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water movement

And fish health
Proper water movem= ent plays an important role in aquarium fish health management. Many unseen processes vital to fish health occur as water actively moves throughout t= he aquarium. Water movement is best described as the circulatory system for = your aquarium that helps maintain water quality and influence fish health. Pro= per water movement is important for promoting gas exchange, supplementing filtration, and providing physical and mental activity for aquarium inhabitants.

Like a fresh breeze in a stuffy room, water movement supplements gas exch= ange by transporting dissolved gasses out of stagnant areas. Through the natur= al activity of life, various gasses accumulate in aquarium water. For exampl= e, carbon dioxide is a by-product of fish respiration and gasses including nitrogen, methane, and sulfur are produced as different bacteria metaboli= ze waste materials. Moving water transports these gasses into the main water column where they can be released, unobstructed, into the atmosphere. Wat= er movement also supplements gas exchange by mixing water layers. Moving wat= er allows different water layers to come into greater contact with surface w= ater where gas exchange takes place. Oxygen-poor water near the aquarium botto= m is pulled up and comes in contact with oxygen-rich water at the surface. Thr= ough this active interaction, the concentration of harmful gasses is reduced a= nd oxygen level is increased.

Proper water movement enhances filtration by transporting more waste materials to the filter. Mechanical, chemical and Biological filtration a= ll benefit from proper water movement. Moving water helps keep waste materia= ls suspended in the water column and prevents them from settling into hard-t= o-reach areas. Larger particulates and debris swept up by currents are easily tra= pped and removed by mechanical filtration. Dissolved waste materials are efficiently removed by chemical filter media. Oxygen-rich water achieved through water movement provides a steady supply of oxygen for effective biological filtration.

Proper water moveme= nt is especially significant in reef filtration. Corals and other sessile organ= isms rely on water movement to physically wash away and export waste materials. Without proper water movement metabolic waste, toxins, mucus, and other organic chemicals can accumulate on or around corals. Even the most sophisticated reef filtration system will function more efficiently by improving water movement.


As a closed and relatively small environment, most home aquariums do not have adequate room to encourage active swimmi= ng. While the actual swimming area remains the same, increasing water movement provides physical and engaging activity for fish. By swimming against or = through moving water, fish receive physical activity necessary for proper growth = and muscle development. The resistance provided by water movement may also aid fish digestion and metabolism, and offer other benefits of physical activ= ity. Tropical aquarium fish originating from streams and rivers have evolved to life in fast-moving water. Recreating similar water movement conditions m= ay encourage the display of natural behavior, as well as coloration and phys= ical development not seen in still or slow moving water.