Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Aquarium's Biological Filter is Going

Today's water tests has revealed nitrates. While nitrates aren't exactly healthy for fish, they aren't as lethal as ammonia, which the fish produce as waste and also comes from decay, and nitrites, what ammonia is converted to when nitrifier bacteria metabolize it. The nitrates are produced when the nitrospira bacteria metabolize the nitrite. So, having nitrates in your tank is good, in moderation, the only way to really get rid of it is through water changes, although some live plants will consume nitrate, but generally not enough to avoid water changes.

Right now I my readings are: ammonia, 0.125 ppm, nitrite, 0.125 ppm, nitrate 4 ppm. When things are perfect, you'll generally see 0 ppm to just a trace of ammonia and nitrite. If over the next few tests I see my ammonia and nitrite hold steady or drop, and the nitrates rise, the tank will be ready for some new fish. Hopefully that is when I'll be able to add my kuhli loaches. I'll need to call the local fish store and ask them if they are in stock, I'll want at least 5.

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