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Life Science; Chemistry Science (Part 1 – WATER)

Let’s imagine your nightmare become reality!!! ... … You woke up one morning and find that your tank of 20 pieces of expensive newly bought 1-inch goldfish are breathing heavily, with a bit of cloudy eyes, slime and no moving or reacting at all. What will you do?

Most of us will go into this panic mode. First thing that come to our mind is to change water, logically this is not a bad idea, however the act of changing water, would means that the sick fish are subjected to the change in water parameters, that is the pH, hardness, etc. Wouldn’t this further stress the fish or even killing the fish?

To make thing worst, some of us might hastily add different medication into water without having a clearer understanding of the problem, which lead to fatal ending.

The health of a fish is held in a delicate balance and maintaining this balance is the key to successfully fish keeping. This is where life science and chemistry science come in play. There are basically three kinds of successful aquarists (fish hobbyists).

      (1) Aquarists that apply little or zero knowledge of understanding life/chemistry science. Purely base on their years of profound experiences of knowing how not to overcrowd the tank, overfeed the fish, avoid introducing sick fish into the tank, providing a stress-free environment, etc, these aquarists followed closely to their own set of rules of thumb to remain successful in fish keeping.

      (2) These are aquarists that have successfully acquired the knowledge of life/chemistry science. Upon facing problem, these aquarists will turn to science for answer. They perform proper investigation to understand the issue on hand before applying the right remedy accordingly.

      (3) The third kind of aquarists is those that have a reasonable among of experience and also realised the importance of life/chemistry science. Exhibiting perception and learning and reasoning, a bit of both (1) and (2), give these hobbyists a fair bit of their own successful story.

The truth is, whether to be aquarist (1) to gain adequate amount of experiences, or to be aquarist (2) to have intensive knowledge of life/chemistry science, one have to accept the fact that a certain amount of time needed to achieve either skill is unavoidable.

Fynnmood Goldfish Club posted this article that briefly touches on the life/chemistry science in hope (possibility) to lead more fish hobbyists to fall into the third category of aquarist (3). With individual fish keeping experience and a better understanding of life/chemistry science, one would able to achieve a greatly height in a shorter time when come to goldfish keeping.

Let’s go back to the tank of sick fish. Actually, such scenario did happen to one of the experience aquarist. However, instead of doing water change, he added acidic solution to bring down the water pH to a level that is more comfortable for that particular species and then dropped a calculated amount of potassium permanganate into the water. Within a day, the fish have revived back to their active status.

These steps of treatment taken professionally by the aquarist can be broken down into two stages:

The fish response (giving in) to disease because of its immune system had reduced effectiveness. This is due to the environment not suitable for the fish. Hence the first step, the aquarist did was to fix the water condition to suit the fish. By removing this stress factor 1, the fish’s adaptive response is an attempt to counter the disease.

The second step is to apply the right medication to help the fish to fight the disease (bacteria), in this case, the disease (bacteria) themselves is to be the considered as stress factor 2.

Understanding water chemistry/parameters and its effect on the fish is the key to successful fish keeping. As an old saying goes … … “Providing the right water conditions for the fish, the fish will take care of itself.”

How is the Water Parameters Related to the Fish … …

Briefly, the body system of a fish is full of complex chemicals, including ions and salts. These substances are a lot more concentrated inside the fish compared to the water outside.

There is such process called osmosis where water molecular from the environment goes into the fish body (from low to high salts and ions concentration domain). Due to this process, the fish has to cast off this excess water by urinating. However, by doing so, the fish tends to loss its body ions and salts to this ‘less’ concentrated water.

If the water parameter or chemistry is not right, the fish will not able to maintain their body’s chemical balance. This will throw the fish body system ‘off-balance’, this change will seriously affect the fish, possibly causing casualty. That is why the water parameters/chemical and levels of dissolved substance in the fish environment are closely related to their health.

Salt … …

Reiterate:

Osmoregulation is the process of osmosis that is important to balance between the fish bodily fluids / internal salt and their surrounding environment.

To counteract the first process, fish have very efficient kidneys that excrete water very rapidly. To minimize salt loss, the fish also have a mechanism system to re-absorb the salt before passing out as urination. Hence, it would be good to have some salt content in the water to enable the fish to actively uptake and replenish the lost salt through chloride cell in the fish gills, maintaining their body’s chemical balance.

Furthermore, a certain amount of salt in the water would also help to control disease out-break.

Water Treatment … …

An experience or term as an expert aquarists are those that able to sustain water management by means of doing better yet with lesser effort than the past. Water management requires a good understanding of the hydrology, and using this information to develop better technologies and practice to manage the water resource.

The chemical sciences are critical in the treatment of water in both making it potable and also in removing contaminants. Currently with adequate support of chemical sciences, newly developed treatment such as membrane, ultraviolet and advanced oxidation processes are available. These processes are usually employed by water supply company or laboratory work. Nevertheless, some of these theories have been simplified by the koi hobbyists to use it for their pond system.

Processes for water treatment are in excess of 100 years old and most operations include removal of suspended solids (mechanical filtration), fine filtration (biological filtration) and finally disinfection (chemical filtration). In other words, the principle function of water treatment is to remove solid, organic and microbiological components that cause unacceptable levels of pollution that are harmful to the fish.

Chemistry plays a major role in all aspects of water treatment, from characterising the source of water quality, including quantifying pollutant load, removing particles, organic and inorganic pollutants, and providing a disinfectant residual. However, so often we read from fish magazines how hobbyists were so ‘absorbed’ into this chemistry that they ended up killing the fish. So when come to adding different chemical into the water, one has to practice with caution.

One of the more common chemical filtration processes is the use of carbon. Activated carbon is effective at removing natural organic matter and colour, pesticides, taste and odour forming compounds, and algal toxins.

Another chemical filtration concept is to add Zeolite to the aquarium. It will help to combat the ammonia problem in the early stage. However, if the filtration system in a tank is stable, there is no necessity to use zeolite.

While waiting for the newly set up tank to take up four to six weeks before a health population of good bacteria can grow in a tank to act as an ammonia breakdown agent, zeolite would serve well in the tank to help to remove ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+).

The characteristics and the amount of fish waste, density of the tank and feeding method are critical factors in designing an effective filtration system.

(Do read more about filtration system in the part II of this article.)

The hazards in ‘raw’ tap-water may include chlorine, chloramines and various dissolved metals, such as copper. None of these are toxic to humans at the levels normally found in tap-water, but they can be dangerous to fish. This concern would be discussed further down in this article.

With the general understanding of Water Treatment, next is to focus on the individual factors (regardless whether it has a direct or indirect effect) that play a role in this Nitrogen Cycle.

Nitrogen Cycle and its Effects on the Fish … …

Ammonia … …

In an aquarium, fish waste and extra fish food often fall to the bottom of the tank as debris. This debris begins to break down producing ammonia.

Ammonia levels remain high in the water until Nitrosomonas (soil bacteria) establish.

These bacteria are responsible for breaking down ammonia into nitrite. Nitrite is a slightly less toxic substance.

Ammonia affects the fish in several ways. It disrupts osmoregulation. As mentioned in the earlier part of this article, losing this equilibrium of body salts relative to the fish environment spells fatal.

With ammonia levels continue to increase, the mucus layers surrounding the gills begin to break down, causing the gills to swell. By then, the fish will not able to take in as much oxygen as it would normally. Resulting, the blood's haemoglobin (red blood cells - function primarily to transport oxygen) is not able to carry enough oxygen to the requirement of the body tissues, ultimately, destroying the central nervous system of the fish.

In lesser but substantial present of certain level of ammonia concentrations, it will cause the fish susceptibility to gill disease, fin-rot, dropsy and bacterial infection.

From the books and other sources of information, the average ammonia level that would consider toxic is at as low as 0.25 ppm (parts per million = mg/litre), while some references even state that the ammonia level ‘must be’ under 0.02 ppm.

Relationship between Temperature, pH and Ammonia … …

Fish produces ammonia from the breaking down of protein to obtain energy and is excreted (eliminate) through the gills in exchange for sodium. Usually, ammonia dissolved in water rapidly to produce ammonium ions, and hydroxyl ions.

However, as the pH value rises (water becomes more alkaline) and the temperature increases, this will set these ammonia free from forming ammonium with the water. As free ammonia, it is much more toxic to fish than ammonium ions.

Estimated chart for maximum recommended level of total ammonia mg/litre

Nitrite … …

With a establish tank system, in the presence of oxygen, ammonia is converted into nitrite by the similar Nitrosomonas, soil bacteria. This process is called nitrification.

Nitrite, as compared to ammonia, it is a less toxic compound. Nevertheless, it still has adverse effects. Likewise, it breaks down the red blood cells, which reduces oxygen to be properly transported to the body. It also damages the kidneys and liver of the fish.

The good news is that by simply dissolving salt (sodium chloride) in the water, it will reduce the nitrite toxicity. Interestingly, nitrite is also less toxic in hard water. From references, it is stated that the nitrite level should not be allowed to rise above 0.2 ppm.

Nitrate … …

The final stage of the nitrogen cycle is the breakdown of nitrite into nitrate. Through the second round of nitrification process, these nitrate bacteria (Nitrobacter and Nitrospira) take up inorganic carbon like HCO3- and CO2, oxidizing nitrite into the even less toxic. Nitrate is the least toxic compound of the three.

The appearance of nitrates in the water is a sign that the aquarium is starting to mature. Plants in the aquarium will utilize this for their growth, preventing the level of nitrate from rising.

Although nitrate is far less toxic to fish than either ammonia or nitrite, it is likely to lower the fish immune system or disease resistance, leaving them vulnerable to infection. Hence the recommendation from the references is that the nitrate level should be below 50 ppm..

For home breeders, do take note that fish eggs and fry are much more sensitive to nitrate in the water than adult fish. This is the reason why the traditional method of fish keeping by performing regular water change are widely practice especially by the Japanese hobbyists that groom baby ranchu. The original idea of an aquarist that set up a good filtration system for the tank is to reduce the routine of water change. Hence, commonly, such system would have a small amount of nitrate as compared to the traditional method.

When a aquarium have reached full maturity, naturally the fish will be much less likely to develop disease, since these stress factors are absent from the water.

The nitrifying bacteria described above will colonize in filtration system of the tank. This is why some aquarists practice not to empty out the entire tank to clean it and wash the filtration system with the tank water rather than tap-water. As mentioned to restart the whole process of maturing the tank, it takes weeks.

Above graph is an estimated plot relating to the days needed to mature a system. Now days there are products out on the market that help to kick start the build up of bacteria which ensure faster cycling, and shorten the time to mature a new tank system.

Throughout the discussion on nitrogen cycle, salt, ph and water hardness were briefly mentioned. In the next part of this article, a slightly more in-depth regarding these water parameter would be discussed. Let’s start with pH.

Water Parameters -> pH … …

The pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water. One pH unit reflects 10 times change in hydrogen ions concentration. Basically, lower the pH value means that there are more free hydrogen ions in the water and higher the pH value means that there are fewer free hydrogen ions.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with pH 7 considered to be neutral.

Below the 7 rang mark, the pH is consider acidic.
Above the 7 rang mark, the pH is consider basic (alkaline).

The pH rang also influence the solubility and biological availability. These two factors determine the nutrients (phosphorus – element that helps plant growth, nitrogen, and carbon) and heavy metals (lead, copper, cadmium, etc.) in the water. Logically metals tend to be more toxic at lower pH because they are more soluble.

Generally, it is believe that goldfish strive best at the pH value within the range of 6.5 to 8.5. It is consider the ideal pH value for goldfish.

Goldfish are the descendents of carp, which is found in still water at the lowland in nature. The water in the carp environment is from the mountain streams. This water picked up salts and minerals as it flow down from the top of the mountain. Hence mother-nature has created a lightly more alkaline and hard habitats for carp or what we know today – Goldfish.

Through some laboratory reports, a more stringent range is stated as:
pH value 7.5 to 8

In a contained environment, that is an aquarium or pond, the pH value tends to fluctuate more as the day turn to night and night turn to day.

Back to chemistry science, the ammonia (NH3) found in a tank are make up of nitrogen and hydrogen ions. When this ammonia is broken down by bacteria, it forms nitrite (NO2) and releases 3 free hydrogen ions. The increase in hydrogen as mentioned above will cause the pH value to drop. With excess ammonia and the continuous work of the bacteria, every addition of free hydrogen ions in the water will accelerates the drop in pH, leading to what is known as pH crash. Such phenomenon will stress out the fish and causes death.

Fish, plants, algae and bacteria take in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. This process can also cause the pH to drop as the carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid. However, in the day time, plant and algae utilize carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis.

Due to above reason, fish have an in-build device that enable them to shift the bicarbonate level of their blood (over an over a period of time, not able to adapt to sudden change) to balance with the habitat.

However, there is a limit to how much the fish can tolerate the pH fluctuation. Hence, it is important to ensure the pH value swing within the range that the fish can handle. The item buffer is the process of holding the pH steady.

The most widely used buffering agent is calcium carbonate (limestone). As the pH drops, it will dissolve into the water and ‘adsorb’ the excess free hydrogen ion. If the pH rises too high, the bicarbonate will ‘release’ the hydrogen ion back which resulting the pH to drop back slightly.

If one tends to consistently keep pH level in the aquarium lower, this can be quite easily achieve by putting a bag of ‘aquarium peat’ in the filter system (However need replace after a couple of week to remain effective). And if one tends to maintain pH level higher, this can be done by adding limestone in the filter system. In other words, the way the biological filtration system is set up will and can influence pH value.

Aside from those market products that help to bring up or down the pH level directly, the following are other ways available to adjust the pH level.
* Baking Soda can raise 				pH 7 to pH 8
* Ammonia can raise 					pH 7 to pH 10
* Liquid plumber can raise 				pH 7 to pH 12
  (A commercial solution for clearing clogs & slow drains)
* Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide			pH will rise

* Garlic can balance the water neutral 			pH 7.3

* Vitamin C will bring down 				pH away below neutral
* Lemon Juice can drop 					pH 7 to as low as pH 4
* Aspirin can lower 					pH 7 to pH 5
* Vinegar can also drop 				pH 7 to as low as pH 4
* Tonic water can drop 					pH 7 to as low as pH 4
* Respiration produces carbon dioxide			pH will drop
* Heavy break down of nitrite to nitrate		pH will drop

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate, NaHCO3) - This compound consists of carbonates (CO3) and bicarbonates (HCO3-). It is often use as a buffering agent (Alkalinity) added into the water to provides stability of the pH. If the water pH drops below a tolerance level, adding baking soda can quick fix the problem and will bring the pH value up as high as 7.8.

The chemical equation is broken down as follows:

NaHCO3 --> Na+ + HCO3-
HCO3- + H+ --> H20 + CO2

(Kindly note the so-called proper buffering agent is the ones that contain carbonates, bicarbonates and borates [salt or ester of boric acid]. It has the capability to raise the alkalinity and prevent acid fall of the pH, whereas plain baking soda are not able to achieve this. Plain baking soda may raise the pH when first added, but the rise will only be temporary. Soon the pH will drop again, continue adding will not help. Eventually, the pH that will drop regardless of what you try to do.)

Water Parameters -> Water Hardness/ Softness … …

A balance of dissolved substances in the water is essential for aquatic life. The two characteristics that affect this are the water hardness and salinity.

In nature, rainwater runs over the rock as it flows down from the mountain, it characterizes its pH values, and also influences it hardness. Water hardness is a measure of the dissolved salts it carries, mainly carbonates and sulphates of calcium and magnesium. So in general, water with a high salt content is referred to as hard, while water low in salts content is referred to as soft.

The total (general) water hardness is measured in degree of hardness (dH).
It can be divided into two types: Temporary Hardness and Permanent Hardness
Temporary hardness can be easily removed by boiling the water, while permanent hardness, cannot.

The scale for total hardness ranges from:

0 dH (very soft) to
28 dH and over (very hard)

Relationship between Water Hardness and pH … …

One can roughly state that the pH value and hardness are linked, with low pH water being soft and high pH water being hard.

The hardness of your aquarium water will also give you an indication of how stable the pH is likely to be … … For soft water, the level of dissolved mineral salts is low. Thus, giving less resistance (buffering capacity) to changes in pH, and in other words, it exhibits a stronger tendency towards pH instability. For hard water, the level of dissolved mineral salts is high. Thus, it has a high buffering capacity, and the pH would remains more stable.

Water hardness also impacts the process of osmoregulation. In hard water, the fish system can be more ‘relax’ in replacing the lost ions from the fish body. In reverse, in soft water, the fish system needs to work harder to maintain their internal salt and water. Calcium in the water also helps to reduce ion and water loss.

Fish and plants prefer differing hardness values if they are to thrive. References state that: Total Hardness 150-300mg/litre CaCO3 is a good level for goldfish keeping.

Note:		Less than 50	consider as soft
		50-100	consider as ‘moderately’ soft
		100-200 	consider as ‘slightly’ hard
		200-300	consider as ‘moderately’ hard

		(In term of ‘degree of hardness’)
		Less than 5 degree general hardness is consider soft
		Between 5 to 10 degree general hardness is consider ‘moderately’ soft
To avoid extreme hardness values, the carbonate hardness (KH) value should be of 90-125mg/litre CaCO3

Making water hard

* This process generally involves adding calcium-based salts
* Coral chip/sand or other marine media are high in calcium
* Limestone gravel
* Adding salts

Making water soft

* Adding rainwater (however, be caution about polluted rainwater)
* Existing commercial solution agent for aquarium
* Using reverse-osmosis filters (expensive device)

Most fish naturally from soft water habitats will do fine in hard water. Thus, there is no need to specifically create soft water, especially for goldfish. However, during breeding period, (perhaps not essential for goldfish) having the eggs in soft water would provide a better development.

The diagram below illustrates that:
‘For hard water, likely the water would be more alkaline than acidic’

The diagram below illustrates that:
‘For soft water, acidification dominates alkalinity’

Relationship between Photosynthesis and pH… …

Photosynthesis dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water. In effect, this process reduces the acidity of the water and so pH increases. As for rest of the community in the tank, they produce carbon dioxide, which dissolves in water as carbonic acid, thereby lowering the pH.

Due to above reason, pH usually are slightly higher during daylight hours when photosynthesis take place. And maximum respiration during the night brings lower pH.

It is an objective for an aquarist to provide the tank system with stable pH. Notwithstanding, mother-nature always has a certain way of expressing herself, even in nature pH level does vary slightly through the day. This small change in pH are not likely to have a direct impact on aquatic life, however, it greatly influence the solubility of different chemical forms in the water. For instant, increase in pH also means increase the solubility of phosphorus, which encourage better plant growth, this resulting more oxygen from the process of photosynthesis.

Water Parameters -> Salinity … …

Salinity is the measure of total dissolved material in the water.

From references, over 95% of all dissolved substances in natural water consist of eight ions, generally four negatively charged ions and four positively charge ions.

These insignificant substances made up the remaining percentage:

Phosphate / Nitrate / Silicate / Iodine / Copper / Zinc / Other metal ions

Metal in water can exist as several chemical structure, each of which has a different toxicity to fish. How these elements are break up depends on the water hardness, pH, value, temperature and other dissolved substance in the water.

It is a good practice to always allow tap-water to run for a few minutes to flush out any accumulated metals before using it for the aquarium.

Understanding the Indication of the Surface Water … …

Sometime, when observing the surface of the water, one can find a film of oil patch. The oil came about with different possibility like cooking, brought into the tank from the aquarist’s hand, faulty power-head inside the tank and more commonly from the food that was fed to the fish.

If it is some kind of animal or vegetable oil is from cooking or from fish food, it may eventually be consumed by bacteria in the tank filtration system. But if it is some sort of lubricant or machine oil, it may not be biodegradable, thus, it is better to have them removed manually. The main problem for these oil films were that once it covers the entire water surface, it can effectively block gas exchange. Anyway, such oil film usually comes in very small amount and with the presence of currents, these oil films are easily broken up.

An occasional bit of oil is not a reason for concern, but foam forming on the surface would be another concern.

Foam … …

Sometimes foam similar to soap suds will appear at the water surface, especially in corners or along a glass side. Such foam is normally a protein trail. In nature, such foam can be found at the seashore or in a stream.

Below photo are the typical foam or protein trail found in a heavily fed tank or possibility unnoticed dead fish or pile of uneaten food.

The presence of this type of foam is a signal that it is time to do water change and clean up the filtration system. There is a common practice among fish farms and pet shop which they practice ‘flush-off’ system. Basically, the tank is set with a tap that drip water into it 24 hours-a-day and the overflow surface water is then being drained out, removing any possible form of foam.

Widely used in marine system, a device called protein skimmers helps to remove protein trail (wastes) and other pollutants from the surface, however due to the different in water density between salt water and fresh water. These skimmers are not useful to fresh water aquarium.

Below is the photo shows a less serious but sign of protein trail build up. As the air bubble hit the surface of the water, the bubble remains intact for a while before finally burst away. Protein trail (waste) ‘coated’ bubbles are not easily burst.

A good indication of water is clear from protein waste is when most of the air bubbles burst almost instantly when they reached the surface of the water. From the photo below, lot of air bubbles are generated from the air stone, however hardly any bubbles remain floating on the surface.

Water Parameters -> Chlorine and Chloramines … …

Water Supply Company adds chlorine as a disinfectant measure.

Result below equation:
Cl2 + H2O < = > ( HOCl ) + H + Cl (low pH / high temperature)

[Free Chlorine + water = (Hypochlorous acid) + Hydrogen ion + Chlorine]

Cl2 + H2O < = > ( H + OCl ) + H + Cl (high pH / low temperature)

[Free Chlorine + water = (Hydrogen ion + Hypochlorite ion) + Hydrogen ion + Chlorine]

It is the hypochlorous acid that actually acts as the disinfectant. However, through the long pipelines chlorine level drop, to compensate this, Water Company adds excess free chlorine and chloramines to replace hypochlorous acid.

That is the reason why we have to due with these ‘extra’ chlorine and Chloramines at the receiving end of the water tap.

Aquarists can remove chlorine simply by aerating the water vigorously for a couple of hours. Or the more commonly apply method is to use suitable water conditioner (anti-chlorine solution) to treat the ‘raw’ water from the tap.

Most commercial water conditioners are based on sodium thiosulphate, which very rapidly detoxifies chlorine by chemically binding it.

Sodium thiosulphate degraded chloramines molecules releases ammonia. Hence good anti-chloramines must also clear up the ammonia.

Temperature … …

Goldfish is a cold-blood aquatic vertebrate. They are unable to regulate their own body temperature. Thus, the habitat temperature affects them greatly. Nevertheless, each species have its preferred temperature range.

From some hypothesise references, it is stated that growth rate will double if temperature increase by 10 degree Celsius of their ‘preferred’ range. For example goldfish might enjoy the temperature at 18 degree Celsius however, when kept in a 28 degree Celsius condition the goldfish is able to double its growth rate!

Temperature plays an important role on water chemistry because the rate of chemical reactions increases at higher temperature. In term of dissolve oxygen, warmer water holds less oxygen than cool water. While some dissolved substance are more toxic at higher temperature.

When the eggs or fry are kept in unfavourable water conditions especially fluctuating temperature, it can cause spine deformities in fish fry. Thus, aquarist that breed ranchu or any varieties of goldfish do pay attention to the water temperature.

Regardless, whether one is a serious aquarist that goes into breeding or one that groom his or her fish for regular competitions or simply just a causal hobbyist. I hope I have covered enough ground as regard to the understanding of water in term of life science and chemistry science, which, in return gives a better insight about fish keeping.

Each variety of goldfish (topical fish) requires a given set of parameters to prosper and grow successfully. Hence, it is vital to understand how they function, why they are a certain shape, why they behave as they do, what conditions they need to thrive and how variations can affect them. However, it is not the aim of this article to drown hobbyists with heavy items or bombastic words. To achieve successful goldfish keeping, one don’t have to apply ‘elaborated’ theories or Albert Einstein’s formula. In point of fact, the objective of this article is to provide ‘just’ enough information for a fish hobbyist to understand the importance of life/chemistry science. And likely with the combination of experiences and above information, one would able to improve his/her fish keeping technique.

As for those that find this information too taxing to digest (especially new aquarist), personally, I recommend that perhaps you can ignore these concerns about the hardness and pH of the water. YES, put aside, there is nothing to worry about … … The simple truth is that goldfish will do fine with most public water supplies as long as the raw tap-water is aged or treated with water conditioning solution before putting the fish in or during water change.

However for those who are interested to acquire more in-depth knowledge on life/chemistry science, kindly note that there are many good books available in the market. If you need recommendation on books or any queries regarding this subject, please feel free to visit (and post at) Fynnmood Forum. Upon any enquires, Fynnmood Club would try to provide the essential information to fish keeping with the best of our knowledge.

Do look out for the second Part of this article:

Life/Chemistry Science: Part II (Disease & Filtration)

Cheers!
Steven TONG

 
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