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Marine Aquaria and
Miniature Reefs

Dynamic Aquaria : Building
Living Ecosystems

Aquarium Plants: The
Practical Guide

Handbook of Fish Diseases

General fish care tips

Water  Temperature  Light  Location

Some ordinary water may be put directly into the tank without further treatment. 
More often, though, the condition of the water is unsuitable due to the presence 
of chlorine and an excess of dissolved gases. Conditioning the water is a strongly
recommended safeguard.

Water is condition, or aged, simply by having its stand for a week or two in the 
tank before introducing any fish. The conditioning process facilitates an exchange 
of gas between the water and air, permits fine organic particles to settle out, allows 
fish parasites to die before finding a host, and gives time for bacteria in the water to
strike a balance. Your local pet shop will have chemicals to remove chlorine and
chloramine from the water.

Do not be alarmed should the water become cloudy after a few days. This is a
completely natural phenomenon attributable to an increased bacterial count and 
will clear itself within a week. Your aquarium shop might have nitrogen-fixing 
bacterial cultures which you can inoculate the tank and achieve a balanced 
aquarium sooner.

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The best temperature for individual freshwater aquarium fish varies among species, 
but a temperature range between 74 and 78E (23 26EC) seems suitable to most.
Waters of higher temperatures have an increased bacterial count and a reduction of
dissolved oxygen. Sudden temperature changes tend to cause shock and fish, 
followed by disease.

Aquarium heaters should have outside adjustment for controlling temperature and a 
well built contrivance for fastening the heater to the side of the aquarium. Multiply by 
5 the gallons of water the aquarium contains to calculate the correct wattage. Since
heaters are not available in 5 watt multiples, get the closest you can.

Every tank needs a thermometer. Many thermometers are fixed or float inside the 
tank. Newer strip thermometers adhered to the outside of the tank and change 
colors to donate temperature changes.

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Light, be a natural or artificial, is mandatory for successful maintenance of an aquarium.
About 12 hours of light per day is optimum. Fish need light to see, feed, and reproduced.
Light also has a definite effect on the fish's color. Dull illumination is sufficient for most
fish but more adequate lighting is a necessity for plants. Artificial light may supplement
natural light or be used as the sole light source. The control of plant growth and the
suppression of plankton and algae are easier with artificial light only.

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The aquarium should be located in a position to take advantage of any available 
daylight, but not direct sunlight. Near a window is preferable, but the tank should 
not be in a position where the sun shines directly into its and over heats the water.
Elevated temperatures kill both fish and plants.

Avoid locations near heaters and radiators that can warm the tank and cause 
overheating. Air conditioner events and other drafty spots must be shunned as 
well as rooms, such as kitchens, that experienced abrupt fluctuations in temperature.

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