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The Importance of Oxygen in Your Aquarium

Proper oxygen levels are absolutely vital to the health of your fish. Following is a list of 8 cardinal rules to follow to ensure that your fish are receiving plenty of fresh oxygen: . Consistent Water Temperature: Not only do temperature fluctuations stress fish, but water that is too warm holds less oxygen and is susceptible to algae blooms. Maintain a stable temperature by keeping the aquarium out of direct sunlight, reducing electrical equipment, such as lights, that generate excess heat, and employing a chiller if these adjustments do not sufficiently reduce the water temperature. . Adequate Filtration: Filters must remain unclogged in order to properly conduct water flow and oxygenation. Check, and clean if necessary, your filters regularly. . Clean Water: Partial water changes every 4 weeks, with no more than 25% at a time, will greatly improve the water quality, and therefore, the oxygen levels available to your fish. Bacteria that feed on decaying organic matter consume oxygen that is better supplied to the fish. . Bacterial Balance: Your aquarium requires a delicate balance of beneficial bacteria in order to complete the nitrogen cycle. Clogged filters and certain medications can harm these bacteria. Be sure to clean your filters so your bacteria can function optimally. . Control Populations: A crowded aquarium creates more of a problem than a simple lack of room. Excess fish produce excess waste, and, as mentioned before, excess bacteria feed on the waste and consume the oxygen that your fish desperately need. Do not overstock your tank. . Test Often: The best way to ensure your fish are receiving plenty of oxygen is to test your tank regularly. There are test kits and electronic monitors available. . Live Plants: Like all other plants, live plants within an aquarium utilize carbon dioxide and create oxygen through their life cycles. This is an easy, and attractive, way to add extra oxygen to your tank. . Air Pumps: If you have tried all the above and still have a lack of oxygen in your tank, an air pump can help pick up the slack. When used with air stones, an air pump will create a column of bubbles that assist in the removal of carbon dioxide. Such a device should not be extensively used in a live planted tank; it will eliminate the carbon dioxide the plants need to live. Don't overlook the importance of oxygen to the health of your aquarium fish and plants. By following the above suggestions, your tank will have plenty of oxygen to flourish.

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