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CICHLIDS BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION

 CICHLIDS BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION

 

 

 

 

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CICHLIDS BIOLOGICAL FILTRATION

Is your biological filtration in your African Cichlids aquarium system at peak performance.  Established colonies of

beneficial bacteria are the “work horses” of your African Cichlids biological filtration.  In an established filter system,

these colones are hardy and thriving.  Multiple factors can affect your benefical bacteria population in your African

Cichlids biological filtration:

 

CHLORINE AND CHLORAMINE

These tap water disinfectants damage your biological bacteria colony.  Use tap water conditioner to neutralize them

with EACH ADDITION OF WATER TO YOUR AQUARIUM WATER.

 

cichlids biological filtration

 

 

FOOD/ FISH

Overfeeding your African Cichlids and/ or having to many of them in your aquarium can put a huge demand on

your cichlids biological filter system and cause it to “overload”.  To many African Cichlids results in an increase

in organic waste, which can trigger an ammonia spike as the bacteria in your filter process this excess waste.

 

OXYGEN

The beneficial, or nitrifying , bacteria are aerobic, requiring oxygen to process nitrogen compounds.  To ensure

proper water oxygenation is taking place in your aquarium water, a bubble wall needs to be in place.  It also looks

cool by adding a visual flair as the air bubbles rise to the water surface!

cichlids biolgical filtration

 

MEDICATION

Incorporating Melafix of Pimafix, onnce your African Cichlids illness has been properly identified should cure

most ailments your fish may encounter.  Many broad spectrum fish medications targeting bacteria-based

diseases can also kill the beneficial bacteria in your African Cichlds biological filtration.  DO A PARTIAL

WATER CHANGE WHEN SYMPTOMS CLEAR UP.

 

Your filter’s  beneficial bacteria depends on a constant food source of ammonia ( from food, fish waste, or

nitrite), oxygen, and a water temperature above 75°F in your African Cichlids biological filtration system.

 

Do yourself and your African Cichlids a favor by practicing routine, scheduled maintenance

of your filter system, water changes, and testing!  Your African Cichlids will reward you with brilliant

coloration and abundant activity.  As a final thought on this topic, this discussion can mean less maintenance

for you.

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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 TANK MAINTENANCE

african cichlids tank maintenance

 

 

 

 

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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

I think it is safe to say that we all want to keep our African Cichlids aquarium water, substrate, and rock work as clean

as the  day we set up our aquarium system by following good African Cichlids tank maintenance.  Easier said then

done, right!  Well, in reality, that isn’t possible because your substrate, and rock work are porous materials where

bacteria is going to settle into crevices and cavities and allow that unwanted guest to visit your aquarium and start to 

challenge your African Cichlids tank maintenance.  Yes, I am talking about that green stuff algae !  This process happens

naturally in any aquarium environment, and is an ongoing cycle from day one after setting up your system.

 

Kind of a disheartening thing to think about after all of your hard work and time setting up your system!  The focus of

this tip is to let you know the things that need to be done to manage this process in your African Cichlids tank

maintenance program.

 

It’s quite simple, doesn’t take much time, and needs to be done faithfully as part of your regular, scheduled

maintenance on a weekly basis!  One, is to replace evaporated water.  When doing this, add the required

amount of algaefix to the water you are going to add to your tank before pouring it into your tank.  Secondly,

incorporate carbon media into your filter system.  Third, as part of your African Cichlids tank maintenance, rinse your

mechanical filter media in your separate container of aquarium water by simply squeezing it until all of the debris has

been removed.  That is it!   Practicing this tip as part of your weekly African Cichlids tank maintenance and you will see

results.   Just be patient!

 

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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 – 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 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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AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

 

african cichlids tank maintenance

 

 

 

 

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African Cichlids tank maintenance  is key to the continued success of your hard work and patience youhave put forth

in your investment. We have all heard something like, ” an ounce of prevention, is worth a gallon of cure”.  This is

absolutely true when it concerns your aquarium maintenance. This article focuses on your weekly and monthly  steps to

keep your system in “tip top” shape, and your African Cichlids healthy!  The best part of it all is that your aquarium

maintenance won’t take much time to do!

 

 

WEEKLY AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

Replace evaporated water with freshly drawn COLD tap water.

Treat with Tap Water Conditioner

TIP → Completely rinsed out plastic gallon milk cartons work great for this, and can save you time if you can save

a few bottles and fill them with water for future use, and put the cap on them after filling with water.

Clean the outside of your aquarium glass by spraying a small area with alcohol and wipe dry.  NO STREAKS!

Clean the inside of the glass your magnet cleaner.

Clean your filter.  ( power filter)

 

 

TIP→  Have a 4 gallon plastic square container , FILLED WITH AQUARIUM WATER, set aside for this.

Remove the filter basket and take the sponge and put in the container and squeeze out the debris until clean.

Check to see the filter is level with a small level.

Check the temperature 77ºF

That’s it for your weekly African Cichlids tank maintenance!

 

 

MONTHLY AFRICAN CICHLIDS TANK MAINTENANCE

Do a water change.

1/3 of the water volume with a “python siphon”.

TIP→  Insert the siphon tube completely into your gravel and keep it in the same spot until the water is clear

before moving on to a different area.  Repeat until you have cleaned all of your gravel.

Reverse your siphon and replace the water with COLD tap water.

Add Algeafix and Tap Water Conditioner per directions.

Clean bubble wall with a denture brush.

 

 – * WATCH YOUR AFRICAN CICHLIDS.  THEY WILL, “TELL”

            YOU IF SOMETHING IS WRONG IN THEIR WORLD.

  • Done.  That’s it for your African Cichlids tank maintenance. Enjoy your tank!

african cichlids tank maintenance            african cichlids tank maintenance

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