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Old 12-10-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
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API Test - Help me, I'm color blind!

I've had a tank for some time now, and been using API test kits the whole time. Though, I'm not sure how "accurate" I've been recording the results, because I'm slightly color blind.

I drew out some water from my QT tank right before a water change. I know the pictures are tough to read out, but what would you interpret these results as? I uploaded the images in this same order:

Heres what I think:
Ammonia = .25
Nitrites = 0
Nitrates = 10
pH = 8.4 (gosh that seems high)

Heres what my LFS thinks (same water, using their Tetra EasyStrips):
Ammonia = .5-1.0
Nitrites = 0
Nitrates = "some"
pH = Didn't test for
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
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I see:

Ammonia .5
Nitrites .1ish
Nitrates 10
pH ?? That color isn't on the card
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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I see

Ammonia .5 maybe a tiny bit less
Nitrite looks like 0 but could be my crappy monitor
Nitrate looks like 10 or a tiny bit less

The pH colour is a violet purple. Violet purple isn't on the card. It ranges from brownish orange to a very flat purple. I don't know how you got violet. Can you run the test again and post another picture please?

BTW did you white balance your camera and shoot this under a pure white (ie, 6500K) lightbulb? Otherwise our view of the colors will be off.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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I'd say:
ammonia = .5
nitrite - 0
nitrate = 10

I'd agree with you that the pH seems about 8.4, but I always have trouble with the API pH test colors.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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Thank you all. It seems my QT isn't cycled after all. Another missed cycle by using Nutrafin Cycle. Off to return the surviving 2 Mollies & ADF and fishless cycling from here on out!
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fish4phil View Post
Thank you all. It seems my QT isn't cycled after all. Another missed cycle by using Nutrafin Cycle. Off to return the surviving 2 Mollies & ADF and fishless cycling from here on out!
With such an insanely high pH, you would be wise to switch over to Tanganyikans. I don't know how large your tank is, but if you have a small tank you could get shelldwelling cichlids. You'd have to switch your gravel to a sand bottom and get a bunch of shells but you'd be rewarded with fascinating behaviour. The babies are worth a lot of money too.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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With such an insanely high pH, you would be wise to switch over to Tanganyikans. I don't know how large your tank is, but if you have a small tank you could get shelldwelling cichlids. You'd have to switch your gravel to a sand bottom and get a bunch of shells but you'd be rewarded with fascinating behaviour. The babies are worth a lot of money too.
This is actually my 10G quarantine tank. The pH went down the next day to 7.8 (strange), nothing in the tank except PVC pipes, heater, filter, 2 mollies and an ADF.

But I'm thinking of getting a third tank! Uh oh, the wife won't be too happy... I'm thinking a semi-aggresive. That's cichlids, right? What minimum tank size would you suggest?
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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I'd suggest a 55 gallon if you want to get into cichlids. That'll give you a lot of options while not being terribly large.

You could keep things like:

Yellow lab cichlids
saulosi cichlids
demasoni cichlids
smaller haps like O. lithobates

etc
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