Aquarium Care

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

Posts Tagged ‘Pet Fish’

Sticky: Beginner Aquarium Fish Guidelines

Starting your very own aquarium can be very exciting. Knowing just the right things needed for beginner aquarium fish is important. There are quite a few things to consider when starting an aquarium. You will need to consider the water conditions in your area, how easy they are to feed, and where they were raised.

Beginner fish need to be hardy. They can survive in difficult conditions. They can be overfed, underfed, or live in unfavorable water conditions. Starting with hardy ones is important because beginning aquarists are still learning exactly how to take care of their fish. They are learning how much they need to feed them, how often to change the aquarium water, and how many and what kind belong in one tank together.

Beginner fish need to be able to be easily fed. These are the ones that survive solely on dry food. Dry food can be found at many supermarkets and at any pet store. They can also be fed treats. The treats are usually bloodworms and mosquito larvae. However treats are not necessary and the fish do not need fancy frozen foods to survive.

Commercially raised fish are great starter fish. They have shown that they can survive in a tank as opposed to ones that are caught in the wild. Some fish that are caught in the wild will not survive in a tank. Fortunately, there are plenty of options at stores and pet stores.

Purchasing fish that can survive in tap water is also important. It can be difficult and costly to purchase ones that need purified water. Just be certain to use water conditioner to get rid of chloramines in the water. Knowing your water conditions is also important. The two main types are hard and soft. Take the water to the local pet store and they should be able to tell you which ones will survive the best with your water conditions.

Purchasing non-aggressive fish may also be a positive. If aggressive ones are purchased, only one can survive in the tank. If more than one is wanted it is best to get ones that get along well with others. To find out which ones are non-aggressive, just watch the tank and the ones that are getting along with others and not fighting are the ones you want.

Picking ones that meet these qualifications will help you on your way to purchasing good beginner aquarium fish for your tank. There are many options out there to choose from and they are found at a majority of pet stores and some local shops in your area.

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Look To Make Sure That You Are Buying Disease Free Fish At Pet Store

A home aquarium is a thing of beauty, and can add interest to a room. It does require a bit of maintenance to ensure that the tanks occupants are all healthy. It is essential to make sure that you are buying healthy fish at pet store, as if you introduce an unhealthy fish to your aquarium, the disease could spread to everyone else.

Pick a decent pet store to buy your fish from. Examine the tanks when you go in, and ask yourself if it looks immaculately clean and well cared for. Staff should be anxious to help you, and knowledgeable about their stock. You really need to be an enthusiast to work in a pet store.

The fish tanks should look clean and fresh, and should not smell. All the fish should look alert and healthy, and their colors bright. Their fins should be pointing up and should be rigid and not floppy. Fish that look as if they have been bitten by others could be feeling ill, and unable to protect themselves.

Take a close look at the fish you want, as the body should be all nicely proportioned and not bulging out weirdly. There should not be any kind of lumps or bumps, or discolored spots. The gills should be a healthy pink and respiration normal. The fish should be happy to interact with others and not afraid or stressed.

Make sure you are buying fish with the correct temperament for your tank. If you have a nice peaceful tank full of community fish then take care not to add anyone too aggressive. They will not calm down in time, but are more likely to attack your fish.

When you get your new fish home, open the lid of the tank and let the bag just rest on the top of the water. This gives new fish a chance to calm down before being introduced to their new home. It also gives the water in the bag time to reach the same temperature as the water in the tank, avoiding any shock to the fish. This should take twenty minutes or so, after which time they can be let out.

Aquariums can take a bit of time to properly maintain, as water will need partial changing, filters have to be checked and glass cleaned. You may find that the water gets cloudy every so often for no good reason. This is normal but annoying. EcoBio-Blocks are a good addition as they can help the water to clear and cut down on general maintenance time each week.

EcoBio-Blocks are made out of a kind of porous stone which is of volcanic origin. The stone contains many minerals and bacteria which are beneficial to the tank and the fish. The bacteria will act to get water clean and sparkling, and will keep it that way. Your fish will have a much healthier environment and will be easy to see. There will also be no odor in the tank.

Fish tanks can make a great focal point for a room, and are worth the effort that they take to set up and maintain. It is worth making the effort of buying healthy fish at the pet store that will live long and happy lives. Most tanks once they are set-up, will require only a short amount of time each week to maintain, especially if you have solved the problem of cloudy water.

Looking for more information on how to keep fish healthy in your fish tank? Get the lowdown now at complete EcoBio-Block review.

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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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If You Are Thinking About Getting Your Child A Pet Fish

Fish tend to be the first pets parents allow their children to have. The fish themselves require a lot less work than a dog, but the aquarium still needs a good deal of attention. It is important to teach your children aquarium maintenance from an early age so it becomes part of their routine. It is the only way to have happy, healthy fish.

If you are going to invest in an aquarium at all, get a bigger one. They are certainly more expensive than the tiny little bowls and not as easy for a child to care for. However, the bigger the tank, the healthier the fish. And as long as the child can help out as you clean the tank, it will still build good habits. The bigger the tank, the more water is needed. The more water you need, the less of the percentage of contaminant. A drop of poison in a swimming pool is very different than a drop of poison in a glass of water.

You can also get more fish if you have a bigger tank. It is tempting to start out with one fish to see how your child fares, but the death of a single fish may be very upsetting to a child, while it may not be noticeable if there are many fish in the tank. It is also a better return for your money. Why buy all of the equipment for just a single fish?

Your goal is to keep the ecology in the tank as normal as possible. The fewer the fish, the less genetic diversity, and the more chance of an ecological disturbance if a fish is sick or dies. Think of how life really is in an live body or water.

Tank maintenance depends on many factors, like tank versus bowl and one fish versus many. It also depends on the type of fish. There are different ways to care for salt water and fresh water fish. Salt water may need a more in-depth system to measure brine levels, where fresh water is basically just from your tap (just make sure that you de-chlorinate your water before placing your fish in it though).

The specific components of the system should be discussed with a professional at the pet store. They can help you fit the tank to your budget and your fish. There are a few things to do regardless of what type of system you have. Clean up any large messes, but most importantly you need to change out a third of the water and put in new about every two weeks. If you use EcoBio-Block products, you can reduce this part of your maintenance to once a month or less. EcoBio-Block contains beneficial bacteria that create a healthy environment for your fish. These bacteria which are found in nature, break down toxic organic waste into safer by-products, clarify your water and eliminate odors. All you have to do is put the block in the water and wait for the bacteria to build up in the tank. Just be sure to monitor your ammonia and nitrite levels on a regular basis.

Vacuum your gravel occasionally because this is a trap for left-over food and fish excrement, which may be hard to see and can make fish sick. The filter should be checked every couple of weeks or so. Occasionally, check the pH to make sure it is at healthy levels.

Change the filter inserts at least once per month to ensure everything is going all right. Apart from that, just be observant. Count your fish, if you have a lot of them. Watch how they play with each other every day, if there is bullying, if some are not getting any food, or if others are getting too much. If you have an overly aggressive fish, you should remove it.

Learn the proper aquarium care for your home setup. Check into EcoBio-Block to help with the job. Jump online and learn more now.

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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.

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