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Maturation – Questions & Answers

Date Published - 20th April 2012 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

How often should biological filters be cleaned?
In frequently, just enough to keep them free from blockage by mulm and detritus. Always rinse sponges, sand, gravel and other media in water from their tank. Washing in mains water will kill the bacteria and destroy the filter.

Are nitrifying bacteria present in direct proportion to the amount of livestock?
Yes. That is why every new addition will upset the biological balance temporarily until the bacteria can multiply to meet the extra amounts to biological waste products. Hence, stock the aquarium slowly.
What can be done if an aquarium fails to mature?
If the set-up operating properly and the water is not polluted by an external toxin, then all aquarium filters will  eventually mature. Four weeks is not an unusually long time to wait for the last traces of ammonia and nitrate to disappear.
Can lights be left on while the tank is maturing?
Yes. There is no logical reason why not. Previous thinking always recommended that the tank should be matured in the dark even though experience showed that it made little or no difference.
Can stocking begin with just a trace of ammonia and nitrite in the water?
No. The filter is not fully matured and if livestock are introduced the ammonia and nitrite levels will soar to dangerous levels.
Is it possible for an established tank that is free of livestock to be kept biologically mature indefinitely?
Yes, one drop per gallon of maturation fluid every week will keep it biologically active and ready for stocking.

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