ROCKY MOUNTAIN DISCUS FISH CARE
Discus Fish Aquarium Water Changes
All tropical fish aquariums,
especially discus fish aquariums, require regular water changes. Water changes
simply removes old, stale water from the discus fish aquarium and replaces it with fresh water. This water change procedure removes impurities from the
discus aquarium including the end products of
Discus fish like clean water in their aquarium. More importantly, discus fish require clean water
in their aquarium in order to remain healthy. We recommend discus hobbyists avoid using carbon or chemical media in the discus
fish aquarium filter. Chemical filtration media will act as a magnet, holding harmful substances in the
discus aquarium that would be eliminated by the water change. Carbon should only
be used in the discus fish aquarium to remove medications or toxins for a short
duration before discarding. The power filter in the discus fish aquarium should contain a good biological
filter media that you have added. Most power filters on the market contain
inadequate biological filter media for the discus fish aquarium.
Biological filter media sold for canister filters is excellent for converting
any type of filter into a discus aquarium filter.
As a minimum, discus fish aquariums should receive water changes on a weekly basis. Anything less is undesirable.
Many variables affect the water quality
in a discus fish aquarium. In a properly filtered discus fish aquarium, nitrates are produced as the end product of the nitrification
process. Nitrate levels affect growth, color and overall development. Water
changes in the discus fish aquarium removes nitrates and impurities, and promotes health and vitality.
If your discus fish look much better, more colorful and playful after water changes, this indicates the discus aquarium needs water changes more frequently or in a larger volume. Of course in special situations, such as rearing young
discus fish fry, daily water changes may be needed. Water changes on the discus
aquarium are easy when using a Python® no spill drain and refill system. This
eliminates the need for buckets. The pump attaches to any sink for easy draining
and refilling. The Python® no spill drain and refill system comes in two sizes
with either a 25' or 50' hose with add on sections available. They are available at all major pet shops.
Testing Discus Fish Aquarium Water
The following test kits should be obtained :
5.Carbonate Hardness or Alkalinity (they are the same thing)
While most pet shops offer free testing of aquarium water it is a
good idea to have the necessary test kits on hand to properly evaluate
the water conditions of your discus fish aquarium.
For under twenty
dollars you can purchase the test kits needed to test the water yourself.
In testing your discus aquarium water parameters you eliminate guess work.
Common things such as the ph dropping can be identified and corrected without taking actions that could make it worse.
Discus Fish Aquarium Water Conditioner
Water Conditioners needed in the discus fish aquarium to neutralize chlorine or chloramines in tap water
when performing water changes. We do not use the thick, syrupy types as they tend to clog filters, reducing efficiency and coating the inside surfaces of the aquarium with nutrients
which may promote bacterial growth. Some water conditioners on the market are designed to handle high ammonia levels. One of these products is found in AmQuel®. It is also used to detoxify aquariums with high ammonia levels. If you use one of these products you will not be able to test for ammonia in the discus fish aquarium using a nessler
based reagent test kit. The nessler reagent is the most common type of ammonia test kit
for aquariums, however, you will get a false reading in this instance. Obtain a salicylate based ammonia test kit
for testing discus aquarium water that contains ammonia remover.
It will give an accurate reading of any ammonia levels in your discus aquarium.
NOTE: Always add the dechlorinating water conditioner to the discus aquarium before adding your tap water
when doing your water changes.
Ph Reducer To Lower the Ph
When doing the discus fish aquarium waster changes, if the ph of the discus fish aquarium water is to be reduced, obtain some ph reducer. All ph reducers are a type of acid and should be stored and handled carefully. The
ph reducer should always be diluted by premixing the amount to be used with water
from discus aquarium before adding to the aquarium in water changes. Never adjust the ph on a
discus fish aquarium that is not completely full. Before adjusting the ph you should test the carbonate hardness (or alkalinity) of the
discus aquarium. If the test shows high carbonate hardness, adding acid to the
discus aquarium will only lower the ph temporarily and it will rise again. This
ph bounce in the aquarium is hard on the discus. If the tap water is hard, consider using a reverse osmosis filter to soften the water.
Then the ph can easily be maintained in the discus aquarium, making water
changes much easier.USING RO WATER WITH DISCUS AQUARIUMS
For information on using the reverse osmosis filter, how the ro filter works and
using ro water with discus:
Discus fish aquarium water with the correct carbonate hardness will not require a lot of acid to lower the ph
when doing water changes. And
the ph of the discus aquarium water will not bounce up. Hard water in the
aquarium requires a lot of acid to lower the ph and as the carbonates eat away the acid, the ph rises again. RO water is very low in carbonate hardness and can be blended with hard tap water to soften it
for use in water changes on the discus fish aquarium.
NOTE: When adjusting the ph of the discus fish aquarium, remember the ph of
the water will drop some due to natural biological and chemical activity. As a
result, it is a good idea to set the ph of the discus aquarium water slightly
higher than you desire. You should test the ph of the discus aquarium before
doing water changes. If the ph of the discus fish aquarium has fallen quite a bit
since the last water changes, this indicates a need for either more frequent water changes or an
increase to a larger volume of water used in the water change. Also using
water that is too soft in water changes will become unstable allowing the ph to
fall to unacceptable levels. This is referred to as a ph crash. Good aeration should be provided to the discus
fish aquarium. A build up of carbon dioxide, (co2), will lower the ph. Carbon dioxide is produced as a by product of respiration. Good aeration
in the discus fish aquarium will blow off carbon dioxide and allow the water to maintain a good oxygen level.
Overfeeding, high stocking density, using water that is too soft, poor aeration and neglected water changes can all contribute to a falling ph
in the discus fish aquarium. If this occurs do water changes daily or
twice daily to slowly raise the ph. A large water change that drastically raises
the ph can harm the discus. A ph of 6.8 is slightly acidic and fine for growing out discus
NOTE: Test the ph of the discus fish aquarium before changing
water. Always put the ph reducing additives in the discus aquarium after it has been completely refilled
when doing water changes to avoid ph burns on the discus fish.
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