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Thread: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Post How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    Hello guys,
    I am a beginner and I am about to start keeping Discus!
    I have been in the hobby of fish-keeping for many years but have never tried Discus.

    My primary question is, "How do I measure the Nitrate and Ammonia levels in my tank?"
    Also any other suggestions on the hobby would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure NItrate and Amonia levels?

    Hi and a warm welcome to Simply Discus. You are doing the right thing fact finding first. Discus are lovely fish but probably more than other freshwater species they tend to be unforgiving if not kept properly. To this purpose I would suggest to read all the stickies here
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/forumd...-for-Beginners
    And particularly watch this video
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...TCH-THIS-VIDEO!
    As to test kits, availability and prices vary depending on where you live.
    It would help if you could introduce yourself here
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/forumd...Welcome-Centre
    It would also help if you can get any reports from your water company, particularly with regards to water hardness, pH, nitrates, use of chlorine or chloramines.
    I know I am giving you a lot to think about but it is better to sort things out before getting your fish. We are here to help so ask away

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure NItrate and Amonia levels?

    Thanks a lot for the valuable info!

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure NItrate and Amonia levels?

    You are welcome, any doubts do not hesitate to ask

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    Default Re: How to measure NItrate and Amonia levels?

    Welcome to simply discus Dey.
    Read the stickies in the begginer section and dont hesitate to ask questions and participate in the discussions here on the forum.

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    Here is one more question then!
    Should I add a bit of salt to my Discus tank?

    As for my other aquariums, I add a bit of salt to keep away any harmful parasites or bacteria under control.
    Of-course I do quarantine my fishes prior to adding them in my aquarium, but no harm in maintaining extra security.
    But being a beginner with Discus, I really don't have much idea!

    So, should i add some salt after every WC?

    Currently I am in the process of cycling my new tank to grow out the beneficial bacterias.
    Can't wait to get my Discus.
    Last edited by DEB0; 09-21-2018 at 08:56 AM.

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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    I would not recommend adding salt regularly, the main thing for maintaining good health is clean water. If you can get the API test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate that should be all you need for testing the water for the cycle.

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    Hi again, no need to add any salt to your discus tank. In my opinion anyway adding just a little salt is not very useful, there are some instances such as nitrite toxicity or ich where salt treatment at the therapeutic dose can help. You are right though to avoid pathogen bacteria getting in your tank, best way to do this is to get your discus all at the same time from the same breeder and once you have them do big water changes as often as possible (if the fish are young and still growing then ideally change at least 50% every day), this way not only you are removing waste substances but also keeping the number of bacteria in the water down.
    Talking of bacteria, at least the good kind, how are you getting on with getting your tank cycled? Are you using ammonia? Did you manage to get any test kits? Being in Europe I use mostly Sera and JBL brands

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    Yes, I did add a bit of ammonia and my test kit is on the way. Should get delivered by middle of next week.

    And thanks a lot for the info once again.

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    You are welcome, as there is a limit to how many new tanks we can cram in our homes it is a great pleasure to see a new one going in somebody else's!

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    I want to provide the best conditions for my fishes.
    So, any tips for power outages?

    Power outage is rare in my area, so I don't have any inverter or generator in my house.
    But I live in a hill station where the maximum temperature in summer is 25C - 27C.

    Though power outage won't affect my other fishes, I am concerned about my Discus that I am goong to get.

    I am just concerned about my heater. Any device that i can use to run my heater during power outage?

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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    Heaters are really power hungry so other than a generator no other device will keep your heater going for long. If the power outages are only short just try to minimize heat loss by covering the tank with blankets. If you can keep the room warm with alternative means (log burner, gas heater) the better. If the outage lasts a while take the biological media out of your filter, put it in an open buchet topped with aquarium water and consider getting a battery powered air pump (or two, one for the tank and one for the bucket)

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    Registered Member DEB0's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to measure Nitrate and Ammonia levels?

    I am looking to keep a bare bottom tank. But it doesn't look to good. I was thinking of adding a few driftwood and cleaning them around twice a week to keep away any sediments that might get settled on the wood.
    However, is it safe to buy a new driftwood and insert it into my tank directly?
    If not, what should I do before inserting it?

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