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polaris200
02-17-2005, 07:23 PM
hi. are there any reasonably priced ph indicators out there that measure beyong 7.6? I just started my 1st cichlid tank feb12. thanks.

z rock
02-17-2005, 08:01 PM
A swimming pool kit will test chlorine and Ph up to 8.2

If you can find one there is a High range kit that goes from 7.4-8.8 Might be at Petsmart.

OwassoFish
02-17-2005, 08:08 PM
Aquariuam Pharmaceuticals Master test kit includes both a standard and a high range PH test. In addition it measures ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You should be able to find it for $25-30.

polaris200
02-17-2005, 08:34 PM
thanks guys.

zenobium
02-18-2005, 07:25 AM
Polaris,

How long have you been running that 29 and how are those fish doing? Have any troubles keeping nitrate in check? I have a 29 but not that many fish and was curious how thats been working out for you.

-Zen

polaris200
02-18-2005, 10:31 AM
hi Zen,

I got the water in the tank, dechlored it, and got the filter and bubble bar going feb10, added 4 rusties feb12, then made a beginners mistake(I think) by adding 8 y'labs feb13, because they were beautiful, and on sale at 50% off. so, the rusties came it at $5.50ea, and the y'labs were $6.00.

Im seeing these fish will together like a ph of 8.0, tho all the ph indicators at the lfs stop at 7.6, hence this post. I like OwassoFish's suggestion of the AP Master test kit and will prolly get 1, if reasonably priced, esp since Ive recently sunk quite a few more bucks into this ‘fish undertaking’ than I had originally had expected. Anyway to answer your question, I don't know my ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite levels yet. I'll give the tank its first 25% water change saturday.

All in all, the fish have been energetic swimmers, and seem happy and healthy, and have exhibited some infrequent flashing. Im also surprised at their occasional determination shake a fake plant, or wiggle their way thru a rock and gravel.

Heyguy74
02-18-2005, 12:57 PM
Your tank is cycling. The test kits are very important now. This is where your tank will swing the most as far as ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are concerned. Do a search on the cycling of tanks. Changing the water too soon will cause your tank to take longer to complete the cycle. But, if the levels get too high then the health of your fish will be at risk. Water changes become necessary, to make sure your fish dont die. Good luck and let us know how everything goes.

polaris200
02-19-2005, 02:09 PM
picked up an AP Master Test Kit and the LFS, $29+tax.
thanks for the suggestion OwassoFish.
tank started feb 12.
water chem feb19, before 30% change.
(8/27gal (Id say approx 2gal is rock) )
ph 8.0
ammonia 1.0ppm
nitrite 0.0ppm
nitrate 2.5ppm
temp 73F
fish seem happy and healthy. the rusties in fact nibbled at my fingers when getting sample water in test tube.

polaris200
02-19-2005, 03:15 PM
h2o chem 1hr after 30% chg.
ph 7.8
ammonia 0.5ppm
I figure nitrates/ites are going to be less then above. not taken
temp 73
fish h/h

OwassoFish
02-19-2005, 08:08 PM
Take a look at my web site. I recorded all of the data on my cycle. You might find it interesting. I did a fishless cycle so I was adding ammonia during the cycle rather than cycling with fish already in the tank. It should give you a good idea of the process and how long it will take for the nitrogen cycle to run it's course. Good Luck.

polaris200
02-26-2005, 10:17 AM
Hi OwassoFish,
I only breiefly looked at your cycling data,
and it looks like your ammonia and nitrites
fell to 0.0 11/5/2004, and it took 25 days
for your tank to cycle. cool, esp w/o fish.
I'll check out your gallery later man.

h20 chem 2/26/05 ppm
ph: 7.9
ammonia : 2.0
nitrite 0.0
nitrate 2.5
temp 69F
fish seem h/h

I find it odd I have nitrates
tho 0.0 nitrites b/c according to the graph on
http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html
ites rise before ates. Oh well, time will tell the story.

OwassoFish
02-26-2005, 11:02 AM
You might check the water out of your tap for nitrates. That's a possible source.

punkypuffer
02-26-2005, 11:49 AM
you should raise the temp up too (especially when you get fish for it)

polaris200
02-26-2005, 03:29 PM
owassoFish - very nice clear, crisp, sharp pics dude.
looks like any 'nitrates' are just me misreading the color card,
or there may be some trace amounts from the tap.
I originally wanted 2 tiger ocars, but the guy at the lfs said
a 29 gal was too small. still like the tiger oscars, jack dempseys, and convicts. maybe I'll go with that mix in a 55 or 75. also like hapvenustus. lfs said, again to big for 29.

ppuffer - with the tank cycling, and ammonia present,
i fig i'll just let the tank temp go with the room temp,
somewhat below the mean.
currently 72F. fish already present.

zen - how are those rusties doin'?

added 2 plecos feb26.

Heyguy74
02-26-2005, 05:01 PM
Hey Polaris200,

Sounds like you got a good LFS. Most stores will try to sell you anything. He's right about your tank being to small. Even a 66 is too small for the oscars. Get the biggest tank you can afford. Do you have a heater in the tank? 72 is ok but on the low side for your africans.

polaris200
02-26-2005, 05:27 PM
Heyguy74 - yeah, the lfs seems well respected. also the guy helping me raises a variety of cichlids on his own. he takes a lot into consideration before making a reccomendation ie my experience level, tank size, ph compatability, temperment compatability, m/f ratio etc.

yeah, he said as an absolute min go w/ a 55 for oscars. maybe next year I'll getta 75 and go w/2 tiger oscars, and like 6 black convicvts, and black gravel. we'll see. I still like the hap venustus too.

yes, I have a heater, but not using.
just letting tank go w/room temp 69-73F
tank is cycling and has ammonia so
keeping temp in the lower ranges.
http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html

zenobium
02-26-2005, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by polaris200


zen - how are those rusties doin'?



My rusties do really good. They have tried mating a number of times now but have yet to be successful. Even though they are smaller than my labs they are alot tougher than them. The labs never stand and fight the kenyii's, but my rusties will periodically fight back if getting chased. In general I think they have more personality than the labs, but I'm sure there are alot of individual differences that come into play. What were you planning on doing for long-term stocking?

-Zen

zenobium
02-26-2005, 08:05 PM
water spots... oops

zenobium
02-26-2005, 08:06 PM
..

OwassoFish
02-26-2005, 08:30 PM
If you've got a heater, I'd go ahead and use it. It will speed up the cycle. Bacteria will grow much better between 78-85. But if you've already got fish in there, keep it around 78-80.

polaris200
02-27-2005, 03:40 PM
zen - nice pics. your yellows look healthy, nice rich yellow, expanded dorsil fins, and seem alert. yeah, the rusties are somewhat more aggressive than the labs. In fact the labs, for a cichlid, are rather laid back, and even friendly, altho it is a chiclid tank. I do have 1 male rusty, 3.75", dark hershey brown, lavender tint, distinct large orage spot on anal fin, who has in the last week discovered hes bigger than any fish in the tank, tho leaves the plecos and yellows alone. The next largest male rustie will infrequntly turn and challenge him, when being chased. I have heard the kenyii's are more agressive than the rusties. As for long term stocking, I really havent given it much thought, with the 50% off sale at the lfs I belive I have to many fish in the tank as is, and am having occasinal thoughts of selling/giving some back to the lfs, and dropping it down to 4rusties, 4 yellows, and 1 pleco, or even 3/3/1. Also my ammonia was 2ppm 2/26 before their 30% water chg, and less fish would only help. good luck with the breeding. as it is, my fish dont get enough privacy for such things.

zenobium
02-27-2005, 05:59 PM
Yeah, the kenyii were a mistake... an LFS clerk talked me into them. So far nobody's been injured, but the dominant female just wont leave the other fish alone. She's about 4 inches now and attacks my algae scraper and will fight me over the plants if I try to move them... she just latches on and tugs back. It's working out ok for now, but I have accepted the fact that it probably wont work forever. I think the labs and rusties will do great in your tank, and I would try to do the 4 and 4 setups first and see what happens.

You bought a 3.75 inch rusty from a LFS? I wish I could find big fish like that here... basically everything is sold as "largish fry", or about 0.5 - 1.0 inch. My rusties are almost a year old and the largest is still only about 3 inches, so that big one was a heck of a find. Also, I think you'll be surprised about the breeding... everything I've heard leads me to believe that a rusty would try to breed with a mirror if it had the chance.

-Zen

SGypsyMermaid
02-27-2005, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by polaris200
yes, I have a heater, but not using.
just letting tank go w/room temp 69-73F
tank is cycling and has ammonia so
keeping temp in the lower ranges.
http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html

you asked in your PM what my take was on this method...i'm not the best person to ask because if i am establishing a new tank and can't use media and rocks from an established tank, i use zeolite to remove the ammonia. unfortunately, this slows down the cycling of the tank, but it is my preferred method for dealing with the problem.

polaris200
03-02-2005, 06:57 PM
OwassoFish - maybe we could graph my data someday.

sgmermaid - thanks for the input re ammonia.

zen - ok, so ya have 2 aggressive kenyii's on your hands, if its just 2, maybe you could place them in a 10 gal. Im down to 7 yellows. I figure the clown pleco trapped him in a decorative ship at the bottom of the tank, and ate him. its been 4 days. I see no head, tail, fins,scales or bones. ok, after closer examination, Id say the rusty was 3" from the lfs and is 3.25 now. time will tell if the decide to breed.

water chem mar2 ppm
ph 8.0
ammonia 2.0
nitrite 0.0
nitrate 0.0
temp 68F
bubble bar: bubbling

zenobium
03-02-2005, 07:14 PM
Polaris,

Cichlids will clean up dead fish in a hurry. One night I had a 4 inch pleco, the next morning I had a tail fragment and a bit of spine, thats it. And that was when all my fish were 1.5 inches! If and when my kenyii have to go, they will likely go to the LFS instead of into a 10. Since the LFS sells fish so small, bigger fish are usually snapped up by someone within hours. The aggression would probably be insane in a 10 gal anyways... most of the aggression in the 29 is between the two kenyii's.

-Zen

polaris200
03-02-2005, 07:40 PM
zen - mystery missing yellow got caught trying to swim through a little hole in a peice of limestone. and yeah, I may not have kenyii's, but his tail section was shall I say, well picked over. yeah, the lfs might just like 2 bigger kenyii's esp if their accoustomed to selling 1.5" fish.

50% water changed performed.
temp 74F

djfungus
03-02-2005, 11:55 PM
Did you test your nitrates out of your tap yet? I just read this whole post like I'm watching a reality TV show, lol. Just wondering if your nitrates went down yet. Good luck with your tank!

agez
03-03-2005, 12:35 AM
as for the temp thing, from what i have found and heard raising the temp SLOWS a cycle as bacteria will not cultivate at certain temps above 28.5 celcius and slows on a gradient beofre that number is reached. as for the tank size your considering with 2 oscars and 6 convicts, youd need bigger than a 75 for half of those fish, perhaps try saving up for a 125 or 150 if you can- youd be doing the fish a favour n making a better looking tank overall. osacars are a BIG fish when fully grown and REALLY like to swim! good luck with this 29 however- i recomend 2 weekly changes of 40%, with the addition of products such as 'cycle', 'stresszyme', 'geoliquid', and 'stresscoat'. this should speed things up greatly, pwhile saving your fish. products like strsszyme and stresscoat will coat your fish in a aloevera based 'slime coating' and protect thier sensitive skins and organs from harsh burning waters. while the other products mentioned with help nitrify the bacteria cultivating good bacteria and nullifying amonias. good luck dude

polaris200
03-04-2005, 03:45 PM
agez - hi. thanks for the input. yeah the fish seem happy and healthy with the temp fluxing between 68-72, and this seems to significantly reduce the toxic effects of any ammonia during the cycling process. That temp will obviously increase as winter turns to spring, and spring to summer etc. Im quite a ways off from a larger(75gal+) tank. I do have a 20gal, just gathering dust, in the basement and may start a juvy jack dempsey in it. tho, that would clearly commit me to a lager tank later. the juvy jacks at the lfs are only 1.5" and are selling for $3.

djf - I did test the tap water and Id approximate 0-2.5 ppm from the tap. the color card has 2 colors 1 at 0.0ppm and the next at 5.0ppm, so these are just approximations. nitrates in the tank, and from the tap, are most clearly below 5.0ppm.

OwassoFish - maybe we could graph my data someday.

polaris200
03-05-2005, 11:09 AM
this thread which started out as a ph indicator Q, seems to have turned into a record of my tanks water chem.

3/5/05 ppm
ph 8.0
ammonia 3.0
nitrites 0.0
nitrates 0.0
temp 69F

perf 50% water chg.
assiming ammonia cut in half.
temp 77F

polaris200
03-08-2005, 03:51 PM
thx for all of your input.
if I could close this thread, I would.
p200