Water collected in a natural setting is transported in plastic containers, such as jerry cans. As these generally have a limited volume (under 30 liters), quite a few are required to fill an aquarium of several hundred liters. The water can be stored in these containers, protected from heat and sunlight (cellar, garage, storeroom, attic). Some aquarists with several tanks store their water in cisterns covered with polyethylene; these are available commercially.
Adjusting the density
• The density is too high
Part of the water is siphoned off - this can be stored for later use - and the softest water available is added, taking care to measure the density. When the water level of a marine aquarium goes down because of evaporation, it is not the sea water which is evaporating but the fresh water, and it is therefore the latter which must be added to make up the level.
The addition of sea water would entail an increase in density.
• The density is too low In this case, salts must be added. These must be dissolved beforehand in a container which is then gradually emptied into the aquarium, with constant checks on the density. Both these operations must be performed with care if the aquarium already contains fish, in order to avoid causing any excessively abrupt changes that could be detrimental to the fish.
Artificial sea water, reconstituted with commercially produced salts, creates an environment that is perfectly suited to fish.
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