Hi there, I’ve tested my water chemistry today with the following results:
Nitrate, 5/10ppm (shown in pic)
pH, 7.6 – at the top of the scale so I refined the result with…
High Level pH Test, 7.4
I still haven’t seen any big spikes in Ammonia and haven’t detected any Nitrite at all, but Nitrate is present which is good. The fish are alive and looking very spry today!
The pic shows Minnie, one of the newer Platys. I only noticed when I got her home that she is a ‘Mickey Mouse Platy’ (Scientific Name: Xiphophorus maculatus); note the Disney advertising space on her tail end.
Randy, my one male Platy is so happy with his three female companions. The pic shows how easy it is to tell that he is male (all livebearers exhibit sexual dimorphism, i.e. external physical signs of being male or female). Look at that gonopodium!* I’ve seen Randy waving this around when he’s chasing one of his ladies. Bendy!
*The gonopodium is a modified anal fin which is used to fertilize eggs. In the male the anal fin is rod shaped, while the female has a traditional fan shaped anal fin. That’s fish-fact!!!
I did the full range of tests today, starting with Ammonia before another 6% water change: 0.25ppm. A short while after changing some water the results were…:
Ammonia, 0.25ppm. (pic shows the before and after Ammonia tests)
Hmmm. I’m enjoying the test tube experiments even if there is little or no change at the moment!
Just a quick update, as I tested my water again today. Well, the aquarium water… Not much has changed despite a little water change yesterday. I have a bucket of tap water getting up to room temperature, already de-chlorinated, so I will do another change tomorrow. Maybe this is my tank going through its real cycle after a fake start?!
According to the test instructions, a new aquarium can surge in levels of Ammonia to 4ppm or more, then fall rapidly as the biological filter becomes established. I’m not panicking over my result then. New aquarium Nitrate levels are supposed to gradually climb, with a reading of 40ppm or less recommended for freshwater aquariums. The pH should be ok as it varies even throughout one day and it is sudden changes that are most harmful to my fish. As long as the fish are looking healthy it shouldn’t be a problem to leave pH to its natural level.
My 2 Columbian Tetras were not happy. The larger one was terrorising the smaller by constant chasing and nipping so Zippy (yes, I named it) was showing signs of stress, i.e. hiding, not eating, gasping. Zippy also suffered a nip taking out a piece of fin. So Columbian Tetras can be nippy, can bully and may improve if they are in a greater number (online forum advice). I decided it’s not worth the risk as I want a peaceful hippy community which will probably include guppies and a Siamese Fighting fish. I could envisage some ravaged fins. Today I took the two back to the pet shop and they were reintegrated into a larger colony. I came home with another 2 x female platys and 3 x scissor tailed rasboras. Randy (the only male platy) is VERY happy and the scissors are shoaling nicely. I did my first partial water change (6%) tonight too…