Aquarium Care

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Looking for the Right Fish for Your Aquarium

So you want to get an aquarium. Your first step is to figure out what kind of fish you want. But just how do you choose from the colorful tanks on the wall of your local pet store?

This can be a daunting experience for new fish keepers. Of course, you want fish that appeal to you and have the right ‘look,’ but when selecting fish for your new aquarium, there are three important questions to keep in mind. First, how large will this fish grow? Second, what are the fish’s water quality requirements? Finally, how well will this fish live with the other fish I want?

Some fish will stay small, say an inch or less. These are generally considered community fish. Many fishkeepers select a group of similar community fish to fill their tank. Good choices for tropical community fish include guppies, swordtails, Platies, and dwarf Gourami. When selecting these varieties, choose fish that are about the same size, and avoid mixing different varieties unless you have been advised that they will get along well together. Never purchase just one community fish; they are used to swimming in schools, and will get lonely in your aquarium. A good rule of thumb for this size of fish is one inch of fish for one gallon of aquarium water.

The other kinds of fishes can mature to much bigger sizes, anywhere from 6 inches to several feet. These kinds of fish should be kept solitary for they usually show aggression to other fish that are smaller or weaker. When choosing one of these bigger fish you will need an appropriately sized aquarium. While it is possible to house them in a 10-gallon tank, it must be upgraded to a bigger size once they mature to adult size.

It will be better to just purchase the aquarium that can accommodate their adult size, when you first get your fish. Once you’ve selected the kind of fish you want, find out the maximum size they will grow to, then buy the appropriate aquarium.

There are some varieties of fish that will survive almost any water condition. A popular example of these is the goldfish. They have a reputation for being almost invincible. They will most likely flourish even without lighting or filter, but this is not good aquarium practice.

The slightly more picky tropical fish need a narrower water temperature range, as well as high-quality water. To achieve the water quality these fish need, test your water frequently, use a good filter on the aquarium, and consider products like the EcoBio-Block, which improves your aquarium water quality and reduces maintenance. Some fish need a specific pH, or have other water quality requirements. Be sure to do your research so that the fish you choose have similar water requirements.

The last category of fish includes saltwater or marine varieties. These are tricky to keep, and are best left until you have fishkeeping experience with freshwater fish. In addition to temperature, light, and water quality requirements, you must also keep an eye on the salt levels in the aquarium. These beautiful fish require a lot of work to keep them healthy, and you cannot mix freshwater fish with saltwater varieties.

Lastly, whatever the species you decide on, always remember to buy only those fish that are healthy. Inspect them carefully for uneven scales, irregular growth or injuries. Check also if they have bright eyes and intact fins. They should have healthy appetites and move actively and naturally in the water.

The fish you eventually choose for your aquarium will bring you many happy days of living nature experiences that are guaranteed to reduce your stress and give comfort and beauty to your home or office.

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

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How to Safely Add New Fish to an Established Aquarium

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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