Coral helps out in freshwater tanks, seriously?

Yes seriously, coral, or more specifically their dead exoskeletons , can mean life or death for the fish in your freshwater fish tank.

First of all, dont suddenly go out to your local beach and decide to pick some out of the sea. Thats totally not the point of this page, totally not okay!

The point of this page is to relate to you on the wonders of this exoskeleton and how, if you happen to see it in your local store, can be of great use for your freshwater fish tank (obviously it may be useful for your marine or salt water fish tank too but thats for another page and another time).

Out here in South East Asia, the phenomenon of coral bleaching has occurred a couple of times in recent history. This basically results in a lot of dead coral exoskeletons being strewn about by many beaches and it seems a few enterprising folks have seen some use for it. They are dead anyway (again dont go out and pick some live ones!).

You see the dead coral exoskeletons are made out of calcium carbonate. Its a natural thing.

Now calcium carbonate is basically an alkali, thats all that you need to know about the dead exoskeletons. Being an alkali then, these exoskeletons, become good counter measures for acidic situations.

Now your fish tank is basically an acidic disaster waiting to happen at any time. You see the more food you give your fish, the more acidic the water can become.

This is all related to the nitrogen cycle. Keeping it simple, there is the chance of creation of nitric acid (among other chemical processes) which acidifies your fish tank water.

As the water gets acidic, it starts to alter the PH in your fish tank and therefore make the conditions in the water bad for your fish (assuming of course the fish likes neutral PH water - there are some species that actually need more acidic water).

As always, you will have no clue this is happening, unless of course you continually check the state of your water via using a water testing kit. If you dont, its just an accident waiting to happen and in the worse case, you will start getting agitated fish which could mean they start getting diseases, or worse of all, you will start getting dead fish.

Part of the solution then is ensuring you have a method of neutralizing the acid (this is basic science for you).

You can do this in many ways obviously, but the easiest way is to have some dead coral exoskeletons handy and the easiest thing to do is either put a bag of this in your filtration system and/or have some strewn aroud as part of the fish tank gravel.

Its really a brilliant solution (again dont go out and kill any yourself!).

Not to sure which brilliant enterprising chap thought of it, but hey it works and the best part is they dont even degrade fast (probably will take decades or more).

Its great if you see some in the local pet store cos it will help your freshwater fish tank, in the best way, that is all the time.

(and for the nth time, dont kill any live ones! A lot of these likely died naturally and so the dead exoskeletons with the yummy calcium carbonate, are easily picked up by the beach)

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