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Above: Chemical filter media, such as activated carbon, can be used to remove color and toxins from the water. Use them with care, as they can remove nutrients and treatments at the same time.

Left: Tannins released from wood can discolor the water Although not harmful, this can look unsightly. Regular, but limited, use of chemical media should effectively remove such discoloration.

Above: Chemical filter media, such as activated carbon, can be used to remove color and toxins from the water. Use them with care, as they can remove nutrients and treatments at the same time.

filtration media in water from the aquarium; never use tap water, which may contain enough chlorine to kill beneficial bacteria. To ensure that any pumps remain in working order for as long as possible, be sure to clean both the impeller and the impeller housing. This can normally be done with a specially designed brush or pipe cleaner.

If the light in the aquarium is provided by fluorescent tubes, be sure to replace these every 12 months, even if they still appear to be working properly. The intensity of light from a fluorescent tube diminishes quickly and although a year-old tube may seem to be functioning correctly, its output will be less than half that of a new tube.

Any condensation trays or cover-glasses should be cleaned every week to prevent the buildup of deposits, as these will also significantly reduce the amount of light reaching the plants.

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