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Bellies, fins and some greenery

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Green alert! Take good care of your aquarium plants
Green alert! Take good care of your aquarium plants

Keep seeing the signs and the joy will stay with you

As other people swallow live fish filled with yellow stuff to cure themselves of asthma, take a look at your aquarium and feel proud. But you can feel proud only if your fish stay in the pink of their health. There is no jiggery-pokery involved here, all you have to do is to observe your bowl (okay cube) of joy every day, the way you water your plants. The signs to look out for are the fish fins, fish bellies, algal growth in the aquarium, colour of water, airstone, the gravel and the leaves of the plants. If you are having the wrong collection of fishes then it will show in the fins of your collection. Most freshwater fishes are not aggressive (piranhas, Oscars and some cichlids are the dishonourable exceptions) and nip at the fins of others only if they are bored (yeah! fish are intelligent and get bored). The solution is to read up a little (you and not the fish) and get the right environment for your fish. There will be no algal growth if you are using treated tap water and the light is just right. Ground water has phosphorous and algae thrive in it. If you still have algae, clean up the tank and reduce the light a little. The algae will disappear. The colour of water in your aquarium should not be the same as in a drinking water bottle. It has to be brownish green, but not too dark a shade.If you are the one who keeps switching off the air pump, then it is likely that the airstone will get clogged. Boil it and shake it in water, the airstone would be bubbling.The gravel gets compacted blocking the growth of plant roots, to prevent it, whenever you clean the water in the tank, stir and swirl the gravel sufficiently and siphon out the gooey poop. Plants are the best indicators of the health of the aquarium. If they are green without any yellow or brown fringes or mottled appearance, then stop reading this column now.Next week: Fertilisers for plants

SERISH NANISETTI

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