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  • Water Chemistry and the Aquarium

    • High levels of dissolved organic compounds caused by organic debris or high bio loads.
    • Buildup of deritus/mulm under driftwoods and decor.
    • An over abundunce of driftwood
    • Buildup of mulm/detritus in your filter and media.
    • A sandbed/gravel bed that is too deep.
    • Infrequent, inadequate or pooly conducted water changes
    Last edited by soarl; 05-07-2013, 06:28 AM. Reason: Updated With Section on pH and changed wording regarding phosphoric acid
    8 GloFish
    6 Glowlight Tetra
    1 Dwarf Gourami
    4 Mystery Snail

  • #2
    Thanks for the writeup on this. There is a TON of info in there so anyone reading this please book mark it and come back often and refresh your mind as needed.

    The only thing I would like to add is that remember pH is a logrithmic equation and is not scaleable or averageable so as you do things the ph will not always change in the same ways based on water chemistry.
    -Jim-

    Originally posted by Albert Einstein
    If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
    Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.

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    • #3
      Excellent writeup!!

      One thing I would like to mention is your statement that the use of products such as phosphoric acid to lower pH.

      This acid has an immediate affect on the pH of the water. And, the acid is quickly neutralized. This type of product is marketed as PH DOWN. Only the most knowledgeable should use such products as the pH swings it creates can be deadly.

      Also, the statement that phosphoric acid can lead to algae. I know there is tons of info that high phosphate levels will cause algae, and I imagine this statement comes from this old knowledge. However, phosphates alone do not cause algae. It is the imbalance that may exist with all chemistry that can lead to algae. For example, my tap water had 10+ PPM phosphates. I had been using it for years without testing for this compound. Never experienced algae either. It wasn't until I started keeping a high light, high tech tank that I discovered this situation. As I could not afford an RO/DI system my solution was to increase everything to balance my phosphate levels. And my tank exploded with massive plant growth.
      - Dena

      All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
      Walt Disney

      The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
      Socrates

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      • #4
        Both are great additions and things I had read and even noted. I kind of left off the more in depth info on pH and I should probably include that section with a bit more info on pH and some causes. I think I had to break to make dinner and forgot I left it out! lol I'll go back to my notes and plug some of that info in. Thanks for reading and for the suggestions!
        8 GloFish
        6 Glowlight Tetra
        1 Dwarf Gourami
        4 Mystery Snail

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        • #5
          In conclusion, there are many things that go into maintaining a healthy, balanced environment for your fish and plants. The most important things to remember are to research before you start making changes so you know what else may be affected. Make any changes slowly as to keep the stress to your stock at a minimum. Keep in mind that all aquariums are unique and what worked for others may not work the same for you. This makes it extremely important to test your water until you are sure you have a healthy balance between all aspects of your water chemistry. I can not stress enough the importance of testing. Blindly adding buffers and compounds to your tank without monitoring all aspects of your chemistry can rapidly imbalance your tank and deplete many important minerals in a way that can be detrimental to your stock! TEST TEST TEST and when you think everything is good feel free to test again just to be sure!


          I hope that this can help some of you in your quest to understand the water chemistry as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of proper minerals in your aquarium. If you are looking for more in depth information please feel free to check out the references below. Also please feel free to critique or let me know if you think I should elaborate on anything in here if something is unclear!

          Strohmeyer, C. (2012, Jan 12). Do fish Drink? Use of RO, Soft Water for Aquarium; Osmoregulation in Fish.
          Retrieved May 4, 2013, from Aquarium Answers: http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com...everse_osmosis

          Strohmeyer, C. (2013, April 4). Aquarium Chemistry Overview.
          Retrieved May 4, 2013, from American Aquarium Products: http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/aquariumkh.html

          Thomson, S. (2003). Water Chemistry: pH, GH and KH What are they all?
          Retrieved May 4, 2013, from World Chelonian Trust: http://www.chelonia.org/articles/waterchemistry.htm
          8 GloFish
          6 Glowlight Tetra
          1 Dwarf Gourami
          4 Mystery Snail

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          • #6
            Dena

            When I added the ph section and the conclusion it made my post to long. Can you change the order of the postings so my last post is below the first and then please re-proof for me.
            8 GloFish
            6 Glowlight Tetra
            1 Dwarf Gourami
            4 Mystery Snail

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