help.. water test advice

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help.. water test advice

Postby j.lee99 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:25 pm

hi,, can anyone recommend a reliable and trust worthy testing kit.. i have been loosing loads of fish this last 2 weeks.. i took a sample of water to be tested to my local pets at home. they said it was fine but the nitrate was slightly high.. i then did a 40% water change, but i'm still loosing fish.. i've heard some testing kits are not very good. thanks
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:47 pm

Most aquarium testing kits use the same chemicals and have about the same level of accuracy -- which is not particularly accurate. The presence or absence of something with perhaps a general indication that it's a bit or a lot is all you can rely on really. They are not lab grade tests. Liquid kits for ammonia and nitrite can be useful as an indicator of a filter problem - API, Nutrafin/Hagen or Tetra for example. Test strips are less accurate than liquid kits.

Nitrate is not particularly toxic and wouldn't account for a sudden loss of fish.

Could you tell us about your tank and how you have been maintaining it?

Size of tank and type of filter (just give the brand name of the tank if possible)
How long it's been running.
Temperature, measured with a thermometer (preferably liquid or digital).
Number of fish and what kinds.
Water change schedule.
Anything you did differently recently?
Any new stock added?
Cloudiness in the water?
Any signs of illness -- white spots, fluffy growths, bloating, not eating, hiding in corners, fins clamped to body, etc.

In the absence of any other indications, continued daily water changes are usually a good idea.
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby englishmx » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:05 pm

http://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Freshwater- ... B000255NCI

Will see you right, seems to be the one most often recomended, but as mentioned above they are all much of a muchness :wink:
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby j.lee99 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:15 pm

thanks for reply.
the tank is a aqua one 850. 165 litre with over the tank filter system.
its been running about 6 months
temp is 28c thats an inside stick on thermometre
i did have 28 fish, i now have 20, mixture of 3 gurami, 8 tiger barbs, platy's and mollies,, i have 3 baby mollies that seem to be happy,, which i think is odd because if any were in danger i thought it would be them..
my water changing.. i try to do 25% every weekend, but sometimes i don't have the time, so, i do a 40% change the weekend after, so maybe more often its every fortnight.
approx 3 week ago i bought 6 tiger barbs,, which is approx wen i started loosing fish,, i think there is 3 fish i still haven't found.
there is no cloudiness at all.. only slight algae on the light cover above the water, which i do clean off every water change.
ilness wise.. i've noticed that.. one fish might hide in corners or maybe sit at the bottom.. just general look fed up.. then the next day its dead.. also there was a platy that got really fat, then started hiding, then died. but no sign of fin rot or white spot...
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby j.lee99 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:21 pm

englishmx wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI

Will see you right, seems to be the one most often recomended, but as mentioned above they are all much of a muchness :wink:


thanks for that.. i think i need one,, i don't trust my local pets at home.. they always do the test in the back of the shop. then come out and tell me if theres something wrong, but never bring the tubes out to show me.. for all i know, they may not even test it.. thanks
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:28 am

It might be the tiger barbs. They can be aggressive and are notorious fin nippers. Spend some time just watching the behaviour of your fish and see if any fish hiding are doing so from the barbs.
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby ady » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:29 pm

i use the API master kit for freshwater......,very easy to use......

as for PAH staff......it aint just your local shop :wink: .....they arnt the best at advice and stuff....having said that not all fish shops have your best interest at heart.....tills ringing,they happy......but find a good un and you :lol:

maybe someone near you knows of a good retailer?.....

if you get a testkit,check ebay....much cheaper than the shops.........just dont go for test strips....

good luck :)
humans are the only race,with the intelligence to save the earth...shame we have the ignorance to ignore the salvation!!!!!
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby j.lee99 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:25 pm

thanks for all the advice.. when i bought the barbs, i told the shop what i had in my tank and they said no problems they'll be fine together...
any more advice is welcome because i've lost about 12 fish in the last 2 weeks.. 3 i haven't found at all.
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:50 pm

Random fish deaths with no other symptoms could be:

Water quality -- despite my apparent pessimism about test kits, presence of ammonia and nitrite is a good indicator. Can be accompanied by white cloudiness. Can be caused by excessive cleaning, failure to use a dechlorinator. Water changes always help. Prime can help with chronic cases.

Bacterial infection -- most likely after adding new stock. Difficult to pin down. General anti-bacterial treatments could work. Water changes help.

Viral infection
-- can tend to affect the same species. Again, difficult to pin down. Maintaining water quality and good health is the only solution really.

Poisoning -- insecticides, air fresheners, paint fumes. Could cause deaths over a short or long period if the source of poisoning is not found. Jumping or attempting to escape may indicate poisoning. Water changes help unless water is the source.

Behavioural problems -- tiger barbs (the usual suspects) as discussed. Reduced immunity caused by stress. Water changes don't help.

Temperature -- too high or too low, causing stress and reduced immunity. Check with an accurate thermometer. Water changes can make it worse if not done carefully.

Osmotic shock -- would usually affect fish over a short period. Caused by changes to water chemistry that are too rapid, e.g. after a long period without water changes.

That's all I can think of for now. These are the most difficult problems to solve because there is no obvious cause. Anything ring any alarm bells?
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Re: help.. water test advice

Postby j.lee99 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:24 am

nothing rings any alarm bells. when i change the water i use, tap safe, stress coat and stress zyme.. then only thing with the temp is that the thermometre reads 28c but when you put your hand in the tank it feels cold.. i guess i'm gonna have to get the best testing kit i can.. oh i haven't lost anymore fish in 2 days now..
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