To have a healthy freshwater aquarium, you need to be aware of the basic water parameters that constitute a healthy freshwater aquarium. This will increase the chances that your fish will enjoy long and healthy lives.
The pH level of your water is vitally important. pH is the measurement of hydrogen ions in the water. Increased hydrogen ions lead to a drop in pH, causing more acidic water as you would find in a car's battery. Conversely, decreased hydrogen ions lead to a rise in pH, causing less acidic water as you would find in dish soap. Most types of fish can adapt to most pH levels, but it is especially shocking to their systems and dangerous to their health if the pH level is constantly changing.
Therefore, you should try to keep the pH level at one level at all times whenever possible. Additionally, drops in pH levels cause ammonia toxicity to be more deadly to fish and keep nitrifying bacteria from growing and being more productive, also negatively affecting the health of your fish and aquarium, so it's also important that the pH levels of your aquarium are not too low or acidic.
Water hardness is made up of two factors: general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH). GH primarily measures calcium and magnesium ions. KH primarily measures dissolved bicarbonate and carbonate ions and indicates how stable your pH level is, as more bonding of carbonate ion and hydrogen ions indicate a higher pH, while less bonding indicates a lower pH.
The nitrogen compounds of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate make up the Nitrogen Cycle, which is a very important process in having a healthy aquarium. Fish wastes, leftover food, and all other organic matter are decomposed by microorganisms, leaving toxic Ammonia. Bacteria known as Nitrosomonas turn this Ammonia Gas into Nitrite. This substance is also toxic for fish and the other inhabitants of the aquarium, but fortunately, nitrifying bacteria are able to transform Nitrite into Nitrate, a less toxic substance that can be used by fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium as well as plants. The nitrifying bacteria usually need two to six weeks before they are plentiful enough to completely handle the rigors of your aquarium.
The EcoBio-Block line of products can effectively promote the Nitrogen Cycle and keep your water's ammonia levels from spiking and endangering the lives of your fish. The EcoBio-Stone S is an especially good choice for a small freshwater and saltwater aquarium, while the EcoBio-Stone M can accommodate medium and freshwater and saltwater aquariums respectively.
Phosphates enter the aquarium through water changes using tap water and also through food and leaching carbon. Dying plants and algae also create phosphates while decaying. High pH will keep phosphates in an insoluble stage, while low pH will make these compounds water-soluble and available to the algae spores. It's important to note that the variance in pH levels in an aquarium can have an effect on what stage the phosphates are in, and having some algae is critical to the life of your aquarium.
Silicates enter the aquarium through substrate, salt, water, and dying diatom algae. Filters used to keep them out will only last for a few days before they find their way through the membranes. Decaying organic matter creates another type of silicate, silicid acid. As with phosphates, silicates become water-soluble at lower pH levels.
High chlorine and chloramine levels can cause fish to die because they destroy the oxygen-carrying cells in your fish. Chlorine is less stable than chloramine and airs out in just a few days. Chloramine, a mixture of ammonia and chlorine, is much more stable and can pass through the fishís tissue directly into the bloodstream. Chloramine can kill all of the fish in an aquarium within 24 hours, so it is vital that you treat tap water before using it in your aquarium as most municipal water systems use chlorine or chloramine to treat the water.
As you can see, there are many water parameters you need to be aware of in order to have a healthy freshwater aquarium. It is vital that you test these factors regularly and take immediate action to remedy any problems so that your fish and aquarium are not in danger. By following this information, you will be able to establish a healthy freshwater aquarium where your fish and other inhabitants will live long and healthy lives.
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