Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Minerals’

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: Aquarium Care Series: Too Many Fish in Your Aquarium

crowded-aquariumwebThere is a question that is brought up rather frequently by beginners in aquarium care, who have not been very successful after having seemingly followed all the basic instructions gleaned from books, the internet, or our dealer friends. They have given recommended foods in conservative amounts. They have good light and temperature control. But here is where the trouble starts, through the acceptance of a fallacious signal as to what constitutes “overcrowding.” The signal watched for is when the fishes gasp at the surface of the water, “blowing bubbles.”

That is a carry-over from the days when goldfish was King. Goldfish and other cool-water fishes are very sensitive to any shortage of oxygen in the water, or the presence of too much carbon dioxide. They quickly express their distress by breathing at the surface. Incidentally, I have often wondered how fishes, never before in such a situation, know enough to get a fresh supply of oxygen at the surface of the water.

Warm-water fishes are better equipped to get along in oxygen-deficient conditions. In a tank containing both goldfish and exotics (a combination not recommended) the goldfish will invariably be the first to register discomfort from overcrowding. The point that I am stressing is that “Tropicals” are apt to “suffer in silence.” When they come to the surface and stay there, conditions are not merely bad, but very bad.

Undetected crowding has been present for some time past, indicated by the poor condition of the fishes. Of course such symptoms can come from other causes, but crowding is one of the first to look for. That suspicion can be confirmed if frequent partial changes of water relieves the condition.

Water changes help keep the parameters within acceptable limits, help remove excess organic material such as waste and uneaten food, and also replenish required minerals in the water that the fish use up over time. If you prefer not to do as many water changes or are physically unable to, there are alternatives that can reduce your labor. My favorite is the EcoBio-Block, which is an aquarium care product that introduces beneficial bacteria into the aquarium (which keep the biological filter healthy) for water clarification. (It breaks down organic waste into safer by-products). This simple-to-use product then slowly leaches necessary minerals into the water to keep fish healthy, reduce fish loss, and help beginners become successful aquarists.

Advising a new aquarist at the height of his frenzy to go slowly in building up his tank of fishes is like talking against the tempest. Recently I fitted out a grandson with an aquarium and a suitable collection of fishes. All was lovely for a few weeks until he was bitten with the desire for more and more.

The dealer could not be blamed for selling to him, but the result was not hard to foresee – a general attack of “Ich.” Overcrowding does not necessarily cause that disease, but reduces the vitality of the fishes so that they are more subject to it.
“No aquarist ever got into trouble by having too few fishes.”

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