Originally Posted by Masha
I've been reading up on TDS
and looking at some of the TDS
meters one can get.
For somebody with two smallish freshwater tanks, is this something that's worth getting? My reason for looking into this is because over here where I am, it's not possible to buy the all in one API testkit. I've got to buy a separate kit for every substance - ammonia, ph, nitrate, etc - and they are incredibly expensive because of the exchange rate.
I don't intend to replace
for example, the nitrate test, but I would like some other less expensive way to keep an eye on my water levels, not always have to do a nitrate test.
Would a TDS
meter be worthwhile for this? For general "is my tank healthy" checks?
Once you become more and more familiar with your tanks and your weekly routine the nitrate test become less and less frequent. Like right now I know my nitrates are below 20ppm and will still be at the end of the week. I only test it once every few weeks 'just in case'
meters are handy tools to have for water matching when acclimatising but since we don't really know what levels of TDS
are considered harmful it can't really tell us much.
Everything you do adds to the TDS
of the water. TDS
will creep just from atmosphere.
What you could do is measure the TDS
after a water change. Stick to a solid routine thorough the week and measure the TDS
at the end of the week. As well as the nitrates. If you stick to this exact routine you should be able to correlate your TDS
reading at the end of the week with a rough nitrate reading. If your TDS
is well in excess of what you expect then you know the water quality may need looking at (removing nitrates)
That said nitrates and TDS
will not necessarily be closely linked during any one reading as TDS
accounts for many many things. You will still need to check your nitrates just for piece of mind and know that the TDS
show rises steadily and slowly over the months. How fast or slow depends on the individual and their tank.
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