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So You Want Pet Fish - Water Condition & Quality

 Water Condition and Quality

The condition of the water is most important and must be maintained.

Tap Water Conditioner: An essential item when setting up a tank. Tap water is treated with chemicals which make it safe for us to drink but toxic to fish. A water conditioner or dechlorinator removes the harmful chemicals. Also to be used when topping up your tank.

Filter Boost: Eliminates ammonia and nitrate. It helps prevent fish loss and also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your filter.

A Water Test Kit: Water testing helps ensure the correct conditions and reducing the need for fish medicines. Regular water testing will help all aquariums achieve and realise the health and beauty they are capable of demonstrating when all essential conditions are met. Fish that are exposed to even small consistent levels of nitrite that may be the result of an improperly maintained or sized filter system may perish or never seem as vibrant as they can be. Plants that are constantly lacking essential trace minerals such as iron may perish or never demonstrate the rich vibrant greens and reds that make a planted aquarium a unique underwater garden

Water Quality: pH measures the water's acidity/alkalinity. The pH scale runs from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline) and pH7 is an ideal level for the majority of fish. Some fish do prefer different pH levels so make sure you check before you buy. A temperature of 24-26 degrees is standard for a tropical aquarium and is regulated by a thermostat in the heater.

Ammonia and nitrite levels should be regulated and although they both occur naturally from fish waste, bacteria living inside your filter convert these dangerous chemicals into nitrate which is less harmful. Regular water changes should keep these levels close to zero. However, bacteria takes time to build up and new tanks are particularly susceptible to high levels of dangerous chemicals. A filter boost can be added to promote the growth of bacteria and speed up this process.

To maintain ideal water conditions and prevent the build up of dangerous chemicals in new aquariums, perform water changes at least once a week by removing 20% of the tank's volume and replacing it with clean (dechlorinated) water. You can reduce the frequency of water changes to once fortnightly when the chemical levels seem to have settled. You will need to rinse the filter media on a regular basis to remove any large sediment and clear the impellor inside the filter from sludge, but in both cases you must ensure you rinse with water from your tank and not from the tap. If you have any questions about water quality or tank maintenance then your store team will be happy to help