4 Important Things to Learn to Improve the Water Quality of Your Aquarium or Pond

Real AquaticsIf you’ve decided to develop a hobby of fishkeeping, it’s a good decision. However, you have to understand a couple of things. Most importantly, you should understand that fish live in a different medium i.e. water, unlike we humans or other pets like cats and dogs. They also get a limited amount of this medium, which naturally gets contaminated soon.

Well, you can take help of Real Aquatics, a leading provider of all fishkeeping products and systems, and establish a pond for your fish which is larger than an aquarium. But you still have to continuously monitor the quality of water in which your fish are living so as to let them live comfortably. How can you do that? Let’s see.

1. Water Quality

Water in your aquarium or pond carries oxygen to your fish and contributes to their metabolic functions. It also provides them the necessary nutrients they require for their physiological functions.

To maintain the water quality at its best level, the waste products of the fish should first be processed; otherwise they can build up to a dangerous level. Hence you should regularly clean your aquarium or pond water with a filter.

One of the primary nitrogenous wastes formed by the fish is ammonia (NH4). If its concentration increases beyond a certain amount, it can burn the delicate tissues, like gills and fins, of fish. Another waste product is nitrites (NO2) which, if elevated, can inhibit oxygen transportation to the fish’s bloodstream. Fish also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) through respiration which can also be dangerous if not regulated. To prevent all these products from elevating to dangerous levels, filtration and aeration are essential. Thus, while planning to set an aquarium, you also have to get aquarium filters and aerator.

purple harlequin rasbora

2. Biological Filtration

Apart from mechanical aquarium filters, biological filters like beneficial aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacteria can help you filter the aquarium or pond water. They consume ammonia and other nitrogenous wastes produced by the fish and convert them into less harmful compounds.

Nitrosonas are bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrites. So, you’ll have to establish a healthy colony of these bacteria. However, nitrites are harmful compounds too. So, to eliminate it, you should also grow another type of bacteria called nitrobacter.

The growth and establishment of the colonies of these bacteria is called “cycling” the aquarium. It takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the completion of cycling.

The final product derived from nitrite (NO2) in the nitrogen cycle is nitrate (NO3). This is not harmful to fish, but it can cause excessive algae growth. To solve this problem, you can grow live plants in your aquarium which will feed on this fertilizer and reduce nitrate levels and in turn algae growth.

live plants in an aquarium

3. Bacteria Bloom

Bacteria bloom or cloudiness of water occurs 2-4 days after fish are added to the water. The cloudiness, formed due to the initial bacterial growth, is not dangerous to tank residents, and will clear automatically. But if your water doesn’t clear after ten days, consult fishkeeping experts like that at Real Aquatics.

It’s important to remember that the media involved host billions of living bacteria and their very presence keeps your fish healthy. In their absence, the fish can die. While cleaning the filter media, it’s essential to use the aquarium water for cleaning and not the chlorinated tap water which can kill these important bacteria because of which the toxic waste products won’t be removed, resulting in loss of fish. Ideally, the rest of the tank should be left undisturbed while cleaning biological media as it also houses bacteria and they help take up the slack when the main bacterial component is under stress of cleaning.

fish pond

4. Use Home Test Kits

To monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH and other components of water to check water quality, you can use home test kits regularly.

Ideally, after establishing your tank or pond (after 5 weeks), you should do partial water exchanges every 2-3 weeks, never more than 1/3 of the water at a time. You should also get your gravel siphoned occasionally to remove solid wastes from the bottom of the tank.


So, are you ready to improve the water quality of your fish aquarium or pond?