01 Jun AQUARIUM CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE – Biological and mechanical filter
To talk about the cleaning, the maintenance of the tank and the internal or external filter, you must know the “Nitrogen cycle”. As we all know, the aquarium is a biosystem consisting of living animal and plant life, which, because of their vital functions, feed, live, and produce waste. Usually, the animal world and the vegetable world live perfectly, as they simbiotically trade their “products”, but it is unthinkable to build a biosystem where the relationship is so equal that you never have to clean or maintain the tank, let me explain it better; the water present in the tank will suffer a degradation caused by fish waste such as ammonia and C02 (feces, urine, unheated food, decaying plants), giving rise to the so – called “nitrogen cycle” , Which consists in the transformation of ammonium (very harmful), in nitrites and then nitrates (much less harmful).
The main authors of this transformation are nitrifying bacteria known as Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter which are naturally formed or can be introduced at the time of preparation and setup, in the tank substrate or in the filter (ceramic rings). Remember that these bacteria prefer oxygenated areas such as porous gravel, volcanic rock, ceramic rings and even plant leaves.
The mechanical methods to prevent this degradation consist in physically eliminating algae or other dirt that are formed on glass and furniture with the aid of blades, scrapers or brushes, or the aspiration of debris droppings from the bottom with the help of special siphons. Another thing is the replacement of perlon wool, rock wool or rinsing of sponges inside the aquarium filter.
The chemical systems will be all those that will favor the formation and proliferation of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria, create large areas richly oxygenated and porous inside the tank, and use ceramic rings in the filter, with the introduction of live bacteria inside them . Obviously, the change of water will be from 10% to 20% depending on the needs. Another effective method is the use and change of active carbon inside the filter, which will help absorb all excess substances.
The alternation between the two cleaning methods is certainly subjective and changes from a tank to tank, we must control all the values, especially Nitrite Nitrates and Phosphates; Generally in a aquarium where the biosystem is properly balanced and where the bacteria work well, mechanical cleaning is done once a month, and water changes from 1 time every 10 days, to 1 time every 2 months.