Testing: How much is too much and what toll does it take?

Do you think you too much water testing takes a toll on you and your aquarium?

  • Yes

    Votes: 238 42.7%
  • No

    Votes: 252 45.2%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 67 12.0%

  • Total voters
    557

revhtree

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In this hobby we tend to overthink things and "adjust" things too much!

I was thinking about testing water, whether it be alkalinity, calcium, magnesium etc, and how much is too much. Obviously the more we test the more testing kits and refills companies make and the more money we spend. Aside from the money have you consider the toll, time and stress, that "over testing" takes on us as hobbyists and on our tanks because we're, again, "adjusting" too much? So I would like to hear your thoughts on this one. (hope my grammar was ok on that last sentence) :)

At what point is testing too much and how often do you test for what?

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Crabs McJones

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Unless i'm trying to dial in my doser, i only test once a week to make sure everything is on the up and up :)
 

andrewkw

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When your salinity starts to drop because you are removing too much saltwater for tests..

Otherwise you cannot test too much, unless you overreact to every result. It's okay to be shocked at a result. It's not okay to dump a bottle of X to resolve shocking result instantaneously. If I ever get a shocking result IE alk way out of wack, nitrates much higher than expected I'll test one more time since user error is a real possibility if you the numbers you are getting are not what is expected.
 

SPR1968

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Unless I have a reason to do so, I just test once a week, every Sunday for Calcium Alkalinity and Magnesium without fail, and roughly every 2 weeks for nitrate and phosphate, just because these rarely change in my system

Salinity is monitored by Apex, so I only check this manually if doing a water change to adjust anything.
 

will25u

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I test TDS randomly. Alk, cal, mag, and salinity are tested every few weeks. I only have a few SPS.
 
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Redfoxtang

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Automated testing is getting bigger an bigger is seems so besides people just changing out the cartridges seems pretty simple and keeps tank stable. As for me I guess I can almost say old school hand testing with Hanna does get quite annoying but that also comes with having a reef tank and wanting to grow coral. So I guess the stress isn’t so bad because I love reefing:D
 

Paul B

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I now test about once a month. I can guess when calcium or alk is needed. I don't test or dose anything else.
 

Brew12

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I have test kits!!! umm... somewhere... that may be in date....
 

Mr Fishface

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I test alk and ca maybe once or twice a week, nitrate every couple of weeks. I make alow changes to water chemistry when its needed and dont see the point testing it daily. I may start to test alk and ca daily once i get my huge order of corals in, just to make sure things stay how they should!
 

Stephen Petruzzo

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Takes a toll on me as in time and effort and potentially resources (money, kits, refill, etc.). Don't think it takes a toll on my tank.
 

MrWheelock

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Once a week to make up for the year or so I hadnt really tested. But now that things are going to get serious I will be testing once a week religiously. Especially when I'm dialing in the CaRx, but even then I'll be back to once a week unless something looks off.
I'll put a plug here for the Trident because some day I might have one if people stop trying to get $800 for a $600 item.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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In this hobby we tend to overthink things and "adjust" things too much!

I was thinking about testing water, whether it be alkalinity, calcium, magnesium etc, and how much is too much. Obviously the more we test the more testing kits and refills companies make and the more money we spend. Aside from the money have you consider the toll, time and stress, that "over testing" takes on us as hobbyists and on our tanks because we're, again, "adjusting" too much? So I would like to hear your thoughts on this one. (hope my grammar was ok on that last sentence) :)

At what point is testing too much and how often do you test for what?

tumblr_m0wb2xz9Yh1r08e3p.jpg
I do WC 1-3 gallons every 2-4 days, so now only NO3 every 3 days, and SG every other day.
That's all thats tested
Forgot, real ocean water from Ocean in Motion
1 of 26 carnation corals, dendronephthya sp

20191114_072424.jpg
 
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Bob Escher

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I use to test every week, then it was two week, when I realized that for months my test were the same every test for months on end and my tank was stable I went to every other month. Now mind you I also do 15% water Changes every week and I DOS as well. i feed a specific amount of dry food in the morning and a specific amount of frozen at night.
i stick to the Red Sea recipe like a hawk
and as I said everything stay stable. I’m happy
 

madweazl

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Absolutely! There are very few reasons to test more than once a week unless you're dialing in a doser (and even then it makes little sense to test more then every other day). I think stability sometimes gets confused with something needing to be exact and there just isn't anything in our tank that requires that much attention. Alkalinity has to be the most over tested parameter in the history of reef-keeping these days. Stable doesn't imply that something can't fluctuate more than .1 dKh per day or even 3 dKh in a week. I travel a lot for work and have left with the tank at 8 dKh only to return to a tank at 5.6 dKh a couple weeks later. It was gradually consumed during that time frame and absolutely nothing changed in the appearance or health of the corals (in my case, largely acroporas). I simply did manual corrections of 1 dKh per day until I was back on target and adjusted the dosing pumps to account for the increase in consumption (I usually get one or two large growth spurts a year).
 
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