Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Setting Up An Aquarium’

Why Aquarium Water Testing is Important

One important thing that a person setting up an aquarium must not overlook is aquarium water testing. When you have arranged the decor in your aquarium and put water in, do not immediately add the fish but instead, let the water stand for several days to let the water settle. Beneficial bacteria in a product like EcoBio-Block will help you to speed up the nitrogen cycle. You can monitor this cycle daily with water quality tests, and add the fish a few at a time. At the start of the cycle, you will see a spike in the ammonia level. This will be followed by a nitrite spike when the beneficial bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrites.

Once you have fish living in your aquarium, test the water daily for the first few weeks as the water adjusts to having fish living in it. After this initial period, test the aquarium water weekly. Although most aquarium supply stores will test it for you, it is much easier to purchase a water test kit and do it yourself at home.

You will be presented at the aquarium supply store with a wide variety of testing kits to choose from. There are basic kits with strips that test important water quality indicators like pH, nitrate, water hardness, ammonia, nitrites and others. The strips change color to indicate the quality of the water.

The basic kits are convenient, but have some drawbacks. They are cheaper but are not very reliable. You can go instead with more complex testing, which involves a test tube. Add also a thermometer to your testing supplies so you can test the water temperature.

The health of your fish depends largely on the quality of the aquarium water. That is why it is essential that you do regular aquarium water testing. You need to add whatever is necessary in order to bring your water level to healthy levels for your fish.

Healthy pH level is around 6 or 7 for most fish, but they will generally tolerate a fairly wide range of pH. Any decor, food or medication added can change the pH level in your aquarium. You can increase or reduce the pH to healthier levels by adding some chemicals. A natural, but much slower approach will be to add driftwood or peat for more acidic water or a lime rock if you want more alkaline.

High ammonia levels are toxic to fish. Nitrite levels too, must be kept as close to zero as possible. What will reduce both will be partial changes of water. An easier way is to add beneficial bacteria. Nitrites will be converted to the less harmful nitrates by the beneficial bacteria.

Even simpler and less trouble is to have a bacteria colony established with the EcoBio-Block which gives long-term, continuous results. The bacteria breaks down ammonia into nitrites and then into safer nitrates. The bacteria live and multiply in the block and disperse into the water, keeping the water clear and healthy.

Aquarium water testing is a very important part of keeping your aquarium environment safe and healthy for your fish.

Leonard Boyler has been keeping fish for more than two decades. The products he likes best make aquarium care and maintenance very easy from start up to making your cloudy fish tank clear. To find out more about what you can do to keep your aquarium water clear and healthy for your fish please visit ONEdersave.com.

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In Search of the Right Aquarium Plants

If you are setting up an aquarium and you don’t yet have any decorations or plants, you may notice that your tank looks incomplete. In fact, plants aren’t just decorative, but a necessary addition to your aquarium. Aquarium plants provide hiding spots for your fish, making them more comfortable in the tank.

There are two main choices for aquarium plants: real and fake. Keeping real plants alive requires specialized care, above and beyond keeping your fish alive. Plastic plants, on the other hand, are easy to care for, even if it’s your first aquarium.

Plastic plants are long lasting and very easy to clean. You only need to take them out of the aquarium and wash with soap and water. The colors are varied and sometimes even more vivid than real plants. Although you have to be careful about the too bright colors or it might stress your fish. Some of them will adjust their colors to a less vibrant color in order to be less conspicuous to predators. Better stick to the more natural marine tones to bring out the natural bright colors of your fish.

There are also aquarium plants that are made of silk. They are a little more expensive but they appear more realistic and are easier to care for than other plastic plants. It is important to buy only silk plants that are designed for aquariums and not those found in craft stores that may contain chemicals that are harmful to your fish.

Fresh plants are of course, the most natural looking. Like some kinds of fish, though, they can be very hard to maintain. Some of them will thrive only under specific water temperatures or pH levels. Find the fresh plants whose specific needs are compatible with the water requirements of your fish.

There are other more noteworthy benefits in choosing real plants over fake ones. They give out oxygen and use up nitrates in the water thereby maintaining some balance in the nitrogen cycle. They also provide for breeding grounds for some fish and can be the natural food source to some others.

Although, fresh plants may appear to have many benefits, most varieties have special requirements that may discourage some people from using them. Many of them need lighting and special fertilizers. All fresh plants need light for photosynthesis. The amount of light required by these plants may vary depending on their kind. A special aquarium fertilizer is also a requirement for most plants. You cannot use your ordinary garden fertilizer. This will most likely kill your aquarium.

Cleaning fresh aquarium plants is more difficult than cleaning fake ones because you’ll have to clean them where they are planted. Decaying plant matter means a lot of waste at the bottom of your tank, which can reduce water quality. Products like EcoBio-Block can help keep your water healthy by providing a continual source of beneficial bacteria that breaks down organic waste, such as decaying plants, into safer by-products. Prune dying parts of the plant just like you would prune your houseplants. Healthy live plants improve your aquarium habitat, but if not cared for properly, they can reduce your water quality. Only you decide whether fresh aquarium plants are worth the additional maintenance.

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