Page 11 - gargasbook_V2_2013
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GARGAS: Water and the Aquarium               Page 11

               The BEST water conditioner and treatment method that I have used for over
        30 years is activated carbon – not in the aquarium but for the water to run through and
        activated carbon tank or cartridge system on its way to the aquarium. By using this
        process all the chlorine will be removed in one pass and if you have chloramines as we
        do down here in Florida the Chlorine/Ammonia bond will be broken and only a small
        amount of ammonia will be left that will be assimilated by the nitrification cycle. Many
        hobbyist hobbyists have used this process for many years with great success.
        So what are the actual benefits?
               By using an activated carbon process to condition the water no salts or other
        substances are being  added to the aquarium. The cost is also much less depending on
        your chlorine concentration a carbon cartridge can last a few thousand gallons vs. paying
        for a liquid conditioner that may cost over $50.00 a gallon and increase the conductivity
        in the aquarium. A pet store can really benefit by this type of application by utilizing a
        large carbon tank and no longer have to worry about chemicals.
               I am currently working on a cartridge that contains another item besides
        carbon it will treat between 8-to 12,000 gallons and works by an Electrochemical/
        Oxidation Reduction Process removing metals, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, and killing
        any bacteria in one pass.
               It does this by taking up or giving up electrons, the results so far have been
        good. This would not be something you would add to your aquarium filtration system
        but would soly be used in filling the aquarium with tap water . . . or your water
        changing process.
        pH
               Last but not least I would like to touch on pH. First of all pH means only one
        thing. The power of Hydrogen. It is the negative logarithm (Ed: meaning a very steep
        curve . . . numbers happen quickly) of the hydrogen concentration. Thus it is the
        measurement of the hydrogen ions in water they are non-toxic to fish in there own right.
        Fish that come from a low pH also come from soft waters with low hardness low TDS
        and low conductivity.  Lake Tanganyika which has a conductivity between 606 and 700
        MicroSiemens is hard with low concentrations of Calcium and high concentrations of
        Magnesium (see 1,2,3) and has a very  high pH, higher than seawater, and is strongly
        buffered with an alkalinity exceeding 300 mg/l as CaC0   A fish species, from the
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        Amazon or any rainforest, as long as the conductivity is low, then the hardness will be
        low and the pH will be low however, for aquarium purposes it does not matter if the
        pH is 6.8 or 7.8.
               A misinformed fact regarding pH is the term “pH shock” There is no such
        thing!! Many Florida fish farmers can attest that they see pH changes through out the
        day especially in a pond that has many plants. In the morning the water can be as low
        as 5 and at mid day it can go up to 7.5 this is NATURAL. Let me share a recent
        experience.  I have a 150 gallon aquarium that is an Amazon tributary type set up with
        plants. I have Apistos. Cardinal Tetras, Checker Board Cichlids, Rummy Nose Tetras
        these are some of the species I keep. I recently noticed my plants were not growing
        they appeared to be dormant and I had a problem with black beard algae. I had no
        problem with the fish. I check my nitrates and I had none. I then check my pH which I
        really never do and found out it was 4.4. I employed a small 12" fluidize bed filter off
        the side stream of my main pump and filled it with 2 handfuls of aragonite which is a
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