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Friday, March 17, 2006

The importance of aquarium water quality

Nothing is more important in aquarium keeping than water quality management. There are many excellent products available out there to assist in water quality management, but in my opinion, there is still no replacement for water changes, good filtration, and good feeding habits.

Water Changes (Cleaning); changing water in more frequent, smaller amounts is preferable to larger less frequent changes. Make sure the water going in has the right chemistry (PH, etc.) and temperature.
I like to use reverse osmosis water, then add the elements I need back in (especially for saltwater or soft water aquariums such as discus). Well or spring water is also usually excellent. Otherwise use a de-chlorinator (sodium thiosulfate), if chlorine or chloramines are present (Wonder shells remove chlorine, stabilize KH, and add electrolytes). Water changes are important for Nitrate removal and buildup of toxic organic and inorganic material.

Good filtration consists of biological, chemical, mechanical, and germicidal.

-Biological: Sponge Filters are excellent bio filters, generally used in smaller aquariums, however there are larger ones now available.
As well a sponge pre-filter for intakes of other filters, such as canister and HOB filters are another variation.
Wet/dry on a larger scale, fluidized bed, and under gravel filters are other types of biological filters.
Your canister filter, power filter, etc. also can be biological filters- just make sure to not change all media during cleanings. You want to wash some of the media out in used aquarium water. Ceramic bio rings are excellent in canister filters for bio filtration).
Live rock in marine aquariums also acts as bio filters. Biological filtration removes ammonia and nitrite from your water (anaerobic bacterial can remove nitrates in limited quantities in saltwater). Nitrates are best removed by plants such as Hornwort in freshwater. There is much more information available about Bio-Filtration here: “The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle”

-Chemical filtration is achieved by carbon, zeolite (freshwater only for zeolite), and many other inorganic filter media such as resins.

-Mechanical filtration is the removal of debris from the aquarium via filter floss, cartridges, ECT. Canister filters excel at mechanical filtration. HOB (Hang on the back- power filters) are also reasonable mechanical filters (The Aqua Clears are not very good mechanical filters, but generally good bio-filters)

-Germicidal filtration is the use of uvc radiation or ozone to kill disease pathogens in the water. I highly recommend UV sterilization in ANY aquarium, especially fish tanks with high disease risk rates for disease such as goldfish or discus.
This includes regular changing of your UV Bulbs; every six months for best results despite some manufacturer claims

• Good feeding habits simply means feeding what the fish will consume in 2-3 minutes (very general rule), twice per day. Also using a quality food that is highly digestible is very important for less waste (Spirulina 20 flake, HBH, Omega, Sanyu, Hikari, and Ocean Nutrition are excellent, TetraMin in my opinion has too much cereal and indigestible amino acids). Most fish foods available have too high of a cereal content and not enough fats and fish proteins.

• This is a VERY general discussion about water quality; See our full Aquarium Information site below.


OR more specific articles about Freshwater: BASIC FRESHWATER AQUARIUM PRINCIPLES


Copyright; Carl Strohmeyer


Goldfish and Tropical Fish Food
Sanyu Vital is a complete diet to provide all necessary nutrition for goldfish and Tropical fish. This food is formulated to meet the diet requirement for goldfish and the Tropical diet has more fish proteins needed by tropical fish.

Sponge Filter
Information about sponge filtration and its often overlooked benefits.

Why should you use a ultra-violet sterilizer How UV sterilization works

Spirulina Algae A blog about the aquatic benefits of Spirulina Blue-Green Algae

Yahoo Groups-Links-UV Sterilizers Discussion about UV Sterilization and more

Aquarium Maintenance- Yahoo Groups This group is for discussion and links for resources for aquarium maintenance, treatments, and the basics of aquarium keeping.

Filter Max Aquarium Pre-Filter Prevents debris such as dead fish and plant material from clogging the intake by distributing suction evenly down the length of the sponge.

Aquarium filters Information about aquarium filters, how they work, and each filters disadvantages and advantages.

Via Aqua 1300 power head 370 GPH aquarium power head, Great for computer cooling too!

Multiply Groups- Fissh

SunSun Power Head Pumps Superior to power heads such as the Marineland, at less than half the cost!

AQUARIUM MEDICATIONS A resource for most medications (and some less known treatments), how they work and dosage.

OCEAN DECOR A blog about ocean decor and remembering your vacation to Hawaii or elsewhere with seashells shell wind chimes or other ocean decor.

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