View Full Version : how often do you test your parameters

12/28/2008, 08:06 PM
How often should one test their water parameters? I'm talking basics of ammonia, nitrites, nitrate etc? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly?

12/28/2008, 08:14 PM
can you include whenever/barely? because that is me, if i don't see anything wrong i just leave it. my tank is mature though. . . that could affect this

12/28/2008, 08:26 PM
It really depends on which parameters you're talking about and how mature the tank is. For a newly set up tank, I check ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc every day or two. For a mature tank, I never test these values unless there appears to be a problem. Things like salinity and temp need frequent monitoring in any tank, IMO. For a reef tank, calcium and alkalinity should also be checked every week or two once the tank is established, and magnesium every month or so.

12/28/2008, 08:39 PM
I ran the whole nine yards weekly when I was starting up... now I test every 2 weeks, and spot check Ca & Alk every once in a while in between then.

12/28/2008, 09:28 PM
I agree about testing less on an established tank. You don't routinely check for ammonia or nitrite. I do check nitrate weekly as it can climb very fast if something is not working properly to control it.

12/28/2008, 09:30 PM
Temp -- Daily at least.
pH -- about every other day.
Alk, Ca, Mg, PO4 -- every 2 weeks or so.

But like others said above, on a newer tank you'd want to test you trates and trites etc more often until things get more stabilized.

12/28/2008, 09:56 PM
That's a pretty good schedule Sal. I do most of those test weekly. It is the ANN group that I thought we were being polled on.

12/28/2008, 10:33 PM
WK and Perma: I guess I missed the new tank part.

I'd go with Mariner on the 1-2 day testing regimen. Its hard to remember what I did so I'm sure I'm a little hypocritical in saying that cause I'm sure I didn't follow that schedule.

But I'd think with no livestock in a cycling tank you'll be so antsy to get things stable enough to ad livestock that you'll test often enough.

Then keep testing regularly after each new addition. After a while you'll begin to get to know your tank and have more of a "feel" for things and an innate sense for when and what you need to test.

But I forgot my disclaimer for my post above...

Those are my maximums...if I don't get of my arse sooner.

And when I finally get my pH probe and reefkeeper I'll be more on top of it.

12/28/2008, 10:42 PM
every 2 weeks!

12/28/2008, 10:42 PM
I use the quick check inaccurate strips that you dip pretty regularly mainly for nitrate and trite just for grins as Tom said it doesnt take long for those things to bite quite hard and send you into panic mode, I also keep one of the ammonia tabs inside my sump that are also inacurate but all I need is for it to read zero, its in front of my skimmer so easy to see it every morning when checking the cup and temp read out , I do the real test weekly with ten percent water changes, honestly I have the time to do so, wife is an aco but I am disabled and at home 24-7 ,,if I wasnt I would be like everyone else and only check every week or 2 unless it was a new tank

12/29/2008, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the help everyone.