Decreasing troublesome water values
Ideal water values - here's how it works
Your water values don’t always correspond to the ideal values. We will briefly explain how you can get to grips with your water values here:
For regions with hard tap water a reduction of the water hardness can help accommodate the specific needs of invertebrates, fish and plants. Water softening is quite simple with the help of a reverse osmosis unit. The unit is connected to the water tap to filter 95 % of all hardeners (and also pollutants) out of the tap water.
The addition of pH decreasing aids (e.g. JBL pH-Minus ) result in a reduction of KH but must be implemented carefully. The addition of a pH reducer needs to be carried out in very small steps and permanently monitored by means of KH and pH tests. Do not perform at all with a KH of below 4! A water change is only useful, when the tap water has a lower hardness than the aquarium water.
In case of an ammonia poisoning (fish dart backwards and forwards, gasp at the water surface) an immediate lowering of the pH level is a possible first aid measure, as this converts the toxic ammonia back into non-toxic ammonium on the spot. Further steps are then necessary to deal with the problem long term. These steps include a water change and the addition of the Bacteria starter .
A very effective alternative is the addition of JBL Detoxol , which converts the harmful nitrogen compounds ammonium/ammonia as well as nitrite into non-toxic amines. This process starts immediately after the addition of the product and solves the problem of poisoning right away. However, it does not, of course, eliminate the causes such as overstocking or overfeeding.
Nitrite (NO2): recommended value 0.0 mg/l, from 0.5 mg/l lethal
Immediate partial water change (50 %), less feeding, regular partial water change (30 % every 14 days), regular siphoning of the substrate with a gravel cleaner ( Gravel cleaning ).
The quickest first aid after the partial water change is the addition of JBL Detoxol , which converts nitrite into non-toxic amines. It’s best to add bacterial starters afterwards, as the bacteria biologically prevent the nitrite level from rising again. Long term it is vital you review the number of fish you have in the aquarium and the amount of food you’re giving. Most important of all is the regular partial water change (including siphoning off the substrate) of 1/3 of the aquarium every 2 weeks.
Nitrate (NO3): recommended value freshwater < 30 mg/l, marine water < 20 mg/l
A regular water change precludes high nitrate levels, assuming that it is not too strongly present in the tap water being used. It is therefore vital to check the tap water parameters. With the help of a reverse osmosis unit up to 50 % of the nitrate can be removed from the tap water. Using JBL NitratEX both tap water and aquarium water can be freed of nitrate. JBL NitratEX contains synthetic resins, which withdraw nitrate from the flowing water. Once the exchange capacity has been exhausted, it can be simply and quickly regenerated with sodium chloride. JBL BioNitratEx has been designed for long-term use in the filter. This specific filter material consists of nutrition balls for bacteria. In the course of time beneficial cleansing bacteria settle on the balls so that the bottom layers of the bacteria no longer receive oxygen-rich water. This is when the bacteria start the denitrification process to degrade the nitrate. However, this is only possible because they are able to remove the nutrition they need for it from the balls. Thus the balls are steadily eaten up by the bacteria and you can easily trace the progress of the nitrate degradation and see when you need to refill new balls.
Phosphat (PO4): recommended value < 0.1 mg/l
In addition to the measures mentioned above, phosphate can easily, quickly and reliably be removed with the special filter material JBL PhosEX ultra . If you wish not only to remove phosphate, but also nitrite and nitrate, we recommend the dedicated filter media JBL ClearMec plus .
pH value: recommended value: community aquariums 6.5-7.5; Lake Malawi & Lake Tanganyika aquariums 7.5-9.0
Please check first if the carbonate hardness (KH) corresponds to the recommended value. Before manipulating (raising or reducing) the pH level the KH MUST be brought to the recommended value, see Water values . In most cases the pH regulates itself to the level you require. If, however, the pH level needs to be reduced, there are three possibilities:
1. Through the addition of JBL pH-Minus (pH lowering liquid) the pH level can be reduced gradually. However the carbonate hardness will also drop simultaneously.
2. A dosed addition of CO2 (carbon dioxide) will not only fertilize the plants but will also lower the pH level. One part of the CO2 reacts with water to carbon acid (H2CO3), which reduces the pH level as do all other acids. For aquariums from 30 to 160 litres we recommend the JBL ProFlora Bio-CO2 fertiliser system (to be found under PROFLORA Bio ). For aquariums from 60 to 1000 litres the JBL ProFlora u or m-systems (to find here: PROFLORA CO2 plant care ).
3. With JBL Tormec activ (activated peat pellets) as a part of the filter material you can slightly reduce the pH level. The activated pellets contain about 25 % humic acids which act as a pH reducer. In addition a slight softening occurs.
Silicates (SiO2): recommended value: < 1 mg/l
As soon as you reduce the silicic acid content in the water by means of a silicate remover ( JBL SilicatEx Rapid ), diatoms can’t live any longer. With a silicate test ( JBL Silicate Test SiO2 ) the determination of the silicate content in your tap and aquarium water can be carried out simply and quickly.