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betta fish in aquarium

Filtered Water For Fish

If you’re like me who loves to take care of a pet fish or any other aquatic creature, you probably know the importance of maintaining good water quality. As a newcomer in the fish keeping hobby, you probably lost some fishes that you brought home from the pet shop or from a reputable breeder. While there are chances that your fish was already sick when you bought it, your tap water may also have something to do with the death of your new pet. In case your fish is experiencing some health issues lately, perhaps you might want to check your tap water.

What’s in Your Tap Water?

Since aquatic creatures like fishes live on the water, any contaminant in your tap water will affect their health. Fishes are sensitive to water pollutants and may eventually be stressed while swimming in an aquarium with poor water quality. Toxins are sometimes present in our tap water and may cause stress, serious illness, and death to our beloved fish. Any substance in the water that is toxic to humans and animals will have an adverse effect on the aquatic creature. Since you get your aquarium water from the faucet, chances are, there are contaminants like chloramine that will kill your fish.

Why Water Test is Crucial to Your Pet’s General Health and Well-Being

If you suspect your tap water to be the culprit, then the best thing to do is to perform a complete water test. Run a thorough water test to check the quality of the water that goes through your faucets. The simple examination of your water will give you the information you need regarding your tap water. From there, you’ll know what action you need to do to correct your fish’s environment. A complete water test will help you create a safe and healthy environment where your aquatic pet will thrive.

Understanding Ammonia and the Importance of Water Change

Ammonia in high amounts is highly toxic to your fish and other aquatic creatures. The dissolved gas is produced by fishes and eventually becomes an issue in aquarium tanks. Feeding in larger amounts also contributes to the rise of the ammonia level in the closed environment. As a fish waste byproduct and decomposing organic matter, ammonia must be kept at 0 parts per million or ppm to prevent ammonia poisoning or fish kill. The common causes of ammonia poisoning are the loss of beneficial bacteria that convert ammonia during the nitrogen cycle, changes in bio-load due to overstocking, overfeeding, and the lack of water changes.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Ammonia Poisoning

If your pet fish is no longer eating its pellets or is hovering at the bottom of the tank, then your fish is experiencing ammonia poisoning. You will also notice redness in the gills which is a sign that you’re dealing with high levels of ammonia. In tanks with high levels of ammonia, the fish may experience internal or external bleeding which may result in death.

How to Keep Ammonia Level at Bay in Tap Water

There are a few ways to maintain 0ppm including reducing feeding, installing a good bio-filtration system, algae scrubber, and weekly water changes. Regardless of the species, you need to invest in good quality filter media for your bio-filter system. The beneficial bacteria that live in the filter media help in keeping the ammonia level at bay by converting it into nitrite.

The Dangers of Nitrite and Nitrate

Although nitrite and nitrate are less harmful compared to ammonia, it can still harm your pet fish in larger amounts. Nitrobacter is a nitrifying bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrate which plants and algae feed on. The nitrogen cycle involves the breaking down of ammonia and its conversion into nitrite then nitrate. In smaller amounts, your fish will live with little to no health problems. High levels of nitrite and nitrate will have an adverse effect on the health of your fish. Fortunately, you can maintain low levels of nitrite and nitrate with regular water changes.

Heavy Metals in Tap Water

Another threat to your fishes are the heavy metal contaminants found in tap water. Lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic are among the common heavy metals found in private wells and sometimes in your municipal water supply. If you have any of these in your tap water, there’s a high chance you’ll kill your fish within a few hours. Heavy metals in the water are toxic to any living organism even in smaller amounts.

Water Chlorination and Fish Death

Water chlorination is a process where chlorine is added to the water from your water supply. The practice is used to eliminate bad bacteria and microbes in tap water. Chlorinated water is toxic to your fish when exposed within an hour or more. In fact, chlorinated water is among the leading cause of fish kill among hobbyists around the world. Use a chlorine neutralizer when you perform a water change to remove the chlorine.

How Water Filters Help in Keeping the Water Clean

The AquaOx whole house systems are designed to keep impurities from entering your faucets. Not only will they keep your fish safe, but also your family. As a fish hobbyist, you’ll benefit from installing a water filter because of its ability to catch and eliminate pollutants that pose a threat to the health of your fish. Once you’ve conducted a water test and found out the culprit, purchase and set up the ideal filter system to get rid of the contaminant. Keep your water quality in top condition by doing regular water changes and with the help of a reliable water filter treatment system.
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