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Parameters of water in a fish tank

maintenance, care, compatibility

One of the most important components of the aquarium world is water, as the habitat of aquarium fish and plants.

The parameters of the aquarium water, its characteristics directly affect the well-being of your pets and the state of the plants. It is no secret that dirty, muddy water ruins the fish, spoils the appearance of the aquarium, however, the clear water does not always mean that its composition is perfect.

The main parameters and indicators of the quality of aquarium water are:

– Aquarium water hardness (hD);

– Hydrogen indicator of water “Acidity of aquarium water” (pH);

– Redox potential (rH);

AQUARIUM WATER HARDNESS (hD) – due to the presence of soluble calcium and magnesium salts in water. Their concentration in aquarium water is the GENERAL HARDNESS, which can be divided into TEMPORARY – CARBONATE and PERMANENT – NON-CARBONATE.

The temporary hardness of aquarium water (CN) is the concentration of bicarbonate salts of calcium and magnesium, formed from weak, unstable carbonic acid. Such rigidity can vary during the day. For example, in the daytime, aquarium plants during photosynthesis absorb carbon dioxide that accumulates in the water.

If carbon dioxide is not enough for consumption by plants, they will start to produce it from the bicarbonate composition, as a result of which the temporary hardness of the water will decrease.

The constant hardness of aquarium water (GH) is the presence of stable calcium and magnesium salts formed from strong acids — hydrochloric, sulfuric, or nitric.

Water hardness is essential for the life of the aquarium world. Firstly, calcium and magnesium salts are used in the construction of the skeleton and have an impact on the construction of the whole fish organism.

For different types of aquarium fish, the indicators of water hardness are different and failure to comply with them can lead to a deterioration of the health of the fish, a violation of the function of reproduction and fertilization of eggs.

The total hardness of the aquarium water is measured in German degrees (hD). 1 ° hD is 10 mg of calcium oxide in 1 liter of water.

Aquarium water with hardness parameters:

from 1 to 4 ° hD – is considered very soft;

from 4 to 8 ° hD – is considered soft;

from 8 to 12 ° hD – average hardness;

from 12 to 30 ° hD – considered to be very tough;

Most aquarium fish feel comfortable with hardness of 3-15 ° hD.

How to change the rigidity of the aquarium water:

1.) Increase stiffness.

– KH hardness can be increased by adding 1 tsp of baking soda to 50 liters, which will increase the performance by 4 ° dKH.

– 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate to 50 liters of water at the same time will increase KH and GH by 4 degrees.

– Another measure for a smooth / gradual increase in water hardness is scattering and decorating the aquarium with seashells.

2.) Reducing stiffness (everything is more complicated here):

– use / add distilled water, which is sold in stores;

– use / add rain, snow, melt water from the refrigerator (must be clean, without turbidity and impurities).

– filter the water through an osmotic filter;

– filter water through peat (peat is added to the filter) or into a tank where water is settled;

– KN hardness is reduced by boiling water in an enamel pot for 1 hour, followed by settling for 24 hours;

– The natural water softeners are fast-growing plants: healer, hornpole, nayas, wallisneria.

HOW TO MEASURE the overall hardness of aquarium water at home without any specials. equipment and preparations (sample titration with soap solution):

The peculiarity of this method is that 10 mg of calcium oxide in 1 liter of water is neutralized with 0.1 g. clean soap.

1. 60-72% of household soap is taken, crumbled.

2. In a measuring cup (or other measuring vessel), water is poured (distilled, snowy, water melted from the refrigerator) – then distillate.

3. Soap powder (counted in grams) is added to the water so that it is possible to calculate the portion small in the resulting solution.

4. Pour 0.5 liters of the tested aquarium water into another dish and gradually add portions of the soap solution (0.1 gr.), Shake.

At first, gray flakes and quickly disappearing bubbles appear on the surface of the water. Gradually adding portions of the soap solution, we are waiting for all the calcium and magnesium oxide to contact – stable soap bubbles will appear on the surface of the water with a characteristic rainbow overflow.

This experience is over. Now we count the number of consumed soap portions, multiply them by two (the aquarium water was 0.5 liters, not 1 liter.).

The resulting number will be the rigidity of the aquarium water in degrees. For example, 5 servings of soap * 2 = 10 ° hD.

With careful experience, the error can be + -1 ° hD.

When obtaining a stiffness result of more than 12 ° hD, the measurement accuracy decreases, it is recommended that the experiment be re-diluted with aquarium water with 50% distillate, double the result.

Hydrogen indicator of water or “aquarium water acidity” (pH of aquarium water).

Determines the neutral, acidic and alkaline reaction of water at a certain concentration of hydrogen ions.

In chemically pure water, electrolytic dissociation occurs – the decomposition of molecules into hydrogen ions (H +) and hydroxyl (OH-), the number of which in it at 25 ° C is always the same and equals 10-7 g * ion / l. Such water is neutral. The negative logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen ions is conventionally used to designate the pH value and in this case is equal to 7. If there are acids in the water (not chemically pure water), the amount of hydrogen ions will be more than hydroxyl – the water becomes acidic with a lower digital pH.

Conversely, hydroxyl ions will dominate in alkaline water and the pH will increase.

Aquarium water with pH parameters:

– from 1 to 3 is called / considered strongly acidic;

– from 5-6 slightly acidic;

PH parameters can change during the day, due to the variable concentration of carbon dioxide in aquarium water, which in turn is stabilized by constant aeration.

Sharp pH fluctuations are harmful and painful for aquarium fish and plants. Most aquarium fish prefer a pH of 5.5 to 7.5.

HOW TO CHANGE the pH of aquarium water:

– If it is necessary to lower the pH – acidify the water with peat extract (well, or special preparations from the Pet Shop);

– If you need to increase the pH (strengthen alkalinity) – use baking soda;

MEASURING the pH of aquarium water:

1. In many pet stores sold – testers (litmus paper with phenolphthalein). Actually following the instructions on the package and on the scale, you can determine the pH parameters.

2. There are specials. measuring device – PiAshmeter. For home aquariums is not used (expensive, and why not at all).

After all, the main thing is not frequent measurement of pH parameters, but conditions of keeping fish and aquarium. In a well-kept, not overcrowded aquarium, not clogged to the top with plants, with aeration – the pH will always be normal and often it is not necessary to measure.

Redox potential (rH of water, ORP of water).

The essence of the redox process in aquarium water is that all substances in it react with each other. In this case, one substance gives up its electrons and charges positively (oxidizes), and the other acquires electrons and charges negatively (being restored). As a result, a difference in electrical potentials arises between different-sized substances.

Simply put: oxidation – this is the reaction of nitrite with oxygen, and recovery – on the contrary, the breakdown of nitrites with the release of oxygen.

The maximum oxidative potential of water is 42rH.

rH 40-42 – maximum oxidation (pure oxygen);

rH 35 – strong oxidation;

rH 30 – slight oxidation;

rH 25 – weak oxidation;

rH 20 – weak recovery;

rH 15 –significant recovery;

rH 10 – strong recovery;

rH 5-0 – maximum reduction (pure hydrogen);

Almost all aquarium fish and plants feel comfortable with rH 25-35. Some species prefer narrower parameters of this value.

Measured by rH special gauges.

Increase the rH of water by regularly changing the water, leaving it to clean the aquarium, as well as purging the air and using ozone.


We have learned about the basic parameters of aquarium water, the observance of which will be an absolute guarantee of the health of fish and the beauty of plants.

There are other values ​​/ parameters characterizing aquarium water. However, they are not as significant as hD and pH. To maintain a home aquarium to know and follow them is simply not necessary.

As Sherlock Holmes said: “… a sensible person carefully selects what he places in his brain attic.”

OPTIMAL PARAMETERS OF AQUAREMOUS WATER (hD of water, pH of water, ORP of water) I ATHERENTLY REACH THE BANAL CARE OF THE AQUARIUM AND FOLLOWING THE RULES OF THE CONTENT OF ITS RESIDENTS: do not make a dormitory out of the aquarium, do not overload it with plants, provide aeration and filtering;

See also:
CHANGE OF WATER IN THE AQUARIUM! WHAT WATER IS NEEDED FOR THE AQUARIUM? How much water should be defended for the aquarium?
Category: Aquarium Articles / EQUIPMENT AND FACILITY AQUARIUM | Views: 23 358 | Date: 5-03-2013, 13:20 | Comments (2) We also recommend reading:

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When dealing with novice aquarists, you encounter a misunderstanding of the importance of this issue. Often you can even hear the phrase: “Well, there are no tests in our city, you are strange, my fish are dying, and you give me – do tests, do tests … Until then, I was fine and did not test anything.”

To reveal the importance of monitoring the parameters of aquarium water, let’s turn to the basics of aquarism. Here are her postulates:

1. An aquarium is a complete, almost closed biological system. This is the interconnection of all biological organisms, these are millions of chemical and biological processes that take place every second in the aquarium.

In a word, an aquarium is a microcosm in your home!

2. Each hydrobiont (fish, crustaceans, mollusks, plants, bacteria, fungi, other microorganisms), like all living things, prefer certain conditions, certain water parameters under which they are comfortable.

3. Full development in adverse conditions is not possible. In a deliberately “aggressive” environment, any living organism begins to adapt – to matter.

In particular, the fish, by the means of an amazing mechanism called immunity, are beginning to “endure” in the hope of “better times.”

4. The immunity of any living organism is not infinite, it is depleted. When this happens, other biological mechanisms are activated — the mechanisms of the withering away or “destroying the weak.”

The body loses the protective mechanisms that allowed it to resist the pathogenic flora – pathogenic bacteria, fungi and microorganisms penetrate inside and destroy the body.

From the above, we can make a simple conclusion that the root cause of all aquarium troubles, is the inappropriate content of a hydrobiont. It is no secret that all the fish can be divided into softwater (gH below 7), neutral (gH exactly 7) and hard water (gH above 7), “acidic” (pH below 7) and alkaline (pH above 7).

About the concentration of poisons such as ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in general can not speak.

When an “aquarium trouble” happens – the fish get sick, the first thing to do is to check the water for compliance with its “standards”. Moreover, without “putting water in order” it is impossible to carry out any treatment.

Bringing drugs at high concentrations of poisons: NH3 / NH4, NO2, NO3 – you can just kill the fish on the bank, they just will not stand and drugs, and poisons.

Therefore, the primary task of an aquarist is to maintain proper water parameters – this is the key to success! That is why we need aquarium water tests so much!

Does the aforementioned mean that an aquarist at home should deploy a whole laboratory and run as if stung with test strips, cones and test tubes? Of course not. Firstly, because the “healthy aquarium” is always visible – there is no mud, algae, saprophytic mucus, etc.

Secondly, having initially tested the water in the aquarium and from the tap, the aquarist already knows the approximate figures that he will always have. Thirdly, water testing is performed as needed – periodically, not daily.

Fourth, the packaging of tests involves repeated testing, i.e. having bought once, they will always be at your fingertips.

And the last thing that I would like to emphasize – it is the novice aquarist who needs tests when starting the aquarium! This is due to the fact that in the first month the “ripening of the aquarium” occurs, as a whole biological organism.

The unsettled biological system is unstable in the first month and that’s why it needs to be “monitored”, especially for a newcomer!

For more information, see: “Nitrogen Cycle” brochure, brochure “Aquarium navigator for beginners, issue number 1”, “Muddy Aquarium”, “Nitrites and nitrates in an aquarium, forum”.

What are the tests aquarium water? Which is better to use?

Aquarium water temperature

Water temperature for aquarium fish

One of the most important parameters of aquarium water is its temperature. Most aquarium fish feel comfortable at a temperature of 22-26 ° C.

But there are fish that prefer a lower or higher temperature.

For example, discus is a heat-loving fish, a comfortable temperature for their maintenance is 28-31 ° C. But the Goldfish family, on the contrary, prefers cooler water at 18-23 ° C.

Thus, speaking of the temperature regime in an aquarium, one should take into account the comfortable temperature parameters for a specific fish. It should also be noted that the temperature of aquarium water directly affects the lifespan of some species of fish.

For example, neons at a temperature of 18 ° C live 4 years, at 22 ° C – 3 years, 27 ° C – 1.5 years.

Perhaps the most important rule for an aquarist is to prevent sudden changes in temperature (2-4 degrees). Such vibrations are extremely harmful.
for fish.

Today, there are virtually no problems with maintaining the temperature regime in an aquarium. Therefore, when on the Internet you come across articles about the Soviet methods of “boiling with a kettle” involuntarily you are touched.

Only one thing is frustrating – after all, articles on this topic are usually looked for and viewed by novices or young aquarists who are so easily confused with unnecessary, unnecessary information.

The nuances covered in this article for an experienced aquarist will not inspire innovation, but beginners will be noticed.

So, to maintain the required temperature regime of aquarium water, you need to buy two things at the pet shop:

1. Thermostat heater.

2. Thermometer with suction cups.

Regarding the temperature control of the heater for the aquarium – it is chosen based on the volume of the aquarium (its power must be appropriate). They fix it, as a rule, on the back wall of the aquarium, near the filter with aeration, so that it is completely immersed in the input.

IMPORTANT: when setting the desired temperature on the scale of the thermostat, the first time (6-12 hours) watch the level of heating of the aquarium water. This is due to the fact that often the scale of the thermostat does not always correspond to the actual temperature of water heating (especially in Chinese thermostats) or the thermostat does not quite fit the volume of the aquarium.

Failure to comply with this rule may lead to the fact that in the morning your aquarium may turn into “a pot with a good, elite ear.”

Well, the second thing to which you should pay attention – the heater for the aquarium should be completely immersed in water. Do not allow it to be in the on state in air (in whole or in part).

This will lead to its rapid overheating.

Regarding thermometers for aquarium – here everything is simple! They are:

glass (ordinary)

in the form of a self-adhesive strip thermometers for the aquarium

(I do not recommend. creatively — yes, it is practical — no, especially since this strip “fades” over time);

and electronic thermometers for aquarium $ 12;

When buying a thermometer should pay attention to the quality of suckers. If they are weak – the thermometer will often fall to the ground.

In addition, there are fish that pathologically may not like the thermometer and they will deliberately drop it (I have suffered from these gays blue).

I think that with the heating of aquarium water everything is clear: – set, adjusted and forgot.

Let’s now talk about what to do if the temperature goes over the top (from overheating or “summer in August”). Nowadays, this is also not a problem – the air conditioner will not only cool the room, but also lower the temperature of the water in the aquarium.

Another question is what to do if it is not? Or if you need to urgently lower the temperature?

Ice from the refrigerator will come to the rescue. At one time, I poured water into plastic 2-liter bottles (carefully removing the bottle from the label and glue beforehand) and frozen them in the refrigerator.

After lowering them into the aquarium and thereby lowered the temperature of the water to the desired.

This method of lowering the temperature has two minuses: firstly, the frozen bottles and ice heat up quite quickly – they often need to be frozen, and secondly: sudden, frequent temperature drops are poorly tolerated by aquarium fish. If the temperature is “tolerable” it is better not to add an ice bottle.


Video about the temperature and care of the aquarium

Why die fish in an aquarium and what to do.


Balance in an aquarium, how to achieve perfect balance

In view of the frequent questions and clarifications in our forum, what is the aquarium balance, I consider it necessary to clarify this issue in more detail.

First, let’s define it.

BIOBALANCE AQUARIUM (biological equilibrium) – This is a set of factors of aquarium life, upon reaching which, the aquarium begins to work like a clockwork. That is, when all aquatic hydrobionts: fish, plants, mollusks, crustaceans, bacteria, fungi and others, interacting with each other, create a certain chain, if you can say so closed cycle, in which, the aquarium becomes a complete, healthy, tuned organism.

Biobalance of the aquarium can be understood both in the narrow sense and in the broad. Often, as an example, on aquarium sites they talk about the “Ammonia cycle”, identifying it with the concept of balance.

However, this is not entirely true. The ammonia cycle, that is, the process of decomposition of ammonia and its products – is one of many chains and components of biological equilibrium in an aquarium.

Nature is a very clever young lady and in her domain she uses extremely complex, diverse mechanisms for maintaining life, she has all the tools for all occasions. Many of its secrets are not realized by man, many are only at an early stage of understanding.

However, at present, humanity has made some progress in understanding the “Laws of Nature”, which allows us to recreate a corner of wildlife in our home – an aquarium. Any aquarist, in fact, acts as an assistant, an apprentice of nature, learns from her and tries to reproduce the same manipulations that she does.

To understand the BIOBALANCE IN THE NARROW MEANING, below are examples of chains:

1. “Ammonia cycle”. Fishes release waste products (kakuli and urea) – they are decomposed by a certain group of bacteria (hereinafter – “OGB”) and converted into ammonia (NH3), then another OGB ammonia decomposes to nitrite (NO2), another OGB to nitrate (NO3) and then poisons are differently removed from the aquarium, for example, there is a transition to a gaseous state.

2. The cycle with plants. The ammonia cycle does not end with a “gaseous state”, but continues through the process of photosynthesis and the consumption of nitrates (NO3) by plants, as one of the fertilizer.

3. The cycle of photosynthesis. In the presence of all its components: high-quality lighting, the presence of fertilizers, plants consume CO2 (carbon dioxide, the product of fish respiration, which is the most important fertilizer for plants) and instead of the plant emit pure O2 (oxygen), which is consumed by fish and other hydrobionts, and participates in oxidation processes.

Ammoniac cycle in the aquarium

Here are the basic chains of biological equilibrium, which immediately came to my mind. There are a lot of examples of such chains: with fish and snails, with fish, snails and plants, with fungi, bacteria and fish, and so on … almost to infinity.

From the above, it is possible to give a definition of aquarium biobalance in a wider sense – it is a combination of all links and biological chains.

The process of the formation of biobalance, can still be divided into:

– biological chains, i.e. direct interaction of living organisms (BIO);

– properties, factors and tools, i.e. components directly affecting the quality of interaction of living organisms. These include: water parameters (dH, kH, pH, rH, t), quality and level of illumination, quality of filtration, soil, “interior”, etc.

In light of this, it is very important to understand that “properties, factors, and tools” play an important role. In essence, these are the mechanisms by which we can tune and correct the biological equilibrium in our reservoir. It is their adjustment and honing that leads to success.

And on the contrary, the neglect of these tools, forcing “Nature” to include other mechanisms to maintain balance. The same algae, because, in fact, this is not harm and bjaka, but an aquarium reaction to excessive or insufficient amount / quality of lighting or to a high concentration of poisons (NH3, NO2, NO3), etc.

The smallest factors play an important role, for example, neglect by newbies of the rules of compatibility and norms of the population of the aquarium, leads to activation of the function of “destroying the excess”: stress appears in fish, immunity falls, pathogenic bacteria and fungi turn on the action, and excess fish become sick and die.

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