Hello, friends! At present, for most people, the source of fresh water is our crap water pipe. We receive water from a natural reservoir through pipes, pre-cleaned at wastewater treatment plants.
The quality of water from our piping system directly affects the well-being of a home aquarium.
It’s no secret that the quality of water is affected by the material from which the pipeline is made. But we pour this vodichku from rusty pipes into the aquarium.
Also, the quality of water is strongly influenced by a sewage treatment plant, where water is filtered before being discharged through the system.
In general, to find pure water in nature is almost impossible. As a rule, such natural water has a rather complex chemical composition.
Even in medieval rains, the water had impurities of ammonium, calcium, chlorine, sodium, and other chemicals. In appearance, tap water is very clean, but it is only at first glance.
During the time the water is in the system, some chemicals are partially deposited on the walls of the pipeline, while others simply dissolve. The distribution of these processes directly depends on the active reaction medium (pH), for the measurement of which the pH meter is bought, as well as the redox potential.
Only these parameters will vary depending on the chlorine content, time of year or ozonation of water.
In old houses, mainly in Khrushchev houses, the pipes are so ancient and rusty that it affects the quality of aquarium water, and rust is not good for the aquarium ecosystem. In addition, the pipes are sometimes copper or zinc coated. And these metals under the action of water dissolve well in it.
Even distilled water does not get rid of carbon dioxide impurities.
Magnesium and calcium dissolved in water directly affect the hardness of the aquarium water. These two chemical elements are the most active chemical regulators. Processes.
Hardness plays a special role in water quality, and we drink water, pour it into an aquarium or use it for technical needs.
Almost all aquarium fish and plants in nature live in soft water. We have hard water in the water supply system, or medium hardness, and this, as you understand, does not meet the needs of aquatic organisms very much. But I want to reassure novice aquarists who are beginning to panic about this.
Aquarium fish, we muzzle such water for a very long time. This applies in particular to unpretentious aquarium plants and fish. About unpretentious aquarium fish I advise you to read this post, but about unpretentious plants this.
As a rule, they are advised to beginners to aquarists, since such aquarium fish and plants are not demanding to conditions.
The most popular fish (sword-bearers, mollies, red neons, girinohaylusy) and plants (kohronistnik, bacopa, ambulia, valisneria and cryptocoryne) feel great with water hardness up to 15 dH. However, here as elsewhere there are exceptions: viviparids prefer 10-15 dH stiffness, harazinkas need comparatively less stiffness – no more than 6 dH, well, cichlids from the Malawi Island generally need about 20 dH stiffness.
All of us from the school bench remember the formula of water – H2O. Some of the water molecules break down into the following ions: H + and OH-. If the number of ions is equal, then the water is considered neutral.
The active reaction of the medium, also known as pH, is measured in the range from 0 to 14, and as you probably already understood, the neutral reaction is the number 7. To the left of the scale, the water is considered acidic, and to the right – alkaline.
Almost all types of plants and fish in our aquariums prefer a pH of 6.5-8.5, these are the optimal parameters. If you do a special test for pH, then you will know exactly what you should do – alkalinize or acidify the water.
But, as in the whole in nature, the prosperous existence of living organisms depends not only on one pH parameter. It turns out that redox reactions are also important, and in particular the redox potential (rH). Oxygen is the strongest oxidizing agent in nature, and it is not an exception in aquarium water, where hydrogen is a reducing agent.
However, between these two chemical elements there are other substances necessary for the implementation of all the most important chemical processes.
Nitrogen-containing substances that are reducing agents resist oxygen. They are formed as a result of the decomposition of organics and groups of metals that have variable valence (iron).
From the above, we can conclude that the bottom of the aquarium supplies reducing agents, and the atmosphere – oxidizers.
Higher plants and fish living in aquariums of underwater fauna lovers live in water with a redox potential from 25 to 35 rH, but even here there are some exceptions as in the case of pH. Some representatives prefer narrower redox potential ranges. To measure this parameter in a home aquarium is almost impossible, but it can be roughly determined by aquarium plants.
For example, plants from lakes and streams are accustomed to high rH and, at a low level, do not grow at all; and vice versa – plants from swamps and ponds love low rH levels.
Here are some optimal water parameters for different fish:
– Fish from the Amazon: pH 5.5-6.5; dH 1-5;
– Barbus and harazinki: pH 6.0-7.5; dH 5-12;
– Labyrinth: pH 6.5-7.5; dH 5-10;
– Live beetles: pH 7.5-8.5; dH 15-25;
– Mollies: pH 7.5-8.54 dH 20-30;
– Central American cichlids: pH 6.5-8.0; dH 10-20;
– South American cichlids: pH 6.0-7.0; dH 5-12;
– African cichlids: pH 6.0-7.2; dH 5-12;
– Cichlids from the island of Malawi: pH 7.7-8.5; dH 10-15;
– Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika: pH 8.0-9.2; dH 15-20.