April 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM Comments (0)
One of the most common challenges of keeping an aquarium is cloudy water. Whether the cloudiness is green, white, or gray, a fish habitat that is short of crystal clear is not just an eyesore but also a serious health risk for its inhabitants. Why does the water turn cloudy and what can you do about it?
Grayish or dirty white water is often encountered when setting up a new tank. In most cases, a sand or gravel substrate that has not been diligently rinsed before setup will generate sufficient debris to fog the water. The only solution would be to re-rinse the substrate until all the debris is removed. An efficient mechanical filter will also help take care of minute floating particles.
Green water, which is oftentimes also thick and hazy, is caused by an “algae bloom” or the rapid growth of microscopic green algae. High and prolonged levels of bright light are the main causes of green algae growth and proliferation. If a tank gets direct sunlight or if the overhead lighting is left on for more than 10-12 hours a day, algae overgrowth becomes imminent. The simple solution is to locate the tank away from direct sunlight and attach a timer to the overhead lights so that the ideal light exposure cycles can be maintained.
Milky white water that sometimes gives off a rotten smell is caused by decay. Uneaten leftover food deteriorates and fouls up the water. An overstocked aquarium will render filtration systems and nitrifying bacteria inadequate to handle the bio-load. The result is pollution from rotting food and excess waste, making the water murky. In severe pollution situations, drastic water changes may be necessary.
Cloudy aquarium water caused by decaying food can be prevented by feeding only as much as the fish community can consume in three to five minutes. Leftover food should be scooped out.
Murky water caused by excess waste products can be prevented by maintaining a balanced tank with a population of fishes suitable for the size of the tank and the capacity of the filtration systems. This ensures that the filters and the colonies of beneficial bacteria can keep up with the bio-load of the community.
In effect, cloudy water can be minimized if adequate colonies of beneficial bacteria are present to break down the harmful ammonia and nitrites (from decaying food and excess waste matter) into less harmful nitrates. Experts have suggested adding gravel from established aquariums to supplement the insufficient bacterial colonies in a cloudy tank. One simple solution is to add an EcoBio-Stone product to the tank.
The EcoBio-Block Family Products are mineral-rich porous volcanic stones from Japan embedded with prolific bacteria (“bacillus subtilis natto”) that can actively multiply every half hour. The bacteria establish colonies quickly, degrading organic matter and nitrifying waste products, and keeping the aquarium clear, odor-free and healthy for years.
Cloudy aquarium water, which causes stress to the fish community, should never have to happen. Feed just the right amount of food, keep a population of fish suitable to the tank size and filtration system, and add a bacteria enhancing product like EcoBio-Block, and you are assured of crystal clear water and healthy fishes all the time.
Copywright©2009 ONEdersave Products LLC
April 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM Comments (44)
Much of an aquarium’s success depends on the tank’s startup. Setting up a healthy freshwater fish habitat involves a complex process of bacterial growth and sustenance even before the tank’s intended inhabitants are introduced to their new home.
Aquarium cycling, or the process of cultivating beneficial bacteria that make the water quality ideal for the fishes, can be done in three different ways: fishless cycling using household ammonia, traditional cycling with “starter fish,” and infusion of “canned” live bacteria. The main objective is to grow large communities of two types of bacteria – one that converts toxic waste products or ammonia into less toxic nitrites, and one that converts nitrites into relatively non-toxic nitrates, which plants absorb as fertilizer. Sufficient beneficial bacteria ensure that the water quality remains ideal for healthy fishes.
In the fishless cycling method, initial bacteria are acquired from a healthy and stable aquarium. A small quantity of substrate, décor, filter media, or plants from long-established setups is introduced to a newly assembled tank, then a regimen of regular treatments of household ammonia feeds the bacteria until water testing results reach the desired stable level. This method normally takes several weeks depending on how quickly the bacteria multiply. Fish are introduced only after the tank has stabilized.
Traditional cycling involves the use of starter fish, which are usually hardy species like tetras, danios, and some livebearers. The waste products of the starter fishes feed and cultivate the beneficial bacteria. More fishes are added a few at a time until a growing community of bacteria is able to sustain a stable water quality for the intended inhabitants of the tank. Similar to fishless cycling, traditional cycling can take several weeks to stabilize, with some of the starter fishes failing to survive the stressful cycling period.
Cycling with “canned” bacteria is a method that relies on commercially prepared bacterial cultures. These cultures are marketed specifically for cycling aquariums, some claiming to make a tank ready for its intended inhabitants within several hours. As with other cycling methods, regular water testing must be conducted to monitor spikes in ammonia or nitrites, which are best addressed by partial water changes or additional infusion of the bacterial culture.
Undoubtedly, ideal water conditions depend on the community of beneficial bacteria in the tank. One type of beneficial bacteria that has been used extensively in water conditioning is bacillus subtilis natto. Uniquely cultured in Japan, the bacteria degrade ammonia and nitrites into safer nitrates, keeping the water clear and odor-free. Bacillus subtilis natto is currently used only in EcoBio-Block products, which are mineral-rich porous volcanic stones that disperse these fast-propagating bacteria regularly into the water, keeping the levels of beneficial bacteria consistently high. EcoBio-Block products aid in cycling and remain effective in maintaining ideal water conditions for approximately two years.
Whatever cycling option is preferred, as long as beneficial bacteria are prolific and actively breaking down toxic elements in the water, the aquarium will remain a healthy environment for the fish.
Copyright©2009 ONEdersave Products LLC
March 18, 2009 at 10:20 AM Comments (0)
March 17, 2009 at 2:28 PM Comments (0)
One of the first lessons a fishkeeping hobbyist learns is that preparing a good habitat for aquatic pets is all about breeding beneficial bacteria. The famous “New Tank Syndrome” or “Cycling” of a new aquarium setup basically describes the period when bacteria colonies are initially propagated in the aquatic habitat. In effect, the overall health of a fish tank and its inhabitants relies heavily on the steady and sustained growth and proliferation of bacteria.
Two types of beneficial bacteria are required to keep ideal water conditions in a fish tank. The first type is called “nitrosomonas,” which are aerobic bacteria that convert deadly ammonia (generated by fish waste and decaying food) into another toxic substance called nitrites. The second type is called “nitrobacter,” which converts the toxic nitrites into less harmful nitrates. Microbes in gravel in established tanks can process nitrates into nitrogen gas which then dissipates (which in large volumes will also stress the fish); can be absorbed by aquatic plants (and algae) as fertilizer; or can be removed from the tank through regular partial water changes.
In a new fish tank, ammonia must be present to start the nitrosomonas colonies, but the ammonia levels should be just enough to feed the bacteria because excesses will harm the fish. The same is true with the nitrobacter – they proliferate in the presence of nitrites but until there are enough colonies to process the nitrites, excesses will cause distress to the fishes. Therefore, the tank’s ability to sustain more fishes improves as the colonies of beneficial bacteria increase.
Because the speed of aquarium cycling depends on how quickly bacterial colonies grow, fishkeeping experts suggest several ways to rapidly proliferate bacteria. The most common method is to migrate bacterial colonies from disease-free established aquariums by moving gravel, décor, or filter media to the new tank.
If migrating established bacterial colonies from existing tanks is not feasible, there is always the “canned bacteria” option. Preserved nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria can be purchased from reputable fish hobby vendors. Some providers claim that their bottled bacteria colonies can jumpstart the cycling process as well as revitalize a failing or overstocked aquarium.
Another bacteria-proliferation option is the EcoBio-Block Family Products. These porous volcanic stones are mineral-rich and imbedded with a type of beneficial bacteria called “bacillus subtilis natto” from Japan. These bacteria, which multiply every half hour, perform the nitrification process required for a stable fish tank, effectively degrading organic matter and making the tank clear and odor-free. Bacteria-rich EcoBio-Block products are used to speed up cycling and maintain a clear and healthy tank for years.
Undoubtedly, setting up a fish tank involves not just acquiring an aquarium setup but also growing and sustaining large colonies of beneficial bacteria to render the water habitable to aquatic pets. Whether the bacteria colonies are from a friend’s tank, the bottled variety, or the EcoBio-Block strain, as long as they are fed, aerated, and prolific, they will do their job to ensure the health and success of the fish community in their environment.
copyright©2009 ONEdersave Products LLC
March 3, 2009 at 9:13 PM Comments (2)