November 14, 2019, 08:29:19 pm

Your Aquariums Water

Started by TheProfessoR, January 02, 2019, 11:21:46 am

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January 02, 2019, 11:21:46 am Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 11:31:07 am by TheProfessoR
The water in your aquarium water is perhaps the most important environmental component for healthy aquatic life with it unfortunately being frequently overlooked and often neglected.

It should be remembered that fish, snails etc live in a closed environment from which they cannot escape if the water turns toxic and dangerous to them.

It is the responsibility of those keeping aquariums to learn about and influence water factors such as nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, phosphates and pH in a positive way, that no harm comes to your livestock and they enjoy a carefully environment in which to live.

Ammonia Poisoning.

Is likely to be the biggest single killer of aquarium fish and occurs predominantly with a new tank setup, however it can occur in an already established tank when too many fish have been added at any one time, when the filter fails for different reasons or if beneficial bacterial colonies die off as a result of medications or sudden changes in your water conditions.

Every time your fish appear distressed or there are sudden, unexplained fish deaths, your should consider ammonia as one possible cause.

Aquarium Algae. 

Algae growth is something every aquarium owner faces eventually and while some algae growth is considered to be normal and healthy, excessive algae growth is an eyesore and can be hazardous to both fish and live plants.

Lighting, over feeding and frequency of water changes will affect growth in your aquarium and if algae is an ongoing issue then perhaps its time consider including algae-eating fish or snails.

Water Testing.

Is this constant water testing really necessary?

Some fish hobbyist experts stating categorically no, whilst others test anything and everything.

Water testing can be beneficial where you know your tank is suffering a problem, but you are unsure as to the cause with various levels of testing seeking to identify different things.

There is no simple answer to what should be tested or indeed how often, it all depends on your particular environment and those problems you believe your experiencing.

Cloudy Water.

There are several causes for this condition with there usually being a corresponding cure.

There is no one quick fix for cloudy water and it does take a little detective work to arrive at a solution, however given the waters coloration and events leading up to the event, you can usually determine the root cause.

Rocks That Can Affect Water Chemistry.

Rocks in your aquarium can certainly affect the waters chemistry.

It can be quite difficult to know if and how a rock will affect your tank but there are usually ways to determine if certain rock types your considering using could have an adverse overall effect.

Water Changes.

Is it possible for waters changes to kill fish?

The short answer is a lot of factors can do that including water changes. The volume of water changed at any one time and other factors such as temperature, pH and chemical composition as well as bacterial colonies can adversely affect your aquarium.

Water changes are essential for a healthy fish tank and its vital to learn about the safe ways to change your fish tanks water.

Nitrite Poisoning.

Nitrite poisoning is likely to be the second biggest killer of aquarium fish after ammonia.

Just when you believe your on top of things after losing fish to ammonia poisoning, the nitrites rise and your fish are at risk once more.

Anytime ammonia levels become elevated, then elevated nitrites quickly follow and this can quickly become lethal.

Be on the lookout for any warning signs of nitrite poisoning in your fish tank.

Nitrogen Cycle.

This goes by numerous names, the start-up cycle,  the biological cycle, nitrification, cycling and break-in cycle but no matter which term you use to describe it, each and every newly established aquarium undergoes a process of establishing a beneficial bacterial colony.

Established aquariums also undergo periods through which bacterial colonies fluctuate and failing to understand this process is likely to be largest contributing factor to the loss of fish.

Its vital to learn about nitrogen cycles and how to respond to critical periods during this cycle.


These are present in every aquarium, even though many owners are not aware of it.

If an aquarium is poorly maintained then phosphate levels may rise which contributes to algae growth. resulting in an unattractive tank and a potential threat to the health of your aquatic livestock.

Its important to learn what causes a phosphate build up in your aquarium and how to control the buildup before it reaches harmful levels.


Water pH is a determination of just how acidic or alkaline your aquarium water is.

There are numerous species of fish that live in vastly different water environments such as the ocean, estuaries, backyard ponds and a plethora of hobbyist aquariums and there is no one pH level that suits them all.

Saltwater fish can prefer a pH of 8 and over while freshwater fish may be more comfortable in a pH range of 6 or 7.

Some really good advice is to learn as much as you can about the species you intend to keep and try and mimic its natural habitat in your own aquariums environment.


Nice post Proff, this is THE most critical element in anyones aquarium imo.  ;)
QuoteI'm told that nothing is impossible, but I do that every day ... wtf?