New Tank Syndrome

New Tank Syndrome

This is important aspect is more often overlooked by those who are purchasing a new aquarium or those who are new in this hobby.  For healthy and sustainable aquatic life it is important that we mimic natural environment.  All the living species in the aquarium on account of metabolic activity, will produce waste which has be “disposed” without adversely affecting the health of aquarium fish and plants.  These wastes will generally decompose in natural environment without any man made intervention. However, in aquarium since the nature cannot play a direct role, it is important that adequate accessories are in place to assist such decomposition of wastes.  This is done by supplanting the aquarium with filtration and aeration. Some systems incorporate bacteria capable of converting nitrates into nitrogen gas thus assisting in disposal of wastes.

While purchasing a new aquarium please be aware that bacterial colonies, involved in decomposition of wastes, take several weeks to form, during which time the aquarium is vulnerable to a condition commonly known as “new tank syndrome”.  This syndrome can also arise if the aquarium is stocked with too many fishes or the fishes are added too quickly.

Accumulation of toxic ammonia from decomposing wastes is the largest cause of fish mortality in new, poorly maintained, or overloaded aquariums.

In the artificial environment of the aquarium, the nitrogen cycle effectively ends with the production of nitrates. In order that the nitrate level does not build up to a harmful level regular partial water changes are required to remove the nitrates and introduce new, uncontaminated water.  For details please “Nitrogen Cycle”.

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