Animal Scene - - AQUA BASICS -

One thing that sets fishkeepin­g apart from other pet keep­ing hob­bies is its unique en­vi­ron­ment. Dogs, cats, birds, rep­tiles, rab­bits, ham­sters, and other pets live on land and ba­si­cally live the same way as we hu­mans do. Just pro­vide the same en­vi­ron­ment as ours and they will be gen­er­ally fine. For ex­am­ple, a bird­cage in­side your house should pro­vide am­ple en­vi­ron­ment that is liv­able enough for your pet bird.

Since fishes live in wa­ter, you will have to recre­ate this in­side the con­fines of an aquar­ium. It is not merely keep­ing wa­ter in the tank, but also pro­vid­ing a fil­ter sys­tem that sus­tains good wa­ter qual­ity. Un­for­tu­nately, fishes do not have bath­rooms where they can defe­cate and uri­nate as we hu­mans do. They just re­lease their bi­o­log­i­cal wastes in the very same wa­ter they live in. Fishes are highly de­pen­dent on the qual­ity of wa­ter they live in, so if the wa­ter is pol­luted, they can get sick or, worse, die.

The aquar­ium is re­ally very re­stric­tive. Con­sid­er­ing that fishes live in vast rivers, lakes, and seas, an aquar­ium, no mat­ter how big, is mi­nus­cule com­pared to a fish’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. With lim­ited space, aquar­ium wa­ter will quickly get pol­luted once the fish pro­duces waste.

Un­for­tu­nately, set­ting up a fil­ter sys­tem in your aquar­ium will not au­to­mat­i­cally ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently clean the wa­ter. Your fil­ter will have to be bi­o­log­i­cally ac­tive for it to func­tion cor­rectly. This is where the ni­tro­gen cy­cle comes in.

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