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Aquatic & Aquarium Tips

Other than nitrifying bacteria's aquatic plants are also required for the health of fishes.

Water sprite is a floating plant and will not grow well by planting its roots in gravels


Weíve been taught that germs are bad, that they cause disease and are something to fear. But thatís not entirely true.

In the aquarium, some microorganisms are pathogenic, most are harmless, some examples of helpful microorganisms are the nitrifying bacteria.

Useful bacteria's help to break down the ammonia our fish excrete as waste in a process known as bio-filtration. Without these helpful bacteria, ammonia in the aquarium would quickly accumulate to lethal levels for the survival of fishes.

Another thing we were taught is that being clean is good and keeping an aquarium clean of waste is important, but we do not want to create too clean an environment that destroy those essential nitrifying bacteria. Therefore, we want our aquariums to be clean but not too clean.

Gravel Vacuum Cleaners are designed to separate and remove debris from the aquarium.

As the water flows rapidly out of the hose end, it lift and tumble the gravel at its end and causing the dirt to rise and gravels to fall.

  Aquatic & Aquarium Tips

Favorite aquatic plants are the swords of the genus Echinodorus osiris, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 60 F or 75 F degrees.

Pruning and Planting. fern, stem or rosette are not trimmed the same way, liverwort Riccia fluitans are trimmed by merely separating a portion of the mass by pulling or snipping.

Can I raise Koi in an indoor 125 gallon tank and what are the possibilities for building a small indoor ponds in my apartment to raise Koi or goldfish?

There is lot of algae build-up in my pond that lasts about six weeks. Would snails help to eliminate this problem? If so, can I use normal wild snails found in most outdoor lakes & ponds.

Donít Destroy Helpful Bacteria. Because the nitrosomonas and nitrobacter are the domineering bacteria populations in the biological filter.

How can I control the algae? My pond water becomes murky and over loaded with algae. My 10 ft X 5 ft pond contains six Koi fishes about 2 ft in length uses pH of about 7.0 rain water.

Using yeast fermentation bottle. You only need a couple of bottles to maintain good CO2 levels in a 92-gallon aquarium--great for growing fresh water aquarium plants and won't hurt your fishes.

Do Planted Tanks Require CO2? Beautiful aquatic plants growth depends on lighting. With low to moderate lighting, adding CO2 is not necessary.

Start at the Bottom. The biggest deposit of helpful bacteria in our aquarium occurs on the surface of each gravel. Each grain, though appearing smooth to the eye, is rough at a microscopic level, therefore, provides a surface area for the growth of helpful bacteria.

Not knowing this, hobbyists sometimes remove the gravel for cleaning and have been known to boil it or worst of all, use bleach or soap to sterilize the gravel and kills off the nitrifying bacteria thereby will allow ammonia levels to increase rapidly in the water.

Gravel should never be cleaned with anything but plain tap cool water.

The best way to clean gravel is with a gravel vacuum. This is a siphon hose with a large tube at one end. While siphoning out old water for partial water changes, the water flowing through the hose is strong enough to move and tumble the gravel at the same time suck-up the agitated solid waste.

The heavier gravel falls back to the tank bottom, while the dirt-laden water flows out the tube into a bucket for disposal.

  Aquatic & Aquarium Tips

Tiny Foods for Small Fry. Cultured live foods for fry include vinegar eels, baby brine shrimp, microworms and infusoria. Once fish eggs have hatched, youíve only just begun the journey to breeding fish and raising their young.

Freshwater Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) can suffer from Java fern melt if blue-green algae is present due to nutrient deficiencies.

CO2 is only a problem for fishes if you add too much to the water. A good level for plants is about 20 to 30 ppm. CO2 doesn't stress fishes until the level gets to be about 50 ppm.

Water Hardness, black or red algae affect your aquarium. Some sword plants growing from a riverbed that was pure calcium carbonate--yet, the swords were flourishing.

How to avoid having algae in your aquarium? Starve your plants and algae will grow. But can one feed the plants and avoid algae growth?

Healthy Plants Require Balanced Growing conditions. An unbalanced planted aquarium need a high level of lighting without adding carbon dioxide.

As an external filter the Eheim Wet/Dry Filter allow bacteria colonies to be rhythmically flushed and aerated. This creates ideal conditions for considerably accelerated decomposition of almost all solved pollutants. 

The water movement within the filter is bi-directional allowing for extended contact time between bacteria colonies, oxygen and toxin, which are thus decomposed much more rapidly than in a traditional filter.

Itís quick and easy, and the helpful bacteria will remain intact on the gravel. You have to change water to dilute dissolved waste, anyway, so itís a way to dispose of solid and dissolved waste in one quick process.

Remember to make the new water safe for both fish and helpful bacteria. Chlorine and chloramines are chemicals added by water treatment plants to kill germs.

If your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines... you must treat the new water with a tap water conditioner to neutralize them, so they do not destroy nitrifying bacteria or damage the mucous membranes of the fish.

Safely Maintaining Filters - The most significant part of your aquarium maintenance is likely to involve the cleaning of one or more filters. Filters donít remove waste ó they just collect it. Nitrifying bacteria grow on every solid surface in the tank, including gravel, glass, plants, decorations and filter media.

Most filters contain some type of bio-media designed to provide plenty of surface area for the growth of helpful bacteria. So, itís best to take steps to preserve the bacteria on this media when possible.

Disposable Filter Media - Many filters use disposable media as a convenient way to clean the filter. When the media is dirty, you throw it away and replace it. Slide-in filter cartridges for power filters are the most common example.

But every time you replace disposable filter media, you throw out the good bacteria living on it. This may or may not be a problem. It depends on how much bio-filtration there is elsewhere in the tank.

For example, in a heavily planted aquarium with a gravel bed, it is unlikely to be a problem; there will be plenty of nitrifying bacteria colonizing those other sites. It would be different in a bare aquarium set up for hobbyists viewing enjoyment--the filter media would be the main source of bio-filtration in such a setup.

There are steps to play it safe. If your filter uses more than one filter cartridge, change them at alternate cleanings. This allows a seasoned filter cartridge to remain, while the new one colonizes with helpful bacteria.

Another option is to change the polyester filter media one time and the activated carbon the next--this will allow some seasoned media to remain in the tank while bacteria colonize the new media. Also, donít replace media too often. If the polyester clogs in two weeks, itís all right to rinse the solid waste off the filter cartridge and continue to use it for a couple more weeks.

Permanent Filter Media - The best filter designs incorporate some permanent media that you rinse and reuse instead of replacing it. So, you maintain the helpful bacteria living on the media. Examples include various sponges, ceramic noodles and the rotating bio-wheels found in some filters. Rinse these items to remove accumulated detritus, and they are ready to keep working.

When rinsing, take care not to harm helpful bacteria. Donít sterilize the media or let it dry out, and do not use soap or hot water. Some hobbyists prefer old tank water for rinsing rather than risking having the chlorine in their tap water do damage. I would not leave media to soak in chlorinated tap water, because long exposure would destroy the helpful bacteria.

A rear hang-on wet/dry multi-filter combines mechanical, chemical (activated charcoal, zolite, etc.) biological filtration functions in a tank mounted external filter unit. An air valve mixes oxygen with filtered water to improve gas exchange suitable for an aquarium tank size from 10 to 60 gallon.


Corner Filters are submerge into the aquarium

Air is channeled into the V-shape plastic canister that sit nicely at the aquarium corner via an air stone, as the air escape out through its mouth water is being drawn past the filter medium (usually cotton and activated carbon). This type of filtering is suitable for aquariums up-to 90 Liters (16 gallons).

When rinsing, a corner filter medium--take care not to harm helpful bacteria. Donít sterilize, let it dry out or use soap or hot water or soak in chlorinated tap water that would destroy the helpful bacteria.

Under gravel filters consist of a large plastic plate of an inch high with a long tube sitting at the corner and air is channel into it.

It work on the same principle as the "corner filter" with sand and gravels covering the base plate.



A good tip for maintaining helpful bacteria is to not turn the filter off, except for maintenance, especially with a canister filter. Helpful bacteria require oxygen. If a dirty canister is turned off, the helpful bacteria will use up the oxygen and die.

Because the filter is closed off from air, nitrifying bacteria will be replaced by anaerobic denitrifying bacteria, which do not need oxygen to break down waste.

These produce hydrogen sulfide and other toxic substances as a by-product. If you turn this dirty filter back on after having it off for a few hours, a day or a week, it may force poison into your tank. If you have a power outage, itís a good idea to clean your canister filter before restarting it.


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