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How to make testing aquarium water complicated!

There are several different methods of checking things like pH, ammonia, nitrites, & nitrates in your aquarium.

I HAVE been using those dunk strips with the colored pads on them, that you just check the various colors off the chart on the bottle, and boom, you’re done. Takes about 30 seconds. Works great if you’re just checking once in a while.

But with all the water testing that we’ve been doing with the new guppy tank, we’ve been going through those things like crazy, and they’re not particularly cheap. So I opted to go back to the one that looks like a mini-science lab, with the itty bitty test tubes, and the drops, since that’s what I’d used before and while they do cost a bit more than the strips, I’ve found that they lasted a LOT longer than the strips when you test a lot. (And supposedly the drops are more accurate as well, so that’s a good thing.)

They’ve complicated things since I last bought one of those kits! Sheesh! I just ran the water through all four tests this morning. If I remember correctly, it went something like this:

PH check? Not too hard, 3 drops in a test tube of water, shake, compare to chart, you’re done.

Ammonia? Not quite that easy, but still pretty uncomplicated. 10 drops from this bottle, 10 drops from that bottle, shake, let sit for 5 minutes, compare to chart, done.

Nitrite? Just about the same: 5 drops of this, 5 drops of that, shake 5 seconds, let sit for 5 minutes, compare to chart, done.

Nitrate? Who makes these #%%#! things up?!? 10 drops from bottle one, cover and invert back and forth for 5 seconds, while at the same time shaking the contents of bottle 2 for at least 30 seconds. Add 10 drops from bottle two, and shake test tube vigorously for a full minute, wait 5 minutes, then compare to chart.

Then you’ve got four test tubes to rinse out and put away along with all the bottles of solution.

OR just buy the test strips next time and do all the tests in 30 seconds and be done with it! LOL.

On the bright side, it DOES make for a nice lineup of rainbow colored test tubes sitting on the sink. Looks like we’re ready to dye very VERY skinny Easter eggs. 😀

Oh, and the test results? pH normal (which was odd, we tested it last night, and found it to be on the high side so it dropped considerably overnight), and as expected after dumping in another 5 guppies into the tank Friday night, ammonia level and nitrite level are pretty high (added some stuff to help take care of that), and nitrates are acceptable.

Now, if we could just get the last of the baby guppies out of MY tank, move 4 or 5 of the males from upstairs back downstairs, I can start thinking about getting a few more REAL fish into my tank. Just about ready to try 2 more clown loaches. When I lost my last two, and didn’t replace them, the snails (which apparently loaches just LOVE to eat) just took over the tank. Now have more snails than anything else in the tank, except maybe for algae. 😛

Stay tuned…

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How to make testing aquarium water complicated!

by Karen Cusimano time to read: 2 min