Experienced aquarium hobbyists know that there is nothing more important than maintaining high water quality in your tank. Not only does high water quality prevent a number of problems including algae growth and ammonia toxicity, it also prevents your fish from becoming stressed. When your fish are stressed they are likely to become more aggressive and they are also more prone to contracting disease.
Basics of Water Quality
Water quality is not a stand-alone entity – it is a combination of measurements taken of different aspects of tank water properties. The main elements of water quality are the pH level and chemical levels (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates). Other aspects of water quality may include water hardness, buffering capacity and salinity (in marine tanks). When all of these elements are within the proper range for the species in your tank, your tank is said to have high water quality. If one of these elements exceeds the proper range, toxicity may become an issue. Conversely, if one or more of these elements drops below the recommended range, your water quality could also drop and your tank may become a dangerous environment for your fish. Because water quality plays such an important role in the health and wellness of your fish and other tank inhabitants, it is essential that you monitor it closely.
Developments in Technology
Liquid water test solutions
You may already be familiar with some of the most common methods of water testing – liquid test solutions and paper test strips. Traditionally, testing your aquarium water meant taking a sample and either adding a few drops of test solution or dipping a paper test strip in the water. The color of the solution or test strip was then compared to a color chart to determine the level of the element being tested for. Today, however, technological developments have allowed for a much more sophisticated method of water testing.
All inclusive monitoring devices like those manufactured by Seneye and Pentair make checking your tank’s water quality as simple as looking at the screen of a water testing device. These devices provide round-the-clock water monitoring, providing real-time readings of a variety of elements. In addition to tank temperature and pH levels, these devices can also monitor water levels, ammonia levels and even lighting levels. Another benefit of these water monitoring systems is that the results can be transferred to and viewed on your computer or mobile device. This allows you to keep a record of the normal levels for your tank so you can set alerts for when the certain elements of water quality move outside the preferred range. These devices not only eliminate the need for test solutions and paper strips but they give you accurate readings at the touch of a button.
Other Tips for Water Quality
Though these devices can help you to monitor the water quality in your tank, it is still up to you to make the effort to maintain it. Keeping the water quality in your tank high is the key to keeping your fish happy and healthy. In addition to performing routine water changes and replacing your aquarium filter media, there is a simple trick you can employ to keep your tank water clean – installing an EcoBio-Stone in your tank. EcoBio-Stones are made from naturally porous volcanic rock and they are infused with live beneficial bacteria. Once installed in your aquarium, these bacteria multiply to establish and maintain the nitrogen cycle in your tank, a key element in cultivating a healthy ecosystem. An EcoBio-Stone lasts for years and it helps to keep your tank water clean, clear and free of odor.