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Phillyn17

Ideal Water Conditions.

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Ideal Water Conditions.

In order keep your fish happy and healthy, you should keep their tank water clean and free from harmful bacteria and chemicals. There are many available types of equipment for testing your tank water for impurities, but for the purpose of this thread I will cover the four main water tests we should carry out, namely those to determine levels of pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrates.

pH

Depending on their particular species, fish need varying levels of pH, these requirements differ slightly because some fish prefer acidic, and some prefer alkaline water. You should check the pH of your tank water and try to find fish which are compatible with your water quality; a figure of between 7.0 - 8.5 is ideal for goldfish. Certain chemicals are available to alter pH levels. However, it’s preferred not to adjust the pH too dramatically and suddenly, as this can shock, or at worse even kill your fish.

Ammonia (NH2/NH4).

Ideally there should be 0ppm (parts per million) of Ammonia in your tank. Just the most minor trace of ammonia could be very harmful to fish. If Ammonia levels are found to be present in the water, emergency action should be taken. Perform a 50% water change immediately to reduce these levels; then continue with daily water changes of approximately 20% until the Ammonia results safely register 0ppm.

Nitrite (NO2).

As in the case of Ammonia, there should be zero Nitrite in a healthy, established and cycled tank. If you find a reading higher than 0ppm present in your water, perform an immediate 50% water change and continue with daily changes of approximately 20% until the water quality recovers and you observe Nitrite readings of 0ppm in your tests.

Nitrate (NO3).

Tank water should include Nitrate readings of 40ppm or less if your tank has completed its’ Nitrogen Cycle successfully. Such levels can be maintained by performing weekly water changes of around 25%. Readings higher than 40ppm are not recommended for long periods; you can test for any Nitrate present in your tap water, to establish if the problem lies there. If your domestic water supply has a high Nitrate reading, remember/ consider that live plants absorb Nitrates in a tank; Nitrate absorbing sponges are also available, these can be installed in your filter. But as in the case of charcoal filters that are used to reduce Ammonia levels, these are not recommended because when full they release harmful impurities back into the tank, and can dramatically spike the ecosystem.

Water test kits.

It is imperative that you obtain your own efficient, good quality water testing kit. Try and avoid relying on, and having your water quality tested by “run of the mill” pet shop assistants, who may be only too eager to assure you that your water quality is acceptable when in fact the water standard is completely unacceptable. Alternatively, they may inaccurately report that your water quality is poor when it’s not, and sell you unnecessary and expensive chemical additives to alleviate the situation. The only true method of assessing/obtaining accurate water test results is to perform the tests yourself. It’s not rocket science, and in the main just takes a few minutes to complete.

There are many types of test kits available; these include a variety of test strips and liquid test kits. Test strips are not as efficient as the liquid type kits; liquid test kits are easy to use and are more accurate than the test strip variety.

Most liquid test kits require you install a sample of your tank water in a test tube; then add the required amount of a particular chemical into the water content. You then wait for the colour of the mixed content to develop, finally referring to the supplied colour comparison chart to determine the result of that particular test. I would personally recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit; I find it easy to use and it supplies very accurate results.

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It is very important to remember that whilst performing these liquid tests, you adhere precisely to the instructions supplied with the kit. Shake the tube as instructed for the stipulated length of time; you should also allow five minutes or so for the colour to develop as required in the tube. It can be difficult to compare the colour of the fluid in the tube with the comparisons printed on the chart, to ensure that you check the colour accurately against those on the colour chart, take your tube and chart into a room containing natural light, and the test colours will be a lot clearer.

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It is highly recommended that these tests be carried out monthly, in some cases even weekly; these tests coupled with the recommended routine water changes would ensure that your tank is always in a healthy condition, hopefully guaranteeing your fish a pleasant environment in which to live.

Please remember ..... pristine water conditions are paramount in a successful fish tank ecosystem.

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I have several comments to an otherwise quite good article.

1. Optimal goldfish pH should be 7.0 - 8.5. Anything under 7 becomes worrisome.

2. When there is any amount of ammonia or nitrites, you need to do water changes immediately to bring it down to zero, or to add a detoxifier to neutralize these toxins. There is no need to do only a 50% WC, followed by small WCs on subsequent days.

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I have several comments to an otherwise quite good article.

1. Optimal goldfish pH should be 7.0 - 8.5. Anything under 7 becomes worrisome.

Thanks for your kind comments Alex, but with respect I have based my information on many web articles viewed over the last ten years, and have experienced much success with my tanks (touching wood).

One in particular, http://www.exoticgoldfish.net/care.html, and in the majority sharing such a view, recommended:

Fortunately, goldfish have a fairly wide pH range they can tolerate, so this is not typically an issue for Goldfish. The "normal" range for most goldfish is between 6.5 and 7.5, which is also the range where most tap water in north America falls into. Goldfish can tolerate levels as high as 8, and as low as 6......

Could 6.5 be regarded as too acidic for goldfish? perhaps not, i don't believe so. :no:

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I have several comments to an otherwise quite good article.

2. When there is any amount of ammonia or nitrites, you need to do water changes immediately to bring it down to zero, or to add a detoxifier to neutralize these toxins. There is no need to do only a 50% WC, followed by small WCs on subsequent days.

Thanks again for the kind comment Alex regarding the article, but again and politely, I would like to point out that I do actually recommend an immediate water change within my article.

I also consider the additional 20% changes over the subsequent days a reasonable amount to replace until the readings stabilize to zero levels. :unsure:

Take care...

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I have several comments to an otherwise quite good article.

1. Optimal goldfish pH should be 7.0 - 8.5. Anything under 7 becomes worrisome.

Thanks for your kind comments Alex, but with respect I have based my information on many web articles viewed over the last ten years, and have experienced much success with my tanks (touching wood).

One in particular, http://www.exoticgoldfish.net/care.html, and in the majority sharing such a view, recommended:

Fortunately, goldfish have a fairly wide pH range they can tolerate, so this is not typically an issue for Goldfish. The "normal" range for most goldfish is between 6.5 and 7.5, which is also the range where most tap water in north America falls into. Goldfish can tolerate levels as high as 8, and as low as 6......

Could 6.5 be regarded as too acidic for goldfish? perhaps not, i don't believe so. :no:

Im sorry Im going to disagree too.... 6.5 is to low for goldfish... Even that site said goldfish like it higher.... Goldfish prefer a neutral to slightly high pH. A pH of 7.4 is considered ideal for goldfish.

Also from personal experience I know that a ph lower than 7.0 can burn the goldfish over time... Its not good for them at all...

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Point taken guys......I respect your views.

I've always believed that there is no such thing as a qualified fish-keeper, I think you'd agree that we are all constantly learning on a daily basis eh? :read

Never be too proud to learn, that's what I believe!! :bighug

Take care, and keep your powder dry..... :thumb:

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Phillyn, my sources are books written by actual vets. We can disagree on many things, but we can agree that aquatic vets should know their information, especially when they publish them.

Even when the material may be subject to change, published vet books should still be the most dependable and credible source.

Thank you.

My apologies for saying it directly, but the information you provided goes against many veterinary sources.

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OK Alex, and respect to you!! :thumb:

Would you be kind enough to alter the parameters within my article please? :thumbup2:

Cheers....

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Thank you so much for this topic, Phillyn!

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I do feel that Goldfish prefer 7.0-8.0 pH. I think mine are over 10 or pass the max # on the chart. I don't know if such chart buster pH from the tap still remains the same as 10 years ago or not. Will find out some day. Everything else in the post is spot on. No one can disagree with multi-water-changes.

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Good stuff.

For fancy goldfish I think under 20ppm of Nitrate is optimum, as high nitrate is reported to cause "floatiness" issues.

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I do feel that Goldfish prefer 7.0-8.0 pH. I think mine are over 10 or pass the max # on the chart. I don't know if such chart buster pH from the tap still remains the same as 10 years ago or not. Will find out some day. Everything else in the post is spot on. No one can disagree with multi-water-changes.

Good stuff.

For fancy goldfish I think under 20ppm of Nitrate is optimum, as high nitrate is reported to cause "floatiness" issues.

Thanks for your kind words of support guys!!!! Much appreciated.... :thumb:

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Good article !

Thanks I-G....much appreciated!! :thumb:

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