About Me

Potomac, Maryland, United States
I am somewhat new to the aquarium keeping community, but I would like to think I am very knowledgeable about the freshwater side of the subject.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

So, why did all of my fish die? Well, for one, the first community of fish that is put into a new aquarium almost always die. This is due do to a process called the nitrogen cycle. Your fish create waste in your tank. They also help you create beneficial bacteria that can help create a biologically stable environment for them. In a new tank, there isn't any good bacteria yet. The waste that your fish will excrete, creates ammonia. Ammonia is deadly to your fish. The good news is, is that bacteria will break down the ammonia for you, so you don't have to do it yourself. The ammonia becomes nitrite which is pretty much just as deadly, maybe a little bit less deadly. Bacteria will then break it down even further into nitrate. Nitrate will only hurt your fish when it is in extremely high levels. So our goal is to get and keep as much of this bacteria as possible in order to create a biologically stable environment for our fish. You can purchase for your tank a biological filter. You should ask your dealer to point out a good biological filter for you. Good biological filters include sponge filters, under gravel filters, fluidized bed filter (very expensive) and power filters. The gravel at the bottom of your tank also houses good bacteria as well as the fish waste and uneaten food. Periodic vacuuming is necessary or your gravel will soon look like a mudslide has hit it. Having a well cycled aquarium before you introduce fish will insure a healthy and stable environment for them to live in as well as promote a healthy slime coat on your fish.

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