Category Archives: Water Conditioners

Reducing Nitrite in Freshwater Shrimp Tank

Nitrite in a freshwater shrimp tank only equals one thing – problem. Shrimp are almost intolerant of any nitrite and if your levels do suddenly rise you can tell by observing them – shrimp tend to sit still and stop feeding when unhappy – some may die within 24 hours.  When shrimp stop feeding you know they’re in trouble and this is their ‘alarm bell’ ringing. To make matters worse, large water changes are not an option as shrimp cannot tolerate that either so it would appear there are not many choices left! Until now…

Genchem Biozyme is a brilliant product that reduces ammonia and nitrite instantly without the need of any water change. But like most Genchem products they have a two fold effect. The other added benefit is Biozyme will improve the metebolic digestive system of your shrimp and baby shrimp can also consume it!

It doesn’t get better than that :)

See our the Genchem range here.

Three aquarium items that you should not get second hand

With the economic downturn we are all looking for savings to be made, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

One is that looking for savings is a good move, the other is that cutting corners where it involves safety is not.

Below I list three items that you should get brand new, they usually go wrong quickly and have a high fail rate.

Heater

Why shouldn’t you get an aquarium heater second hand? With so many offers online for second hand items, the aquarium heater is one that you should get new. Many aquarium heaters fail, either they get stuck on the one position or they fail to heat up the water. Both will kill all your livestock.

Many fish keepers spend hundreds if not thousands on their tank, on substrate, lights, rocks, fish, etc, yet many people do not think twice about buying a heater second hand.

Aquarium water treatment or conditioners

Do you actually know what is inside a open bottle? Would you buy juice from a shop if the bottle was already open? Same with aquarium products. Don’t bother with half used bottles. First many products have a use by date from the date they were open, and you do not know when they were open, secondly you do not know what else is mixed on it, and last the savings you may made will not matter if something goes wrong. Buy from a reputable shop and have peace of mind.

External Filters

Many filters rubber rings have a usable life, same as it happens to your car, many items wear off after a while, and they need to be replaced. Would you like to come home and have half the tank water on the sitting room floor?

Water Conditioners For Planted Aquariums

There are a wide range of water conditioners available today which look after your water quality. In the past the sole water conditioner was a dechlorinator which removed chlorine from tap water. Tap water is perfectly safe for use in a planted aquariums if a dechlorinator has been added.

Other water conditioners enable us to predetermine the water chemistry we so desire. Today there are liquid conditioners, filter media resins and some substrates which alter pH, absorb and bind specific chemicals. You can view our range here.

In recent years major developments have been made to speed up the cycling process of an aquarium which has always been a big frustration for hobbyists. Some of you may already have working knowledge of what ‘cycling’ means – it takes about 6 weeks for ammonia (fish excrement) to be converted to nitrite and then the safer nitrate (cycling process). Can this cycle be sped up? It can to a certain degree using commercial products such as Nutrafin Cycle which reduces cycling down to 3-4 weeks. This type of water conditioner is always useful to have anyway, particularly after carrying out large water changes or adding new fish to your tank. Your filter can experience nitrite spikes and filter boosters can quickly get it back in shape.

In addition to liquid filter conditioners, there are various filter media that allow for safe removal of toxins such as nitrite. These tend to be more economical and quite convenient as once the media is in the filter you don’t need to worry about adding more. It’s worth noting though that some medias can release what they have stored which can become problematic so the key is regular maintenance. Some medias are also renewable where others need replacing once they ‘become full’ – check the packet before use. If you want total control of your water (as some do) the answer is to purchase an RO Unit. RO is an abbreviation of reverse osmosis where tap water is passed through a membrane/s in order to purify and strip all minerals and impurities. The end product is pure water. However RO water is very unstable on its own and it’s the ‘impurities’ that ironically provide stability. By adding a product such as Seachem Replenish, specific minerals are added back to the water to make it more stable. RO kits can be purchased from £90 and up.
In planted aquariums, it’s very important to try and work with the water which you have, i.e. that which comes out of the tap otherwise it can be an uphill battle to control your water variables. For example in hard water areas (high KH and GH), use a substrate which will set and stabilise your water parameters to the correct level. The best example of this is Naturesoil which we briefly mentioned in the Gravels/Substrates section. In some parts of the UK, tap water has high levels of nitrate and phosphate and that is one exception where an RO Unit will be highly beneficial.

Chemicals. If you decide to use chemicals to alter your water parameters such as Kent pH minus, whilst this is effective, there are many factors that can change water in a planted aquarium. I have personal experience of battling with tap water from all parts of the UK, and I never totally achieved what I wanted. Did this matter? No, but at the time I was very determined!