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Old 11-22-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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How often to do water tests?

I have an established reef tank (around 8 years now) with various fish and coral. Like everyone else, I've had my fair share of problems and spikes in elements like nitrate, ammonia etc. I haven't had any real problems for a while now. I'm curious though, how often do you run water tests on an established tank? Do you do it only when you notice a problem or do you do it on a regular basis regardless of if you see any signs of a problem (like seeing a bunch of algae could be a sign of high nitrates)? Any feedback would be helpful.

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:24 AM   #2
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I do them weekly. If you wait until you see a sign of a problem, you've normally missed the window of opportunity when you can take care of the problem easily.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:22 AM   #3
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I do them weekly. If you wait until you see a sign of a problem, you've normally missed the window of opportunity when you can take care of the problem easily.
I agree with this, I started slacking off a few months ago and my Alk, Cal and Mag all dropped way too low. A month ago I bought all new "high end" test kits (makes a big difference for certain tests) and started testing at least Alk and Cal daily and dosing daily. I have learned what my tank needs to stay stable so I will eventually switch to once a week, like Kurt. By the way, my corals are looking much better and growing good again. I didn't start testing daily until I lost color and PE on one piece and was getting very slow growth on the rest of the pieces. I also started developing valonia (bubble algae) It probably took me at least a couple weeks to recover everything.
Another mistake I made was I didn't recalibrate my refractometer for months and months. When I finally recalibrated it with distilled water, the refractometer was off so I readjusted it back to 0. Then I purchased some refractometer calibration fluid and found that distilled or RO/DI water is a bad way to calibrate. Again I was off.... my reef tank was around 1.022 while I thought all along I was at 1.025
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:57 AM   #4
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I try to test temp and SG daily and the rest of them weekly. With a refractometer it doesn't cost anything to test and it's a good habit to run a few test on your tank.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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I try to test temp and SG daily ...
Testing temp? What brand test kit do you use for that?

Was that a typo, or do you not have a real-time thermometer in the tank?
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:15 PM   #6
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maybe he meant he looks at his thermometer daily? thats what i do
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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I run my equip through a Ranco controller.
Thought it was easier then saying read......I should have said "Log"...
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:01 PM   #8
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I guess I'm so in to peeking at the temp whenever I'm by the tank, I don't even think about it as "testing" or even keeping track, for that matter. I just figured you made a typo and I'd harass you about it!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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I try to do mine weekly. It's a pretty boring thing to do, especially when the tank is stabilized and you keep getting zeros. The big thing I watch is calcium to ensure that it doesn't get too low between PWCs.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
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I guess I'm so in to peeking at the temp whenever I'm by the tank, I don't even think about it as "testing" or even keeping track, for that matter. I just figured you made a typo and I'd harass you about it!
Kurt, I actually add 5 drops of liquid heat (corrected for
temperature) and let set for 5 mins. before I read the results against a color chart.
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