Recently, a new series of ADA Aqua Conditioner was launched. Aqua Conditioner is a lineup of water conditioners to create water suitable for Nature Aquarium. One of the main innovations of this relaunch is easier application and clearer effectiveness. The Nature Aquarium Notes of this issue introduces the effective use of the new Aqua Conditioner Series.
■ Water suitable for Nature Aquarium
In Nature Aquarium, water change is performed to remove wastes and algae in the water and we usually use tap water for the water to be added to the tank. In Japan, tap water is treated to make it safe to drink according to stringent water quality standards. However, water quality of tap water is not always suitable for planted aquariums and fish keeping because tap water contains unwanted elements while essential elements are missing, unlike natural water that is a habitat for plants and fish. Then, what are the major unwanted and essential elements in tap water? They are residual chlorine and vitamins, respectively.
The water quality of tap water varies depending on the area as well as season, and this sometimes affects the growth of aquatic plants and condition of fish.
The Aqua Conditioner Series was developed to solve these challenges in tap water and provide the water suitable for Nature Aquarium. Chlor-Off and Vita-Mix which had been a part of the old series were also relaunched with new features, including improved formula and push-type nozzle for easier application. Below are the features of the new Aqua Conditioner Series including two new additions to the lineup – Clear Water and Soft Water.
■ CHLOR-OFF for removal of residual chlorine
From long ago, it has been widely known that tap water is not suitable for fish keeping. The main culprit here is residual chlorine. Water treatment plants use chlorine for disinfection of water and it can be found in the water that comes out of our taps. This is what we call residual chlorine. Chlorine used as water disinfectant is harmful to all living organisms but the tap water does not directly affect human body because the chlorine concentration is low. However, it is different for fish living in water. Residual chlorine damages fish’s gills as well as skin surfaces and sometimes kills them even at a low concentration. That is why people in olden days who keep aquarium fish, such as goldfish and killifish, aged water before adding to the bowl or applied sodium thiosulfate (chlorine neutralizer) for pretreatment of water to be added to the bowl. Chlorine in tap water dissipates into the atmosphere over time and the dissipation rate varies with water temperature. Chlorine dissipates faster if water temperature is high while it does not dissipate much if water is cold. Similarly, chlorine dissipates completely over night in hot summer but it sometimes does not fully dissipate out of water in cold winter even after a few days. Another thing to note is that the concentration of residual chlorine in tap water varies by area and season because the amount of chloride used by water treatment plant differs by the quality of raw water. The granule size of sodium thiosulfate is uneven. This makes fine adjustment of its application amount difficult, which usually results in overdose or insufficient amount of thiosulfate depending on residual chlorine concentration level of the tap water.
The new Chlor-Off perfectly removes residual chlorine and ensures safe water change just by applying one pump (1ml) for every 10 liters of tap water. Chlorine is harmful not only to fish but also to aquatic plants and beneficial bacteria. Apply Chlor-Off to the tap water used for water change in Nature Aquarium. (It is not necessary to use Chlor-Off when residual chlorine is removed by NA Water.)
■ Vita-Mix changes tap water closer to natural water
The natural water that is home to fish and aquatic plants contains various dissolved organic compounds including vitamins which contribute to fish’s health and growth of beneficial bacteria. Organic compounds in tap water are removed during water treatment process and this makes a big difference between tap water and natural water in terms of water quality, which is significant to fish and beneficial bacteria. The new Vita-Mix replenishes vitamins which are scarce in tap water to reproduce the quality of natural water. Applying Vita-Mix to tap water to be added to the tank during water change makes the tap water closer to natural water and relieves stress of fish, resulting in prevention of fish diseases and healthy body color of fish. Vitamins also activate the functions of beneficial bacteria in the filter. It is recommended to apply Vita-Mix during the initial setup phase where fish are not yet added to the aquarium. The new Vita-Mix is easier to apply with its push-type nozzle. Try applying Vita-Mix together with Chlor-Off at every water change!
Push-type nozzle dispenses 1 ml of fertilizer for every pump. Now it is easy to apply following the dosage instruction.
■ CLEAR WATER prevents cloudy water
Nature Aquarium uses Aqua Soil made of natural soil for its substrate. During initial setup, fine soil particles are suspended in water and cloudy water is sometimes caused. This problem usually resolves over time, but cloudy water may prolong if a large amount of soil particles entered the filter or when cloudiness or green water occurs due to free living bacteria and free floating algae. The new Clear Water is an Aqua Conditioner that flocculates and eliminates particles causing water cloudiness. It has higher flocculating effect compared with Clear Dash in the previous Aqua Conditioner series. By applying one pump (1 mℓ) of Clear Water for every 10ℓ of aquarium water, the cloudy water will turn into clear water in a short time. Clear Water is highly effective and thus you need to be careful as to how to use it. Immediately after applying Clear Water that flocculates alkaline substances, the pH level of aquarium water declines temporarily and the water becomes more acidic. This can affect the fish that are sensitive to pH changes. Furthermore, the flocculating effect causes sediment which can enter fish gills and affect the respiration of fish having sensitive gills. For this reason, Clear Water should not be used for the aquariums with ancient fish species or large fish. This product can be used together with Brighty K, which is alkaline, with the aim of achieving higher flocculating effect. However, this particular approach is only available for aquariums with no fish or shrimps. Clear Water is also effective for improvement of water yellowing caused by driftwood and removal of algae-causing phosphate. Make sure to follow the instructions when using this product.
■ Soft Water lowers pH and KH levels
Water quality of tap water varies by area. There are a few parameters on tap water having big impact on growth of aquatic plants and fish keeping, namely pH (hydrogen ion concentration), KH (carbonate hardness) and TH (total hardness). These three water quality parameters are interrelated and if tap water is high in pH (i.e., water is alkaline), its KH and TH also tend to be high. On the contrary, tap water with low pH (i.e., acidic water) tends to have low KH and TH levels. Under the regulation concerning drinking water of Japan, the pH level of tap water must be between 5.8 and 8.6, covering a broad range from acidic to alkaline water. In Japan, the common pH level of tap water is between 7.0 and 7.5 nationwide. However, the tap water in some areas shows pH level as high as 8.0. In alkaline water with a high pH level, photosynthesis of aquatic plants is affected and their growth is interrupted. Besides, most tropical fish prefer mildly acidic water and they cannot display their beautiful colors in alkaline water. Aquariums having Aqua Soil substrate experience decline in pH and KH in the initial setup phase because Aqua Soil is made of natural soil that is acidic. If your tap water is alkaline, the soil’s acidity will eventually be neutralized by adding the tap water into the tank through water changes. Soft Water, a new addition to the Aqua Conditioner lineup, lowers pH and KH of water to make the tap water closer to mildly acidic water conducive to many aquatic plants and tropical fish. Soft Water also helps maintain the acidic property of Aqua Soil for a longer time. For your information, if the tap water of your area is alkaline, Aqua Soil-Amazonia Light, which is more acidic than normal Amazonia, is a better choice for substrate material. To maintain mildly acidic water suitable for Nature Aquarium for a long time, it is recommended to use Green Brighty Neutral K for replenishment of potassium and apply Soft Water to the tap water used for water change.
■ Effective use of Aqua Conditioners
The Aqua Conditioner Series is designed for creation of water quality suitable for Nature Aquarium. To make sure to use Aqua Conditioners effectively, periodical water quality measurement of aquarium tank and tap water is recommended. In particular, residual chlorine (CIO) concentration and pH level of tap water vary by area as well as season, so try doing measurement of your water quality with Pack Checker and pH Kit at the change of seasons. All the products in the new Aqua Conditioner Series are designed to provide their effects by application of one pump (1ml) for every 10 liters of water. However, application of additional amount may be necessary for some Aqua Conditioners depending on the water quality. When using Chlor-Off and Soft Water, in particular, you should measure the water quality first and adjust the dosage according to the measurement results to ensure better effectiveness.
ADA’s water quality conditioner “The Aqua Conditioner Series” can provide better effectiveness by conducting water quality measurement with Pack Checker.
(From Aqua Joural #259)