Daily pH Cycle and Ammonia Toxicity

There are many variables to take into account if you wish to maintain a happy and healthy aquarium.Worker,Use,Hands,Holding,Test,Tube,With,Ph,Indicator,Comparing

While obvious concerns such as clean water and oxygenation are important, we need to remember that lesser-known variables can likewise impact any organisms that may be present.

Ammonia toxicity is a perfect example. As relatively few aquarium owners are familiar with the topic, it is wise to take a closer look.

What is Ammonia Toxicity?

Fish excrete ammonia as a result of metabolising the protein found within their food. While this is a completely natural process, we should remember that aquariums represent closed environments.

There are times when ammonia concentrations may build up to toxic levels; impacting the pH of the tank.

pH is the value used to measure the presence of acidic or alkaline substances within a material. In this case, it is used to interpret if the water within your tank is acidic (a pH of below 7.0) or basic (a pH above 7.0).

Water that is considered to be “neutral” will display a pH of exactly 7.0 and yet, this is normally not realistic within aquatic environments containing plants and animals.

Now that we have taken a quick look at the principle of ammonia toxicity and the role that the pH of your tank can play, it is wise to examine how these two concepts are linked.

How Can Ammonia Toxicity Impact the pH Balance of Your Aquarium?

First and foremost, ammonia is a basic (alkaline) substance. Higher concentrations of this chemical within a tank will cause the associated pH levels to rise.

The issue here is that higher concentrations of ammonia (beginning at 0.25 grams per millilitre) can cause damage to the gills of fish.

As fish naturally secrete this substance, it also stands to reason that fully stocked tanks are more likely to suffer from ammonia toxicity.

Studies have shown that the highest levels of alkalinity occur after a few hours of daylight. Conversely, tanks become the most acidic during the overnight hours.

This is why it is important to monitor the pH of your aquarium at all times if you hope to avoid unintentionally placing the health of your fish in jeopardy.

Thankfully, the team at Oceanlife Aquatics is happy to provide targeted aquarium cleaning services in order to ensure that your tank is in top condition at all times. Please contact us to learn more.

An Extensive Guide on Culturing Rotifers

Keeping an aquarium means providing a food source for the organisms in it, and rotifers are some of the best alternatives available.An Extensive Guide on Culturing Rotifers

Rotifers are micro-zooplankton that feeds on micro-algae and serve as a healthy food source for shellfish, fish and corals.

However, rotifers do not provide much nutritional value. Their stomach contents and eggs are the most important constituents.

For this reason, proper feeding of rotifers is a must. Culturing rotifers at home is not complicated, and can make feeding your animals simple.

What You Need:

• A 20-litre bucket or tank
• Dechlorinated saltwater at a temperature of between 23 and 28°C and salinity of around 19-25 ppt
• Live rotifer culture
• Airstone
• Micro-algae (rotifer feed)

Starting the Culture:

• Put the bag of rotifers in the bucket of water and give it room to warm up
• After 10 minutes, open the bag and add the rotifer culture slowly
• Then add the micro-algae until the water turns a light green
• Continue adding the feed daily
• Give the culture at least 3 days before you begin harvesting so that it can multiply to a desirable population

Harvesting the Rotifers

You should harvest about 30% of the rotifers daily. For this process, you will need to turn off the air stone first. The detritus will settle, causing the rotifers to rise.

You can then use a plankton mesh of 50 microns to scoop the rotifers off the top. Alternatively, you can siphon them into another bucket.

Important Points to Remember

Due to their high metabolism rates, rotifers need sufficient food. If not, the culture will crash. You can add micro-algae concentrate twice daily- in the morning and evening.

When adding the solution, ensure that the water turns light green. It should have a residual colour during the next feeding. If it does not, increase the amount of concentrate.

– Do not use coral or fish tank water because it could contaminate the culture.
– Rotifers can survive in the dark.
– Avoid using yeast-based foods.
– Every 3 – 4 weeks, strip down the culture for cleaning.

Besides feeding the marine life in your care properly, give it the home it deserves.

For quality aquariums and related services, turn to Oceanlife Aquatics. You can buy or rent aquariums and fish tanks for varied applications.

Best Algae Eaters For The Freshwater Aquarium

There are many steps to consider if you wish to enjoy a clear and attractive freshwater aquarium. One issues which needs to be addressed on a daily basis involves the amount of algae that is allowed to accumulate. Not only can this naturally occurring material detract from the aesthetic appeal of the tank, but it may even begin to harm certain types of fish. Continue reading “Best Algae Eaters For The Freshwater Aquarium”

A Guide on How To Measure co2 in Planted Tanks

How to Measure Carbon Dioxide Levels in Planted Tanks

Many aquariums contain numerous plants in order to provide a ready source of oxygen as well as to increase the overall aesthetic appeal. One of the most crucial concerns within these environments involves the ability to proactively monitor levels of dissolved carbon dioxide in the water.

Extremely low concentrations can cause issues with the plants while very high readings will suffocate any fish. This is why it is a good idea to take a look at a handful of methods as well as when each should be employed.

Graph-Based Measuring Techniques

This method is arguably the most popular due to its straightforward nature. Two value will first be determined:

  • The pH level of the water.
  • The associated KH (carbonate hardness) reading.

Once these variables have been obtained, you will refer to a carbon dioxide graphical chart. By following the values located on the X and Y axes, you will be able to discover the approximate levels of carbon dioxide.

However, we need to also point out that this test can be inaccurate if additional acids (besides carbonic acid) are dissolved in the water.

The CO2 Indicator Method

This method will provide much more accurate results, as it contains a colour-sensitive solution. A glass bubble normally containing a liquid called Bromothymol blue will be submerged within the tank for 24 hours. If there is an excessive level of carbon dioxide, the solution will turn yellow.

Green indicates a well-balanced tank and blue signifies that carbon dioxide levels are too low. The only factor to highlight is that bacteria from the tank can enter into the bubble and have an effect upon the solution.

In this case, the apparatus will simply need to be removed and new Bromthymol blue can thereafter be added.

Determining the levels of carbon dioxide within your tank is very important and this practice should be carried out on a regular basis.

If you have additional questions concerning this topic or to appreciate our bespoke line of custom-built aquariums, please contact Oceanlife Aquatics for further details.

Reef Fish Tank Build and Install in Leeds

We’ve just provided our fish tank install service for this client in Leeds. The aquarium was installed and we supplied the lighting and filtration system. After which we filled the tank with saltwater and commissioned the set up.

The look of the tank has been kept simple with just 2 rocky outcrops of Real Reef rock. Lighting is provided by 3 x AI Hydra26 led lamps. We use a lot of AI lamps on our installs and have found them to be well built, reliable, powerful and with easy connectivity. They simply link straight to your phone via an app.

Fish tank build

The tanks filtration system consists of a polishing filter to remove detritus from the water coming from the main tank. There’s also a phosphate reactor to keep phosphate levels close to zero. A temperature controller is linked to a 300 watt titanium heater to maintain a 25 degree water temperature with a 0.1 degree accuracy. A protein skimmer is employed to remove organic waste and a UV steriliser is required to help control fish parasitic diseases.

Lastly, a Vectra M1 pump returns the filtered water back to the main tank via its weir box. Where the water enters the tank, it’s spilt to provide flow to the right and left of the tank.

An additional 2 Vortech pumps provide the bulk of the water flow inside the main tank. Water flow is of upmost importance for a reef tank with live corals.

Custom aquarium build

A marine tank like this represents a significant investment as the equipment is of high quality. However, as the tank matures you really see the benefit of paying a little more for the equipment as your buying quality and reliability. Additionally, higher quality equipment will be more efficient, thus lowering running costs.

Please contact us if you require any of our aquatic services:

• Aquarium design

• Fish tank installation

• Aquarium build

• Fish tank maintenance

Ocean Life Aquatics Welcomes New Technician

We are very pleased to welcome our latest team member, Robbie How.

Robbie is our latest aquarium maintenance technician. His enthusiasm and work ethic bring an added boost to our company.
In the past 12 months we have tendered for and won a number of large fish tank installations. As well as seen an increase in our fish tank maintenance contracts.

Robbie therefore fulfils the role of servicing aquariums and forms part of our aquarium installation team. His specialty is in freshwater aquaria with a particularly detailed knowledge of live plants and their care.

We have an exciting future ahead with more aquarium projects, large and small, in the pipeline.

Robbie and rest of our team at Ocean Life Aquatics are looking forward to commencing these builds, as well as continuing to maintain beautiful displays for all our current clients.


A Guide to Fish Tank Lighting

Aquariums will provide you with hours of entertainment due to their tranquil and yet decidedly captivating nature. However, it is always important to accentuate their existing ambiance.

One of the best ways to appreciate all that the modern fish tank has to offer is to choose a bespoke lighting configuration. Let us take a look at some of the most popular options at your disposal.

T-5 Fluorescent Lighting

This is the most traditional type of tank lighting, as it is comprised of a high-efficiency fluorescent tube.

Many experts feel that this solution is also beneficial if coral happens to be present, as fluorescent light rays help them to grow. At 65 lumens, T-5 lighting is a popular choice when addressing in wall fish tanks. Also, note that tubes of various lengths can be chosen.

Metal Halide

While these lights require slightly more power to operate, they offer excellent illumination. This is an obvious benefit if you happen to own a deeper fish tank.

Their crisp white light will also accentuate any colours present. Thus, metal halide has always been an excellent option to keep in mind.

LED Lighting Solutions

The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is one of the latest advancements in regards to aquarium technology. There are several benefits associated with this option.

Not only do they emit virtually no heat (even if placed directly above the surface of the water), but they can last for up to 50,000 hours before a replacement will be required.

It should also be mentioned that LED lights come in a nearly limitless spectrum of colours.

There are even some variants that are able to change their tones through the use of remote control.

If you are looking to employ the latest technological advancements, LED fixtures could be a great choice.

Properly illuminating a fish tank can make all of the difference in the world in terms of its aesthetic beauty.

If you would like to be provided with even more expert suggestions, be sure to contact a specialist at Oceanlife Aquatics.

What Are Some Good Decoration Ideas For a 10 Gallon Fish Tank

Fish tanks are capable of providing endless hours of relaxing entertainment for the entire family. Larger units such as ten-gallon tanks can likewise be modified so that they will offer an even more eye-catching appeal.

What are some innovative aquarium design ideas and what benefits can they provide?

A Truly Living Environment

It is always a good idea to stock your tank with plenty of flora. Not only can plants such as flame moss add a unique verdant touch to the environment, but they naturally produce oxygen which can then be utilised by the fish.

The good news is that plants are generally easy to maintain and they can last for years if cared for properly. Other ideas include water wisteria, Java ferns and the dwarf aquarium lily.

Adding a Background

Another way to brighten up the internal atmosphere of your fish tank is to add a background which can be placed around the rear glass.

There are countless images to choose from although you might instead wish to replicate a digital photo so that a one-of-a-kind appeal can be obtained.

Just be sure that the background works in synergy with the contents of the tank.

Let There be (Coloured) Light

One of the issues with more traditional fish tanks is that some are equipped with rather harsh lighting. A perfect example can be seen in the use of traditional incandescent bulbs.

The good news is that you can now purchase LED lighting systems which are capable of changing colours at a predetermined interval.

Not only is this light much softer in terms of lumens, but it will automatically grab the attention of other family members.

You can even program the colours in order to accentuate the fish within your tank.

Feel free to experiment with these ideas or to research additional recommendations based around your personal tastes. Be sure to contact a specialist at Oceanlife Aquatics for more great advice or if you have any other questions.