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PO Box 179
Inglefield, In. 47618

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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 nitrification. 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 :
1. Ammonia
2. Nitrite
3. Ph
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.

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 fish.

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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