Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Beneficial Bacteria’

Sticky: Starting a Healthy Aquarium- Allowing Your Aquarium to Cycle

Many people hear the word bacteria, and they automatically think of sickness, gross, dirty, and disease. The truth is, most bacteria are actually not harmful. In fact, in all environments, bacteria make the very base of every cycle of life. Without bacteria, the base wouldn’t be there, creating an unstable and unhealthy environment. This is especially true in an aquarium. An aquarium needs to have a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in order for fish to live long and healthy lives, and to cut down on maintenance work keeping your aquarium clean.

Beneficial bacteria neutralize toxins from aquarium waste, such as animal excretions and extra food.  Without the good bacteria, these wastes build up and release poisonous toxins that are harmful to fish and other aquarium inhabitants. Without these bacteria, your fish and other animals will get sick and eventually die.

The best time to create a good healthy base of beneficial bacteria is when you first set up a new aquarium. The key component when cycling a new aquarium is exercising extreme patience. The bacteria need time to grow and colonize your filter and the surfaces in the aquarium itself. If you add your animals to the aquarium before a sufficient amount of bacteria have grown, you’re going to be putting your fish at risk.

newly cycled aquarium

Newly cycled aquarium

There are several ways to cycle an aquarium. One way is to set up your aquarium completely, without adding your fish or animals and letting it run for two to three weeks. Adding very tiny amounts of fish food to the water as the aquarium runs will help expedite this process. Another way is to add fish very slowly- fish that are hardy and can take a small amount of toxins. Guppies are a good choice of fish. Many experienced fish keepers use feeder guppies for this task, as they’re cheap yet tend to be very healthy and good at dealing with steep swings in water quality, which is normal as a tank first cycles.  Goldfish are NOT good fish to cycle aquariums with. They excrete more waste than a growing colony of bacteria can handle, and you’ll have a difficult time cycling your tank with them. The last and fastest way to cycle a new tank is to add beneficial bacteria that are commercially ready to simply pour or toss into the water. If you use the EcoBio-Block Products, your tank will remain cleaner much longer with less effort.  Once you put in the product, EcoBio-Stone does the rest. These additives will take weeks away from the cycling process, allowing you to add your animals faster to your waiting aquarium.

There are a few signs that will let you know when your aquarium has finished cycling and is ready for inhabitants. You should test the water for ammonia and nitrites with simple to use testing kits that you can find at any pet store that sells aquarium supplies. During the time the tank is still cycling, if you test every day, you’ll notice at first a very fast spike in ammonia then in nitrites. When these go down and your nitrate levels go up, then it is safe to put in your fish. Aerobic beneficial bacteria in your tank feed on organic waste breaking them down into ammonia, then into nitrites and then the nitrites get broken down into nitrates. As the days go by, with more food for the bacteria in the tank, the bacteria will grow and multiply. Sometimes you’ll see cloudy water in the tank- this is normal. This is just a bloom of bacteria floating in the aquarium water column. Anaerobic bacteria in your tank will cause the nitrate levels to decrease. When your tank has finished cycling and your aquarium environment is balanced, your water should be clear. EcoBio-Stone keeps levels of beneficial bacteria high in your tank, which keeps your aquarium water clear, clean and healthy.

Conventional aquarium cleaning techniques remove these bacteria from the environment. Completely changing filter material, constantly vacuuming aquarium gravel and continuous sterilization of aquarium furniture and other decorations kills and removes these good bacteria. To keep the bacteria in your tank and keep your tank looking clean, simply remove bits of extra uneaten food daily, and wipe down the glass of your tank with a clean cloth or sponge. Once a month, clean out your filter material by gently rinsing out the filter with aged and tepid water, which will keep the bacteria in your filter but remove debris. Try to not over feed your fish, as this is the usual main reason for fish deaths and unhealthy aquariums, even after you allow your tank to cycle.

Cycling your tank is a natural process when starting your new aquarium. Given some time in the beginning, your fish tank will reward you with long lived and healthy inhabitants for years to come.

 

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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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How To Keep Aquarium Fish Healthy From Day To Day

How to keep aquarium fish healthy is a common question both new aquarium owners and seasoned veterans ask. If you already have a tank you are probably fighting this battle every day, and if you are considering the purchase of one, no doubt you have many questions about keeping your tank clean and your fish healthy. Thankfully for both the newcomer and the old-timer there are products available, like the EcoBio-Block,that can help to ease the burden of maintaining your tank, saving you both time and money. Continue reading to learn more about how to keep your fish healthy with less hassle. These tips will assist you in getting more out of your aquarium.

One of the best ways for keeping your tank clean is to change out a percentage of the water regularly. Changing out the water will help to remove dead organic material and it will also remove fish waste. You can help to prevent mineral buildup and toxins simply by changing out 10 to 15 percent of the tank volume once a week. If you use an EcoBio-Block product this part of aquarium maintenance becomes a lot easier, because the stream of beneficial bacteria coming from the block will take care of organic waste which breaks down into toxic ammonia and nitrites.

You should also consider making a regular vacuum of the tanks substrate. Lots of debris can build up over time between the rocks. Unfortunately this debris is typically too small to see easily or even at all, but rest assured it is there. A good rock cleaning at every water change or about once a week or so can make a big difference in the overall quality of the water in the tank.

Water temperature is another key element for the health of your aquarium fish. Of course the temperature you should maintain will be determined by the type of fish you have. There are lots of different devices that help to keep the water temperature constant, and there are devices you can float in the tank to monitor your water temperature too.

While those little toys, trinkets, and plastic flowers at the bottom of your tank may appear only to be decorations, and in part they are, they also provide a sense of security and safety for the fish. Make sure the bottom of your aquarium has 50 to 70 percent coverage as this will help your fish feel less threatened.

Of course keeping your fish fed helps to keep them both happy and healthy. There are a number of brands and types of food you can use, and of course you will want to choose the type of food that is right for your particular fish. Remember too not to overfeed them. This can add debris to the water and make cleaning a more frequent chore.

Watch the fish closely for signs of aggression. Your fish should always appear relaxed and swimming peacefully. If you notice aggression, such as one fish actively chasing other fish around the tank or away from certain areas, you might consider donating that fish to a friend or the pet store to be placed with other more aggressive fish.

Keeping your tank clean and the fish healthy is a much easier task when you make use of products like EcoBio-Block that help to reduce frequent maintenance. If you are wondering how to keep aquarium fish healthy, follow these tips and invest in products that can assist with the job.

When you want to keep healthy fish in your aquariums or fish bowls, the conditions must be close to ideal. Healthy water is just one component of a positive environment for tropical fish varieties.

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One Answer To Thriving Fish: Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality

If you live in an apartment, there is a good chance that the only pets you will be able to keep are fish, and that can actually be a good thing. There are a wide variety of fish, and they have very different personalities. You may not be able to play with them like a puppy or a kitten, but the can be a soothing and fascinating addition to your home nonetheless. They do require a bit of preparation for, so you will need to get a tank ready with freshwater aquarium water quality before you go out to select your new pets.

This is, unfortunately, more difficult that just filling a bowl with water and putting the fish in it. Especially if using tap water, that could lead to a very short experience with the hobby. While still easier than maintaining a saltwater environment, there are basic considerations that must be accounted for before adding the beautiful and interesting fish varieties.

If you want to keep fish as pets, you have to maintain the water they will live in just as nature does in the wild. There are narrow ranges of chemicals you need to monitor to keep the fish healthy. Monitoring ammonia, nitrites, the acidity of the water and its oxygenation are all important to keep fish alive. This is relatively easy to check, with kits available at almost any pet store.

Ammonia is going to be a continuous concern and must be monitored. The reason it is so problematic is that the food you feed the fish and the waste the fish excrete add to the ammonia concentrations, and can ultimately kill the fish. Other possible concerns are nitrogen and phosphates which contribute to the growth of algae, which then deplete the water oxygen levels. You can reduce the these problems with products like EcoBio-Block which keeps a continuous supply of beneficial bacteria in the water, breaking down toxins like ammonia into safer by-products and creating a clear and healthy environment for your fish.

Chlorine is usually a factor because we are all rather restricted to tap water as our source for the tank. Nearly all municipalities add chlorine or chloramines to our water to make it healthier for us hardy humans. While it kills things that are bad for people and we tolerate it well, the chlorine/chloramine itself will kill fish. Chlorine will dissipate if the water is left out for 24 hours, however; chloramines must be treated with a special additive. Unless you know for sure that you have chlorine, the safest thing to do is to use the additive.

Another concern for fish is the acidity of the water. There is a range of acidity or alkalinity fish can tolerate, and each species has its own preference, but it is something to check. Kits are available which test the water again using color coding which will tell you the measure of hydronium ions in the water. The pH levels go from very acidic at the zero reading to very alkaline or basic at readings up to fourteen. A reading of seven is neutral and most fish will do well in it.

Without an adequate supply of oxygen, your fish will not survive. This seems obvious and it is usually not a great concern, as oxygen dissolves in water naturally. To ensure there is enough, you can add plants to the tank, which produce it, and you can have pumps that keep water moving, as well as adding an air stone that bubbles air up through the tank continuously. Another factor is keeping the number of fish appropriate to the size of the tank.

One way to help with the initial establishment of a healthy aquarium is to use beneficial bacteria to help establish an appropriate balance right at the beginning. Using products from a reputable company will ensure the water is ready to help your new pets survive and thrive. One source of quality products to gain and maintain freshwater aquarium water quality are the EcoBio-Block products which in simplifying the process, will make for a great aquatic pet experience.

Find great deals on EcoBio-Block Products by going online. There you will find how aquarium water will benefit from this product. Head online and learn more now.

 

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