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Re: Water Testing?
Brandon <byott at albedo_net> wrote:
> Subject: Water Testing?
> I am told that I can get up to 30
> elements tested. Obviously, all of the macro nutrients and major water
> parameters will be included (pH, CO2, nitrates (ites), PO4, Fe, K, etc) but
> I am wondering which micro nutrients I should include in the to-be-tested
> list? The other question, is if anyone knows weather I need to specify
> different chemical compounds e.g.. CaCO3, or if I can just request Ca to be
> tested (hardness is a bad example, but same with sulfates, other oxides
I run an ICP at work, as well as an IC (Ion Chromotography). Both
instruments will cover any needs you have. A sequential ICP will
give all 30 elements at once. It's good to know what you have, but
for the most part I concentrate on the macro elements (Ca, Mg, Fe,
and K). I make sure to have trace amounts of the micros (Cu, Co,
B, Mo, Mn, V, and Zn) available in my tanks and an ICP will verify
their presence or absence. Micros can be amended with PMDD, or
commercial products. Macros can be added with salt additions, or
with commercial products, also.
An IC, or wet lab methods, can give you very accurate numbers for
NO2, NO3, Cl, F, SO4, etc. I mainly look at the PO4 and NO3
numbers. I add SO4 and Cl with my K, Ca, and Mg additions, and
really don't pay them any attention, as long as my cations are at
the right levels. Be SURE to find out how your NO3 and PO4
concentrations are being reported. Different labs report different
ways. Most report nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates as N and P.
Hopefully you don't have any nitrites. If they do report as N and P,
multiply the nitrate N by 4.43 to get nitrate NO3, and multiply the
phosphate P by 3.06 to get phosphate PO4.
Alkalinity and pH will be helpful in determining CO2 levels, provided
you get the sample tested ASAP for pH. As you lose CO2, the pH
rises. Try to collect the sample without leaving a headspace in the
container. A headspace will allow a place for CO2 to gradually
dissipate from your water, especially if the sample is shaken or
moved around a lot. When the lid is removed, the CO2 is lost. Just
like shaking your Coke too much and it loses it's carbonation.
Jamie <"\\\>< Aquatic plants, water chemistry, and cichlids
Greenwood, SC http://www.ais-gwd.com/~jjirons