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Any suggestions on the brand or type of water testing kit I should buy?

I would appreciate any suggestions on the brand or type of water testing kit I should get for my system?

Links would be helpful and welcomed on where to buy, and some sort of guide to the optimal levels I should be looking for when testing a cycled system prior to adding the fish?

I am not there yet but want to be prepared and have what I need on hand.

Thanks again,
Bob

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Water testing videos

you can get the kits from That Pet Place or click the Shop Link above and buy from Sylvia.

Once the system is fully cycled you want your ammonia and nitrite to stay at or near 0.

Your nitrates can be within a wide range of about 0 to off the chart.  I like the orange because I can actually read what it is then.  If it gets to red I generally can't tell if it is just a bit above 40 or it could be 10000 for all I know.

pH could be anywhere between 6-8 and still work but the test kits only measures down to 6.  The plants mostly do best below 7.

pH I generally recommend keeping it between 6.5-7.0 mainly because if you let it fall to 6, you won't know if it's actually crashed way below that till it's too late and the ammonia starts spiking.  Keep some lime or shells on hand to use as a calcium carbonate buffer to alternate with some potassium bicarbonate (which you can get at a wine making supply or here) Generally your pH will start to fall as the system gets cycled up.

Here is info on fishless cycling.  (definitely the less stressful way to do it.)

Hello Bob,

We test water quality (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate) and daily and have found that the best practice for both time and speed to be a color titrimetric method.  The kit is ~$15 and it's made for non-scientists!  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000255NCI/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details

Should something unplanned take place and your concentrations go beyond the levels of the indicators, you can always dilute your water sample and use arithmetic to determine the concentrations.  For our commercial scale systems (10,000 gal), we maintain water quality of pH= 6.5, TAN (ammonia) = 0.25 ppm, NO2- = 0.25 ppm, and NO3- =120ppm.  

Best of luck to you.

Paul Golden


TCLynx said:

Water testing videos

you can get the kits from That Pet Place or click the Shop Link above and buy from Sylvia.

Once the system is fully cycled you want your ammonia and nitrite to stay at or near 0.

Your nitrates can be within a wide range of about 0 to off the chart.  I like the orange because I can actually read what it is then.  If it gets to red I generally can't tell if it is just a bit above 40 or it could be 10000 for all I know.

pH could be anywhere between 6-8 and still work but the test kits only measures down to 6.  The plants mostly do best below 7.

pH I generally recommend keeping it between 6.5-7.0 mainly because if you let it fall to 6, you won't know if it's actually crashed way below that till it's too late and the ammonia starts spiking.  Keep some lime or shells on hand to use as a calcium carbonate buffer to alternate with some potassium bicarbonate (which you can get at a wine making supply or here) Generally your pH will start to fall as the system gets cycled up.

Here is info on fishless cycling.  (definitely the less stressful way to do it.)

Paul - I clicked on your link for the test kit, and it showed that it tests nitrites.  Does that mean that it will test nitrates too?  I am in Bob's boat, looking for a test kit, and I want to make sure that I get one that is going to cover all areas.


Thanks

Jim Rubasch

The API Freshwater master test kit has the following tests

pH

High Range pH

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

It is the most commonly used test kit for aquaponics.

YEP ... bought one thanks

TCLynx said:

The API Freshwater master test kit has the following tests

pH

High Range pH

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

It is the most commonly used test kit for aquaponics.

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