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Fin35 02-15-2020 12:28 PM

Which testing kit do you use? Filter question
I like the idea of using strips and not chemicals since I have a toddler. What brand testing strips do you guys think is the most accurate? I just ran out of my tetra test strip, but looking on amazon a lot of people think they donít work. They seemed to work for me, but I donít have anything to compare it to.

Filter question.

I use tetra whisper 5-10 gallon filter for my 10 gallon. Aquadvisor didnít have that filter, is this good enough for a 10 gallon Betta and ember tetra planet tank? I like it because itís adjustable and it isnít a heavy flow because these fish donít like it. I have it set to medium with a filter cover. Will this put enough oxygen in the water for the embers?

BBradbury 02-15-2020 01:11 PM

Hello Fin...

If you change the tank water often enough, you don't need to test it. An aggressive water change routine will guarantee steady, safe water conditions for your fish. If you're hit and miss on your water changes, then you need to test frequently. API and Tetra both have reliable strips. You get the results in a minute or so. But, the strips I've used don't test for ammonia.


Skai 02-15-2020 01:33 PM

The API test kit chemicals are all rather hard to just open. You have to press and turn at that same time so a toddler getting into them seems unlikely as long as you don't leave them around with the cap off. But if you're really that worried and would rather test with strips there are a lot of review videos on you tube comparing them. From purely reviews Tetra Easy strips are right ahead of API though I have not personally used either. I do agree that as long as you keep a routine water change going the testing is more cursory but still probably a good idea to do somewhat regularly.

As for the oxygenation question. I honestly wouldn't worry about that unless you notice gasping for air at the top from your fish. Then add in an air stone.

Fin35 02-15-2020 02:43 PM

I do 50 percent water changes on my 10 gallon weekly, I was doing that when it was just the Betta and snails so I may do a bit more with the embers. This summer I am going away for a 2.5 week vacation, my husband will be here to feed the fish but he the aquarium isn’t his thing and wouldn’t want to do a water change, or inn afraid he’d forget the conditioner or something silly. If I do a 80 percent water change before I go do you think the ammonia and nitrates will be low enough to not kill or stress fish? I have live plants including guppy grass which uses a lot of ammonia. Won’t it be similar to adding fertilizer if it’s just one time in the summer? I can also have my husband feed every other day to minimize the waste?

libertybelle 02-16-2020 10:47 AM

I have left my community tank for weeks with no food at all when I didnít have another choice. My fish were a little skinnier and a little more annoyed with me when I got back but otherwise fine.

Are you fully confident your husband will not overfeed. Non fish people left to feed tanks often make a huge mess with the best of intentions.

You could cut it even further back than that to reduce chances of an overfeeding disaster and have him feed every few days. After a tank has been running for a while there are little critters like copepods in the tank your fish will snack on in between feedings. Understocking is your friend in this case (another reason to stick with one betta and avoid dividing the tank.)

Fin35 02-16-2020 12:29 PM

I’m not getting another Betta. I will show him how many pellets to feed. The ember tetras can’t go as long without food as a Betta could. The mystery snails clean up any leftover food within a few hours so luckily it’s not left to rot.

libertybelle 02-16-2020 02:49 PM

True; because theyíre so tiny. But they also donít need as much food and a mature tank will have copepods and other small critters that the embers will eat in between feedings; so donít be afraid to have him feed very sparingly while youíre away since water changes wonít be an option!

Fin35 02-16-2020 03:40 PM

Thanks, so with minimal feedings then it should be ok to go 2.5 weeks?

libertybelle 02-16-2020 09:07 PM


The most dangerous thing during an unmonitored vacation is equipment dying, heaters getting stuck on or a fish dying and causing an ammonia spike. All of which your husband can watch out for.

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