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Understanding New Tank Syndrome When Setting Up An Aquarium

2016/5/4 10:17:39

If you are a new aquarium enthusiast and are thinking of setting up an aquarium then you need to understand the dangers of new tank syndrome.

Many new aquarium owners become very excited about their new hobby and dive into it "boots and all" without a proper understanding of the science involved in their tanks. The result is some dead fish, money spent and time wasted without much reward having been received.

A freshwater aquarium setup is more about looking after the quality of the water in your fish tank setup, than the keeping of the fish! This is because the health of the fish is directly related to the state of the water in which they live.

To understand the new tank syndrome you need to be aware of the chemistry of your tank water and how the nitrogen cycle works in it. Fish eat their food and excrete ammonia as a by product of their waste and from their gills. As the tank is a confined environment, unlike the wild, the levels of ammonia build up and are toxic to fish as it affects their ability to breath and burns their delicate skin.

Present in the water are nitrifying bacteria which are beneficial because they convert the ammonia into nitrites which are less toxic to fish. The nitrites are further decomposed by another group of bacteria to nitrates which are even less toxic to fish. The nitrates are used by plants as a form of fertilizer and so they can reduce the levels in the water. The filtration system you install in your tank will take care of some nitrates but you will still need to make regular water changes to keep them at acceptable levels for your fish.

New tank syndrome comes in because a new tank does not have enough of the beneficial bacteria to keep the ammonia concentrations down. This means that if you introduce fish to your new tank before it is sufficiently cycled they may die.

There is a method by which you can get the water in the tank prepared for the fish. This technique is called fishless cycling. You can do this by adding small amounts of ammonia to the tank either with the bottled ammonia that you use at home or by using small amounts of fish food. You will need to allow four to six weeks in order for your tank to be correctly cycled.

Preparing the water correctly by following a fishless cycling method as part of your freshwater aquarium setup is well worth the investment of time that it will take.

Discover the freshwater aquarium setup secrets that will help you to achieve a stunningly beautiful aquarium by visiting Fish Tank Setup Guide