06 Jul NITRITE AND NITRATE IN AQUARIUM: What are No2- and No3 water values
Nitrites and Nitrates are harmful and undesirable chemical compounds in aquarium, resulting from a biological decomposition process that comes from fish or invertebrate waste substances such as feces, urine and excess food. You must to know that the biological load, that is, the ratio between the number of fishes in relation to the water volume of the tank and the filtration system will be very important for determining a good or pollutants biosystem.
In a good aquarium and then in a functioning biosystem, the so-called “Nitrogen Cycle” is replaced by miraculous bacteria called Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, in the transformation of proteins in excess, into Ammonium then in Nitrite No2- and finally in Nitrate No3. This last product will be essential for the life of plants that thanks to Co2 and light, will largely overwhelm it and produce oxygen useful for fishes and invertebrates breathing. In practice, it will form a system that can go on its own where animals waste materials will help plant growth, and consequently, waste plants substances will serve fishes. Summing up and explaining the “Nitrogen Cycle”, you can understand that you will be project and set up a tank that can activate this biosystem in the shortest time and in the best possible way, that will prevent the presence of harmful substances. To do this there are some important rules that you will have to follow:
1 – Maintain a low biological load, that is a good ratio between individuals and water liters of the tank .
2 – Installing an excellent mechanical filtering system, will help retain all those debris that would increase the ammonium levels in the aquarium.
3 – Let biological filtering, consisting of the proliferation of Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas bacteria, be broadly effective, using ceramic rings in the filter, oxygenated substrates made of porous gravel or lava stone where these bacteria will easily colonize. We can also buy products that contain latent bacteria for accelerate the colonization process.
4 – Planting the aquarium very much and make the plants efficiently with the correct Co2 Carbon Dioxide Systems and with adequate illumination, increasing the consumption of Nitrates No3 and increase the oxygen production.
5 – Make periodic changes of water with the help of special siphons that will also eliminate the debris on the bottom, keeping under control the values No2 – No3.
6 – Be very careful when you administering the food, check the total consumption during meals, the food should be finished in less than 5 minutes.
In conclusion, the efficiency of the biosystem and of the Nitrogen Cycle is fundamental and very important, anyhow the presence of N02- and No3 values must be detected by various systems that we can find on the market, such as reagent strips or liquid reagents that will indicate the actual presence in water. The values that you will find, to be sure that the biosystem is not “polluted” and then animals are not negatively affected are:
NITRITES NO2- = 0 mg/l
NITRATES NO3 ≤ 30 mg/l