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TDS meter

b considine

a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude
If you use one, which brand, where'd you purchase it from, and do you like it? I'm knocking on the door of a serious attempt to bred many of my fish that I currently have a "Oh look, success!" approach and measuring TDS seems like something serious breeders keep track of. Especially those cory types who mimic the wet/dry season.

Blaise
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
Do you find them useful?
Blaise
Yes and no...

For shrimp, when I'm dealing with adding specialized mineral salts to RO water after a water change - yes.

For fish? Not so much. I can use them to rule out that some sort of high-hardness is the reason behind something going on in the tank, sure.

If you do most of your changes with tap water, and you are using rain or RO from a functioning RO unit (which should have a TDS meter built in) to do a partial water change on a tank and mimic rain, then your rain water or RO water is lower TDS than the tap, unless you're on a well possibly, and it's a drop in TDS. I don't think it's usually the exact level - it's the drop. In some cichlids I've had issues with egg "shells" being too hard in hard water, so the fry expend too much energy in hatching (if they hatch at all) and die within the first day or so.

As an aside, I've discovered some interesting stuff using my TDS meter - for example, heavily planted tanks soften over time if you don't keep up with water changes. This does not mean the water is getting "cleaner" it just means the plants take up a lot of those minerals. That means constantly low TDS isn't always a great thing for fish (does depend on the fish, though). Rooibos tea can raise TDS a little (high mineral content). If your fish are used to part RO or part rain, you can trick them into a "dry season" by using tap for a month or so and then doing a big change with some cool, low-TDS water to simulate a big rain.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
I should also note that it's easy to get caught up in TDS and miss some big picture stuff, like crazy pH fluctuations due to reduced buffering capacity.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
Perhaps my next move should be an RO unit instead..
Blaise
Perhaps. What are you trying to spawn, though?

If you want to check some general stats on hardness, pH, TDS, etc. for your tap water (again, provided you're not on a well), you could look at a recent water company report. That might let you know what the "standard" levels of the water are so you have some idea of what you're working with. If your water is already on the soft side, adding more soft water is probably not going to make that much of a difference.
 

b considine

a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude
Trying to spawn some reluctant corys. Bonus for tetras and danios. Routine changes trigger species such as C. sterbai and venezuelanus. I'm determined to get my C123s going. They flirt but don't deliver. Ditto for my zygatus. I haven't seen anything from my duplicareous or adolfoi and you can see how round the females are.

Blaise
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
Trying to spawn some reluctant corys. Bonus for tetras and danios. Routine changes trigger species such as C. sterbai and venezuelanus. I'm determined to get my C123s going. They flirt but don't deliver. Ditto for my zygatus. I haven't seen anything from my duplicareous or adolfoi and you can see how round the females are.

Blaise
 

captmicha

Members
If you use one, which brand, where'd you purchase it from, and do you like it? I'm knocking on the door of a serious attempt to bred many of my fish that I currently have a "Oh look, success!" approach and measuring TDS seems like something serious breeders keep track of. Especially those cory types who mimic the wet/dry season.

Blaise
I use an Apera. I have a multi meter though, it's the PC60.

They have a new version with a few more specs, integrated to your mobile device, for just a little bit more $.

Customer service is great and the meter is reliable and accurate.

Only thing that sucks is the callibration. But they all need that every so often. Especially if you don't just it often, like me.

I got it from Amazon.

I'm thinking of selling it though.

TDS doesn't mean that much to me, the components that make up the TDS is what I feel counts.
 
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