provided about the test kits. Mr. biggamehunter sent me a link to it.
I was wondering what brand of liquid kit is better?
What should each kit includde to test for?
And if the levels are off is thier a better brand to add to the tank to corect it?
Thank You
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Necromancer4 replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

for test kits imho the best on the market right now is the american pharmaceutical inc. (api) master test kit. it uses a liquid reagent and is simple to use and quite accurate. its sells at most lfs and large chain stores such as petsmart, petco ect.. for about $30. this kit includes tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and both low and high ph range.

i have tried a few different brands and keep comming back to the api kit.

just my 2 cents


as for correcting levels i try not ot use chemicals to alter pareameters. water changes and natural components i beleive are the best way to alter your water. however sometimes certain condition arise and chemicals are required to adjust things.

Warning..I will offend you at some point!!!


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  • biggamehunter
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biggamehunter replied the topic: Re:Test kit (master freshwater)

any test kit you purchas must have ammonia ,nitrAte,nitrIte,and p.h .......these are all you need for our hobbyist tanks..the brand i use and regard as the best is A.P.I. but hagen are also very good ...its realy down to personal preference....to correct parameters that are out of ballance just use fresh dechlorinated water via waterchanges ...50% at a time ..no more no less....hope this helps
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