Aquarium Care

Useful articles, news, information, product reviews about aquarium care

Archive for October, 2009

Responsible Fish Keeping

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Responsible fish keeping starts with your aquarium setup. Make sure that the aquarium you choose is large enough for the fish that you want. Many people believe that fish will grow to the size of their tank, but stunting their growth by keeping them in a small tank will reduce the lifespan of the fish. Eventually, you will need to upgrade the aquarium if you started with a too-small tank.

Find out as much as you can about the fish that you plan to keep, to know what size of aquarium you need to get for them. It is best to factor in the adult size of the fish when choosing the size of the aquarium. But if you got a small aquarium and later it became too small for your fish, then upgrade as soon as possible to the appropriate size.

Make sure that the fish you choose will be compatible with each other. Responsible fish keepers will not add different species to the same aquarium without first making sure that they will get along. Different fish have different requirements for pH, water temperature, and other measurements, too. Do not purchase too many fish for your tank, either. Just because they are small doesn’t mean that several dozen of them can fit in your small aquarium.

When you want to dispose of some of your fish or aquatic plants, be sure not to release them in a pond, stream or other water bodies anywhere. This is because fish that have grown too big for your aquarium may not fare well in other environment or, even if they survive, they may cause an imbalance in the local ecosystem when they breed or feed on other creatures in the water.

A lot of tropical fish found in the aquarium cannot continue to live outside the aquarium especially in frigid waters. Releasing them in this environment is like giving them a death sentence. If you cannot afford an upgrade of your tank, returning your fish to the pet store is a better alternative.

Aside from getting the right aquarium, you also need other aquarium equipment like a water filter and a heater. These are important for the good health and comfort of your fish. The type and specifications will again depend on the needs of your fish. Be sure that they are working properly before putting in your fish.

Even with a filter, responsible fish keeping also includes regular water changes. Test the water weekly to track pH, nitrates, ammonia, and other water quality indicators. You can reduce water changes with beneficial bacteria. The EcoBio-Block Family Products do a great job with this. Their unique system of delivering beneficial bacteria on a regular basis insures that your water will stay clear and healthy even while reducing water changes.

Some of your fish may be small but that does not mean that you can just disregard them or that they will survive with less care than what you are giving to the other fish. Do not forget to feed your fish. Make sure that they receive proper nutrition. Find out the best kind of food for them.

Responsible fish keeping means taking the responsibility of caring for your fish seriously. This involves keeping them in a healthy environment, feeding them and providing for their every need.

Leonard Boyler has been keeping fish for more than 20 years. His favorite products make aquarium care and maintenance so easy from start up to clarifying cloudy aquariums. To find out more about how to have clear water and healthy fish please visit ONEdersave.com.

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In Search of the Right Aquarium Plants

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

If you are setting up an aquarium and you don’t yet have any decorations or plants, you may notice that your tank looks incomplete. In fact, plants aren’t just decorative, but a necessary addition to your aquarium. Aquarium plants provide hiding spots for your fish, making them more comfortable in the tank.

There are two main choices for aquarium plants: real and fake. Keeping real plants alive requires specialized care, above and beyond keeping your fish alive. Plastic plants, on the other hand, are easy to care for, even if it’s your first aquarium.

Plastic plants are long lasting and very easy to clean. You only need to take them out of the aquarium and wash with soap and water. The colors are varied and sometimes even more vivid than real plants. Although you have to be careful about the too bright colors or it might stress your fish. Some of them will adjust their colors to a less vibrant color in order to be less conspicuous to predators. Better stick to the more natural marine tones to bring out the natural bright colors of your fish.

There are also aquarium plants that are made of silk. They are a little more expensive but they appear more realistic and are easier to care for than other plastic plants. It is important to buy only silk plants that are designed for aquariums and not those found in craft stores that may contain chemicals that are harmful to your fish.

Fresh plants are of course, the most natural looking. Like some kinds of fish, though, they can be very hard to maintain. Some of them will thrive only under specific water temperatures or pH levels. Find the fresh plants whose specific needs are compatible with the water requirements of your fish.

There are other more noteworthy benefits in choosing real plants over fake ones. They give out oxygen and use up nitrates in the water thereby maintaining some balance in the nitrogen cycle. They also provide for breeding grounds for some fish and can be the natural food source to some others.

Although, fresh plants may appear to have many benefits, most varieties have special requirements that may discourage some people from using them. Many of them need lighting and special fertilizers. All fresh plants need light for photosynthesis. The amount of light required by these plants may vary depending on their kind. A special aquarium fertilizer is also a requirement for most plants. You cannot use your ordinary garden fertilizer. This will most likely kill your aquarium.

Cleaning fresh aquarium plants is more difficult than cleaning fake ones because you’ll have to clean them where they are planted. Decaying plant matter means a lot of waste at the bottom of your tank, which can reduce water quality. Products like EcoBio-Block can help keep your water healthy by providing a continual source of beneficial bacteria that breaks down organic waste, such as decaying plants, into safer by-products. Prune dying parts of the plant just like you would prune your houseplants. Healthy live plants improve your aquarium habitat, but if not cared for properly, they can reduce your water quality. Only you decide whether fresh aquarium plants are worth the additional maintenance.

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How to Safely Add New Fish to an Established Aquarium

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Introducing new fish to an already existing aquarium is not as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of things to think about and prepare before you can safely transfer your new fish to your aquarium. You cannot just buy any aquarium fish you want then dump them in the tank as soon as you reach home.

First thing to check is the quality of your water. It is stressful enough for all the fish involved when new fish are introduced to their number. Do not add to it by making them suffer in poor water quality. The stress in them might reach fatal levels. Make sure that you have the highest possible water quality by testing for the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Do the necessary changes or cleaning before you add the new fish to the aquarium. If you dont like frequent aquarium cleaning, add an EcoBio-Block to your aquarium to give it the beneficial bacteria and trace minerals that can reduce harmful substances in your water and keep it clean, healthy and clear.

When choosing what fish to add to your aquarium, you need to determine if they will live companionably with your existing fish. Some fish will eat smaller fish, some others will fight and kill each other. You also have to know if your water will sustain the new fish. This means that you have to get the aquarium fish that will survive the temperature, pH, nitrate and ammonia levels you currently maintain. It is advisable that you add more than one fish at a time, to reduce the chance of any fish picking on just one new fish.

Your first step when preparing the aquarium for a new arrival is to rearrange the tank. Your established fish have their own hiding spots, and may become territorial if a new fish is introduced. Rearrange the plants and decorations, which will remove established territories and make the environment new for all of your fish. Make sure that there are plenty of hiding spaces where the fish can go until they get used to each other.

When introducing new aquarium fish to an established tank, never bring your new fish home from the pet store and immediately dump them into the tank. This will shock their system, and they may not make it.

For best results, you may want to set up a separate tank where you quarantine new fish for a week to check for signs of illness. Sometimes, pet store fish carry diseases, and you don’t want to introduce these into your aquarium. If you decide to transfer your new fish directly from the pet store bag to your established tank, first float the bag with the fish in your aquarium for a few hours. This allows time for the water temperatures to equalize. Then, open the bag to release your new fish into the tank.

Careful preparation to the aquarium, timing of the introduction of new fish, plus proper acclimatizing will ensure a smooth transition with minimal stress to all your aquarium fish.

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Tips in Selecting an Aquarium Tank

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

There are many things to consider when selecting an aquarium tank. One of them is the size of the aquarium. To determine the ideal size for you, you have to know the kind of fish that you are putting in the aquarium and exactly how many of them. Also, try to find out how big your fish can grow. If you buy a fish without finding out its maximum growth size, you may someday find your aquarium tank too small or too crowded. Remember to choose the aquarium that will be big enough for all the fish at maximum growth size.

The amount of water that the fish needs is also a factor to look into. Follow this rule of thumb to find out how much water your fish will need. A fish that will grow to adult size of less than 4 inches, like guppies and tetras, will require a gallon of water for every inch of fish. A large fish like the cichlid will need at least 55 gallons and the angelfish, at least 29 gallons. It is essential that your aquarium tank is able to hold the amount of water that all your fish need.

Size of aquarium tanks vary from two and a half gallons to several hundred gallons. They come in various shapes too: rectangle, round, bow front, hexagonal or cylindrical. If you’re a beginner, you might want to buy the prepackaged kit that contains all that a beginner will need to start. This may include the aquarium outfitted already with filter, heater and light. Pick the smaller tanks for starters for minimum maintenance. Just remember, not too small or your fish will not have enough room to be healthy.

You will have two choices in materials for your aquarium tank. Glass tanks are generally less expensive and more available. Glass will not scratch easily but can be very heavy. They also are not as flexible as acrylic so shapes are limited. Acrylic tanks, on the other hand, being lighter, boast of a wider range of shapes and sizes that you can pick from. They are, however, more expensive and more easily scratched.

A filled aquarium will weigh about 10 pounds for every gallon of water. So a large aquarium will really be very heavy. Bear this in mind when choosing your stand. You do not want to put it on anything that might collapse under the heavy weight. There are specialized aquarium stands built in metal or wood that could provide the necessary support for your aquarium. Some even have compartments for your aquarium supplies. Be sure also that your aquarium comes with a lid or a ‘hood’ and that it’s the right size for your tank.

After making your choice and purchasing an aquarium tank, put it in a bathtub or your backyard and fill it with the right amount of water. Connect and plug all the equipment like the heater and the filter and let it stand overnight. You should always do this before putting in the fish to determine if there are leaks and that your equipment works properly. With the correct aquarium tank size and type, and proper precautions in ensuring the safety of your fish, you guarantee them a happy and healthy life in your aquarium tank.

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