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The Dragon Fish
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Instant water / temperature calculation on-line!
Just click on the CALCULATOR picture below.



Ammonia and the nitrogen cycle
All info and pictures are from internet and fish books


Although fish breeders and hobbyist are impressed by the tolerance of the hardy Dragon Fish to chemicals such as ammomia and other organic waste, I would like to stress that water quality management is crucial in optimising your fish potential. The nitrogen cycle is one of the most important aspects of water quality management you need to understand in order to be a
successful aquarist.
Nitrogen cycle refers to the process whereby nitrogen products are processed and recycled by biological means (micro-organisms, mainly bacteria) into different forms. In a man-made and matured system, the cycle takes place throughout the tank. Bacteria is found everywhere, not just in the bio-filters. The purpose of bio-filters is to provid maximum surface area for bacteria to colonise, thrive and feed on organic nutrients present.
Fish and all other organisms will release ammonia as a waste product of feeding. In an aquatic environment, the ammonia and other waste will be excreted into their own living environment. Ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic to all aquatic organisms. Ammonia at 1mg/l can cause toxicity, and higher level will ultimately kill aquatic organisms. Nitrite at 5mg/l can cause toxicity and higher level will kill as well. In a mature fish tank, where the nitrogen cycle is circulating and functioning well, ammomia and many other toxic will be converted into harmless nitrate, nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas. These will keep the nitrogen in check, maintaining it below the toxic level.
In a newly set up tank system, the nitrogen cycle will not be as complete as a matured one. There will be an over-accumulation of toxic ammonia. This surge in ammonia will encourage the growth of nitrifying bacteria (Nitrosomonas sp., Bacillus sp. etc) to process the ammonia into a less toxic nitrite. The accumulation of nitrate will encourage another group of nitrifying bacteria (Nitrobacter sp.) to convert them to an even less toxic nitrate. Other bacteria and plants will then convert them into nitrous oxide and gaseous nitrogen. The cycle will take 1-2 months to fully stabilize and mature. However this also depends on many factor such as the amount of fish and food given. Even the type of lighting is a factor.
Most of the time, the established bacteria population will be able to accommodate mild variations in the amount of nutrients present. This means you can overfeed the fish on one day and there will be no change in water quality, but if the surge is too high or too sudden, you will experience a nitrogen cycle collapse. For instance, if you accidentally pour the whole can feed into the tank, or over clean the tank by soaking all the bio filter material in detergent, or suddenly place ten more fish into a tank that already has the right number of fish. The water will turn murky and the fish will turn lethargic. This is commonly known as "water change syndrome". Many hobbyists experience tank water turing murky even just after changing it. That is a good indication you could be changing too much of the water.

pH levels and Hardness
The pH level is the measurement of acidity and alkalinity of the water. The 'hardness' of the water is the measurement of the amount of minerals in the water.
These two parameters are actually very closed related.
Water is considered "hard" when there is a high content of minerals (e.g.Calcium) in it. The pH level of the water will be above 7 and thus be higher than neutral. When the water is lacking in minerals, it will be considered "soft" and its pH level will be below 7, which is lower than netural.
pH levels are measured on a scale of 0 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely alkali) and 7, being netural, is considered the ph of normal drinking water (which is actually not always true). Harness is measured on a unit of milligrams per litre of dissolved calcium salts. The properties of pH levels and hardness can be measured by purchasing the hardness and pH test kit or pH meters, or gH or kH test kits from your LFS. 

Aquarium Lighting
The correct lighting of your aquarium depends on the individual set-up and the light requirements of the inhabitants. Lighting influences the growth of your plants, corals, and invertebrates as well as the behavior of your fish. Incorrect lighting will result in many problems, as it is directly related to photosynthesis, CO2, and nutrients.Appropriate lighting that meets the requirements of your set-up will enhance the overall appearance and health of your aquarium.The light spectrum describes the combination of colors of which the light consists of. Namely red, yellow, green and blue (rainbow colors). These spectrums are measured as "color temperature" - Kelvin (K).Red and yellow produce lower temperatures while blue light produces a higher temperature. Lower and higher defined as the basic sunlight with
5500 K.

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is indexed on a scale from 0 – 100. 100 being the equivalent to sunlight and how objects would naturally appear. CRI is an expression of the degree to which the illuminated objects appear according to their true natural color.The intensity of light is given as Lux or lumen. This is very essential, because a light source moved only 2 inches away from the water will be 4 times less intensive. So even if the light source is correct, it might also still be insufficient, depending on the distance to the area to be illuminated.Too much red light in combination with high nutrients will stimulate algae growth. In this case we are talking about 4000 K. Always adjust the lighting to the natural habitat of your fish. Too much light will not blind, or fry them, but they may hide out. Dust humidity, water turbidity and dirty vinyl or glass covers will influence the light as well. Intense lighting in combination with high nutrients will enhance algae growth. Combined with silicates the result will be brownish algae. Combined with phosphates the result is more red and greenish algae.You should adjust your aquarium lighting to meet the needs of your set-up and inhabitants.



ORP Monitor


pH Meter


Hand- held pH Pen


Ketapang Leaves







Adding Ketapang leaves to the aquarium is an attempt to simulate the natural BLACK WATER environment, Ketapang leaves can also bring down pH level and maintain it. The disadvantage is it will tint the water slightly brown, through it is totally healthy and beneficial to fish.


Coral Chips


To increase pH level. It will also help to buffer the water if there is a sudden change in pH.

Tap water is the most common source of water used by hobbyists and breeders.  Therefore dechlorination is a good practice to prevent fish fatality due to chlorine toxicity. Chlorine, present in small amounts in tap water, can kill all fish including Arowana. Chlorine is used in many forms (gaseous or as chloroamine) to disinfect tap water for drinking. If chloroamine was used, the tap water can be treated with a dechlorinator (available from LFS).  If gaseous chlorine has been used, another way is to aerate the tap water overnite by using an air pump.


- Ocean Free Super Fish Guard
- Removes chlorine & chloramine
- Buffer pH
- Promotes natural healing with Aloe Vera, vitamin E & B
- Detoxifies heavy metals & some toxic chemicals


- Nutrafin Aquaplus
- The tap water conditioner
- Makes tap water safe by eliminating chlorine and chloramine
- Neutralises heavy metals
- Protects fish by replacing their natural protective mucous coating
- Contains P.H.E. - Pure Herbal Extract
- Contributes a positive sedating effect against stress related to transportation, handling and introduction


- Nutrafin Cycle
- Biological Aquarium Supplement
- Contains beneficial bacteria; nitrosomonas and nitrobacter
- Works together with other beneficial strains to eliminate harmful toxins
- Super concentrated
- The ideal mix of beneficial bacteria to make the aquarium water purer and the environment healthy
- For fresh and saltwater aquariums