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FAQs about Marine Water Test Gear, Rationale

Related Articles: Product Review Marineland Labs/Aquarium Systems Hydrometer, Part 1 By Steven Pro, Captive Seawater Quality, Nutrient Control and Export, Seawater Test Kits, Nitrates, NitritesAmmonia, Phosphate

Related FAQs:  Marine Test Gear 1Marine Test Gear 2Marine Test Gear 3, FAQs on: Selection, Use, Troubleshooting, Testing Methods: Liquid Reagent/Colorimetric, Dry Reagent Test/ing, "Paper", Titrametric, Electronic & About Brands/Manufacturers, & Specific Gravity

Hoping/wishing on simple observations... Bioassays? How will/would you know what is going on in/with your water w/o tests? Don't add anything that you can't/will test for. Period.

Test kits Morning Bob, <Don here today> Just a quick few questions regarding test kits. I have the Kent test kits for NO2, NO3, PH. I find them very difficult to give me an accurate figure. When you look at the PH chart compared to the test kit color to be honest it could vary between 8.00 to 8.4. Therefore you are never 90% sure what the result is. At least with the Sera CA test kit you know how many drops x 15 to give you a more accurate reading. Are all PH test kits that broad, or is it just the way of the Kent kits?? <Any colorimetric test (which most hobby tests are) are subjective to say the least. I like the Salifert and many give LaMotte high marks. A bit more costly, but if you can get regular readings I think it is worth it. Right after the first of the year I plunked down $90 (US) for a pH meter and have never regretted it. I would highly recommend this device as it give a constant accurate reading at a glance.> Lastly there are so many tests these days to test, are all of the irrelevant. Ammonia, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Nitrate, Nitrite, Oxygen, Phosphate, KH, Ph, Magnesium and many more. Can you advise which ones I should have. Also can you give me the perfect readings for the above tests. <I would recommend testing anything you are purposely adding to the tank (calcium, alkalinity, iodine, etc) In addition (since they are poisonous to the animals) ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. I was having some trouble with hair algae so I was testing phosphate. Really, if you keeping hardy to medium care animals and are doing regular water changes with a decent salt, you don't have to test that much. Perfect readings are going to depend on what time of livestock you have in the tank. Generally, pH 8.1-8.3, calcium 350-450ppm, alkalinity 8-11 dKH ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0 for a reef.> Thanks, you guys do a wonderful job. <Thanks, Don> Best Regards Stuart

Please advice! (need for investigation, test kits...) I have been trying to get my 55 gal tank running for 8 months or so. Here is what I got. In filtration I have a Emperor the one w/ two bio wheels, a bio-matrix Skilter 400 duel filtration & a skimmer tower, as for water circulation I got two power heads, each on both ends of the tank, two 48' 50/50 & Actinic bulbs, I don't have that much live rock in it, crushed coral as a bed base I'll say 2 or 3 inches high. What else do I need to keep my tank in good shape. <Do you have, use test kits? These would give you a good idea of what is going on in your water... and areas you might seek to improve.> I have been buying fish but I cant seem to keep them alive for more then a month. I also started a 55gal.Hospital Tank with exactly the same filtration & light set up, where I was forced to move my fish to (2 Clowns, 1 Domino Damsel,1 royal dottyback,1 puffer and 2 anemones), due to ammonia levels. My second question is I used to have pawn on my back yard with the particular rock settings you know, those reddish, brownish colors, would it be safe to put them in my tanks after having them cleaned of course, for decoration purposes. Thank You so much for your time on reading this letter. <Thank you for writing... Probably no on the pond rocks... and we need to work on finding out what is "missing" or "wrong" with your system if you are continuing to lose livestock. Please read through the "Toxic Tank Situations" and "Set-Up" and "Filtration" sections and associated FAQs posted on the Marine Section of the site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more than we can go through here... something is awry here... Bob Fenner>

Re: Please advice! Thank you so very much for answering my letter in such a short time, I went out and bought myself a complete water test kits and everything is right on the dot, except my nitrate its at 40 ppm's, I used to have undergravel filtration set up on the tank a while back but it was not running, maybe gases formed due to the lack of water circulation, I don't know. I took it out tested the water and placed a Magnum canister filter for 10 hours to help clean up the mess from the under gravel filters, tested the water everything came out good, would it be safe to put the fish back in at this time? I spent 4 hours reading through the faq's posted on your great page, I learned a lot. This is the best page on the net, trust me I looked. Thanks again for all your help. <Ahh, thank you for your kind comments. Deeply gratifying to find one's work of use. Yes to the plan to return your fish livestock. This is likely the best place for them to be. Bob Fenner>

Test Hi..! How could I know PH levels, nitrate and nitrite for my aquarium? and how could I change levels as I would like. This in order to set my aquarium ready for a stingray. <There are various test kits available to test for the parameters you mentioned. Levels for pH and nitrate are best kept in the proper range by water changes. Nitrite is controlled when you tank is properly cycled. Please read many of the article under the following link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marindind2.htm -Steven Pro> Thanks. Attn. Carlos Gorgon

Iodide and magnesium <Hi Peter> Have one coral at present but want to get more and intend getting a starfish in future, have some Caulerpa on live rock. Should I test for/add iodide or magnesium? <I believe its always a good idea to test for things you put or add in your tank. Most of these chemical are added in the water but as you continue to add corals you are going to need to start considering adding additional supplements.  Then you would definitely need to test.  I'm assuming you've already got the ammonia, ph, nitrate, nitrite, test kits?>  Do you think these inhabitants would use up/need more than regular (fortnightly) water changes would provide? <Right now I think you are okay, but as you add more corals this might change.> I am purchasing calcium and alkalinity test kits/supplements. <Sounds like you are definitely on the right track Peter.  Good luck, Mac>

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