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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER QUALITY

African Cichlids water quality

 

 

 

 

 

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We all want our African Cichlidsa to have a healthy environment to live in. This article will focus on simple tips to

improve and maintain optimum African Cichlids water quality.  In order to achieve this, you must have

a “quality control”maintenance program in place, and follow it, religiously.  If you choose not to do this,

poor African Cichlids water quality could become your “living nightmare”.  Unfavorable water conditions for

your African Cichlids can cause stress and potentially kill them.  Excess nutrients, high ammonia, and low levels of

dissolved oxygen in your aquarium water are common examples of water quality challenges that could be fatal to your

fish. Keeping nutrient levels low is key to your African Cichlids water quality. Learning to identify these

conditions and remedy them is key to successfully  maintaining a healthy aquatic environment for your African Cichlids!

 

Organic waste materials and uneaten food are the most common sources of these.  As these materials  break down

they release nitrogenous products and phosphates into your aquarium water.  These excess nutrients are a food

source for undesirable “guests” in your tank, such as algae, parasites and fungus.  All of these can compromise your

entire African Cichlids aquarium system, including your fish.  Increased algae growth, decreased pH levels, foul

smelling water are all signs telling you that your Cichlids environment “quality control” is out of control.  The fix to

African Cichlids water quality  is simple!  Clean and/or replace filter media

 This should be part of your  weekly and monthly regular scheduled maintenance.

Following each, and every one of these steps as mentioned is vital to the success of your African

Cichlids aquarium water quality.

 

Ammonia is extremely toxic and your Cichlids will show signs of high levels of this in their environment by displaying

erratic swimming behavior.  Ammonia is introduced into your aquarium water through fish waste , respiration,

uneaten food, to and many fish.  These factors can trigger an ammonia spike, even in an established system.  The

level of ammonia in your aquarium needs to be zero , and undetectable.  Elevated levels of this is an indication of

inefficient biological filtration. Regular, scheduled cleaning of your filter media and the addition of cycle when doing

your monthly, scheduled water change should help to maintain a thriving biological  colony in your filter system.

Your fish depend on oxygen to survive. Unfortunately, water holds less of this when nutrient levels are elevated in

your aquarium water.  Filtration efficiency is compromised, and aeration is reduced.  Your beneficial bacteria are

aerobic, which means that they require oxygen to live.  As a result,  your African Cichlids need oxygen as well.  When

this level is reduced because of increased nutrients in their environment there is less oxygen to go around for your fish

because these excess nutrients are using it up as well.  As mentioned previously, this is also an easy fix!  By

incorporating a bubble wand and an air pump into your aquarium water provides a constant supply of oxygen.  This

should provide your cichlids with a healthy, oxygen – rich environment, and a successful African Cichlids water

quality program.

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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER QUALITY

 

African Cichlids water quality

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER QUALITY

It is important to keep tabs on your African Cichlids water quality by monitoring vital water parameters, and keeping

them stable and at proper levels in your aquarium water to prevent unnecessary stress to your Afrtican Cichlids. 

Fluctuation in their water conditions is one of the main causes of cichlids  illness and  death.  Regular testing of your

African Cichlids water quality can prevent serious problems from happening.  It is vital to do regular, scheduled

aquarium water testing of certain parameters in your aquarium water.  Following is a discussion of those water

parameters :

 

TEMPERATURE→  African Cichlids are very sensitive to temperature change in their environment.  Sudden fluctuation in

                               their aquarium  water temperature can wreak havoc on them.  Keeping your African Cichlids water

                               quality at a temperature of 77ºF is ideal.

pH                         →  maintaining a specific level of alkalinity or acidity of your aquarium water is also vital to your African

                                   Cichlids water quality.  African Cichlids require a high level of pH  between  8.0-8.2.

AMMONIA        →   Ammonia is extremely toxic and can cause problems ranging from gill disease to being fatal. 

                               Monitoring your African Cichlids  water quality is a must and corrected immediately if present in your

                               aquarium. 

NITRITE            →  An elevation of nitrite in your African Cichlids water quality could be an indication of a problem with

                               your biological filtration.  This needs to be addressed immediately because even low levels of nitrite

                               suppress your  cichlids immune systems.

                               This can quickly become fatal if the level in their environment is elevated.

NITRATE         →   Nitrate levels in your African Cichlids water quality are not as toxic as the previous parameters

                                     discussed.  It also needs to be monitored on a regular, scheduled basis,  like the other two,

                                     to avoid stress on your African Cichlids.  An elevated level of this  in your aquarium water can

                                    welcome an unwanted guest, algae!

 

In closing, ammonia, nitrate, and  nitrite levels in your aquarium water need to remain at a constant,

undetectable zero level to maintain  healthy African Cichlids water quality.

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER. SALT IN IT !

African Cichlids water

 

 

 

 

 

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 Salt in your African Cichlids water has several beneficial factors when added to their freshwater environment,

and can add to their overali well-being!  Yep! You read the title of the article correctly!

                                                                              STRESS

When your cichlids are diseased, their gills may not be be functioning efficiently.  Their ability to bring in oxygen

and release carbon dioxide could be impaired.  Adding salt to your African Cichlids water introduces electrolytes

into their freshwater environment that may have been lost while your cichlids are diseased, aiding them in there

ability to breathe and recover faster.

 

                                                                        PARASITE

Salt in your African Cichlids water can be used as a short-term remedy for your cichlids when they have external

parasites such as ich.  To treat this, add 1/5 cup of salt to every to 10 gallons of aquarium water in a

separate container.  Place your infected cichlids into this container for 5- 10 minutes and remove them

from the container and place them back into your aquarium.  Repeat in 24 hours, if necessary.

 

                                                                         NITRATE

Salt can temporarily block the  toxic effects of high nitrate levels and stress on your cichlids   and protect them until

 the water quality improves in your African Cichlids water . 

 

Following these steps of adding salt to your African Cichlids water can help to reduce stress, get rid of ich, aid in high

nitrate levels , and increase their over all well-being!

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TEMPERATURE ?

 

african cichlids temperature

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TEMPEWWRATURE

Your African Cichlids temperature can be the single most important factor in the life of your African Cichlids.  They are

super sensitive to change in their aquarium water temperature, especially when it happens suddenly because it can send

their systems out of whack and possibly be fatal.

 

A major component of your African Cichlids temperature and aquarium system is your heating system Choose the

size of your heating units based on 3-5 watts per gallon as a guide.  Remember, that each heating unit can raise the

temperature of your aquarium water a certain number of degrees.  

 

During the year, the ambient temperature of the room where your African Cichlids aquarium system is located will fluctuate

with the seasons.  A quality heating unit helps to maintain a constant temperature in your aquarium and minimize

temperature fluctuation in your cichlids environment.

 

When hot summer day temperatures are gone, warm days can continue to linger into the Fall season, creating a unique

challenge for African Cichlids aquarists concerning your African Cichlids temperature.   These warm air temperatures

can result in higher aquarium water temperatures in your cichlids environment causing havoc on the ecosystem.  If the

proper precautionary measures are not in place to regulate your aquarium water temperature.  You can guarantee a healthy

ecosystem for your African Cichlids with an understanding of what happens when your African Cichlids temperature

warms up, by investing in quality heating equipment to prevent a warm water disaster on your African Cichlids.

 

This posses the question, ” How do I know if my aquarium water is to warm for my African Cichlids?”  If your cichlids change

color, are overly active, found gasping or “yawning” at the water surface because of the lack of oxygen available,  your water

is probably to warm for them. 

 

Ok. I’m going to get a little scientific here for a moment!  Your African Cichlids are exothermic, simply meaning they rely on

the  temperature of their environment to regulate their body functions.  Therefore, it is important to maintain a constant

aquarium water temperature of 78ºF to keep you cichlids healthy.  When their environment, “heats up” and

potentially exceed their preferred range, which can be the case during the Summer and Fall months, a number of things take

place:

 

HYPERACTIVITY → An increase in your African Cichlids metabolism causing them to be more active.  This increase in

                                            activity cause your cichlids to require more oxygen, but there is less of it available because the

                                            warmer aquarium water can’t hold  as much dissolved oxygen as cooler water can. I’m going to

                                            be a bit scientific again!  This  cooler water and decreased dissolved  oxygen level also affect

                                            the aerobic bacteria in the nitrogen cycle, resulting in your biological filtration to be less effective,

                                            causing an increase in ammonia in your African Cichlids environment.  Add to that, the higher

                                            African Cichlids water temperature increases  your cichlids metabolism causing them to eat more. 

                                           What goes in, must go out!  So, more fish waste.  You now have the recipe for a water quality

                                           disaster.

 

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS! → There are several easy ways to counter your African Cichlids temperature  being to warm in

                                                     their environment.  Don’t locate your tank in direct sunlight, by heating or air conditioning

                                                     vents, and ensure that excellent water circulation exists in your tank to assist in keeping a

                                                     constant aquarium water temperature.  Monitoring your African Cichlids temperature

                                                     and following a few simple guidelines, you will ensure that your cichlids will keep their cool,

                                                     all year!

 

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AQUARIUM STAND FOR CICHLIDS TANK

 

aquarium stand for cichlids tank

 

 

 

 

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AQUARIUM  STAND

Your African Cichlids aquarium stand not only serves as an elevated support to ‘show case” your African Cichlids aquarium

system, it also can serve you as a storage place for your aquarium supplies and equipment, as well as, a piece of furniture

in your home complimenting your interior decor!  Choosing the right aquarium stand depends on your personal furniture

style and budget.  The single most important question you will need to answer is, ” will my aquarium stand adequately

support my African Cichlids aquarium?”

 

Purchase your aquarium stand  from a reliable source such as the manufacturer of your tank. to ensure that it is properly

constructed and has the reinforcement needed to support your tank.  Personally, I have used All-Glass  cabinets exclusively

without any issues.  This is a major piece to you entire African Cichlids system that is going to serve you for many years,

so purchase quality.  That’s it on purchasing your aquarium stand for your African Cichlids tank!

aquarium stand for cichlids tank       aquarium stand for cichlids tank

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER PARAMETERS

African Cichlids aquarium water parameters

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER PARAMETERS

African Cichlids aquarium water parameters must be kept stable and at proper levels to prevent

stress and ensure healthy inhabitants.  Fluctuating or  below optimum conditions in the water is

one of the main factors of cichlid illness or death.  Regular testing of your African Cichlids aquarium

water parameters can prevent serious problems from happening .  It is vital to do regular readings

of certain aquarium water conditions.   They include:

Temperature. Your African Cichlids are very sensitive to change in their surrounding environment

                              temperature.  Sudden fluctuation can wreak havoc on them.  In addition, stable aquarium

                             water temperature extremes should be avoided as well.  Warm water  can not keep as much

                             dissolved oxygen in it and creates dangerous oxygen-deprived conditions.  Keeping a constant

                             water temperature of 77°F  is ideal.  

 

pH.  The ” Potential of Hydrogen” is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity.   A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.

          Readings lower are acidic, while those higher being alkaline. Maintaining the specific level of acidity or

          alkalinity of your cichlids water is also vital to their well-being.  Improper or extreme pH levels can have

          physical affects on your cichlids.  This can cause damage to their gills, eyes, or even death, as a result. 

         African Cichlids require a high pH level between 8.0-8.2.

 

Ammonia.  This is extremely toxic to your cichlids and can cause problems ranging from gill disease to being fatal. 

                         Monitoring this African Cichlids aquarium water parameters is a must and corrected immediately if

                         present in your  aquarium water. 

 

Nitrite.  An elevation of  African Cichlids aquarium water parameters could be an indication of a problem with your

                  biological filtration.  This needs to be addressed immediately because even low levels of nitrite suppress

                  your  cichlids immune systems.  This can quickly be fatal to your fish if levels in the aquarium water remain

                  elevated.

 

Nitrate.  Levels of this in the water are not as toxic as the previous two African Cichlids aquarium water parameters.

                   But,  it also needs to be monitored on  a regular basis to avoid stress on your cichlids. An elevated level of

                   nitrate in your aquarium water can welcome an unwanted, aggressive guest- Algae !  A final thought on your

                   African Cichlids water parameters is, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate  levels need to remain  at a constant,

                  undetectable reading when you do water tests.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER – AMMONIA LEVELS UNDER CONTROL

 

African Cichlids water

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER

Your African Cichlids water may have ammonia in it, and is fairly easy to manage. The key is to understand and learn

what to do to prevent ammonia from becoming a challenge in your African Cichlids water.

During your aquarium system setup , your water will have a high level of ammonia in it for a period of time during the

cycling period.  No worries!  This is a normal and natural process the water goes through.  Let nature take its course! 

Do nothing.  Be aware of ammonia levels in established African Cichlids water with efficient biological filtration

because its presence in your water may not be measurable. Don’t be fooled by this misconception.  Even if ammonia

levels are undetectable, it does not mean there is no ammonia present in your African Cichlids water!

Ammonia is continually being introduced into your African Cichlids water through fish waste, uneaten food, and natural

biological processes.  The biological stage of your filter system rapidly converts ammonia into less harmful

compounds, as long as it is operating properly.  Generally, biological filtration in an established cichlids aquarium

remains stable.  However, certain factors can periodically compromise this filtration and cause a dramatic and toxic

increase in your aquarium water ammonia level.  This is commonly referred to as an ammonia spike.  Common

causes are: overfeeding-excess or uneaten food is the most common cause of ammonia in aquarium water.  This

addition of organic matter in your water can test the limits of your filter’s biological process.  When it presence in

your water exceeds the filter’s ability to process it, then the ammonia can become toxic to your cichlids.  Remedy-

avoid the “one big meal” feeding method.  Feed your cichlids the portion of food, once daily, that they can

consume in about 1 minute.  A sudden increase in your  biological load ( the total number of cichlids and the

relating waste in the aquarium water) can also trigger an ammonia spike.  As your African Cichlids grow in size,

their increased body mass and waste may cause frequent spikes as well if your filter system is unable to keep up

with the additional fish load.  A solution to an ammonia challenge in your African Cichlids water is to have a

complete plan of action  thought out before investing one penny on your new African Cichlid aquarium system! 

Ask yourself   “what size aquarium do I want, how many cichlids can that tank safely have based on

the size of my tank ( one cichlid per gallon of aquarium water when fully grown)Have

purchased the right AquaClear power filter to handle the fish load and maintain excellent water

quality ( a flow rate of 4-6 gallons per hour)”.  These are a few of the important questions that need to be

addressed in order to have a successful  African Cichlids aquarium system.  If you should have to medicate your

aquarium because of a disease be sure to research the product first before treating your cichlids and introducing

it into your aquarium water.  Certain medications can wipe out the beneficial bacteria in your filter system. 

Another consideration is to remove the infected cichlid and place it in a separate quarantine tank to prevent any

unwanted results in your main aquarium.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER TEMPERATURE

African Cichlids water temperature

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER TEMPERATURE

Your African Cichlids aquarium temperature can be the single most important component in the life of your

African Cichlids.  They are super sensitive to change in their environment, especially temperature, and a sudden

change can send their immune system out of whack.

A major component of your aquarium system is the heating unitChoose the size of your heater based on 3-5 watts

per gallon  as a guide.  Remember that each heater can raise the temperature of your aquarium water a certain

number of degrees. 

Your African Cichlids  water temperature will fluctuate with the seasons of the year because of the ambient

temperature of the room where your system is located.  Purchasing a quality heating unit will help to maintain a

constant water temperature in your aquarium, minimizing temperature fluctuation on your African Cichlids. 

Controlling the temperature of your African Cichlids water temperature is vital to the health of your fish because

they are cold-blooded animals and it has a direct impact on their well being. Your aquarium water temperature

also influences the biological portion of your filter system, dissolved oxygen content, as well as, ammonia toxicity. 

It can be easy to overlook this component of your aquarium system management.  It is vital to the success of your

cichlids’ aquarium.

Cichlids are sensitive to temperature change, therefore, it is imperative to invest in a quality heater, and an accurate

thermometer.   Monitoring the temperature should be done daily.  A sudden change in your aquarium water could

send your cichlids’ immune systems out of control, and that spells sick fish.

If your African Cichlids water temperature rises to high, low dissolved oxygen content and increased ammonia may

occur. 

Warm water also increases the metabolism of your cichlids causing them to eat more and grow faster, resulting in

greater waste production.  The biological filtration, which processes nitrogenous waste , may be pushed to its limits.

Effective African Cichlids temperature management is the result of investing in a quality heater based

on the size of your aquarium, an accurate thermometer, and monitoring it by simply checking the

reading daily.

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER QUALITY

 

African  Cichlids aquarium water quality

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM WATER QUALITY

Most filters give you a recommendation on aquarium size for a given filter.  That is exactly what it is, a guideline.

Several factors can reduce the efficiency of the filter and compromise your African Cichlids aquarium water quality .

Consider the following in maintaining excellent aquarium African Cichlids aquarium water quality in your system

and having your filter system be operating as efficiently as possible.

Your  fish load, or the quantity of fish, in your cichlids aquarium affects the efficiency of your filter.  As you add

more cichlids, and they grow in size they produce more waste and put a higher demand on your African Cichlids          

aquarium water quality.  If your filter system is unable to keep up with your fish load , you may end up spending

additional time on maintenance.  Your aquarium may suffer from poor water quality and you may have less time

enjoying your cichlids. 

Cichlids have a large body mass and require a 3 stage filtration system (biological, chemical, and mechanical)  to

accommodate this.

Another consideration in maintaining African Cichlids aquarium water quality is the chemical filter media. 

It improves your water quality by removing toxic chemicals.  An excellent choice to significantly enhance the existing

filter is activated carbon which is already included when you purchase your Aqua Clear Power Filter!

The amount of food you feed your cichlids also plays a key role in filter efficiency.  If you constantly overfeed your

cichlids, two things may eventually  effect your African Cichlids aquarium water quality.. Your system may require

additional filtration to remove uneaten food, as well as, fish waste.  This can cost you in filter expenses and increased

maintenance.   Neither of which needs to happen.  Maintaining your cichlids health, top filter performance, and no

expense for additional filtration can be achieved by using this simple rule of thumb! FEED YOUR YOUR CICHLIDS

THE AMOUNT OF FOOD THEY CAN CONSUME IN ONE MINUTE.  Any remaining food will probably end up

on the substrate (gravel) of your aquarium where your cichlids will “graze” for several minutes after you feed them eating

the food that has fallen to the bottom of your aquarium.  These steps can help you maintain excellent, healthly African

Cichlids aquarium water quality in your system!

This looking threw  six feet of water from one of the tanks I maintain.

African Cichlids aquarium water quality

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER IS SMOKEY !

 

African Cichlids water

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS WATER IS SMOKEY!

 Your African Cichlids water appears to have a white smoke swirling around in in!  No reason to panic. First, it is

important to understand what is taking place in your African Cichlids aquarium, and why.  The process taking

place is normal during your African Cichlids aquarium set-up period.  It is usually a part of the ‘cycling period”

after water is added to your tank.  Most likely, there is a concentrated level of ammonia in the water causing

nitrifying bacteria that consume the ammonia to reproduce quickly and over populate to the point that they

become visible , creating what looks like clouds of white smoke swirling in your aquarium water. 

 

This is a normal reaction in an enclosed ecosystem such as your  African Cichlids water.  This takes place

when an ecosystem has inadequate nitrifying bacteria to consume the ammonia in your aquarium water.

  In most cases, as the nitrogen cycle continues, your  water will clear up.  Be patient, and let nature take

its course. 

When you can do is test your aquarium water for ammonia and nitrite levels when your  water first becomes

cloudy!  What you will probably discover is that your ammonia level will be high, and continue to rise, and the

nitrite could be zero, or low.  As time passes, nitrite reproduction will take place and this level will continue to

increase .  Suddenly, one day ( usually within a week of your aquarium water becomingcloudy), the ammonia

level will drop to zero.  When this happens, nitrite-consuming bacteria, nitrate, begins to colonize and turn the

toxic nitrite into less toxic nitrate, completing the “nitrogen cycle” in your African water.  At this point, you can

test your water for ammonia and nitrite again.  In addition, test the nitrate level.  Ammonia and nitrite levels

should be zero, and the nitrate level close to or zero as well.

So, during the period of “smokey” aquarium water , all you need to do is test your water.  The bacteria in your

African Cichlids water will clear it up. .  It is best to let nature take its course.

 

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