Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Algae’

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

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: Cloudy Fish Tanks – Finding the Cause and How to Solve It

Cloudy Aquarium

Cloudy Aquarium

Many a new aquarium owner has panicked when their tank has taken on the appearance of what one such owner described to me as “a smoke filled room at a party.” In aquarium lexicon, we call such smoky appearance “cloudiness” because of its resemblance to the wispy clouds that sometimes appear in the sky. Everyone who keeps fish as a hobby wants their tank or tanks to be sparkling clean and clear at all times. Cloudy fish tanks look unsightly, and the water in these tanks can seriously harm the health of your fish. What causes these cloudy fish tanks, and what is the best way to get rid of the cloudiness?

The water clarity in a fish tank is generally affected by several factors, and the color of the water can often be a clue as to what is causing it to be cloudy. The water in a fish tank that has just been set up will often display a gray or white tint. This is called a “bacterial bloom” and it is very common in new tanks, for the nutrients and the bacteria in the water are imbalanced.

If your tank is so new that you have not added fish to it, dust from one or more of the decorations you added, or from the gravel or other substrate you placed at the bottom of the tank may be the cause of the cloudiness you see. Any item that goes into your fish tank must be made for that purpose, and you must rinse it well beforehand. When bacterial bloom appears in a fish tank that has already been established, your tank filter may not be working properly. You may be overfeeding your fish, or you may have too many fish in too small an aquarium.

A green cloudiness in your tank water means you are dealing with a sudden algae bloom. There are several reasons for an algae bloom some of which mimic the causes of a bacterial bloom. For example, when there is too much waste matter in your tank, be it left over food or the waste products from your fish, the bacteria from this waste converts into nitrates. As these nitrates grow in number, an algae bloom is imminent. Leaving the tank light on too many hours a day encourages the growth of green algae, and so does a high phosphate level in the tank water.

You may sometimes see a yellow color in your cloudy fish tanks. Decorative driftwood, decayed plant matter from aquarium plantings, fish waste, and dissolved organic carbons, often called DOC, can all be the cause of yellow cloudy water. Occasionally, you may also see a brown cloudiness in your tank water. This is caused from an overgrowth of brown algae. Brown algae can be caused by the tank not getting enough light, or from certain types of driftwood that have been placed in the tank.

By eliminating the causes of the different varieties of cloudy tank water, you can make caring for your aquarium much easier. Partial water changes of 10 to 20 percent of the water can help, as can making sure the filter on your tank is of the proper size. In order to remove the cloudiness from the water, and to make sure it does not come back, you need to see to it that your tank has a good supply of beneficial bacteria. This point confuses many newcomers to the aquarium hobby. They are so sure that bacteria are a bad thing that they balk when told it is needed in their tank! However, once they understand about good vs. bad bacteria, they are eager to know what they can do in order to maintain a colony of the good bacteria. Fortunately, there are some good solutions available. One of the best for cloudy water is the EcoBio-Block. When hobbyists learn of the advantages that go along with placing a product from EcoBio-Block in their aquarium, they agree that this is the easiest solution to the problem.

These products contain live beneficial bacteria, which multiply and make their way into the tank water every 30 minutes or so. They work in new set-ups as well as established aquariums to establish a nitrifying bacteria colony. This will take care of most cloudy water naturally, cuts down on the need for water changes and vacuuming the gravel or substrate, and will last for years. You could almost say that EcoBio-Block products are an aquarium owner’s best friend!

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The Importance of Selecting the Proper Lighting for Your Aquarium

Lighting is always a requirement for aquariums. Not only does it highlight the fish and the dcor but it also serves the ecosystem in the tank, particularly if you have decided to add fresh plants to your tank.

When buying an aquarium, getting a full tank setup means getting all the necessary equipment, and that includes the lighting. However, if you prefer to have a more customized setup, purchase separate lighting instead. The light you have to get will depend on the size of the tank and your selection of fish and plants.

The power of the aquarium lighting should be around 2 to 3 watts for every gallon of water in the tank. Keep in mind, however, that the lighting requirements for the aquarium with live plants would be more than that of the same aquarium with artificial plants. Be careful though, because more light is not always good for all fish. Some fish thrive in a brightly lit habitat, while some are bothered by too much light and end up being stressed. Furthermore, an environment with too much light causes algae to grow much faster.

For your lighting needs, you can choose between using fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, and therefore good for smaller aquariums, but their yellowish glow is not quite the same as natural light. They also generate heat so it would be a good idea to keep a thermometer handy, and monitor the water temperature regularly.

If you have live plants, you’ll need an aquarium fluorescent light. Available in the form of tubes or compact fluorescent bulbs, their light is much brighter and does not give off any heat. The fluorescent light can be used by your live plants. If your tank is very heavily planted, you may need more than 3 watts per gallon. A compact fluorescent bulb will fit into any fixture designed for incandescent bulbs, while fluorescent light tubes need to be purchased at the correct length for your aquarium hood.

Although ordinary household fluorescent lights can be used, full spectrum fluorescent light is best, especially for bright-colored fish and plants. Full spectrum lights are composed of all the important wavelengths of light with each part of the light spectrum having different effects on the aquarium. The bright colors of tropical fish are brought out by the purple end of the spectrum while the blue parts promote the growth of algae. Aquatic plants generally will thrive on the orange to red parts of the spectrum.

Although a lot of fish are nocturnal, it is still important for the main aquarium light to be turned off at night to imitate the natural order they are used to. The use of submersible LED lights will allow you to watch your fish when the main aquarium lights are off. You can use different colors to highlight the dcor or the fish. To watch the fish without disturbing their daily routines, use small red or blue LED lights.

Replacing your aquarium light bulbs is an inevitable part of aquarium maintenance. Regardless of whether the light is still working, replace the bulb every year, because they grow dimmer over time.

The well-being of the fish and plants as well as the appearance of your aquarium depend on how well you have chosen your lighting. It is therefore important to make the selection with great care.

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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