Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Chlorine’

One Answer To Thriving Fish: Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality

If you live in an apartment, there is a good chance that the only pets you will be able to keep are fish, and that can actually be a good thing. There are a wide variety of fish, and they have very different personalities. You may not be able to play with them like a puppy or a kitten, but the can be a soothing and fascinating addition to your home nonetheless. They do require a bit of preparation for, so you will need to get a tank ready with freshwater aquarium water quality before you go out to select your new pets.

This is, unfortunately, more difficult that just filling a bowl with water and putting the fish in it. Especially if using tap water, that could lead to a very short experience with the hobby. While still easier than maintaining a saltwater environment, there are basic considerations that must be accounted for before adding the beautiful and interesting fish varieties.

If you want to keep fish as pets, you have to maintain the water they will live in just as nature does in the wild. There are narrow ranges of chemicals you need to monitor to keep the fish healthy. Monitoring ammonia, nitrites, the acidity of the water and its oxygenation are all important to keep fish alive. This is relatively easy to check, with kits available at almost any pet store.

Ammonia is going to be a continuous concern and must be monitored. The reason it is so problematic is that the food you feed the fish and the waste the fish excrete add to the ammonia concentrations, and can ultimately kill the fish. Other possible concerns are nitrogen and phosphates which contribute to the growth of algae, which then deplete the water oxygen levels. You can reduce the these problems with products like EcoBio-Block which keeps a continuous supply of beneficial bacteria in the water, breaking down toxins like ammonia into safer by-products and creating a clear and healthy environment for your fish.

Chlorine is usually a factor because we are all rather restricted to tap water as our source for the tank. Nearly all municipalities add chlorine or chloramines to our water to make it healthier for us hardy humans. While it kills things that are bad for people and we tolerate it well, the chlorine/chloramine itself will kill fish. Chlorine will dissipate if the water is left out for 24 hours, however; chloramines must be treated with a special additive. Unless you know for sure that you have chlorine, the safest thing to do is to use the additive.

Another concern for fish is the acidity of the water. There is a range of acidity or alkalinity fish can tolerate, and each species has its own preference, but it is something to check. Kits are available which test the water again using color coding which will tell you the measure of hydronium ions in the water. The pH levels go from very acidic at the zero reading to very alkaline or basic at readings up to fourteen. A reading of seven is neutral and most fish will do well in it.

Without an adequate supply of oxygen, your fish will not survive. This seems obvious and it is usually not a great concern, as oxygen dissolves in water naturally. To ensure there is enough, you can add plants to the tank, which produce it, and you can have pumps that keep water moving, as well as adding an air stone that bubbles air up through the tank continuously. Another factor is keeping the number of fish appropriate to the size of the tank.

One way to help with the initial establishment of a healthy aquarium is to use beneficial bacteria to help establish an appropriate balance right at the beginning. Using products from a reputable company will ensure the water is ready to help your new pets survive and thrive. One source of quality products to gain and maintain freshwater aquarium water quality are the EcoBio-Block products which in simplifying the process, will make for a great aquatic pet experience.

Find great deals on EcoBio-Block Products by going online. There you will find how aquarium water will benefit from this product. Head online and learn more now.

 

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Set Up A New Aquarium And Stop New Tank Syndrome Before It Develops

Research has shown that watching fish swim in an aquarium reduces stress and blood pressure. Beginning a brand new aquarium requires some understanding of the process. If done without any understanding, many fish put into a new fish tank may die of new tank syndrome. This article will show you exactly how to start a new aquarium and reduce the frustration of new tank syndrome.

The first step is deciding on the size tank you would like to purchase. There are tanks with capacities of just a few gallons to tanks with over 50 gallons. When you purchase your tank, be sure to also buy a sturdy stand. You can figure the weight of a filled tank by multiplying the total tank gallons by 10. If your tank holds 40 gallons of water, it would weigh 400 pounds filled.

After choosing the tank, other supplies you will need include a filter, air pump, hood, gravel, heater, ammonia, nitrite and pH test kits and water conditioner. You will also need an algae scraper, gravel siphon and decoration. Plan to purchase between one and 1.5 pounds of gravel per gallon of water. Hold off on buying the fish for now. If you have added an EcoBio-Stone, it will need some time to build up an adequate amount of beneficial bacteria before adding fish; otherwise, your fish could succumb to new tank syndrome. New tank syndrome, a condition where fish die a short time after being introduced to a new tank, is caused by high nitrite and ammonia levels. If fish are put into a new aquarium, there may not be enough beneficial bacteria to keep the nitrite and ammonia levels at a safe level.

Once you have your supplies, if you have purchased an EcoBio-Stone, be sure to place it in chlorine-free water and let it soak overnight. While it is soaking, it is time to start putting your aquarium together. Your first step is rinsing the tank and gravel thoroughly. Do not use soap or any other kind of detergent. This will kill the fish. Next, set up the filter and the heater according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Now add the gravel, decorations and attach the air pump to any decorations that require it. Follow this with water. Make sure you add a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, from the water. A water conditioner will keep the pH level at 7.0, which is what most fish thrive in. Set the heater to a level that will keep the water between 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. After soaking the stone, add it to your tank. Now it is time to cycle your aquarium.

To avoid new tank syndrome, you must cycle your aquarium. Cycling your aquarium refers to the process of letting the aquarium build up enough good bacteria to support fish. On its own it takes about 35 days to build up enough good bacteria to keep ammonia and nitrite levels in check. Using EcoBio-Stone, your tank will have colonies of good bacteria built quite quickly. One block lasts about two years and will keep your tank water clear and bacteria levels at the correct amount.

Now is the time to buy just two or three fish. Before releasing the fish into the aquarium, set the plastic bag you carried them home in into the tank. This allows the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Wait 10 minutes. Gently release the fish and throw the water in the bag away as it will have fish waste in it.

Each week you should check the pH levels, nitrite and ammonia levels. The latter two should be zero. Each month change 20% of the water (remember to add water conditioner), clean the gravel using the siphon. Add new activated carbon to the filter and wash the filter itself. If you take the time to learn how to start a new aquarium, you will avoid new tank syndrome and enjoy your new fish tank for years to come.

An EcoBio-Stone is a must when you prepare to start a new aquarium. It helps to provide attractive equipment and healthy environment for the inhabitants.

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Sticky: How to Cycle an Aquarium

aquariumcycleDid you ever think you couldn’t have fish because “they just die”? If all your fish die within a week of buying them, it’s not just the fish. The most common cause of mass fish deaths is an improperly cycled tank. Before you buy any fish, it’s absolutely imperative to make sure your aquarium is well-cycled.

What is cycling? Simply put, the cycling process is the time it takes to set up a biological filter for the nitrogen cycle to function inside the aquarium. Your aquarium is much more than a tank full of water, it has to be an entire contained eco-system to keep your fish healthy. The goal with your cycling time is to develop a culture of beneficial bacteria (or “bio-bugs”) that will break down the ammonia from the fish’s waste into nitrites, and then from nitrites into nitrates. Ammonia is extremely toxic to your fish and will kill them very quickly with much less than one part per million in your aquarium.

There are several methods for cycling. This is a method that is very effective, easy to do even for beginners and does not subject any live creatures to the potentially deadly cycling process. First, set up your aquarium with filtration, heater, aerator, etc. and fill with water. Add whatever de-chlorinator you prefer; if you’re not sure what’s in your water be sure you use a treatment that eliminates or neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and potentially harmful metals. With the filter running, add a tiny amount of fish food…about one or two flakes. The food can be old, stale food that’s no good for feeding anymore — it’s only there to rot. As the food decomposes it will produce the ammonia that will feed the bio-bugs as they get established in your aquarium.

That’s it! Keep adding one or two flakes every day throughout the cycling process, then do a partial water change before you add fish. It’s safe to add fish when both ammonia and nitrites test at zero but there are nitrates in the tank to show that ammonia is actually being broken down. A full cycle takes 36 days to complete, though some hardier fish can be added after a couple of weeks as long as you keep a close eye on the water parameters.

Don’t want to wait 36 days? There are a few products on the market that can help speed up the process. There are bottled, refrigerated products such as Bio-Spira that can give the cycle a big boost by adding the bio-bugs directly (via a liquid) instead of having to wait for them to get established in the aquarium. The only problem I’ve found with those products is that you add them, it boosts the bacteria, and that’s the end of its use. One great cycle-time reducer is the EcoBio-Block. This product is a little more expensive than Bio-Spira, but you get a lot better value for your money.

To use the EcoBio-Block, rinse it off in some de-chlorinated water and then place it in the tank after the water has been treated and filtration is going. Make sure you set it somewhere near the aerator or below the flow of an HOB filter (the kind that hang on the back of your aquarium). The EcoBio-Block has the beneficial bacteria the aquarium needs sealed into it; the flow of water facilitates the dissolving of the seal and ensures that the bio-bugs get the oxygen they need. These blocks can take a couple of weeks to start working (though sometimes they work much faster), and once it’s working you’ll be able to begin adding the fish you want, hardy or not, because this effectively finishes the cycle. Test your water; it may not be necessary to do a partial water change before adding fish unless there’s an excess of decomposed fish food in the bottom. Don’t take the block out! The EcoBio-Block is still useful for about 1 1/2 to 2 years; it’ll keep the bio-bug population healthy and contains all the trace minerals that normally have to be replenished through water changes. The minerals are time-released into the water to keep it healthy without constant water changes.

In short, the cycling process is simple but time-consuming. If you decide to shorten the cycle time take care with which product you purchase to help, there are a lot on the market that don’t actually do what you need. The above have proven to be good, reliable products that greatly aid with this process. Once you’ve achieved a good biological filter and the nitrogen cycle is up and running, you can start adding the fish!

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