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Aquarium - Nitrogen Cycle In An Aquarium

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 164

Introduction

Nitrogen cycle in an aquarium is important. If you are establishing an aquarium, you need to understand the nitrogen cycle that will develop when you set up your aquarium. If you do not understand it, it could lead to negative effects on you fish.

Aquarium Chemistry

When you set up your aquarium, you will need to monitor for at least three types of chemicals to ensure you keep your fish and aquarium safe:

Ammonia - Is a product that can be produced in your aquarium. It is important that you keep this a low as possible since even a small amount can be toxic to your fish. It is recommended that ammonia be kept at less than 1 ppm. Nitrites - Like ammonia this is also produced in your aquarium and even in low amounts can be toxic to your fish. It is recommended that nitrites be kept at less than 0.5 ppm. Nitrates - Produced in your aquarium are not as toxic to your fish, but they are toxic in high concentrations. Nitrates can produce algae bloom in your aquarium that you do not want. it is recommended that they be kept at less than 50 ppm.

Where They Come From

When you feed your fish some food is not eaten and falls to the bottom of your tank and into the substrate. Here it decomposes into ammonia. The food that is eaten by your fish is released to the aquarium as waste. This to decomposes into ammonia.

The ammonia will be broken down by bacteria (Nitrosomonas) and will produce nitrite. The nitrite is then broken down to nitrate also by bacteria (Nitrospira).

The bacteria will show up naturally in your aquarium to take care of the ammonia and nitrite. But if you want to get a jump on producing the good bacteria you can purchase some at your local pet store.

I would recommend that if you are establishing a new aquarium, that you buy some bacteria and put it in your aquarium. What this helps with is that you are developing the bacteria before you put your fish in. So when you start producing conditions that will produce ammonia and nitrites, you have the bacteria in place to prevent any build up.

Removing Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate

If you start to see a rise in ammonia and/or nitrite in your aquarium,you may want to purchase from your local pet store some nitrifying bacteria. These bacteria will convert the ammonia and nitrite into nitrate through a process called nitrification.

Another method is to replace up to 50% of your aquariums water.

The nitrate that is produced is not as toxic as ammonia or nitrite, but should be kept at less than 50 ppm. To remove this chemical you can use live plants that absorb the nitrates or replace some of the water in your aquarium.

I have a 75-gallon aquarium and my nitrates got above 50 ppm. My plants were not reducing the nitrates so I replaced 20% of the water and reduce the nitrates to < 20 ppm. Plus I added more plants.

J.W. Chase has been keeping a 75-gallon aquarium with several different fish species. He has extensive knowledge of how to maintain an aquarium keeping all his fish healthy and smiling. His web site has information on keeping aquariums and your fish happy. If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium go to his site http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums.

Source: EzineArticles
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