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Guide To Create Self Sustaining Aquarium Ecosystem

self sustaining aquarium ecosystem

Make a Self-Sustaining Aquarium

What would you change about the aquarium hobby if you could? A typical response could be the need for water changes. While some people find tank servicing therapeutic, others may find it inconvenient—particularly those with various planted fish tanks. In addition, draining and refilling multiple fish tanks weekly can take longer than we would like. So, what if there was a method to decrease the amount/frequency we water, probably to the point of never having to do it at all? That is what we will be talking about in this blog post!

Why are water changes required?

The nitrogen cycle is one of the most vital topics in the aquarium hobby. Simply put, ammonia is released into the water by fish waste and other decomposing organic matter, such as decaying plants or uneaten fish food. Ammonia is a poisonous gas that will kill the livestock in the tank. Bacteria (also known as "beneficial bacteria") live on/in the aquarium filter media, substrate, and other surfaces converting ammonia to nitrites and, eventually, nitrates.

Nitrates are tolerable in small amounts by fish and shrimp. However, nitrate buildup can stress the fish and, if severe enough, kill them. Therefore, we do water changes to remove some nitrates from the aquarium. For example, if your water tank reaches 40ppm of nitrates, you can reduce it to 20ppm with a 50% water change. This method replaces half of the "dirty" water with clean water.

Developing an Ecosystem

We can try to create our self-sustaining aquarium ecosystem setups now that we know a little about how water aquariums and nature are kept clean enough for fish to live in. To accomplish this, we would need to establish an ecosystem. In other words, the goal of a self-sustaining aquarium is to recreate nature in our fish tanks.

#1 Plants

Plants are a self-sustaining ecosystem tank and the most crucial component. A build like this will require a lot of work! This is possible because plants are natural filters. As stated before, plants absorb nutrients from their surroundings as they grow. Ammonia and nitrates are two examples of chemical compounds harmful to fish and other livestock. The main idea is that having enough plants in your aquarium will reduce the need for water changes because they will do the work for you. So, ideally, the tank's layout should be densely packed with plants. Plants that overgrow, such as stem or floating plants, are preferred because the faster they grow, the more nutrients they absorb.

#2 Lighting

A self-sustaining aquarium ecosystem lighting has a significant impact on plant health. To mimic natural sunlight, your LED light should be turned on for 6-8 hours daily. A light that is either too weak or too strong can harm some plants or cause algae to bloom. Plants also prefer a specific wavelength (also known as a spectrum) of lighting. Investing in an aquarium light designed specifically for growing aquatic plants will undoubtedly benefit you in the long run. A light that lets users adjust the brightness would be ideal. If the light becomes too bright, you can dim it.

#3 Beds of Deep Sand

Deep sand beds are worth mentioning in relation to creating this system. As previously stated, denitrification is another natural process by which nitrates are removed from the water. The bacteria that perform this process convert nitrates into nitrogen gas, which is then released into the atmosphere from the water. These bacteria are anaerobic, which means they can only exist in environments with no oxygen. As a result, some aquarists cultivate these bacteria in deep sand beds. Because of the compactness of the particles, oxygen exchange is usually impossible in fine sand. Feel free to try to replicate this method, but keep in mind that the bacteria take a long time to establish. Years, possibly. We hope this article was helpful. Should you need, help to create a self-sustaining ecosystem fish tank, pay us a visit.

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