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    Fish are cold blooded and require a temperature that is native to them. If a great temperature change happens that could stress the fish and spread sickness through the aquarium and they could get the disease ick. The temperature of the water should NEVER change more than 3 per day.

    Freshwater aquariums should be between (73-82F), but flourish at (75-79F). More specific temperatures can be found on this site for each fish.

    When you're choosing your heater for your aquarium the volume of water will determine the wattage to use. Another factor of the temperature changes is the aquarium being placed near an air conditioner, near a heater, or how well the aquarium is covered. A good roll of thumb is 5 watts per gallon. If the aquarium is in a cool room or basement it should be doubled.
    

    You should also get a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. When you get a thermometer, check the others to find a consistent temperature because some will be slightly inaccurate.

 


    The most misunderstood about air pumps is the fish do not get their air from the air bubbles you see it is from the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, which happens at the surface of the water. What actually is giving them air is from the water current.

    When you purchase an air pump get the size that matches your aquarium, it will say on the box what size aquarium to use for it, don't get a air pump smaller than your aquarium needs or the fish won't get adequate air. It is suggested that when you use an air pump, to use an Airway Valve that will bleed extra air out of your air pump, greatly increasing your pumps life.

   Filtration is one of the most important parts of the aquarium that keep your fish alive. Most of the wastes that fish produce like overfeeding, organic material like dead plant material and dead fish can only be removed by filtration.

There are three different types of filters and they include:

1. Mechanical Filtration

    This type of filtration is where the waste is being pulled through the filter, and then clean pure water comes out. This doesn't remove all waste products like ammonia.

2. Biological Filtration

When the mechanical filter can't remove anymore of the waste, the bacteria clean the rest of the water same as in nature. There are two very important bacteria, which are nitrosomonas and nitrobacteria that use ammonia and nitrite as a food source. Without this bacteria the fish will literally poison themselves. A very well known filter is the under gravel filter, it helps the bacteria to get a good supply of food and it will enhance the biological filter. This is why most beginners are unsuccessful because they kill the bacteria, which kills the fish. This bacterium is very slow in its production, to help it along the use of air is very important. It takes ten days after the aquarium was set up for the bacteria to remove all the ammonia in the water and the bacteria turns it into energy plus nitrite which is also toxic to fish.

    When nitrosomonas has turned ammonia into nitrite, nitrobacteria will then absorb the nitrite through its cell wall and turn it into energy plus nitrate. So when you start a new tank the ammonia will build up to a high peak and then drop to zero in about ten days. Now at this point the nitrobacteria will begin to multiply and catch up to the nitrite. It takes almost 21 days for nitrobacteria to catch up to the nitrite. This period is called the "run-in" time from when you started your aquarium. So it takes almost 31 days for both bacteria to get rid of ammonia and nitrite. When nitrobacteria catches up to the nitrite it will turn it into nitrate. Nitrate is also toxic to fish but it has to be high levels to do anything. At this point the filter can't get rid of the nitrate so you have to get rid of it yourself. To get rid of nitrate you have to do partial water changes and you can use live plants because plants will absorb nitrate.

 

3. Chemical Filtration

    This is the last stage of filtration. This type is a chemical that you add to the water, which helps build-up on the biological filter.

Together all of these filters are used to keep the tank running in good shape.

 

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