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Tank Maintenance....

 What's that?

I have tried to count the many times in a day that I ask people about their aquarium maintenance schedule, hoping to determine what is causing their problem.  Too often I am asked, "what's that"?  I wonder at people, sometimes.  Everything that eats also passes waste.  When acquiring a pet, I would like to think that cleaning up waste is a consideration taken into account.  When a cat is brought home, its with the knowledge that a litter box is needed.  When a hamster is brought home, it is understood that there are shavings for bedding that need to be changed often.  Fish eat... fish past waste... where does it go?  I assure those of you who don't know, it doesn't evaporate with the water.  I can also assure you that no magic genie lives in your filter to remove it from your tank while you are sleeping.   

So, where does it go?

We start with a "box" of water, we add a filter with carbon, and we plug it in.  That's all we need to do, right?  Or is it?  What purpose does the carbon serve?  What purpose does the sponge serve, if there is one?  And why did I "pay so much more" for the filter with "the wheels"?  Follow the links below to learn about how the filter works, what the carbon does, and the purpose of the sponge.

Why the carbon?

The sponge

The wheels

The job of the filter

When we set up our aquarium for the first time, we learn about the Nitrogen Cycle.  Often referred to as simply, "the cycle", many people fail to understand what it is, and why it's so important.  At the end of "the cycle" a water change is needed, but this is needed regularly to keep things stable and healthy in your aquarium.  My manager, Joe, has described it the best way I could have ever thought to do so.  I overheard him one night telling a customer to "flush the toilet".

The Nitrogen Cycle