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Help for choosing the right Apisto species

dw1305

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MacZ

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Germany
The compagny says that accuracy is +- 2%. I dont know if it is on the readings or on the range (exemple: 0-9999ppm range; 2% of 10000 (for easier maths) is highly different than 2% of a reading of 100 ppm)
Ignore that, the accuracy is absolutely sufficient for hobbyist use.

My main tank water is at 160-170 uS/cm EC
My tap is at 65-80 uS/cm EC
For fun, my smaller 20L tank is at 100-120 uS/cm EC

How can my EC be higher in my tank than in my tap, giving the fact that my tank is at 0/0 GH/KH and my tap at 60/40? The small tank is also at 0/0.
EC measures ALL ions in the water. Including nitrogen compounds and other stuff. So all the stuff your fish release into the water, everything you add as peat or botanicals, anything that rots in the tank and every rock with GH/KH-raising properties will have an effect on it. Depending on how densely your tanks are stocked, how much you feed and how much the plants and waterchanges remove again, the measurements are completely within the norm. If you top of evaporation with tap this also accumulates more than the sourcewater, as with evaporation only the water is removed everything in it stays behind.
My RO comes out of the unit with roughly 10 µS/cm, my tank has around 60µS/cm. My tap has roughly 250-300µS/cm.

Edit: And as Darrel says - As long as the numbers stay that low (rule of thumb: 1µS/cm EC = 0.5mg/l TDS) you are absolutely fine.
So this means the concentration of all measurable dissolved solids in your tank is (again, roughly) 160:2 = 80mg/l TDS. That's low in comparison to most people's tap.
 

Cam0405

Member
Messages
31
Thank you very much! You answered all my questions.

Are Nitrate tests accurate (API water test)? My tank was rather densely stocked (due to Tetras spawning relentlessly), but I gave away half of my fish this week.

I do have a small bag of peat and leaves in the tank, and a lot of plants, but I am not the best with water changes. Giving the fact that my tap has a correct EC, I will do more water changes.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,055
Location
Germany
Drip and strip tests for hobbyist use are accurate enough to know whether there is a certain substance (NH3/4, NO2, NO3, PO4 etc...) present and if so whether it's a lot or very little. BUT: If it's a drip test I'd always expect it to be slightly off. For example pH tests tend to be only accurate by +/- 0.5 points, depending on KH (low KH = pH test gets less accurate).

I do have a small bag of peat and leaves in the tank, and a lot of plants, but I am not the best with water changes. Giving the fact that my tap has a correct EC, I will do more water changes.
1. Yes, do more waterchanges.
2. Peat lowers pH and KH, but as it rots it can raise EC.
3. Leaf littere barely raises EC, must be a mix of the peat being in too long and the overstocking.

As a sidenote: Emperor tetras are lousy tankmates for any bottomdweller. Thanks to them usually less than 50% of the food you add reaches the bottom. At least in my experience.
 

Cam0405

Member
Messages
31
I fully agree with you. Emperor tetras are juste SUPER lousy and honestly, not the best choice with Apisto... they are super annoying during feeding time. If I give them the opportunity, they will try to eat my fingers!
I hope reducing their number will help with EC (less bioload, less food, etc.). I will probably try to replace them with less annoying fish in a few months/a year. The fish store imports various species of WC tetras, pencil fish and other nice small fish that could be nice.

I will remove the old (very old) bag of peat and will try to clean the tank a little bit more (removing "bad mulm" that accumulates in a corner of the tank).
 

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