Water Conditioning Technology
More sub catagories:
Water Conditioning Technology
Water conditioning and purification
The general water quality, intense lightning and enough water movement are the three critical technical factors for a well functioning marine aquarium. But also for fresh water aquaria, if you want to keep discus fishes for example, best water quality for regular water changes are absolutely necessary.
In our category “Water Conditioning” we have been putting all necessary equipment together to help you maintain the best water parameters possible.
Reverse Osmosis – where it all starts
Water treatment starts with the first filling of your tank. A lot of unwanted and in some cases harmful substances are coming directly from our tap water: nitrate, phosphate or even copper or even pesticides! With the use of a reverse osmosis technology you keep these impurities at bay. Using the pressure of the tap water and a selective membrane you will filter typically more than 90%, in some cases up to 99% of the harmful content of the tap water. Think about one aspect: replacing evaporated water and regular water changes can easily add up to 5 times the volume of you aquarium per year. And some of the problem materials such as copper can accumulate in the aquarium. So yes, we do recommend the constant use of a working RO unit!
Protein Skimmer or foam fractionating
What exactly is protein skimming doing in a salt water aquarium? This is a very complex mater and a lot of discussion can be found in literature and on the internet. As a very practical aspect: if you keep fishes (or more than 2 in 100 liters) you need a Protein Skimmer. To be as unscientific and as clear as possible, let's simply say that the air bubbles inside the skimmer's body strip the water of undesirable waste by-products that are mainly produced by fishes. In addition you get a perfect area for necessary gas exchange. So yes again, if you keep fishes, we certainly recommend the use of a good protein skimmer!
Calcium reactors – if you grow stony corals
When your dream is to rebuild a fascinating coral reef at home than so called hermatypic corals (reef building corals) are going to be the main inhabitants of your reef aquarium. Acropora, Montipora and many other species names are to be mentioned here. They all have in common that they need a lot of calcium carbonate to constantly build their skeletons. In smaller aquaria or with just a view scleractinia (scientific group for stony corals) you may use additives to regulate the consumption of calcium and carbonate. (s. Additives and Supplements)
When the demand for calcium carbonate gets really high, you should think about a calcium reactor which in fact produces calcium AND carbonate by using carbonic acid to dissolve a calcium media. The calcium media could be coral gravel or a specialized material for reactors.
In this chapter you will mainly find the reactors themselves, for the CO2 supply look under CO2 systems!
CO2 systems for planted fresh water aquarium
If your fresh water aquarium should look like a green jungle you should fertilize your plants with a constant dose of CO2 and iron. All main producers of aquarium equipment offer their special system of dosing and mixing CO2 into the water column. Different sizes for all kinds of tank volumes are offered. The components you need are:
- the CO2 cylinder with pressured CO2
- a pressure regulating valve (the bottle comes with 60 bar pressure!)
- a bubble counter to measure the dosing (typically as bubbles per minute)
- a reactor chamber to diffuse the CO2 into the aquarium water effectively
- special connection hose, pressure resistant and CO2-impermeable
- non return valve to prevent water from floating back into the pressure regulator
Ozone or activated carbon?
Dosing ozone into your protein skimmer can be used to break down some organic materials like uric acid. This helps to keep the water crystal clear and remove the yellow tint. In this way ozone is comparable to the use of activated carbon. Ozone may also foster the conversion of nitrite to nitrate, which specially helps in fish only tanks! Care should be taken using ozone because it can be harmful to the animals in the tank as well as to the inhabitants of the room when it is overdosed. You should never be able to smell ozone, otherwise you should reduce the amount produced at once!
UV sterilizers for sensitive fishes
If you want to keep surgeon fishes like Acanthurus species (e.g. Acanthurus leucosternon – Powderblue surgeonfish) or other sensitive fishes you should think about UV sterilization. UV will partially remove free floating bacteria, flagellates, viral and algae pathogens out of aquarium water by exposing it to very high intensity ultra violet light. The use of UV is debated quiet controversial amongst aquarists especially for the use in mixed reef aquarium. One of the reasons is the question whether it is a good idea to remove good AND bad bacteria which should act as a food source for corals, sponges and other filter feeders.
If you decide to use UV you should consider the following aspects:
- it is most effective when used 24/7
- the water MUST be very clear to allow the UV light to have an effect on the bacteria
- the UV light bulbs need to be replaced at least as often as your regular light bulbs
- water flow and the wattages of the lamps need to be in good sync – read instructions!
- you cannot use UV together with any medication or treatment – it may destroy or reinforce the effect in an extreme way