How to Manage the Nitrogen Cycle and Avoid Toxicity

The Nitrogen cycle is the term given to the scientific process that happens in your aquarium. The biological filtration system is heavily reliant upon this happening as it reduces the risk of harmful chemicals affecting your fish. Certain components that can accelerate the development of noxious gasses are things like uneaten food, organic waste and the respiratory actions of its inhabitants. The nitrogen cycle is simply the natural effects of biological changes that occur in the water.

Firstly, everything is broken down. From uneaten nutrients, to fish excretion and other organic waste, all is broken by fungi and bacteria resulting in a chemical known as ammonia. This is highly toxic to all the marine life living in your aquarium. As it combines and breeds with other bacteria, it also forms more, less harmful chemicals like nitrites. In general, the nitrogen cycle is an effective way of breaking down potent poisons into less harmful ones.

New aquariums initially lack the maturity to produce such a scientific process. Because of a lack of bacteria, it cannot kick-start its own engine, which is why it is necessary to ‘cycle’ your aquarium. This is a way of maturing your fish tank. To help combat these pitfalls, there are a number of water treatments for aquariums available that can produce the bacteria needed. Once this process has been completed, and your tank is ‘cycled’, there should be no reason for high ammonia levels. However, if this is still happening, then evidence would suggest there is either an excess of livestock in your aquarium, or an excess of nutrients being fed to its inhabitants. Make sure this is resolved as soon as possible to prevent any potential damage.

Tap water, as innocent as it may seem, will need some treatment. Try to learn the pH and hardness levels to better gauge what kind of fish you can support. In addition, it is vitally important to know whether there is either chlorine or chloramine in the water as these are also a potentially harmful set of chemicals. The nitrogen cycle is a natural process. However, generally caring for your aquarium can help eradicate any issues that may occur. Minor steps like removing waste and properly catering to the water all make a major difference in general maintenance terms.   testing kits for aquariums

Testing kits for aquariums and a number of water treatments for aquariums are also designed to help you get the most out of aqua management. So make sure to familiarise yourself with the different water treatments for fish tanks as they are all manufactured to combat toxicity and ensure a healthy and hygienic aquarium.


Aquarium Plants and Ornaments

It is important to have an aquarium you are proud to display. Not only does this mean that it looks good, but also that it successfully supports the marine life you have inside it. Aquariums are meant to be fun. No matter where you keep it, either in the office, the living room or anywhere else, the more vibrant and colourful they are, the happier you are going to be. One of the most alluring aspects of a personal aquarium is its complete customisable appearance. The choice, quite simply, is yours.

Like a picture that moves, they are serenity and peacefulness incarnate. However, arguably the most important part of aqua management is keeping the fish comfortable, healthy and happy. Seeing as though fish are naturally prey, it is up to you to try to alleviate any ill feeling your marine life may have.

This is, believe it or not, related to the environment you create in your aquarium. A tank decorated with beautiful aesthetics is known to reduce stress and promote a sense of well being for your fish as well as yourself! As a result, their health and immune systems are boosted significantly increasing their chances against death and disease. Not only that, a tank enhanced with vibrant decorations is proven to increase fish behaviour and activity (by keeping them out of hiding) and also enhanced colourisation.                aquarium plants

As you can see, there are many positives to making your tank look the part. From ornaments, to plant life to replacement gravel for aquariums, there is so much to see and choose. Whatever makes you happy! There are some general guidelines however, that depend entirely on the fish your aquarium holds. For example, marine life that hails from shallow lakes, ponds or slow moving rivers are better suited to ‘soft cover’, which constitutes plants and other more flexible ornaments.

Fish from deeper or faster moving waters however, naturally prefer ‘hard cover’. As you can imagine, that entails features like rocks and logs and other solid items. Be careful not to include any objects that could give off toxic gasses or are possible to chew by the fish, as this can lead to potentially fatal results for your aquariums inhabitants. In addition, it is recommended to use ornaments that are bought, rather than found, as these can also contain harmful gasses that are invisible to the naked eye.

Strictly purchase aquarium plants, aquarium ornaments and gravel for fish tanks to ensure you are getting the best for yourself and your fish. A personal aquarium is the perfect way to enjoy complete serenity. Enjoy its vibrancy and the fish will as well.


How To Keep A Healthy Fish Tank and Fish

Every fish tank will need a general maintenance clean once a week. Aquarium cleaning is exercised to ensure that it is running to optimum efficiency at all times. To do this, there are a number of steps that will now be illustrated.       aquarium cleaning

To begin, with, cleaning the glass is important. To do this, use an algae pad and move in small circular motions all across the inside of the glass. This process is used to help remove all the algae that is stuck to the inside of the tank. Once complete, let it settle for around twenty minutes.

Next, you will need to find a bucket and a gravel cleaner. These are necessary for getting rid of all the organic waste that is lurking under your tanks foundations. By creating a siphon, the gravel cleaner sucks up the waste and deposits it into the exterior bucket. Move around your water features (rocks, castles etc.) to ensure a thorough clean. Once this process is over, you should see a decrease in the tanks water levels, at around 20%. You will need to replenish that water. To do this, tap water is fine, and make sure you include a chemical agent to negate all the harmful components in the water.

Also, if your aquarium is relatively young (less than six months old), you could benefit from applying a bacterial treatment to help mature the filter. After this step has been executed, simply clean the fish tank from any water that may have sloshed over the front. Circular motions again using a wet and dry paper towel respectively.

Next, the filter. No matter whether it is external or internal, simply remove the lid, extract the sponge and give it a good squeeze into the water you have already taken out of the tank, then place the sponge back in and put the filter straight into the aquarium.

For those with sand foundations instead of gravel, the process is relatively the same. Clean as normal and clean the filter as normal. However, with your hands or a net, stir the sand until it has all been thoroughly processed. Once this is complete, all the organic waste will have risen and then settled onto the sand bed. Simply use the gravel cleaner to suck the waste up – be careful not to put it too close to the sand – and extract all the unwanted waste.

Fish tank cleaning need not be a chore, follow these steps and you are on your way to promoting healthy and happy marine life.




Creating Your Own Garden Pond

A garden pond is a wonderful addition to any garden. They are aesthetically gorgeous and attract all manner of positive wildlife. The benefits then, are endless. Creating your own pond is not difficult. Here are a few steps to help you on your way.

Firstly, think about where it will go and what angles people will see it from. What type of pond it is going to be, the size of it,  and also the various plants you want to have to accompanying it (this is important because different plants need different depths). In addition, avoid creating it in a shadeless area as this can have a number of adverse effects. Once you are satisfied with a place and a style, there are then five points to the process.                        garden pond

1)  Marking out – Defining the diameter of the pond is important as it acts as a solid guideline for you to follow. After you are happy with this, mark it out using either sand, string or a length of hosepipe. Upon completion, uproot the turf in the designated area and remove it from the surrounding workspace.

2) Digging – Unearth the area you have selected with a spade, then mark out the depth of the initial shelf, again with sand or some string. Once you have done that, you can start to dig up all the turf until you have reached the desired depth. Be aware that each shelf must be level.

3) Be mindful of wildlife – Rid yourself of all the unearthed turf by removing it and transporting it to a different area of the garden. After that, slope one side of the pond, this will allow any wildlife that have fallen in,  a chance to escape.

4) Lining the pond – It is essential to remove any sharp objects or stones that may be lingering in the pond’s foundations. Once done, settle a 1.2 inches thick layer of builders sand along the bottom. If you fancy additional protection, either pond underlay or an unused carpet can be laid down on top as support. Carefully cover the pond with a butyl liner so as not to rip it in any places and then surround the edges with bricks for stability.

5) Filling it up – All that is left to do now is to put water in the hole. Fill it up, but be careful to make sure the liner moulds itself to the contours of the pond. Once filled to the top, trim the excess off the butyl liner and then cover the evidence with either natural soil or concrete stones. Add whatever plants and oxygenators you desire to the water and wait a further six weeks if you wish to include marine life. This gives the plants time to establish themselves.

There is a wide range of pond fish food, which one you choose is ultimately determined by the types of fish you keep. Once your pond is settled, you should look at buying essential equipment like pond pumps and pond filters to help keep the water fresh, healthy and of adequate hygiene for those who inhabit it.