How to prepare water for aquarium
Wellbeing and health of fish and plants are largely dependent on the quality of water. It is known that the composition of the water in the tank must be as close as possible to the natural conditions in which our fish lives. Also if we will have correct water parameters it may be easier to breed the fish.
The most important parameters of the water, which we can control.
- water temperature - it should be remembered that before we put the fish to the aquarium, water must be heated to the optimum temperature for fish and plants. The average temperature for fish and plants is around 22-24ºC.
- Water pH - determines the concentration of hydrogen ions in the electrolyte solution, it is measured by the pH factor. Neutral is pH = 7. If water pH is above this value it means that water is alkaline. Water pH below 7 means water is acidic. Acceptable pH of water for aquarium fish should be in the range of 6-8 (from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline), but most fish prefer a neutral pH.
- Hardness - There is general hardness of water (total content of calcium and magnesium), which consists of temporary hardness and permanent hardness. Hardness which does not change (stable) is made of salts of magnesium and calcium in the form of sulfates, chlorides, nitrates and others. Hardness reversible (labile) is made of salts of magnesium and calcium in the form of carbonates or bicarbonates (hardness is thermally unstable). For most of the plants water can be hard or medium-hard, but many fish, especially for spawning, require soft water.
Taking into account the above indicators of water you can easily guess that tap water is not good for our fish. Tap water is poorer in nutrients that fish and plants require for proper development. That is why we should add special components to improve it's quality.
Rules for aquarium water treatment
Before you pour water into the aquarium you should leave it for several hours to a day to remove unwanted components, which are poisonous to fish: chlorine, fluorine, etc. Of course, these gases can be neutralized by special formulations designed for this purpose, such as sodium thiosulfate to neutralize the chlorine.Increasingly
Temporary hardness can be neutralized by boiling the water or mixing with distilled water (making sure to take into account the fact that distilled water is devoid of any minerals and nutrients). Permanent hardness can be neutralized by suitable ion exchange or chemical agents which can be found in shops.
If you have doubts about the water quality you can perform a simple bio-test. After filling the tank with water put Daphnia in it for one day. If they survive, the water is suitable for fish.
When filling the tank with water you should not pour water directly on the substrate (water jet breaks the prepared composition of our ground and can damage plants). It is best to direct the stream of water to open hand or dish placed on the substrate.