Aquarium Care

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Sticky: Beginner Aquarium Fish Guidelines

Starting your very own aquarium can be very exciting. Knowing just the right things needed for beginner aquarium fish is important. There are quite a few things to consider when starting an aquarium. You will need to consider the water conditions in your area, how easy they are to feed, and where they were raised.

Beginner fish need to be hardy. They can survive in difficult conditions. They can be overfed, underfed, or live in unfavorable water conditions. Starting with hardy ones is important because beginning aquarists are still learning exactly how to take care of their fish. They are learning how much they need to feed them, how often to change the aquarium water, and how many and what kind belong in one tank together.

Beginner fish need to be able to be easily fed. These are the ones that survive solely on dry food. Dry food can be found at many supermarkets and at any pet store. They can also be fed treats. The treats are usually bloodworms and mosquito larvae. However treats are not necessary and the fish do not need fancy frozen foods to survive.

Commercially raised fish are great starter fish. They have shown that they can survive in a tank as opposed to ones that are caught in the wild. Some fish that are caught in the wild will not survive in a tank. Fortunately, there are plenty of options at stores and pet stores.

Purchasing fish that can survive in tap water is also important. It can be difficult and costly to purchase ones that need purified water. Just be certain to use water conditioner to get rid of chloramines in the water. Knowing your water conditions is also important. The two main types are hard and soft. Take the water to the local pet store and they should be able to tell you which ones will survive the best with your water conditions.

Purchasing non-aggressive fish may also be a positive. If aggressive ones are purchased, only one can survive in the tank. If more than one is wanted it is best to get ones that get along well with others. To find out which ones are non-aggressive, just watch the tank and the ones that are getting along with others and not fighting are the ones you want.

Picking ones that meet these qualifications will help you on your way to purchasing good beginner aquarium fish for your tank. There are many options out there to choose from and they are found at a majority of pet stores and some local shops in your area.

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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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Guppy- The Best Aquarium Fish

The guppyis the most popular exotic fish

The guppyis the most popular exotic fish

The Guppy is not only the most popular exotic fish, but it has been the most important in the development and spread of the aquarium hobby. Its bright colors of infinite variety, its lively habits, its ability to stand crowding, together with the fact (always so interesting to the novice) that it is a livebearer; all these assets combine to make a quick conquest of the casual observer, who gets “hooked” before he knows it. It is therefore not too far—fetched that someone has called it the “Missionary Fish,” so many have been its converts to the ranks of aquarists.

Nor are its devotees by any means confined to beginners. In a hobby like ours in which there are so many fishes from which to choose, and to which new importations are steadily added, there are bound to be favorites come up that hold the spotlight for a time. Many have come and gone, but, like the poor, the Guppy is always with us.

Another thing about the Guppy that appeals to the advanced aquarist is its adaptability to modification through selective breeding. It is exceptional in that respect, both as to color pattern and fin formation. Most of our interesting creations among the livebearers are the results of cross—breeding between closely- related species. While Mr. Guppy shows no individual attachment to any one mate, he is, nevertheless, a “good family man,” as far as species is concerned. He is usually either unwilling or unable to fertilize a female of another species. The very few of his illegitimate children have been sterile or died young.

In my time I have had my home so populated with aquariums that my wife and children have almost been crowded out. Now all that is radically changed. I now keep only two tanks at home. One is a temporary hotel for anything “new” until it is fingerprinted and photographed. The other is a small tank set up for my own pleasure and relaxation. It contains nothing but carefully selected Guppies! Admiration for them never loses its freshness.

Among the various types of Guppies that we see nowadays, there is a strain of rather large size having a dark tail fin. This is known as the “Trinidad Guppy.” The native Guppies are only about half the size of our domesticated stock, and the vast majority of them have poor colors. It therefore seems that intelligent selective breeding has certainly greatly improved on the original stock.

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Sticky: Raise The Livebearer Babies

Platy Fish

Platy Fish

The part I enjoy most about our hobby is taking care of the babies. I await the arrival of the tiny new ones like an anxious grandmother. I can just about tell, to a day, when the blessed event will take place, much to the amazement of young fish fanciers. Most of our fish are livebearers and my experience concerning the raising of babies is based on this type of fish.

There is not much to the trick of knowing when the mother is to give birth if one will take the trouble of taking note of the date of the month the fish previously gave birth. If the fish is in good condition, she gives birth every certain number of days with leeway from a day to ten days or so. About that time of month, I begin to look for other signs such as the shape of her gravid spot and the shape and fullness of her middle.

Some fish get very puffy and as her day approaches, even her chest fills out full almost up to the head and her middle gets quite distended. Others do not get so heavy and it is a little more difficult to tell when they will give birth. With a reflector overhead, I try to look through the fish at the gravid spot. If the cavity at the middle of the fish is filled and is sometimes like a crescent or a triangle in shape, I know that her time is near. In some of the more translucent fish, the embryos or babies can be seen thru the skin at this point. As the embryos develop, the gravid spot becomes larger and clearer and the side of the fish will bulge, particularly when viewed from the top, or looking down on the back.

So that the newly born babies won’t be devoured by the rest of the fish in the tank, I take out the ripe female and place her in a small maternity tank which is thickly planted with micro or dwarf Sagittaria. I also place some floating plants such as Water Lettuce, Myriophyllum, Anacharis, Water Sprite or Water Fern. Other plants that are excellent for this purpose are Nitella, Riccia, Crystalwart, etc. The purpose of the plants, of course, is to protect the babies from the Mother. I find I can save almost all the young when there is a small type of Sagittaria planted in the tank because it affords a hiding place at the bottom of the aquarium where the newly born babies rest before they float to the top. I have found that it is a good idea to give the hungry mother some food – preferably some live food – so that she tends to ignore her young. Sometimes, all my maternity tanks are occupied and that’s when the gallon jars come in handy. The water in the maternity tank can be from four to seven inches deep.

As soon as the mother has finished giving birth, it is best to remove her and place her in an aquarium with other females, which have just been thru the same experience. This will give her a chance to rest and enjoy some live food.

The new babies may stay in the maternity aquarium for a few days, depending on the size of the tank and the number of babies. They are on their own in a short time and can take micro worms, micrograin, or baby manna.

I drop a tiny pinch of baby manna on the water and give the water surface a light tap to teach them to take dry food. In a few days they can eat newly hatched brine shrimp.

The number of babies which can be raised to good healthy, lively fry in three or four months, depends on cleanliness, size of the aquarium and intelligent feeding. Siphoning a few inches of water from the bottom of the aquarium about once a week is not too often. If the aquarium is well planted it is not necessary to do that except when needed. Even better, if you use EcoBio-Block, the water will stay clear, clean, and healthy without changing it for a considerably longer time. It also helps reduce the fatality rate of the new baby fish.

The size of the aquarium that the babies are to occupy during the first few weeks is important. If placed too soon in a large one where they have plenty of swimming space a number of them somehow, get lost, and wander about while the rest are feeding, and therefore, do not get enough to eat. After awhile, they get thin and deformed and eventually die. From a batch of thirty five, there would probably be less than half of that number alive after two months. On the other hand, if the babies are left too long in a small container, they do not get to be vigorous and healthy, nor do they grow. If I do not want to move the babies from one tank to another as they grow in size and need more swimming space, I place them in a ten or fifteen gallon aquarium with about five inches depth of water. As they grow in size, the depth of the water can be increased. The babies grow like weeds, if they are fed properly and intelligently. Adult fish can be fed once or twice a day only, but babies, in order to attain good and fast growth are fed from four to six times a day. If they do not get a good growth in the first three or four months, they will not get to be good-size adult fish. Platies can attain about an inch or over in four months, while swordtails will be an inch and a half in that time.

Before I learned to put the babies on a regular feeding schedule, I sometimes forgot to feed them and at other times, I fed them too often, neither of which is good. Now, they get their light feeding on schedule every three hours, and are thriving on it.

If all goes well, they will be having a lot of babies of their own in six months.

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