Seachem has written and published a variety of articles on topics ranging from general aquarium chemistry to filtration to disease prevention and control. Our philosophy has always been that the knowledgeable hobbyist makes the best customer, and these articles were written with that philosophy in mind. The articles have been divided into Beginner and Advanced topics. Beginner articles cover the basics, while Advanced articles will often call for a knowledge of chemistry.
The Art and Science of Aquarium Management
Issues covered in the article include the difference between iodine and iodide, chlorine and chloride, ammonia and ammonium; what is pH; the difference between distilled, deionized, and R/O water; how do natural water environments differ; what is hardness, alkalinity, conductivity, and specific gravity; what is a buffer; and more.
The article discusses the dangers of ammonia, the difference between total ammonia and free ammonia as well as methods of removing and detoxifying ammonia.
Carbon in the Planted Aquarium
Carbon is the backbone of all life. Every organic molecule of every living organism is predominantly carbon based. Given this simple fact, it becomes clear why carbon dioxide (CO2) plays a pivotal role in the planted aquarium." The article discusses the relevance of CO2 in the planted aquarium and the options available to the hobbyist for the addition of CO2.
Basics of Aquarium Filtration
The article discusses, in general, the different types of filtration: mechanical, biological, and chemical, including carbon (what to look for in a good activated carbon), polymeric adsorbents, ion-exchangers.
This interview discusses how to select the best activated carbon for the aquarium. It also discusses many of the misconceptions about activated carbon in the aquarium industry.
The Contrarian Reef
Issues covered in the article include calcium supplementation, alkalinity, redox, ozone, phosphate, red slime, and "Berlin System."
Algae, Warm Weather Foe
Algae, the most tenacious adversary with which the contemporary water garden enthusiast must cope, is actually a symptom of a more complex problem. Instead of being equipped with a clear cut and direct approach for the control of algae, the pond hobbyist is, at best, often in the dark regarding the causes of algae growth and how to deal with the associated problems.
A Primer on Aquarium Filtration
The article discusses, in depth, the different types of filtration: mechanical, biological, and chemical, including carbon (learn what to look for in a a good activated carbon), polymeric adsorbents, ion-exchangers, ammonia absorbers, bottom filtration, and the dynamics of aquarium filtration.
Understanding the General Chemistry of the Planted Aquarium
"When it comes to capturing a little bit of nature in our homes, we aquarium keepers have managed to pick the most difficult environment to reproduce. The difficulty arises from the numerous chemical parameters that must be controlled. These include dissolved ions, dissolved gases, pH, and waste. In an open, aquatic system these parameters are naturally controlled through a complex system of self-regulating feedback based control mechanisms. However, in a closed aquatic system the self regulation exists only very tenuously at best and can be easily overwhelmed if the system is not adequately maintained."
Marine Water pH Control
pH is generally understood to be an expression of acidity or the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration in water. The value is a negative logarithm, which means that acidity increases as the value decreases and that each unit change reflects a 10-fold change. Although not totally correct, this concept serves us well and is not difficult to comprehend. In considering pH and pH control in the marine environment, however, the inadequacies of this concept have caused some fundamental misreasoning.
Disease Prevention and Control
Despite a long history of the use of copper, the preferred agent for the eradication of external parasites from marine fish, many discordant recommendations of expert aquarists betray a limited understanding of the basic chemistry of copper in the marine aquarium