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.
Ammonia in a planted aquarium can be a common problem especially if your tank is new or if you have upset the substrate in some way – you may have over fed your fish too as that can cause a spike. For the first few weeks of a tank cycle you may well see some Ammonia present in your tank water. Assuming you have no fish in your tank (which you shouldn’t do as the first fish should go in after 6 weeks), there’s no need to worry. Just let the nitrogen cycle take it’s natural course and your ammonia will disappear after it converts to nitrite and then nitrogen (which is harmless). But what about those of you who have put fish in too early or for some other reason like over feeding or disturbing your substrate and you have ammonia? Follow the steps below and you can’t go far wrong:
Step 1 – act fast. Ammonia is the number one killer of fresh and coldwater fish. If ammonia is present your fish won’t last long. The reason why ammonia is so toxic is that it works by binding directly onto the oxygen particles in your water, so essentially it starves your fish of oxygen so when they breath, they’re gasping for oxygen. This is why their gills are pumping.
Step 2 – Use Seachem Amguard immediately. This is an excellent product which will bind the ammonia and render it harmless meaning that your fish will not suffer. Oxygen is then freed up so your fish can breath normally.
Step 3 – Use Seachem Stablity. Another excellent product which helps to convert the ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate (end goal) quicker than any other product on the market. Use this at the same time as Seachem Amguard for best results.
Step 4 – Monitor your ammonia using Seachem Ammonia Alert. This is a permanent test that you place on the inside of your aquarium and it reads your ammonia levels 24/7. Therefore there will be no question of doubt if you have the toxic ammonia or not.
Once you follow these steps you can relax and your fish will be happy. Don’t forget that we offer Express Delivery so if you need your goods fast then we offer a next day delivery service.
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!