Why Do I Need To Do Water Test In The Aquarium & Use Water Test Strips?
So you have finally purchased an aquarium – and now you have read that you should regularly do a water test to be familiar with water values, parameters, log sheets and water test strips.
Measuring water values is extremely easy. All you need are water test kits and strips.
Below in overview of why you need to familiarize yourself with water tests:
How does a water test in an aquarium work?
The majority of experienced aquarists use commercially available professional water test kits and strips for water tests. You only need to moisten them with the water from your aquarium and they will change their color. You then compare the color of your water test strip with a color scale on which the associated water values are noted.
Then enter them under the respective date in your protocol sheet. Such a protocol sheet is useful to keep track of things in crisis situations. You are then no longer puzzled when the animals or plants in the aquarium do not develop as desired.
How to perform a water test:
- water test strips
- Read the instructions
- Immerse in the aquarium water
- Compare the color with the color scale
- Read off and note the water values
Why should you conduct a water test when setting up the aquarium?
- If you are just setting up your new aquarium, you can hardly avoid a water analysis. Some fish like water with a high pH value; others are used to hard water. For some aquarium inhabitants, even the slightest contamination of the water with copper means certain death – while others can easily put away certain heavy metals in our tap water.
- Then optimize your aquarium water with a suitable water conditioner and add starter bacteria. After a few weeks, the lifeless decoration and some delicate water plants – with the addition of some fertilizer – develop into a living biotope. As soon as the usual algae bloom is over, the water levels off at fairly constant values. Then you can put the first animals in your aquarium: of course not without doing at least quick water test beforehand.
Water test tip
Before you decide on certain species, you should compare their profiles – simply online. In this way you can be sure that you populate your small ecosystem with matching inhabitants. Surely you wouldn’t put teenagers in an old people’s home either, would you? It is therefore important to analyze your tap water: This way you know which local conditions you can assume.
Water test in the aquarium: how often, when and why?
To make sure that everything is in order in your aquarium, you should check the 4 most important parameters at least twice a week at the same time: temperature, carbonate hardness, pH acidity and total hardness. Our values in the following list apply to freshwater aquariums. Saltwater aquariums are only suitable for very experienced aquarists because so many different parameters have to be taken into account.
Normal range for the 4 most important parameters in freshwater aquariums:
- Temperature: 23 – 28º Celsius
- pH acid content: 6.5 – 7.5
- KH carbonate hardness: 5 – 12º dKH
- GH total hardness: 8 – 25
When aquarium inhabitants suddenly die
Despite the best of care, you may suddenly discover one or more dead fish in your aquarium. The most important immediate measure is then to remove the dead animals so that the water is not contaminated by dissolved protein components.
Next, you should definitely check whether the following values are within the normal range:
- NO 2 nitrite : 0 – 0.2 mg / l
- Cu copper: 0 – 0.3 mg / l
- NH 4 ammonium: 0.25 mg / l
- O 2 oxygen : 5 – 8 mg / l
Water test tip:
If this is not the case, you should change 30% of the aquarium water twice every 3 days and add a water conditioner.
If there are too many algae in the aquarium
If there is an increase in algae, you do not need to resort to the chemical club. First of all, determine whether there are no deviations from the normal range for the following parameters:
- NO 3 nitrate : 0 – 50 mg / l
- CO 2 carbon dioxide : 15 – 35 mg / l
- PO 4 phosphate: 0 – 0.4 mg / l
- conductivity: 150 – 800 μS / cm
Water test tip:
It does not make sense to use an algae destroyer if these values are not correct. The algae would spread again in a very short time. As soon as your aquarium water is optimally balanced, your animals and plants remain healthy and the algae growth is within natural limits.