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How To Properly Test Your Aquarium Water

Aug 17, 2007
The qualityy of the water in your aquarium is vital to the health of your fish in the well-being of your fish tank and one way to make sure that this water is in tip top shape is to test it often. You need to be sure that the water is the right temperature, not too acidic or two alkaline and has the right amounts of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Although testing your aquarium water should be done on a regular basis it doesn't need to be done every day and can probably be done once a week or if you notice a change in the look of the water in the tank. One thing you should check every day, however is the temperature of the water. Tropical freshwater fish a very sensitive to the temperature of the environment and you need to be sure that the water temperature is not too low or too high or your fish could become susceptible to disease.

Different species of tropical freshwater fish like to be in different temperatures of water. Typically this is around 68 degrees but you need to make sure to find out the exact range that your fish prefer when you buy them. you should have a good heater and thermometer so that you can make sure to keep the aquarium water in the optimal temperature range. Also, when you change the water in your fish tank or add new water you want to make sure that the temperature is the same as that In the tank as if you put in water that is too hot or too cold he can shock or kill your fish.

The PH or acidity of the tank is another thing that needs to be tested. PH test kits are not very expensive and it only takes a second to test the water. using the test kit, you'll put a little but of water in a vile add some solution and compare the color it turns to the color on a chart. A PH below 7 is acidic, PH of 7 exactly as neutral and anything above 7 is alkaline. it's best to have your pH between six and seven and if you find that it is too acidic or two alkaline you can stuff at the pet store which you can add to the tank to bring it back in range. Be aware, that any time you add anything into the aquarium it can change the PH so you want to run a PH tests after you add new water, or put in any decorations or plants.

It's also very important to test the ammonia in your tank as high levels of ammonia can be toxic to your fish and leave them susceptible to disease and eventually kill them if It is left unchecked. Ammonia caskets are easily found at your pet store and just as easy to use as the PH test kits. These will come in handy when you first start new tank and it is cycling through the nitrogen cycle as you can watch the ammonia level drop. Once your tank is established the ammonia level should always be zero and if it is not you will have to do something to bring this back down.

Nitrite and nitrate levels should also be checked and once again you can buy test kits that are easy to use. If you find that you have high levels of either one of these, your biological filter may not be working properly and you will need to clean it and then retest the water.

Testing your aquarium water religiously can help keep your tank clear in your fish healthy. By finding out about problems early for your testing you can correct them early on thus avoiding serious problems that may happen if the situation gets out of hand and the conditions become so severe that it makes your fish stick or even kills them.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.fish-tank-guide.com we you can learn more about fish tank care and maintenance.
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