Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 11-03-2004, 02:54 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,111
Which Tests/Test Kits/Frequency?

Could you tell me what brand/type of kit you use?
(I have a Fastest kit with Ammo, Nitrite, NitrAte and PH)

What tests you do?

How often you do the tests? Do you have daily v. weekly v. monthly tests that you do?

Are the testing frequencies different during cycling as opposed to running? (I'm early in the cycling stage)

My LFS said that it didn't matter if I used Tap or their water, the end result would be the same, it was just a matter of convenience. From what I'm reading there's more to it than that. How much trouble am I in for with a tank started with Tap? Is there something that I should be testing for that I may have introduced with the Tap water?


Phyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2004, 03:20 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Nebraska, USA
Posts: 6,703
I started my tank with tap water, and quickly started doing water changes with R/O. If you have naturally soft tap water which is free of nitrates and phosphates, it could be used in a salt tank.

However if you have plans to go with corals, then you'll wanna stick with R/O water. This way, your salt mix and any alk/Calcium supps are making your water chemistry. Weird calcium, alk or magnesium levels in your tap water can cause chemistry problems down the road.

As for test kits: I recommend SeaChem or Salifert brand kits...they are the most accurate you can get without forking over serious cash for Hach or LaMotte brands.
During cycling, your only really concerned with ammo and nitrite...and after the nitrIte spike...you can watch nitrates occasionally. You'll end up doing ammo/nitrite tests daily for a couple weeks.

After cycling, that's when you need to start making sure pH is good and steady. You'll also need an alkalinity test kit (carbonate hardness). If you want to keep corals, you'll need a calcium test kit as well. calcium and alkalinity have a somewhat complex relationship (this thread may help you understand it: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=35749 )...and with stony corals you need proper calcium and alkalinity levels to keep them healthy and growing.
Currently, because I am correcting low calcium levels, I have to test Alk and Ca every day. Eventually, I should only have to test a couple times a week, prior to dosing alk/ca supplements.

Also after cycling, you can cut back to weekly ammo/nitrite/nitrate tests. You'll wanna test phosphates too, because strong lighting and a tiny amount of phosphates will give you cyanobacteria (red slime algae).

Ok, now that I've thoroughly scared you with test kits
You only need to worry about an alkalinity kit and a phosphate kit right now...and even then you don't have to have them until the tank is cycled and you prepare to add fish.

Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
malkore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2004, 03:31 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,111
Ironically enough I've been watching that thread for the last couple of days, trying to soak it all in (before I know enough to make sense of it all... boy is that tough)!! Our goal is to go with corals when we're good and ready for them so hopefully I'll learn a lot from all of the wisdom imparted on you in that thread.

As for the strong lighting and phosphates... I better get testing. I think I light up my neighbor's front lawn (across the street, lol) if my white lights are on after dark! Hopefully I don't have phosphates to speak of.

The Fastest kits are a real PIA (though easy to read) but I want to know who named them. They're the most difficult and lengthy test kits I've ever used and I've tested ponds, pools and now my aquarium. I figure during cycling I don't need dead-on accuracy as much as I need a general idea of the spikes happening, which I presume I'd see even with a basic test kit.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Join the NJ Reef Club Today! Saving the world's reefs one living room at a time!
MACNA XXI Atlantic City, NJ September 25-27, 2009
Phyl is offline   Reply With Quote

ich, test, test kits

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chemical Test Strips VS. Test Kits thetmaxx General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 5 03-16-2006 09:54 AM
Test strips vs Liquid tests pegleg Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 11 11-26-2005 08:29 AM
Test kits vs. test strips AquaBear Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 7 06-17-2004 10:01 PM
kent tech1 tests kits scuba_steve Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 11-19-2003 06:04 PM
Test strips or liquid test kits? yellowjacket171 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 6 08-28-2003 03:12 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.