linda-b......Yes, I understand. My color charts hang inside a kitchen cabinet. So when I test, my glass vials are no where near the test charts. That's the reason for setting them on a white paper towel.
never thought of the white paper towel...though that IS easier than trying to hold a small tiny vial next to a color card.
i'll try that next time i test my water.
Thanks for the idea Lady Hobbs
20 gal tall -3 paskai's rainbowfish (neons and blue eyes), 8 rasbora het, 1 nerite, 2 pc driftwood 1 with narrowleaf java fern, 1 anubias, grasslike background plants, star shaped foreground plants, 2 mossballs
10 gal shrimp tank planted with java fern on driftwood, star shaped foreground plants, mossball, dwarf baby tears. cherry, ninja, algae eating, and ghost shrimp. And Cherry Shrimp babies
Cinnamon = 9 year old Siamese Cat
1 Rat - Domino aka Domi
I understand your frustration, even the instructions are not detailed enough. It's like asking several people driving directions to somewhere, they all seem to give you different answers though you always wind up at your destination. Only thing is, who's directions would have gotten you to your destination faster?
My point, you're going to need to do your own research on this one. Everyone has given their experience, some have been in this hobby for decades.
This is what I would do. Take a water sample to a local fish store and have them test it, ask to see the results and compare to the color chart they use. My local PetSmart does free water tests with the strips. With these results I would test my water again and move the tube ever so slightly until it matches the appropriate color. Then I will know how far the tube needs to be from the color chart.
If you set a goal to lose so many pounds in a month, would you weigh yourself at different times of the day from the previous day to get an idea of your progress? No! Not saying you should test your water at the same time - though if its convenient do so. What I'm saying is don't change your testing methods. Use the same method to draw the water from your tank, same area to read the results, etc etc.
I would also start keeping a log if you have not already started. This can help you determine if there's going to be some issues in the near future, e.g. nitrates get slightly higher each week though your water change frequency and quantity are the same and you have not added any additional fish.
I apologize if this is rather long, my mind tends to go in overdrive just before I'm about to crash for the night. Good night everyone!
25 Gal - Tropical
Custom made Wet/Dry/Sump Filter System, AquaClear 20 Powerhead, RenaCal Excel 300 Heater, artificial plants
- 7 Blackskirt Tetras, German Blue Ram, Bulldog Pleco, Assassin snail.
"Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." King Solomon.
Pictures of my 10 Gal Sump Filtration project
One thing that helps me is not to use a point source of light to light the test tube/color chart. A point source of light is badly diffracted by the test tube into light and dark areas on the color chart. A point source would be like using the sun to read the color chart.
Now this only helps those who have tanks lit by flourescent tubes, but I move close to the tank and turn my back on it so the tank's flourescent light lights up the test tube/colorchart as I hold it up to check its color.
The flourescent light being 4 ft long, and being so close, sends light into the test tube from all angles and evens out the shadows/differences in the color. The test tube is placed right in contact with the color chart. Come to think of it, this problably does the same thing as pulling the tube away from the color chart. It diffuses the shadows.