Aquarium Care

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

Posts Tagged ‘Aquarium Environment’

Necessary Steps To Simplify Aquarium Care And Maintenance Tasks

Aquarium care and maintenance involves certain tasks that should be done daily, and others that are less frequently needed. All these routine tasks are necessary to keep fish healthy and the aquarium environment clean and problem free.

Daily care involves checking over your fish by observing their behavior. Healthy fish will swim freely, with their fins erectly held. Their skin and gill areas will be free of any puffiness or marks that show parasites or infections. Check that all the equipment is working properly, and that water temperature is not fluctuating.

When you feed your fish, never give them excessive amounts. Uneaten food falls to the bottom, and will encourage algae growth, ammonia production and water to cloud. You can keep it cleaner and clearer by using one of the EcoBio-Block products. These products introduce beneficial bacteria that rid the water of toxic ammonia that is produced from excess food particles in the water.

Keeping the exterior of the fish tank clean is another important step in aquarium care and maintenance. Wash it every week, using only clean clear non-chlorinated water. Any soap or chemical cleaners must be avoided, as they can get into the tank’s water and kill fish. Maintaining a clean fish tank not only makes it easier to observe your fish, it also promotes the growth of aquarium plants as it allows more light to enter.

Generally, a partial water change is recommended every two weeks or so, the timing depending on how large your aquarium is and how many fish it holds. Changing the water will reduce the ammonia content. An easy way to keep ammonia levels acceptably low is by using any of the EcoBio-Block products which introduce ammonia-controlling bacteria and reduce the need for water changes. Choose the product according to the size of the fish tank.

Periodically, you will need to remove any algae growth from your fish tank. Some algae thrive with light, and grow on the inside of the tank so must be scraped off. Other kinds live in the gravel bottom, thriving with the organic waste in the water. By using EcoBio-Block products, the production of ammonia and nitrites is controlled, so less algae will grow.

Uneaten fish food and fish waste drops to the bottom of the aquarium constantly, and settles between the pieces of gravel and sand. This can form harmful gases and nitrites as it decomposes, so cleaning it away monthly is part of your aquarium care and maintenance. This is generally done by vacuuming the gravel.

If you make use of EcoBio-Blocks, then the ammonia and nitrite produced is kept under control. Less frequent cleaning and washing of the gravel is necessary, and tank water will be much clearer and cleaner. These products have a life of up to two years.

Aquarium care and maintenance can be made easier with the introduction of beneficial bacteria. As long as these bacteria are present and able to proliferate, they will keep the tank water clean and clear and so ensure the health of the fish.

Find the right techniques to aquarium care by going online. There you will find many methods to clear water of organic waste that will harm your fish. Head online and learn more today.

 

Sphere: Related Content

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aquarium Care Series: Treating Common Ailments

by Ruby Bayan, OurSimpleJoys.com

Prevention is always better than cure, so making sure that the aquarium environment is always ideal is your best preventive measure against illnesses. This means regular check-ups on the optimum efficiency of the equipment, constant monitoring of the integrity of the water condition and temperature, diligent precautions against introducing harmful elements into the environment, and most importantly, a close eye on the fishes themselves. Keeping informed on the latest innovations in water conditioning for fish health is also important; for example, beneficial bacteria found in products like EcoBio-Block could help prevent infections and disease.

However, sometimes, no matter how cautious or diligent you are at ensuring the health of your fishes, untoward circumstances bring about health problems that need serious attention. If only for this unpredictable occurrence of fish ailments, you should be ready with enough know-how on ways to address fish health problems.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

The most common health problem among aquarium fish is infection from bacteria and fungus. The primary culprit is usually bad water quality. Pollution due to the rotting of uneaten food, irregular water changes, and poor tank maintenance contribute to the deterioration of the habitat — this makes the fishes weak and susceptible to infections.

Stress, from mishandling, introduction of aggressive or incompatible species, and habitat disturbances, also leave the fishes traumatized and susceptible to diseases. Malnutrition, or an inappropriate diet, aggravates the situation – anything considered malnourished is definitely taking a serious health risk.

Here are some examples of bacterial and fungal infections, and how to deal with them:

  • Fin Rot – Fish with long, trailing fins are most susceptible to fin rot – a degeneration and inflammation of the fin rays and membranes. Aside from poor water quality and vitamin deficiency, fin rot is often the result of infections arising from damage brought about by mishandling, as well as fin-nipping attacks from tank mates. Infected fish should be removed and the affected areas treated with commercially available anti-bacterial fish medicine. Remedy water condition and compatibility problems, as well as diet deficiencies to prevent the spread of the ailment.
  • Fungus – Aside from bacteria, fungus can attack the areas on the fish body that has suffered some extent of damage (such as wounds or holes left by parasites). Cotton-like fungal growth appears as patches that give the fish a dull, shabby appearance. To treat fungal infections, subject the tank to a fungicide remedy. Address other possible causes like poor water quality, parasites, and aggressive tank mates.
  • Pop-Eye – One of the more serious bacterial infections is called pop-eye, marked by inflamed eyes protruding from the sockets. Looking very sickly, fish infected with pop-eye usually contract the ailment because of poor water quality, mishandling or distress from fighting with other fishes. Antibiotics may be effective but, if the infection has progressed to a form of tuberculosis, the afflicted fish may have to be removed and euthanized.

Parasites

On rare occasions, even the most cautious aquarist can unknowingly introduce parasites into a well-maintained tank. New fishes, live food, live plants, and some decorations are all potential carriers of aquatic parasites. Here are some of the parasites you should watch for:

  • Fish Lice – Also known as Argulus, fish lice, looking like transparent flat disks, attach themselves to the skin and suck on the fish’s blood. The fish feels itchy and scratches itself on the substrate or on rocks and other hard décor.
  • Anchor Worm – Lernaea, or anchor worms, are greenish-white threadlike organisms that attach themselves to the body of the fish. The skin becomes inflamed and the fish scratches the affected area on hard surfaces in the tank.
  • Leeches – Worm-like leeches attach themselves to the host fish to feed on its blood. The fish feels the irritating suckers and tries to scratch them off on the substrate, rocks, or wood.

To treat parasite infestations, remove the afflicted fish from the tank, and with a pair of tweezers, pull the parasites off. Apply antiseptic to the wounds. Proprietary treatments against specific parasites are commercially available. You will have to treat the whole tank to prevent further proliferation of these harmful organisms.

Other Ailments

Aside from attacks by bacterial, fungus, and parasites, fish also suffer from other maladies, mostly related to intestinal or organ problems. For example:

  • Dropsy – Characterized by a severely swollen or bloated abdomen and is believed to be caused primarily by poor water quality (high nitrate or sodium chloride levels) and malnutrition. Remedy, therefore, involves correcting the habitat conditions and the fish diet.
  • Constipation – Sometimes the fish fails to digest food properly due to a poor diet and overfeeding. Constipated and bloated, the afflicted fish will not want to eat; hardly discharging feces, and feeling weak, it will often rest on the substrate. Experts suggest adding a teaspoon of Epsom salts to every 10 liters (2 gallons) of tank water, and then making sure that the fish is fed the right food in proper quantities.
  • Swim Bladder Disease – Poor water quality, mishandling, and congenital disorder are the main causes of swim bladder disease. The afflicted fish has difficulty staying upright, oftentimes swimming upside down or sideways. Antibiotics and improvement of the water conditions can correct bacterial infection due to a poor habitat. Congenital disorders and permanent swim bladder damage, however, may be irreparable, therefore, euthanasia should be considered.

Sphere: Related Content

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aquarium Care Series: The Ideal Freshwater Aquarium Setup: Basic Concepts

by Ruby Bayan, OurSimpleJoys.com

aquawithwhitefishsSetting up the ideal aquarium environment can be a challenge since there are fundamental principles about taking proper care of your fish that must be taken into serious consideration. You will be simulating the natural habitat of your pet fish, within the confines of a glass tank. It will be necessary for you to exercise the utmost care in creating and maintaining an environmental balance. It can be tricky, but that’s what makes the aquarium fish hobby truly engaging!

In order to create and maintain the ideal freshwater aquarium setup, you will have to purchase the best tank you can afford and supply your fish with good clean water (filtration) and the required amount of oxygen (or aeration). Adequate illumination (lighting), proper temperature (heating), and the appropriate landscape (substrate and decor) are also important. Let’s discuss how to set up these elements one by one.

Tank Size

Before you purchase an aquarium, ask yourself the following questions:

Where will I put the tank? Is there enough space? Measure the exact dimensions of the area where you want to install your new tank. Be sure that you will have elbowroom to attach the accessories (light hood and external pumps or filters) and to perform the required maintenance activities (which include cleaning, landscaping, or catching the fish).

Are both the stand and the floor sturdy enough to hold the combined weight of the tank, the gravel, and the gallons of water you will need? Remember, water alone weighs about 10 lbs. per gallon. Depending on the size of the tank and the complexity of your landscaping (the substrate and rock decor), you may need to acquire a dedicated metal stand. Ask the aquarium store proprietor to explain your various options.
What kind of fish will you take care of? How many varieties? How big will they grow?

You will need to do your homework on these topics. Picture the types of fish you want to live in your tank. Find out how big they will get when fully grown. Though schooling fish are a joy to watch, they require a lot of swimming space. Since some species are territorial, you will need to provide them with sufficient “territories” to prevent stress. Basically, if you want to take care of a lot of fish, you will need to buy a larger tank.

Do you have the budget to purchase the appropriate lighting, heating, aeration, and filtration fixtures? You may think it’s easy to answer those questions since you know you want to keep several varieties of fish and believe that all you need to do is buy a 100-gallon tank. Before you pull out your credit card, remember that you will also need 100-gallon filters, heaters, and overhead lighting. Additionally, you will need sufficient aerators, gravel, plants, and decor. So, be sure you are ready to finance the entire 100-gallon set-up before you start making any purchases.

Aeration

Fish “breathe” oxygen from the water, and water absorbs oxygen from the air. This is why aeration is important in a tank setup. Aeration, or the generation of tiny air bubbles in the water, supplements the tank’s water surface area, which is critical for the exchange of gases with the atmosphere. The bubbles also create a disturbance in the water surface, promoting the absorption of oxygen and dissolution of carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, the rising bubbles “stir” the water, which helps to balance the water temperature. The bubbles also create the semblance of water flow that fish thoroughly enjoy.

Choose aerators that suit your tank size and your taste — various models of air pumps and air stones are available. Tubing, connectors, and other accessories make installation convenient and organized. A spare air pump will be valuable in case of a breakdown.

Filtration

In simulating the natural habitat of your fish, you will need to ensure that the environment does not become toxic due to the accumulation of waste products. An effective filtration system is, therefore, another essential element of the ideal aquarium setup. Here’s a list of the various filters that are available:

  • Under-gravel Filters – These are plastic-slotted plates placed at the bottom of the tank, under the substrate. For best results, these plates must cover the whole tank floor. Working in conjunction with the air pump, the filter pulls the floating waste, uneaten food, and decaying plants onto the gravel. The waste products accumulate in recesses in the gravel, where they can be easily siphoned off.
  • Box Filters – These are plastic boxes that are put in the corner of the tank. They also require the assistance of the air pump. This filter uses activated carbon and glass wool (or peat moss) to serve as biological filters. They absorb and retain the fine waste products that float in the water, along with the harmful nitrates and ammonia by-products. Compared to under-gravel filters, box filters are easier to pull out and clean.
  • Power Filters — These are usually external filters attached to the back of the tank. With its own power motor, it sucks water from the tank, passes the water through a sponge (or glass wool and activated carbon), and pumps the filtered water back into the tank. The sponge needs to be cleaned regularly.

Lighting

Fish require adequate amounts of light and dark, like most other creatures on the planet. Correct lighting is essential for the biological clocks and eating patterns of your fish. It is also important for the healthy growth of the live plants in the tank. Apart from those needs, adequate lighting makes the aquarium a bright and colorful showcase for underwater life.

Several types of aquarium lights are commercially available. Full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs are common fixtures – they enhance the colors of the fish and decor, and they don’t give off too much heat. Some hobbyists prefer specialized ultraviolet aquarium lamps because they believe they promote fish health and breeding, along with plant growth. Study the options at your aquarium vendor’s store and choose the lighting that suits your tank and fish community.

Aquarium lights are best mounted inside reflector hoods, placed either directly on top of the tank’s glass cover, or on a special frame above the tank. Some vendors have attached timers to these hoods to facilitate the setting of photoperiod exposures. Fish do not need more than 12 hours of light each day, so a preset timer can be a convenient gadget.

Be sure to replace your light bulbs at least once a year because fluorescent and ultraviolet lights tend to degrade with use.

Heating

Aside from adequate oxygen and light, the right water temperature is essential for the overall health of your fish. Most varieties of aquarium fish come from tropical regions with water temperatures of up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Find out about your fish community’s temperature requirements. With the help of heating elements, ensure that the proper ranges are maintained in your tank.

Submersible heating rods of various lengths, together with programmable thermostats, make it easy to control tank heating. Be absolutely sure that the settings are correct because a faulty or poorly calibrated heater can bring about a catastrophic end to an otherwise flourishing fish community.

Substrate and Decor

After you complete your research on the natural habitats of the fish species you wish to keep, you will have an idea of the type of decor to put in your aquarium. For starters, here are some facts to help you determine what substrate and decor to use:

  • Some fish, known as bottom dwellers, stay close to the floor of the tank and feed on the food that settles on the substrate. For these types of fish, sand is better than gravel (food will sink among the course gravel, making it hard to reach).
  • Fish that are territorial will need “markers” like plants, rocks, or driftwood. Without these items to mark their territory, they will experience stress and may become unduly aggressive.
  • Some varieties of fish are “shy” and need at least a few places where they can go hide. Plants and overturned pots or little caves will be a comfort to them. Plants also provide shade from the overhead lighting, which may be just a little too bright for some species of fish.
  • In case you have chosen fish that are totally herbivorous, consider decorating with plastic plants. Live, decorative plants will always be attractive as food to such fish and may stop looking very attractive when your fish start feasting on their leaves and branches.
  • As a rule of thumb, never try to use anything that’s metallic, water-soluble, corrosive, or biodegradable as part of your decor. You can always be creative with glass and plastic. Before using rocks, pebbles, stones, clay, and driftwood as decorative pieces, be sure you rinse them thoroughly to remove all of the dirt, parasites, or harmful bacteria that may be attached to them.
  • Consider incorporating water-conditioning products in your setup, like EcoBio-Block, which is made of volcanic stones that are home to beneficial bacteria, whose main function is to clarify and deodorize cloudy water.

Sphere: Related Content

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(c) 2008 Aquarium Care.    •    Brought by Wordpress Admin Theme.    •    Entries (RSS)    •    Comments (RSS)

WordPress Theme Design by Partnerstvo.ru, for Online Poker Casino & Hot Print.