|Re: Could anyone tell me please, what tests I need to be doing to the water?|
Subject: Re: Could anyone tell me please, what tests I need to be doing to the water?
by marcshedden on 25/1/2004 19:59:40
There are five tests that I consider fairly essential for any freshwater Aquarium: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH and General Hardness. The first three are definitely essential, as these are the organic toxins which can quickly be lethal in even small concentrations (Ammonia & Nitrite) or cause stress above a certain level (Nitrate). The other two are not vital unless you happen to have fish which require a certain specific pH or hardness level (not the case with pearlscales - for reference their optimum pH is around neutral (7) and hardness about 10-12 degrees). Your Ammonia and Nitrite levels should always be zero, while your Nitrate reading can creep up to around 40 parts per million before you need to perform a water change - if this level is much higher, you will start seeing signs of stress such as listlessness, fins clamped down next to the body or lack of appetite, amongst others.
As long as your original test readings are ok, frequency of testing is up to you, but there's no point going mad and testing for everything every day - once a week is sufficient unless you notice something strange or have reason to suppose the levels may have crept up (accidental overfeeding, newly-discovered dead fish etc).