Well my water conditioner, testing strips, infusoria culture and spirulina arrived yesterday.
So I duly tested the water in all three tanks and the Chlorine levels all came back completely fine. So I haven’t added any water conditioner yet.The Nitrate and Nitrite Levels in the lesser established larger tank and breeding tank were nominal, both of these tanks are empty of fish just now. I did do a partial water change in the mature tank as the levels were slightly raised but still not enough to cause any real harm to my fish. They were just high enough to show up on the lower range of the test strip.
It became a little more difficult when attempting to interpret the test results for the water hardness and PH. The results were a little confusing. It was difficult to ascertain which colour block on the chart was closest to that on the test strip so they were just giving me a very rough approximation or range to work with. The PH is around neutral and is within completely safe parameters in the two larger tanks but it is difficult to tell if it lies slightly acidic or slightly alkaline because the colour on the test strip looked as though it could be either.
The Carbonate hardness KH was in the low to mid range. Again difficult to say if it were around three or six percent, perfectly safe and unlikely to bother my fish much. The General hardness was what was really confusing though because it appeared to be high in my mature tank which would indicate I have hard water that is possibly more alkaline but the same test was inconclusive in my other two tanks because although the test strip had some brown indicating ok levels it also had a shade of green which is 0 level on the scale. You would expect the PH in these tanks to indicate soft acidic water which may be true in the case of the larger tank. The breeding tank Carbonate hardness shot up to the highest level on the scale and PH seemed slightly higher. I believe a definite water change is required in the breeding tank, if there were any Tetra eggs in there they are unlikely to have hatched in those conditions.
Testing the water doesn’t seem to have helped that much other than to reassure me that the parameters in my larger tanks seem perfectly healthy and safe for my fish at the moment. The test strips do not indicate a level for Ammonia which is a little disappointing. It may be an idea to invest in some that do.
The breeding tank does concern me a little. I spotted a snail in there today, it was probably introduced with the Java Moss. I haven’t started my infusoria culture as I couldn’t see anything that may resemble fry and it’s looking more and more likely that I need to overhaul the breeding tank and start again. I decided to leave it overnight though.
I placed the filter, bog wood and aquatic plants back in what used to be the Tetra tank and am leaving the lights on overnight just now to help establish the plants again. I boiled most of the water first before adding it but topped it up with water from the established community tank.
I gave my fish in the community tank a thin slice of cucumber to play with last night. This morning when I got up I noticed the middle had been eaten out of it. I have decided to experiment with different foods in an attempt to vary their diet even more. I am looking forward to raising Brine shrimp for them. It may help with breeding the Tetras and will benefit all of my fish.