It’s especially difficult for new aquarists these days because pet store salespeople give false information about aquarium care. For one thing, they are primarily concerned with selling the product, and for another, they are frequently incompetent in this area. On the Internet, there is a lot of contradictory information. Because the information in this article is based on the experience of seasoned aquarists, you can trust it as you take your first steps into the natural underwater world.
As we learned in chemistry class, only distilled water can be colorless and odorless. These are the two characteristics of “living water”. What criteria should be used to evaluate them?
How to determine the color of the water.
The color is determined by the water column look, which must be examined at the aquarium’s far end. The color can appear:
- With a brown tint, which could be caused by one of three factors: the presence of driftwood by the presence of humic substances, the presence of a large number of cichlids and the absence of plants – the concentration of urine, in an old unkempt vessel-waste from the vital activity of hydrobionts;
- When there is a small number of microalgae in the aquarium, the brown water turns yellowish;
- When there is a large number of microalgae in the aquarium, the water turns greenish.
The presence of algae in the water is a sure sign of an outbreak. It’s your job to figure out what’s causing the problem and fix it. Due to imbalance, overpopulation, excessive lighting, an insufficient number of plants or their complete absence, overfeeding, an excess of organic matter, and the use of poor-quality feed, algae can actively develop.
The cloudiness of the water can also be determined. It could be:
- transparent with a fine suspension, for which a thin-fiber filter element in the filter at the outlet is required;
- opaque (cloudy), where the cause can be either a bacterial or an algae attack.
Always keep an eye out for changes in the aquarium’s water odor. It shouldn’t smell musty or be unpleasant to be around. The smell of freshness will be felt in a healthy pond with cichlids, for example, with a slight admixture of fish. Depending on how much vegetation is in the container and how quickly it grows, water in a container with plants will smell more or less like grass. The scent is similar to that of a lake, with notes of wet earth and freshly mown grass. The smell will become more intense as the plants grow faster.
The presence of a” black beard ” in the aquarium causes the water’s odor to become sharp and distinct. Furthermore, the more beard there is, the stronger and more unpleasant the odor will be.
The aquarium’s water must be replaced on a regular basis in order for it to function properly.
To avoid such issues, you should change the water in the reservoir on a regular basis. The biological load will determine how much and how often you do this. The frequency and volume of water changes are affected by the types of fish, their number, the food they eat, the presence or absence of filtering, and the power and type of filter.
You can make your aquarium flow by allowing the water to drain in a thin trickle while also allowing fresh water to flow in equal amounts. If your basin does not have filtration, you should change 10-15% of the water 3-5 times a week, if not every day. And that’s assuming the capacity is low and the biological load is small. However, to keep your “pets” happy, you should replace the water once a week by about a quarter of the volume in the herbarium, and by 40-50 percent in a cichlid aquarium or a carp house. Remember that no filter, no matter how expensive or sophisticated, can restore the original state of the water!
As a result, if you don’t change the water or do so infrequently, you can expect problems with the health, growth, and appearance of both fish and plants, as well as the entire closed system.
Taking care of the substrate and evaluating its condition
If your aquarium has an ordinary substrate with no living vegetation, you should vacuum it once a week. And the more fish in the basin, the more often this procedure must be performed; otherwise, you risk missing the time when food remains begin to rot or stagnant zones form. If the water has a high pH, the release of hydrogen sulfide and an increase in the level of ammonia in the water threatens to become a more serious problem in the future.
Draining the water from the aquarium bottom into a white bucket is a good idea. So you can see the true color of the soil water, as well as assess the presence of dirt, consistency, and odor. Reduce the amount of food you feed if you see food residues. If you have any rags, clean them more frequently.
Ground snails and planaria, which can be seen in a white bucket, should also be considered. If they are present but cannot be seen on the aquarium walls during the day, everything is fine; the bottom has a good oxygen regime. Do not be alarmed if various animals crawl around on the top of the aquarium at night – this is a normal occurrence caused by the daily decrease in the level of oxygen in the soil that all aquarium inhabitants breathe.
If you have a herbal aquarium, you won’t need a siphon to get the soil out. It should only be done here if you accidentally overfeed your pets or if coagulant flakes appear on the soil and plants after organic matter has clotted. The siphon, on the other hand, should not be buried in the soil in this case.