Total Three-Stage Filtration
A healthy, successful aquarium requires the proper filtration. Three stages are necessary.
Mechanical Filtration traps solid debris such as uneaten food and fish waste. Filter cartridges are an ideal source of both mechanical and chemical filtration.
Chemical Filtration uses media (activated carbon) to adsorb (attract and hold) dissolved pollutants that can cause water discoloration and odor.For mechanical filtration, there’s a poly fiber pad to trap dirt and debris. For chemical filtration, each cartridge is packed with premium activated carbon.
Biological Filtration is the third type of filtration. It depends on a culture of beneficial oxygen-loving bacteria to eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite that accumulate in aquarium water. The bacteria culture biologically changes the ammonia and nitrite into nitrate, which is removed with once-a-month partial water changes. Beneficial bacteria will grow naturally on many surfaces within the aquarium (including gravel, decorative rock and plastic plants) and will provide biological filtration.
If your system features Marineland’s patented BIO-Wheel® technology, a culture of bacteria will grow on its surface. The bacteria will thrive — because as the BIO-Wheel rotates, they are nourished by exposure to the larger amount of oxygen in the air. This is “wet/dry” biological filtration.
Heat, Light, Electrical
A heater may be used to maintain water temperature in your aquarium. Most tropical fish require a constant water temperature between 75° and 80° F. Goldfish and certain other cold water species are the exception to the rule. They can exist quite comfortably without a heater.
Lighting brings out the natural colors of your fish and is essential for live plant growth. There are many different types of aquarium light fixtures available. Your dealer can help you select the appropriate light fixture for your individual needs. An aquarium hood or cover is always a good idea because it helps keep fish in and airborne pollutants out.
Important Note: To avoid excessive algae growth, limit the lighting of your aquarium to 7 to 10 hours per day. It’s relatively easy to plug your lighting fixture into a standard timer.
Before plugging in your heater, hood or any other electrical equipment, take special care to read all written safety precautions in your owner’s manual(s) and be sure to use a drip loop. Use a GFCI-protected outlet whenever possible.
Before You Add Fish…
When creating a new aquarium environment, patience is vital to success. Allow your system to operate for at least 24 hours before adding fish.
Begin by talking with your dealer about what fish are best suited to your aquarium, what fish are compatible with one another and how many would be appropriate.
When You Add Fish…
Add only a few recommended fish at first, gradually introducing more over the next four to six weeks. Choose only fish that appear active and healthy. And take special care not to overcrowd your aquarium. Fewer, healthier fish are better than an over abundance of stressed-out fish.
Make sure the water your fish enter is approximately the same temperature as the water from which they leave. To equalize the two temperatures, float the transport container (usually a plastic bag) in the tank for about 15 minutes. Then, at five minute intervals, open the bag and add a small amount of aquarium water. Finally, after 15 minutes, gently net the fish and place it in the aquarium. Do not add bag water to the aquarium. Let the fish swim from the net into the tank. The less traumatic the transport, the better.
Feed your fish twice a day — only what they will eat in about five minutes.
Taking Care of Your New Aquatic Environment
A properly maintained aquarium filter means cleaner water and healthier fish.
You will need to replace your filter cartridge and perform a 25 percent water change every two to four weeks. You also need to vacuum the gravel thoroughly to remove any waste buildup. The easiest and most effective way to accomplish both a water change and a gravel cleaning is with a standard, siphon-operated gravel vacuum.
Water that appears cloudy, yellowish or smells bad is telling you that your aquarium water needs changing and a new filter cartridge immediately. If the problem persists, it may be because you have too many fish — or because you’re overfeeding them. Bring a sample of your water to your dealer for testing.
When replacing water in an aquarium, be sure to treat it first. Most tap water contains chlorine or chloramines, and adding untreated tap water to your tank could seriously harm your fish. Be sure to check with your dealer for the water dechlorinator that works best with your local tap water.
Always replace old water with new water of approximately the same temperature to avoid shocking your fish.
Set aside an assortment of buckets, sponges and towels to be used only with your aquarium. This will help prevent the introduction of harmful pollutants into the system.
And always unplug electrical equipment before performing aquarium maintenance of any kind.