Soft corals
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Nitrifying bacteria and the breakdown of waste in the aquarium

The nitrifiers also known as the good or beneficial bacteria, which are present after successfully cycling a new tank, providing biological filtration, without which our tanks would turn into a “toxic waste dump”. Transforming ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrates. This bacteria settles on rocks, gravel, filter media, sand, biowheels and such. Let’s take […]

Colorful African Cichlid
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The aquarium nitrogen cycle aka biological filtration

One characteristic, next to passion for the hobby, every aquarist should have or obtain, is patience. Patience, next to understanding the basic water parameters, will be put to the test while cycling a tank. And cycling by all means, not only during the fresh set up of a new tank. An established aquarium can cycle […]

Emperor Fish
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Aquarium filtration and the various filter options for your fish tank

Aquarium filtration is the single most important requirement for a successful fish tank. In this post we focus on the 3 basic types of aquarium filtration, and of course each aquarium filter itself. Biological Filtration Biological filtration is the term used to describe beneficial bacteria, which are established during the initial cycling of the aquarium. These […]

Acanthurus Sohal Surgeonfish
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Activated carbon and chemical aquarium filtration

Carbonization is a complex procedure by which the carbon content of organic material is formed by burning anaerobically. Materials best suited for carbonization are charcoal (bituminous), brown coal (lignite), wood, or coconut shells which naturally contain a large amount of the element carbon. The carbonized base material is then subjected to steam, which increases the […]

Fish in a planted aquarium
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Nitrites are the second stage of the aquarium nitrogen cycle

Nitrites are the second stage in the nitrogen cycle. Nitrifying bacteria are readily available in the tank, and will build a colony as soon as the nutrient source (ammonia) is available. While ammonia is converted predominantly by the species of nitrosomonas, nitrobacter is mainly responsible for converting nitrite into nitrate. When a new tank is […]

Clownfish in reef tank
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Natural biological filtration is what keeps the aquarium balanced

Water…clarity does not mean purity. Understanding the water separates the beginner from the experienced. We cannot see chlorine and chloramine and it does not make a visual difference if the water is hard or soft, the pH high or low, and so on. As soon as a tank cycles, the water changes in ways that […]

Naso Tang
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Chemical aquarium filtration

The complexity and diversity of each aquarium, makes every tank unique. If we look at nature we realize that it did not intend for us to keep a large number of fish and other life forms in a small, enclosed environment. As an aquarium owner it is therefore our responsibility to maintain the environment within […]

Colorful saltwater fish in reef tank
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Nitrate – The final stage of the aquarium nitrogen cycle

Nitrates are the result of the bacterial breakdown of: ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. This is the final stage of the natural biological metabolic waste conversion also known as the nitrogen cycle. Although it is less toxic than ammonia/ammonium and nitrite, nitrate as a nitrogen compound also causes stress at all levels, making a fish’s […]

Clownfish reflection
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An overview of proper aquarium water parameters for a balanced fish tank

Below is an overview of vital aquarium water parameters. pH, nitrogen compounds, phosphate, silicate, chlorine, along with water hardness should be balanced for a healthy fish tank. Imbalances can trigger common problems such as algae outbreaks caused by high nitrates, and many other problems. Water Hardness General Hardness (GH) GH primarily measures calcium and magnesium […]