Ammonia gets converted to nitrite by the
bacteria in your tank. Nitrite levels will soar in new tanks that have not yet
been cycled. Nitrite is just as toxic to tropical fish as ammonia and the only
way to quickly reduce nitrite levels is through a water change. Nitrites will
eventually be converted to nitrate by the bacteria growing in the tank and
filters. Ideally, in established tanks you want this reading to be 0 ppm with
your aquarium test kit.
Nitrites are converted to nitrates during the cycling process. Nitrates are not
as toxic as ammonia or nitrites but they are harmful and will stress your fish
at high enough levels. The only way to remove the nitrates is through a partial
water change. Ideally you want to have test kit readings of less than 20 ppm in
freshwater tanks and even less in saltwater tanks.
This cycle usually takes from 2-8 weeks to complete and will happen in all new
aquariums. You could speed up the process by using the filter material or gravel
from an established tank. Even then it could still take a few weeks for the tank
to cycle. This is the cycle whereby Ammonia is converted to Nitrites and
Nitrites are converted to
Ammonia -> Nitrite -> Nitrate
Ammonia levels high? The recommended product to use would be the Hydra Ammonia
Lock that absorbs the excess ammonia and prevents it from poisoning your pond
fish. Click on the link below for more information
Hydra Ammonia Lock
Carbonate Hardness (KH)
This is the measure of calcium and magnesium salts which are present in the
water, especially if the water is alkaline. Soft water tends to be associated
with acidic conditions while hard water is indicative of alkaline water. If pH
fluctuations are being experienced, it is worth testing the pond water for
hardness. If you are experiencing low levels of carbonate hardness, you may need
to add minerals to the pond as your koi need a certain amount of calcium and
minerals for their good health. It will help to buffer the water which will help
maintain a constant pH level (using Hydra pH Buffer). This can be done by
putting crushed oyster shells in the filters , or by adding a proprietary
product designed for buffering the water in the pond. Certain medications also
react differently in soft and hard water, so it is important to know about your
water conditions should a problem arise. Generally in soft water chemicals
become more toxic, while in hard water they become less so.
Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. It is a stronger
disinfectant than chlorine alone and is used in areas where this extra
disinfectant is needed. As with chlorine, you must eliminate this chemical from
your tap water before adding it to your aquarium or it too will kill your
The recommended product to use to remove the chloramines is the Hydra Chloramine-T
This chemical is found in most tap water and it is used to kill the bad bacteria
in our drinking water. Chlorine must be eliminated before entering your aquarium
or it will kill your tropical fish.
The recommended product to use to remove the chlorine in regular tap water is
the Hydra De-Chlorinator
The hardness level of water has to do with the amount of minerals that are
dissolved in the water. Calcium and magnesium are the primary minerals that are
dissolved in tap water. "Soft" water has relatively few dissolved minerals
whereas "hard" water has many dissolved minerals. Water hardness is not really
an issue unless your water is excessively soft. Then you may have problems with
runaway pH levels. For saltwater aquariums this is especially true. The
carbonate hardness of saltwater can give you a good indication of how stable
your pH is.
Water pH too low, insufficient carbonate hardness or general hardness? The best
recommendation is to follow the links below on effective and safe products from
Hydra pH Up (immediate fix)
Hydra pH Buffer (long term buffering)
Oxygen enters the pond by the process of diffusion at the surface and at the
same time carbon dioxide is released from the pond. If plants are present, the
process of photosynthesis causes oxygen to be released into the water, although
this is reversed at night when oxygen is absorbed by plants and carbon dioxide
is given off. Oxygen levels are dramatically affected by temperature - the
higher the temperature, the lower is the dissolved oxygen content of the water.
This creates a catch 22 situation as your koi most need oxygen in the hot summer
months just when the water is least able to hold high levels of oxygen.
pH is the scale used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of water. The scale
ranges from 0 to 14 with 0 being the most acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being
the most alkaline. It is possible to raise or lower your pH levels with water
changes or chemicals from your local pet store.
Water pH too low, insufficient carbonate hardness or general hardness? In order
to balance the right pH levels, using the Hydra pH up and Buffer will regulate
and control your pH levels in your pond. Please follow the link to the full
Hydra pH Up (immediate fix)
Hydra pH Buffer (long term buffering)
Phosphate can be introduced to your aquarium mainly from tap water, dead plants
and fish food. High phosphate levels can cause algae outbreaks. There are
products on the market to remove phosphates and you can do your part by keeping
up with your aquarium maintenance and performing regular water changes.
Saltwater reef tank keepers and freshwater plant keepers may want to invest in a
phosphate test kit.
Phosphate levels high? hydra provides remove this chemical compound that
provides nutrients to the growth of blanket weed and algae. Click the link below
for full product details.
Soft, gooey, mucky black pond bottom stuff oozing between toes, staining shoes
past ankles. Decaying organic contents of silt smell like rotten eggs. Wade the
edge of your pond, and take a look.
Nature gives us silt, naturally. Silt is as normal as fallen leaves, grass
clippings and fish poop. As a matter of fact, fallen leaves, grass clipping and
fish stuff become ingredients of silt on pond bottoms all over the world.
The best way to decrease the organic and oxidizable matter is by using the Hydra
Silt-Less that is ideal for ponds and small lakes.
It is harmless to both humans and to your pond fish. For full product
description please click on the link below.
This has dramatic effect on koi as the lower the temperature the slower their
metabolism will function. At very low temperatures their immune system will also
be affected. Koi are coldwater fish, but they do benefit from being kept in a
heated pond with stable water temperature. In unheated ponds temperature
fluctuations cause stress, and koi are highly susceptible to disease over the
autumn-winter-spring season change.