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Aquarium ripening

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Maturation of the aquarium

Konstantinos Sfikas


Each new aquarium must mature to accommodate fish and meet the biological burden it entails. There are three basic ways of curing the aquarium.

By introducing a small number of fish until stabilized.

By using special products and corresponding artificial introduction of biobacteria.

By introducing water from an existing aquarium, the so-called "gutter".

The aquarium ripening process involves 2-3 days where the aquarium will be at rest, followed by an increase in ammonia levels-NH4-up to about day 20 and a gradual decline over the next 2-3 days, from about day 12 to increase. Nitrate levels-NO2-by about the 32nd day to zero, just before Nitrate-NO3 production begins and the aquarium will have gone through the basic ripening phase.

One of the more traditional methods of aquarium ripening is to introduce a small number of resistant fish until the aquarium stabilizes. However, this will cause great stress for the fish as the NO2 and NH4 values will fluctuate at high, dangerous levels. For this reason, it is recommended to regularly check the NO2 and NH4 values and the freshness of the water at regular intervals to keep the NO2 and NH4 concentration at a tolerable level for fish. This process takes about 32 days or longer.

Maturing the aquarium using special products-biobacteria-is the safest solution. The process involves introducing the biobacterium into the aquarium and feeding it-using a special bacterial feed-until the NO2 and NH4 values exceed a level, which can stop the feeding of the bacteria. Frequent inspections in the aquarium should be carried out. When the NO2 value drops to zero, then it is ready to receive fish. This process holds from about 14 days in fresh water to 40 days in seawater.

Aquarium "grafting" requires the introduction of water from an existing mature aquarium and the introduction of a small number of resistant fish. The amount of water that comes in is good to exceed 30% of the total aquarium water. The basic requirement is the mature water that will be acidic-pH-equivalent to the aquarium being prepared. Differences in acidity will cause the death of the beneficial microorganisms contained in the "bowl". In this case, too, the aquarium should be frequently monitored for NH4 and NO2 concentrations and small water freshenings to keep their values low until the aquarium stabilizes.

The ideal solution is a combination of the above. Specifically the use of specific biobacteria in combination with the introduction of small numbers of fish. Introducing biobacteria into the aquarium will reduce the ripening time from 32 to 14 days and keep toxin values at levels tolerated by fish. Biobacteria should be added after chlorination of the aquarium water. Because the organic crops contained in most of the preparations are latent and require about one day to awaken, the fist fish must be introduced the next day so that the biobacteria will find food as soon as they wake up. It is imporant that no other fish are added during the ripening period and that small amounts of food are fed.

Even the "grafting" of the aquarium is proposed to be combined not only with the introduction of small numbers of fish but also with the use of biobacteria, as the amount of mature water will enter the aquarium but most of the organic farming will have to be gradually grown on its surfaces aquarium and especially filter materials. Also to speed up the ripening process and make it safer for aquarium fish.

It should be noted that filling up your aquarium and leaving it empty for some time, whether it is a week or a year, will have no effect on ripening unless living organisms enter.

The procedure described above relates to the basic ripening phase. The aquarium will have stabilized after 3rd-4th month and in some cases, especially with regard to the aquarium-this period is up to one year.

Importantly, fish should be introduced after ripening so that no aquarium fish is caugh and a corresponding increase in the biological burden that the aquarium will not be able to handle.

Last but not least, actions such as major water changes (over 50%), washing filtering materials at the tap, replacing the bottom of the aquarium result in the loss of a large part of the aquarium's organic crops and the need for the aquarium to mature again. The abrupt changes in an ecosystem are damaging.

So good preparation of your aquarium with patience and security and your aquarium will reward you with the beauty and tranquility it offers!


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