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Video: Water Quality For Keeping Aquatic Amphibians, Incl. Tailed
Aquatic animals need healthy water that stays that way for a long period of time. This is a very important aspect of keeping aquatic amphibians, which, unfortunately, is often overlooked. Just because the water in your aquarium looks clear doesn't mean it's of good quality.
In the next 10 points, we will list all the basic parameters you need to know for successful amphibian management. The same rules apply to the keeping of aquarium fish, so similar information can be found in books and websites dedicated to the aquarium. Follow these recommendations, and your pets will live to old age.
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
1. The importance of the nitrogen cycle. During the decomposition of feed residues, animal waste, tissues of decaying plants, toxic substances are formed - ammonia and nitrites. The beneficial bacteria found in the aquarium convert these toxins into a less toxic form called nitrates. This process is called "biofiltration".
2. There is no healthy water without bacteria (so don't even try to get rid of them). An aquarium that has been in operation for more than two months contains a huge number of bacteria that detoxify ammonia and nitrite. Do not think that all bacteria are harmful, they are not. Most of them do more good than harm, and this is especially true for those microorganisms that live in the aquarium. Their activity is called "biofiltration". No chemical or physical water treatment process can completely replace biofiltration. The appearance of beneficial bacteria in the aquarium is called the nitrogen cycle.
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A new or very clean aquarium can be hazardous to the animals it contains as there is no nitrogen cycle there yet. That is, there are no bacteria that process toxic waste. The increased concentration of ammonia and nitrite in water can lead to the death of amphibians. These are colorless substances, so you cannot visually determine the presence of this threat.
3. If possible, before letting amphibians into the aquarium, let the nitrogen cycle settle in it. It usually takes several weeks for beneficial bacteria to appear. During this period, ammonia and nitrite levels can be threatening, and it is better if there are no animals in there. Ammonia and nitrite levels should be checked regularly.
Fire, or common salamander (Salamandra salamandra)
4. Do not remove mucus from the surfaces of the aquarium. Where do beneficial bacteria appear? On any damp surface in your aquarium - glass, stones, filters, etc. When you touch these surfaces, you will notice that they are covered in mucus. This mucus is your biofilter. Here are some simple tips to preserve it:
- If you need to use antibiotics to treat amphibians, then transfer them to a different container so as not to harm the beneficial bacteria living in the main aquarium.
- Choose objects with a rough, rough surface, such as natural stones or terracotta, for decorating the aquarium.
- Choose the color of the gravel so that the algae is not visible on it and you do not have to clean it. Don't think algae is harmful. Basically, they have the same beneficial properties as living plants - they produce oxygen and consume nutrients. If you have too much algae, especially an unaesthetic type, then remove some. But do not completely disassemble the aquarium to remove everything completely if it is not absolutely necessary.
- If you set up a new aquarium, then use some parts of the filter or objects from the old aquarium to populate the new beneficial bacteria.
5. Change the water and check it regularly. Even in an aquarium with a fixed nitrogen cycle, the amount of harmful substances increases. The only way to remove them is to replace some of the water with fresh water. Usually about 20% of the water is replaced. During cycle setup, this should be done every few days if there are inhabitants in your tank. Before changing the water, you need to measure the level of ammonia and nitrite. After a few months, when the cycle is fully established, it should be maintained by changing 10-20% of the water every 1-2 weeks.
6. Don't keep too many animals in the same tank. Too much "overcrowding" puts your pets at risk due to deteriorating water quality and an increased risk of disease. Even if it seems to you that there are few animals, there may be more of them than the water capacity allows. For example, a 40-liter aquarium can simultaneously contain 30 cm of animals (this can be three 10-cm newts), and a 60-80-liter aquarium can accept 40 cm of animals, provided that the aquarium is 2/3 full of water. Any animals and fish should be counted. Any extra centimeters leads to overpopulation. Do not take what you see in pet stores as an example. There are always overflowing aquariums. They get away with it because the animals are constantly being sold.
7. Don't overfeed. Give amphibians as much food as they can eat at one time. Dispose of feed residues immediately with a syringe. Adult newts kept in good conditions should not be fed too often; it is sufficient to feed them twice a week.
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8. Remove debris and debris and clean the filter regularly. The filter does not remove debris. He only concentrates it in one place. Even if you can't see dirt, it is still in the aquarium and contaminates the water with unnecessary toxins.
9. Saturate the water with oxygen. Beneficial bacteria multiply when there is oxygen in the water and die without it. Oxygen prevents the development of fungal infections. Oxygen is important for amphibians, as many of them have developed skin respiration. Use a special compressor to saturate the water with oxygen.
Coral-buried littoria (Litoria caerulea)
10. Use a special conditioner to rid the water of chloramine. Many plumbing systems no longer use chlorine, but chloramine for water disinfection. In order to remove chlorine from the water, it is enough to let the water stand overnight. To get rid of chloramine, this is not enough, you need to use a special substance. After adding it to the water, let it stand so that the remaining harmful gases evaporate.
How do you know if there is chloramine in your tap water? Check your tap water for ammonia. If it is, it means that the water contains chloramine. Even if at the moment it is not in the water, this does not mean that water treatment facilities will not switch to using it at any time. Naturally, they will not warn you about this in advance. Be aware that this can happen and check the water periodically. It will also surprise you that settling the water sometimes does not completely eliminate chlorine. Depending on the air temperature and the size of the container, it can take a week for the chlorine to decompose. Sometimes it is necessary to use a special agent to neutralize it, for example, Aqua Safe.
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