Aquarium Care

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

Archive for May, 2010

Set Up A New Aquarium And Stop New Tank Syndrome Before It Develops

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Research has shown that watching fish swim in an aquarium reduces stress and blood pressure. Beginning a brand new aquarium requires some understanding of the process. If done without any understanding, many fish put into a new fish tank may die of new tank syndrome. This article will show you exactly how to start a new aquarium and reduce the frustration of new tank syndrome.

The first step is deciding on the size tank you would like to purchase. There are tanks with capacities of just a few gallons to tanks with over 50 gallons. When you purchase your tank, be sure to also buy a sturdy stand. You can figure the weight of a filled tank by multiplying the total tank gallons by 10. If your tank holds 40 gallons of water, it would weigh 400 pounds filled.

After choosing the tank, other supplies you will need include a filter, air pump, hood, gravel, heater, ammonia, nitrite and pH test kits and water conditioner. You will also need an algae scraper, gravel siphon and decoration. Plan to purchase between one and 1.5 pounds of gravel per gallon of water. Hold off on buying the fish for now. If you have added an EcoBio-Stone, it will need some time to build up an adequate amount of beneficial bacteria before adding fish; otherwise, your fish could succumb to new tank syndrome. New tank syndrome, a condition where fish die a short time after being introduced to a new tank, is caused by high nitrite and ammonia levels. If fish are put into a new aquarium, there may not be enough beneficial bacteria to keep the nitrite and ammonia levels at a safe level.

Once you have your supplies, if you have purchased an EcoBio-Stone, be sure to place it in chlorine-free water and let it soak overnight. While it is soaking, it is time to start putting your aquarium together. Your first step is rinsing the tank and gravel thoroughly. Do not use soap or any other kind of detergent. This will kill the fish. Next, set up the filter and the heater according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Now add the gravel, decorations and attach the air pump to any decorations that require it. Follow this with water. Make sure you add a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, from the water. A water conditioner will keep the pH level at 7.0, which is what most fish thrive in. Set the heater to a level that will keep the water between 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. After soaking the stone, add it to your tank. Now it is time to cycle your aquarium.

To avoid new tank syndrome, you must cycle your aquarium. Cycling your aquarium refers to the process of letting the aquarium build up enough good bacteria to support fish. On its own it takes about 35 days to build up enough good bacteria to keep ammonia and nitrite levels in check. Using EcoBio-Stone, your tank will have colonies of good bacteria built quite quickly. One block lasts about two years and will keep your tank water clear and bacteria levels at the correct amount.

Now is the time to buy just two or three fish. Before releasing the fish into the aquarium, set the plastic bag you carried them home in into the tank. This allows the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Wait 10 minutes. Gently release the fish and throw the water in the bag away as it will have fish waste in it.

Each week you should check the pH levels, nitrite and ammonia levels. The latter two should be zero. Each month change 20% of the water (remember to add water conditioner), clean the gravel using the siphon. Add new activated carbon to the filter and wash the filter itself. If you take the time to learn how to start a new aquarium, you will avoid new tank syndrome and enjoy your new fish tank for years to come.

An EcoBio-Stone is a must when you prepare to start a new aquarium. It helps to provide attractive equipment and healthy environment for the inhabitants.

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Sticky: Keeping Your Aquarium Well-Balanced

Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Well balanced aquarium

Well balanced aquarium

The hardest time to keep a balanced aquarium is when the aquarium is first being started. You add water – usually from the tank – and you condition the water as best you can but still, you sometimes lose fish in the beginning.  What is the best way to balance your aquarium?

The nitrogen cycle is an important aspect of your fish tank. It’s also called the nitrification cycle. It actually turns dangerous ammonia into nitrite and finally into nitrate, which is much safer for the fish. Ammonia is given off as part of the waste products of the fish and fish food, and is relatively toxic to the fish. Nitrifying bacteria come from the air and go into the water, starting the nitrifying cycle and help dangerous ammonia levels to go down.

A quick and easy way to balance your tank and keep it clear is to use one of the EcoBio-Block products which contain nitrifying bacteria. These multiply in the blocks and then spread into the water and attach to various things in the tank. The bacteria will then break down and reduce ammonia and nitrite levels. For example, you can start a tank with ammonia levels of 0.75 and small nitrite level of 0.1. Within a few weeks of using the EcoBio Block product, you can normally achieve ammonia, and nitrite levels of zero. The nitrogen system of the aquarium is properly balanced by the bacteria in the block and you lose much fewer fish because you don’t have an unhealthy system.

You need to balance the pH of your aquarium as well. Some can be a bit alkaline, meaning that the pH is too high or it can be acid, which means the pH is too low. Check the pH of your system using a pH test strip and then consider whether or not you need to change the pH.  Most fish can tolerate a pH of between 5.5 and 8.0 and if it is an established system with healthy fish, you may not want to make drastic pH changes in your system. If you need to lower the pH, you can try adding a piece of driftwood to your tank or add peat to your filtration system. You can raise the pH by adding coral or a seashell. Such gradual changes aren’t likely to hurt the fish but will help the fish gradually adjust to the pH changes.

All tanks eventually get some algae and some is beneficial. Too much algae, however, makes your tank unsightly and you need to prevent this as much as you can. Begin by keeping direct sunlight away from your tank. This holds true for the lighting in the tank, which should be on for no more than 12 hours per day. Make sure you go through frequent water changes so that the nutrient levels are diminished in the tank. Use algae eating fish, such as mollies, suckermouth catfish or Siamese Algae Eaters. All of these will keep your algae levels down in the aquarium.

It takes a lot of maintenance to keep your tank well-balanced. You can use a product like EcoBio-Stone to help keep that balance with a lot less maintenance. Such blocks last at least two years and will keep your fish tank healthy for a long time to come.

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