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  1. #1

    Default How to use API Master Test Kit & PRIME for water quality control


    1 Not allowed!
    Howdy Folks...

    Well...having been recently upgraded by the experts here ....I now use the API Master Test Kit
    to monitor my tanks Parameters.


    The one I'm writing about here is a 5.5 gal tank that my goldfish lives in.

    Last Thursday I had to replace the filter cartridge (it was past its term) and did a 50 % water change per the test results of the Petco Fish Tech. They use strips for testing and said my Nitrate was high at 40....so I did.

    Before I got the kit ...they were doing the testing and the numbers were with in acceptable ranges. Sense that time I got the API kit and did the test myself after the change. I tested the water the next day ( I think) and was surprised that the color in the test tubes came out purple for Nitrite and a darker orange for the Nitrate. Ammonia was a light greenish color. I see from the color chart Nitrate is supposed to be light blue (Zero ppm), Nitrate is supposed to be Yellow to light orange (10ppm) and Amonia is supposed to be dark yellow (Zero ppm).

    To correct the problem I added a total of 10 to 12 drops of PRIME (Seachem) based on the recommended 2 dropps per gallon. Nothing changed. Same colors.

    Last night I tested the water again. Same results.

    I'm also new to using PRIME...but I was told that its supposed to erase the Nitrites....so I
    'm not sure whats happening or if I'm doing something wrong...not adding enough or what

    After the test last night I did a 25 % water change and added the Prime again. However...Attached is an actual photo of last nights results so you can see for yourself and better advise because if Im reading the results correctly I read it at Amonia 0.25, Nitrite 1.0 - 2.0 ppm and Nitrate at 20 to 40 ppm.

    Please advise.

    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Default


    5 Not allowed!
    Prime does not "erase" it detoxifies the only way to remove nitrate is by water change.

    Also the tank is way to small for a gold fish or possibly any fish for some people opinions gold fish are a very high bio load fish they poop a lot!

    And with only 5.5g of volume ammonia will build up to toxic levels very quick!

    The only way to remove ammonia is by having the proper bacteria that consume it and convert it into nitrite. Then a different type of bacteria consumes the nitrite converting that into nitrate. The nitrogen cycle.

    By removing your filter because it was "past term" you have removed these beneficial bacteria.

    I recommended immediate water change 50% use Prime and also highly consider giving the gold fish back to petco or buying a proper tank,filter heater etc..
    Last edited by AmazonJoe; 01-10-2017 at 12:16 AM.

  3. #3

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Good advice above.

    Best advice is the re-home the goldfish, or get a MUCH bigger tank.

    If you cannot rehome the goldfish immediately, follow the fish-in cycle advice here

    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492
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  4. #4

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Hey John,

    Wonderful news about the test kit. Now that you have one, you will be surprised how quickly the problems will show them selves up earlier than a LFS test ect. That way issues that are can form due to things going wrong in the tank are easier to nip in the bud.

    In way you have semi answered you own questions, to a point that is.
    With the Change of Filter Cartridge, because it was past it's life is partly I believe why the water has got high readings. This is because the beneficial bacteria has been removed from the tank, sparking a semi tank cycle.
    Unsure what the filter is, but IME any filtration system now days new or old, the first thing I do is chuck out everything in them, add Ceramic Noodles a polishing sponge. And that is all I use in my filtration. The ceramic noodles hold the Beneficial bacteria, and will not need chucking out. Just a rinse when you do a water change, and that is a rinse in the old tank water that is. Place back in filter and away you go again. Cheaper than cartridges, and long term safety for the fish, with stable water paramiters.

    The next reason I believe you readings are high is due to the large bio load on the 5.5g tank. Gold fish no matter that type need a much larger tank, due to 1 potential size depending on the type. 2 the shear amount of waste they produce, is just way to much for a basic small tank to handle. Depending on the size a better choice of tank is anything over 75g at least, that or ponds IMO.
    If you can I would swap them out, or get a larger tank.

    This will sound quite sad, and also like the question's you have asked, haven't been answered at all. More like picking on your tank fish and question. But that is defiantly not what were are trying to do at all. In the mean time while a you think of a solution the best thing to do is to keep up water changes, and read the sticking posted by Slaphppy.
    Hope this helps,

    mac

  5. #5

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    At least you have learned that test strips are not accurate.

    Personally, I would do a 100% water change in a tank that small.

  6. #6

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    @ Mac - Yah...looks like I brought down more grief than i expected for that question. But I picked out the actual productive parts from the other parts. It probably would have helped if I mentioned that I'm already cycling a bigger tank. But in the meantime...this 5 g tank got me concerned, so I was trying to deal specifically with that.

    Anyway...Re: the productive parts from received replies.
    I read the article Slaphappy sent over. Last night I did do a 50 % water change. The water's Nitrite level is better tonight...lighter purple. I'm doing another change tonight.

    What I'm curious about is...with the daily fresh water changes to bring down the Nitrite levels, etc...will the filter cartridge still get cycle...you know...build up the "good bacteria"?...or should I decrease that?

    Thanks for the advice.

  7. #7

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Hey man,

    Glad you saw the positive's in all the replies. Its a bit hard I guess at times with forums.In saying that as well been there and made all these mistakes before. Learnt and moved on.
    Now days I use the errors from the past to help new people to know what not to do, to help save their money grief and enjoy the hobby.

    To answer your question about the water changes, the idea is to drop the toxic elements building up in the water. That is achieved through the water change by removing the waste and toxic build ups, in the water. What you do not want to do is touch the filter media as it will cause cause the Bifocal bacteria to either die slow or restart.
    Best way I think to explain it is that the tank is a enclosed system. So as the fish go about the day to day life, the waste has to be broken down and eaten up, which is what happens once the cycle is done, through the bacteria in the tank, but in this situation the tanks filtration is still growing.

    When it comes to completing waterchanges, you should complete one whenever your ammonia and/or nitrites get above 0.25ppm to 0.5ppm.

    When completing a waterchange, you should base the amount of the waterchange on your test results changing enough water to bring the levels back down to 0.25ppm or less. For example, if your ammonia or nitrite is at 0.5ppm, you will need to complete a 50% water change to lower the levels back down to 0.25ppm. If the ammonia or nitrite was at 1ppm, then you will need to complete a 75% water change to lower it back down to 0.25ppm.

    In extreme situations, more than one waterchanged could be needed. If the ammonia and/or nitrite levels were to reach 2ppm, then two 75% water changes completed within about 20 minutes of each other would be required. However, if you are checking your ammonia and nitrite levels daily and staying on top of any required waterchanges, you should not find yourself in this situation.


    So keep up the water changes, and leave the filtration alone, while the BB builds up.
    Hope this helps answer your questions a bit more.

    mac

  8. #8

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    @ Mac....No Doubt about ! I do appreciate you bestowing your wisdom. Thanks again for that.

    So..yes you did clarify my last question more...what with the quote copies, etc. My question came to mind while doing a water change the other night. I thought...."if I'm constantly putting new FRESH water in the tank to bring down the Nitrite readings...how is the filter ...which processes OLD tank water & matter...going to be able to convert it to BB?". Its going to take a while, iznt it? Yeah...I know...im probably over thinking it.

    Anyway...its been a week since I changed the filter media...and did the readings again tonight. Nitrite's not showing the light aqua blue on the Test Kit chart, and Ammonia isnt yellow yet...so...onward with the water changes.

    Thanks again.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Get a clean bowl, and fill with old tank water before you begin the WC...put your media in that (submerged) while you do your water changes (filter on "off", of course)

    Then return it to your filter after the tank is full of fresh water, and turn it back on...your BB colony will be fine.

    Good luck with the cycle.
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  10. #10

    Default New Problem !!


    0 Not allowed!
    Howdy Guys....

    A problem just showed up today with my goldfish. This probably isnt the section to put it in (How To)... but this message thread has my recent history....and all the pros have showed up here with replies too....soo....

    Yes....he's still in the small tank...because the big one hasnt finished cycling yet.

    .....However...unlike my previous post here...the small tank had finished cycling. According to the Master Kit test chart two days ago...there was zero Ammonia and Nitrites.

    Last night he was fine....swimming around....eating...just fine.

    ...Yes..."Was"...

    Today he's spending a lot of time sitting on the bottom. He's awake and looking around....but just sitting there.

    About every 10 minutes or so he gets up and does a little bit of swimming around...during which he goes to the surface for some air, ...which is good, I suppose.

    However....during those surface visits he may shoot up to the top in such a way that his head comes right up out of the water. Then he goes back down, swims a little bit....then settles back down to the bottom again.

    So I now have the API Master Kit....Unfortunately....I reacted to seeing his actions...Before...I remembered to take the water tests so I cant tell you what the parameters were earlier.

    *** What I did do was a 50 % water change, add Prime...and put in another airstone to increase the oxygen.***

    ...after that...I did do the tests...and these are the results.

    ph = 6.4. (Looks just like it does in the above photo)
    Ammonia = Zero
    Nitrites = Zero
    Nitrates = Zero

    .."Zero" being...on the color chart..Ammonia and Nitrates are yellow and Nitrites are that nice light blue color. Ph matches 6.4 color.

    So...there he sits now...on the bottom again....looking around (I can see his eyes move). As far as breathing activity goes while hes sitting there...Intake of water through the mouth...he's not doing huge gupling of water movements. Its more like slight opening of his mouth acouple times..then a pause for 3 or 4 seconds...then repeat.

    So anyways....I know some are gonna wanna say something about the tank size..but aside from that...PLEASE just send advice about what I've described above and how I may help my fish.

    I was thinking about doing a second water change later today but dont know if thats a good idea.

    Thanks

    Johns

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