Aquarium Care

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Archive for the ‘Aquarium Care’ Category

Sticky: Controlling Aquarium Algae

Most aquarium hobbyists have to contend with the problem of algae growth sooner or later. The problem can come over time or burst out suddenly as algae bloom.  Understanding the kind of algae you might get in your tank is a big step toward fixing any problem that might arise. The first thing to do is to learn how to identify the algae and then follow the protocol to control it.

Kinds of Algae

Brown Algae – This kind of algae is the most common and is usually found in new tanks or low-light aquariums. You can recognize it by the soft clumps that they form on aquarium walls and fittings.  They are also referred to as diatoms and can be removed by scrubbing. Because they feed on nitrates, adding live plants will help as will algae eaters like the Otocinclus catfish or aquarium snails.

Cyanobacteria – Although cyanobacteria are often referred to as blue-green algae, they are really microbes that float through the tank as blue-green sheets.  They are easy to remove and need to be controlled as they can cause the death of fish or plants in the tank.

tank with green algae

Green Algae

Green Algae – Green water in the tank is usually the result of this kind of algae and often comes because of poor water quality.  This is the kind of algae that is referred to as algae bloom and will grow in tanks that are getting too much light or haven’t cycled properly. It usually forms a film on the tank walls and fittings and can be wiped off. Once the water in the tank has stabilized the algae will usually disappear. If it doesn’t, more drastic methods are necessary.

Thread Algae – Long threads (up to 30 cm) hanging on leaf edges are thread algae.  Low iron is usually the reason for this condition. Threads can be removed by taking a toothbrush and twirling the threads around it. Another way to control this growth is with Siamese algae eaters.

Green Spot Algae – Hard green spots on tank walls and on aquarium plants are the difficult to remove green spot algae. They usually occur in tanks which have too much light or are low in CO2 and phosphate. Normally, they are removed by scraping with a razor blade.

Red/Brush Algae – Red algae or brush algae are most likely to develop on slow-growing plants. pH does not affect them and they are hard to remove by hand. The only control known are Siamese algae eaters.

How to Control Algae

The best ways to avoid algae problems is to limit organic waste and keep good conditions in your tank. Regular water changes and limiting fish food to about as much as they can eat in a minute will help. Live plants also use up the nitrates which feed the algae which will keep them from growing. Algae need light, so keeping the tank out of the sun and only using artificial light for up to 12 hours a day will also discourage growth. Another simple and easy way to reduce the likelihood of getting an algae problem is by the addition of beneficial bacteria, which keep the tank clean and non-conducive to algae growth.

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How to Obtain Clear and Good Aquarium Water Quality

Aquarium with neon tetras

Water quality management should be a very important consideration for those who own an aquarium. This is made possible with the help of different products in the market such as EcoBio-Block among others. However, you must also be refilling the tank regularly, have proper feeding habits and also good filtration in order to have the best aquarium water quality.

Majority of the people give up keeping an aquarium as a hobby within two years because the task of maintaining clarity all the time is very challenging. You have to clean the tank once or twice a month. Even after doing this in the right way, cloudy appearance might still occur.

It is difficult to come up with one solution for the cloudy appearance because it is caused by many issues. However, you should be encouraged because the problem can be dealt with easily. Gravel that is not washed properly can result to this during the first setup. Therefore, the residue will be washed out when the tank is filled.

The gravel can also react with the liquid to cause leaching of chemicals resulting in clouding. It is good to first test the substrate before you could fill up the tank. This is done by first knowing the pH of the water before the substrate could be added. You should add small amount of substrate and then leave it for some days. You might have to change the substrate if the pH happens to rise.

A cloudy appearance might also be caused by the bacteria bloom that the tank of the fish receives after the beginning of the nitrogen cycle. This happens many times so you can choose to wait it out or do partial refills during the first days. The aquarium might also be having more than enough fish food or a lot of fish waste. This will result to a build up of bacteria.

The other causes of this problem can also be excessive light, a lot of nutrients and also imbalance in the tank. This means you might go a long way in order to tackle the problem. However, EcoBio-Block can be very helpful in this situation. You only have to rinse the block in water that is free from chlorine. You need to soak the block through the night before you could drop it into your first tank.

The tank content will be clarified and the speed of nitrogen cycle will be increased once this step is used. It also eliminates bad smell because the new tank syndrome will be shortened. This is the best way of enjoying better aquarium water quality even without frequent refills.

 

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Choosing The Best Fish For A Beginner’s Aquarium

community fish tank

Community fish tank

If a person decides to join the many who find enjoyment from keeping fish as pets, they should put some effort into becoming informed about the best fish for a beginner’s aquarium. There are important differences in how to go about this depending upon whether one is using an existing set up or creating an environment for new pets. There are many types which are practical choices for the novice owner of these diverse aquatic creatures. As the piscean enthusiast becomes more experienced, many become devoted collectors and continue to add new varieties to their stock.

The typical beginner’s first notion may be to go with the type with which most are familiar, the common goldfish. Some may be aware that this variety was first bred as pets for the Imperial Chinese family. Many are less knowledgeable of the fact that goldfish are not necessarily the easiest to care for.

Many varieties of these pets are suitable for thriving in a tank, yet the problems associated with raising different breeds ranges from simple to quite complex. So there are many factors a novice at this hobby should consider, such as how well a breed tolerates water conditions. Other important considerations are, how easy a chosen type is to feed, how large they will grow, and whether or not they are too aggressive to live with other species.

One of the mistakes made by many newcomers is to start with too small of a tank. The less the volume of water, the bigger the impact any change in water quality will have on the creatures which live in it. Another concern is that the water in a new tank can contain harmful chemicals or minerals that may harm its denizens, the best and easiest way to keep water clear and healthy is to use EcoBio-Block, a volcanic mixture with beneficial bacteria living and multiplying in the block. It creates a healthy ecosystem by keeping levels of good bacteria high.

A common error for beginners is to add too many fish to a new tank. A good rule of thumb is to start with no more than two or three fish, so that the proper levels of chemicals and bacteria for a healthy environment are reached. EcoBio-Block can also speed-up new tank syndrome. The next step is to choose the correct types of occupants for the tank.

Good types to initially stock one’s tank with are schooling fish, those that travel in schools. Common types of these are Cyprinids, smaller species that are related to Minnows and Carp. The many varieties of these include Barbs, Danios, Rasboras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

Certain breeds of Catfish, known as Corys, which include Bronze, Panda, Bandit and Spotted Corys, are hardy animals which are fairly easy to care for. Another popular type for the novice are Rainbowfish, which are colorful schoolers that are best kept in groups of six or more, yet are easy to raise.

By starting in moderation and slowly adding more as the hobbyist’s knowledge increases, choosing the best fish for a beginner’s aquarium is not difficult. Once a little experience and success with one’s initial choices has been achieved, many budding aquarists will want to add more varieties and larger tanks as they do research and gain experience.

 

 

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Sticky: How To Care For Your Goldfish Tank Properly

2 goldfish

Goldfish need your proper care

Many people have had a goldfish or two in their lives, only for the small fish to die for no apparent reason. The main problem is that there are a lot of misconceptions going around about how to care for these fish. People who think they are doing it right are actually doing everything wrong. Learning how to care for your goldfish tank now will ensure all your fish a long and healthy life.

Goldfish are a cold-water species, so it is true that they don’t need, and actually do better, without a heater. This is about the only piece of conventional advice concerning the keeping of these fish that is true. Some things you need to know are: a bowl is a horrible way to keep them, they absolutely do need a filter, and they will not stay as small as the aquarium they are placed in (they will just die instead, due to lack of enough water and too much waste).

A proper aquarium for goldfish is at least 10 gallons. And even at this size, only three to four fish can be kept. They will quickly outgrow this aquarium, but some people solve this problem by trading in their large fish for new smaller ones every few months at the pet store. Since larger fish are worth more money than smaller ones, many pet stores are happy to do this. No fish bigger than 3 inches should be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium.

An adult goldfish is between 6 and 12 inches long, depending on the type. It needs at least 10-20 gallons of water per fish. Strong filtration is necessary in order to keep them healthy, as these fish produce a lot of waste. Regular water changes of 10-30% every week or two are necessary. You can also consider using the EcoBio-Block which uses beneficial bacteria to purify water, to help keep the water clear and the fish healthy. The biggest benefit to this product is that you are able to keep a consistently high level of beneficial bacteria in your tank as they live and multiply in the block.

Filtration in an aquarium is partially mechanical (large pieces of waste are trapped) but also partly biological. This is where good (beneficial) bacteria are used to turn the fish waste into a nontoxic byproduct. Here again, you will find EcoBio-Block useful as it also jump-starts the process by quickly introducing these bacteria instead of having to wait for them to naturally flourish.

Overfeeding is one of the most common causes of fish death in home aquariums. Your fish should be fed a flake food that is specially formulated for goldfish (not tropical fish) and only fed what they can eat in one or two minutes, once a day. Excess amounts of food will dirty the water, or the fish will eat it and get fat. Fat fish do not live as long as healthier, leaner ones.

There are no conventional aquarium fish that can share living space with goldfish without compromising the health of at least one of the species, so these fish should be maintained only with their own kind. Fancy types of various varieties can be kept together, but should be kept separately from the faster, stronger standard type that can out-compete them for food and bully the weaker fish.

Given the proper aquarium setup, this is a hardy species of fish. If you maintain your tank with regular water changes, feed properly, and find new homes for fish that have outgrown any smaller tanks that you keep them in, your pets might live up to their maximum lifespan of 20 years.

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One Answer To Thriving Fish: Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality

If you live in an apartment, there is a good chance that the only pets you will be able to keep are fish, and that can actually be a good thing. There are a wide variety of fish, and they have very different personalities. You may not be able to play with them like a puppy or a kitten, but the can be a soothing and fascinating addition to your home nonetheless. They do require a bit of preparation for, so you will need to get a tank ready with freshwater aquarium water quality before you go out to select your new pets.

This is, unfortunately, more difficult that just filling a bowl with water and putting the fish in it. Especially if using tap water, that could lead to a very short experience with the hobby. While still easier than maintaining a saltwater environment, there are basic considerations that must be accounted for before adding the beautiful and interesting fish varieties.

If you want to keep fish as pets, you have to maintain the water they will live in just as nature does in the wild. There are narrow ranges of chemicals you need to monitor to keep the fish healthy. Monitoring ammonia, nitrites, the acidity of the water and its oxygenation are all important to keep fish alive. This is relatively easy to check, with kits available at almost any pet store.

Ammonia is going to be a continuous concern and must be monitored. The reason it is so problematic is that the food you feed the fish and the waste the fish excrete add to the ammonia concentrations, and can ultimately kill the fish. Other possible concerns are nitrogen and phosphates which contribute to the growth of algae, which then deplete the water oxygen levels. You can reduce the these problems with products like EcoBio-Block which keeps a continuous supply of beneficial bacteria in the water, breaking down toxins like ammonia into safer by-products and creating a clear and healthy environment for your fish.

Chlorine is usually a factor because we are all rather restricted to tap water as our source for the tank. Nearly all municipalities add chlorine or chloramines to our water to make it healthier for us hardy humans. While it kills things that are bad for people and we tolerate it well, the chlorine/chloramine itself will kill fish. Chlorine will dissipate if the water is left out for 24 hours, however; chloramines must be treated with a special additive. Unless you know for sure that you have chlorine, the safest thing to do is to use the additive.

Another concern for fish is the acidity of the water. There is a range of acidity or alkalinity fish can tolerate, and each species has its own preference, but it is something to check. Kits are available which test the water again using color coding which will tell you the measure of hydronium ions in the water. The pH levels go from very acidic at the zero reading to very alkaline or basic at readings up to fourteen. A reading of seven is neutral and most fish will do well in it.

Without an adequate supply of oxygen, your fish will not survive. This seems obvious and it is usually not a great concern, as oxygen dissolves in water naturally. To ensure there is enough, you can add plants to the tank, which produce it, and you can have pumps that keep water moving, as well as adding an air stone that bubbles air up through the tank continuously. Another factor is keeping the number of fish appropriate to the size of the tank.

One way to help with the initial establishment of a healthy aquarium is to use beneficial bacteria to help establish an appropriate balance right at the beginning. Using products from a reputable company will ensure the water is ready to help your new pets survive and thrive. One source of quality products to gain and maintain freshwater aquarium water quality are the EcoBio-Block products which in simplifying the process, will make for a great aquatic pet experience.

Find great deals on EcoBio-Block Products by going online. There you will find how aquarium water will benefit from this product. Head online and learn more now.

 

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