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View Full Version : New 2.5 gallon freshwater tank and water testing



cathy_n
07-12-2008, 12:23 PM
Hi all you nice, friendly fish folks!

I started a 2.5 gallon tank for my betta about a month ago. I figured one betta in 2.5 gallons could cycle safely as long as I did frequent water changes. I was doing 25%-50% changes every 2-3 days.

I eventually broke down and bought an ammonia test kit (made by API, the kind that requires two bottles of test chemicals and a sample of water). It turned out that when I added BettaSafe to my tap water, the water would then register as having 0.25ppm of ammonia. So I was adding ammonia to my tank every time I did a water change! If I filter the tap water with a Brita or Pur filter, the water has zero ammonia in it. However, I've heard I shouldn't use filtered tap water in a fish tank.

I picked up some AmQuel+ to keep the toxicity down while the tank cycles. It's staying around 0.25ppm ammonia, so I'm guessing that even deactivated ammonia will register with my test kit. At least, I hope that's deactivated ammonia and not the toxic stuff!

My biggest problem with the betta so far has been testing water quality. I need to test the water while the tank cycles, but I have a tiny tank. I don't want to spend $100 on test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, GH, KH, salinity, and so on. I've already spent $100 on a $3 fish to make sure he has a setup with a heater/filter/live plants. I've been forced to buy more food than he will ever eat in his lifetime because food doesn't come in smaller packages.

So my question is this: Where can I get a small amount of accurate testing kits for the necessary water parameters while my tank is cycling? I'm willing to spend $20 on a full set that will help me monitor the water, but I don't need these gigantic test kits that are on sale at my local pet store.

Thank you all in advance!

CAllain
07-12-2008, 12:39 PM
The most important test kits you'll need are the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. I don't know how much they'll cost for you, but a master liquid test kit that lasts for around a year, containing those tests, is about £25 for me. Considering that does last you a full year it's actually pretty good value.

Also, some fish stores will test your water for free, but you'd have to make sure they used a liquid test kit, and ask for exact numbers (not just "it's fine").

cathy_n
07-14-2008, 04:58 PM
The most important test kits you'll need are the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. I don't know how much they'll cost for you, but a master liquid test kit that lasts for around a year, containing those tests, is about 25 for me. Considering that does last you a full year it's actually pretty good value.

Also, some fish stores will test your water for free, but you'd have to make sure they used a liquid test kit, and ask for exact numbers (not just "it's fine").

I used your second suggestion today, just to make sure everything was more or less fine. Thank you!

Now I know my snail's shell is not eroding from acid water... he probably just got picked on by my betta for a few days. The betta leaves him alone now.