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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTER

african cichlids aquarium filter

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTER

The focus of this article will be discussing the carbon of your African Cichlids aquarium filter.  It not only is a popular

filter media, it is also a beneficial bacterial one, as well!  It is commonly referred to as, “activated” because it has gone

through a process that creates millions of tiny holes, making it extremely porous, and conducive to bacterial growth for

better chemical reaction.  The most common form is coal-based, resembling small pebbles or rocks, and comes in

two varieties. Bituminous, which is usually used in African Cichlids aquarium filter, and Lignite.

 

In nature, the oceans and lakes are large enough to recycle organic waste on their own.  Your African Cichlids

aquarium water needs help to do keep itself clean and healthy. This is where activated carbon comes into play!

 

HOW ACTIVATED CARBON WORKS.

It relies on three chemical principles. Adsorption, absorption, and chemisorption.  When the carbon is placed in your

aquarium water, in relies on Vander Walls, which is a Law of Physics to draw or absorb pollutants and organics,

(adsorbent) into your activated carbon.  Two things then take place.  Bacteria begins to colonize on the carbon surface

and consume the adsorbents, and a chemical reaction takes place to detoxify the pollutants.  The third process is

chemisorption, which keeps those pollutants trapped in your activated carbon.  THIS MEDIA NEEDS TO BE

REPLACED MONTHLY as a part of your scheduled monthly maintenance, and RINSED IN AQUUARIUM WATER

BI-WEEKLY.

 

Activated carbon removes a variety of pollutants from your African Cicclids aquarium water, including, copper, chlorine,

dissolved proteins, and other organic and inorganic compounds that can make your water yellow.  It can also remove

any medications  you have used. So, BE SURE TO REMOVE THE CARBON MEDIA FROM YOUR TANK IF

TREATING FOR A DISEASE. 

 

The one challenge with activated carbon and your African Cichlids aquarium filter is that it leaches phosphate, which

is a prime ingredient for algae growth, and we don’t need that stuff!  To combat this, use a high-quality activated carbon.

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS FILTRATION

 

african cichlids filtration

 

 

 

 

 

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African Cichlids  filtration  is a process to create and maintain an environment that can support life.  Your filter system

requires three processes  in order to achieve this and remove toxic compounds that accumulate quickly without the  natural

processes present to remove them efficiently.  These basics to African Cichlids  filtration will be addressed to give you an

insight as to how they create a life- sustaining environment for your African Cichlids.

 

BIOLOGICAL → This is a series of natural processes where toxic ammonia is broken down by beneficial bacteria into less

toxic elements. The bacteria requires a large surface area with good water flow through it to thrive.

 

CHEMICAL →   Is the removal of water impurities from your aquarium water.  Consists of  a black  carbon bag.

                               NEEDS TO BE CLEANED IN YOUR 4 GALLON CONTAINER FILLED WITH AQUARIUM

                               WATER BIWEEKLY, AND REPLACED MONTHLY.  After that period of time, the chemical benefits

                                 will have been exhausted and start collecting bacteria which could be harmful to your biological filtration.

                               THIS COULD RESULT IN AN AMMONIA SPIKE IN YOUR AQUARIUM WATER AND RISE IN

                               NITRITES, causing stress and possible fatalities of your African Cichlids.  So, clean the carbon media

biweekly and replace monthly.  You should be fine!

 

 

MECHANICAL →  removes suspended debris from your tank water.  It gives your water a cleaner, clearer  appearance,

acting like a strainer as the water flows through it.  IF IT GETS SATURATED WITH TO MUCH DEBRIS, IT  CLOGS, 

AND DIVERTS THE WATER FLOW BACK INTO YOUR AQUARIUM, RELEASING THE DEBRIS WHERE

TOXIC AMMONIA COULD FORM.  NOT A GOOD SITUATION.

                                                   This part of your African Cichlids filtration system should be inspected WEEKLY and

                                                   CLEANED OUT  BIWEEKLY  as part of your maintenance  program.  Should be cleaned in

                                                   the 4 gallon container filled with aquarium water. The purpose of using this is that it houses

                                                   the beneficial bacteria and preserves your sponge.  The media should give you many, many

                                                   years of service before it needs replacing. A sign that this needs to be done is  when it

                                                   doesn’t “spring” back to its original shape after being squeezed.  Following this process

                                                   should ensure you that this media won’t become clogged, and provide years of hassle-free

                                                   service for your African Cichlids filtration.

Your African Cichlids filtration system incorporates this triple filtration process by different methods.  I have used these

power filters for over 2o years when setting up African Cichlids aquarium systems, and they are still in use today!

Specifically, I use the Hagen AquaClear units.  They are extremely reliable and super easy to maintain.  Installation is a very

simple as well!

 

african cichlids filtration                        african cichlids filtration

 

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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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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 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 AQUARIUM FILTER SYSTEM

 

Adfrican Cichlids aquarium filter

 

 

 

 

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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTER SYSTEM

Your African Cichlids aquarium filter system is a key part to the health of your African Cichlids.  Power filters usually

have three main components of filtration:

MECHANICAL MEDIAwhich usually is a pad or sponge, CHEMICAL MEDIA, consisting of carbon, and a

BIOLOGIGAL MEDIA, with a large surface area for bacteria to colonize.  To keep them all in top condition, it is

important to have an understanding what each stage of the filter does, and  how to keep each component doing their

respective job.   This topic will be reference  your African Cichlids aquarium filter system and the

Hagen Aqua Clear Power Filter

                               African Cichlids aquarium filter

The mechanical media acts like a strainer sifting out debris.  If it gets to full it becomes clogged, diverting the water

flow from your  filter, releasing the debris back into your aquarium water where toxic ammonia can form.  This media

should be inspected weekly, and cleaned at least biweekly, in the container of aquarium water you have set aside.

( The 4 gallon plastic bucket).  Simply immerse the sponge into the water and squeeze out the debris until it is clean. 

The purpose of using aquarium water is that it also houses the beneficial bacteria that are in the pores

of the sponge.  This water preserves the bacteria while cleaning it.  The sponge should last several years before

it needs to be replaced.  This should be done when your sponge doesn’t, “spring” back to its original shape when

squeezed.  Following this process will ensure you that it won’t become clogged and will provide you with years of  service

as you African Cichlids aquarium filter system.

 

The chemical media of your African Cichlids aquarium usually consists of carbon which bonds with dissolved organic and

other impurities.  This needs to be rinsed in your container of aquarium water biweekly, and replaced monthly. 

After the period of time the carbon will have exhausted its chemical benefits and start collecting bacteria which could result

in loss of your biological filtration.  This could also cause an ammonia spike and release nitrites into your aquarium water

causing stress on your cichlids.  So, clean the carbon biweekly, and replace monthly.  Yep, what was just mentioned

was repeated!

 

The biological media of  your African Cichlids aquarium  filter is a major part of the quality of life within your aquarium.

It should have a large surface area and water flowing through it.  If the water flow through this media becomes diverted, 

that area of bacteria in the sponge dies from lack of oxygen.  In order for this to function properly, this needs to be rinsed

in your container of aquarium water biweekly, and replaced monthly.  Another reason for using aquarium water is

that it is not chlorinated,  so it won’t damage the the bacteria in the media.   The media should last for several years.  When

it does come time to replace  it,  do not clean your aquarium at the same time.  The sponge needs time to colonize bacteria. 

To assist and speed up this process you can add, “cycle” to the aquarium water. This is a bacteria additive which aids in the

bacteria growth process.  Following these guidelines for your African Cichlids aquarium filter system will give you results of

a healthy, efficient filter systemClean the carbon biweekly, and replace monthly. This was mentioned several times

in the article to stress it’s importance, and not to insult your ability to read or intelligence. Thanks for your understanding.

That wraps up this article your aquarium water and African Cichlids aquarium filter.

 

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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTRATION

 

 

African Cichlids aquarium filtration

 

 

 

 

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YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS AQUARIUM FILTRATION

In an enclosed environment, such as as an aquarium, toxic compounds accumulate quickly with out the natural

means to remove these elements efficiently.  Aquariums are dependent on filtration devices to create and maintain

a  healthy environment that can support life.  Your African Cichlids aquarium filtration system needs to have three

basics in order to achieve this.  They are biological, chemical, and mechanical processes.  Each will be introduced to

give a better understanding of filtration of the water. The goal of any type of filtration is to simply eliminate aquarium

water impurities.

 

BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION  involves a series of natural processes where toxic ammonia is broken down by

beneficial bacteria into less toxic elements.  The media used to achieve this needs to have a large surface area so the

bacteria growth can take place to effectively process harmful compounds.  Good water flow also aids in a thriving

bacteria colony.

 

CHEMICAL FILTRATION is the process of removing water impurities, chemically.  For this to be most effective

your water should first flow through the mechanical filtration. Chemical filtration removes pollutants the mechanical

 and biological processes aren’t able to discard.  It is the third or final stage of filtering, following the biological stage.

 

MECHANICAL FILTRATION is the method of removing debris suspended in your tank water.  As the water flows

through this media it physically traps and removes uneaten food and fish waste giving the water a clearer, cleaner

appearance .  It also prevents the biological filter from clogging in your African Cichlids aquarium filtration system.

 

Your African Cichlids aquarium filtration is maintained through this triple filter process.  Large surface areas for the

mechanical and chemical stages increases the filter capacity.  I have used power filters for smaller system setups for

over 17 years.  They are all still in use today with replacement of some internal parts.  The filter box and biological

media are all original .  Specifically, I use the Hagen Aqua Clear units.  They are extremely reliable and super-easy to

clean because of the removable filter basket.  Installation is a  “snap” . Simply place the filter on the back of the tank

and level it.

African Cichlids aquarium filtration               African Cichlids aquarium filtration

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