August 1, 2022
When to Test Fish Tank Water | 2022 Guide

When to Test Fish Tank Water | 2022 Guide

Testing the water within a fish tank is a crucial component of aquarium maintenance. Water testing can seem like an arduous task, especially if your tank is on the large side, but it is important if you want your fish and aquarium plants to thrive. You should never trust the eyes alone when it comes to determining the water conditions of an aquarium.

Even the clearest of waters can contain high levels of toxic chemicals that can quickly lead to dead fish and withered plants. Substances like ammonia can quickly accumulate in fish tanks, with even the tiniest concentrations proving deadly to marine life. These substances can only be identified by carrying out regular water testing.

Water Testing Frequency

If you are new to the world of aquariums and have only kept fish for a short time, you should aim to test your water fairly regularly. Testing the water in your tank once every three days should allow you to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrate and pH levels. Regular testing is crucial for newly established aquariums, with values likely to change quickly. Testing once every few days means you can respond to a spike in values, preventing your fish from suffering any harmful effects.

As time goes on, you can ease off on the frequency of water testing. Provided that pH, nitrate and ammonia levels remain stable for a minimum of 30 days, you can scale your testing schedule back to once a month. However, as more frequent testing will not cause any harm to your fish, you may want to maintain a more regular schedule if the cost of testing kits is not an issue for you.

What to Test For

If you are dealing with a newly established aquarium, you will likely notice higher-than-average levels of ammonia in the water. This is not necessarily something to be alarmed by. However, if you have a more mature fish tank and notice ammonia levels are high, you likely have an issue with your filtration system.

High ammonia levels in a mature tank may also indicate that your aquarium is too densely populated or that you are overfeeding your fish, leading to decayed food particles contaminating the water. Test for ammonia around once a week, keeping track of values in a log book. If your fish look sickly or there is a chance of disease, an ammonia test should be carried out immediately.

Water acidity is another important value to keep an eye on, so pH testing should be a regular part of your aquarium maintenance schedule. Although pH levels change naturally over time, even a slight spike in either direction can lead you losing fish. If you have noticed significant changes in your fish or plants, you may want to carry out regular pH testing to get to the bottom of the problem. However, in most cases, a pH tests only need to be carried out once a month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.