Aquarium Care

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

Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Set Up A New Aquarium And Stop New Tank Syndrome Before It Develops

Research has shown that watching fish swim in an aquarium reduces stress and blood pressure. Beginning a brand new aquarium requires some understanding of the process. If done without any understanding, many fish put into a new fish tank may die of new tank syndrome. This article will show you exactly how to start a new aquarium and reduce the frustration of new tank syndrome.

The first step is deciding on the size tank you would like to purchase. There are tanks with capacities of just a few gallons to tanks with over 50 gallons. When you purchase your tank, be sure to also buy a sturdy stand. You can figure the weight of a filled tank by multiplying the total tank gallons by 10. If your tank holds 40 gallons of water, it would weigh 400 pounds filled.

After choosing the tank, other supplies you will need include a filter, air pump, hood, gravel, heater, ammonia, nitrite and pH test kits and water conditioner. You will also need an algae scraper, gravel siphon and decoration. Plan to purchase between one and 1.5 pounds of gravel per gallon of water. Hold off on buying the fish for now. If you have added an EcoBio-Stone, it will need some time to build up an adequate amount of beneficial bacteria before adding fish; otherwise, your fish could succumb to new tank syndrome. New tank syndrome, a condition where fish die a short time after being introduced to a new tank, is caused by high nitrite and ammonia levels. If fish are put into a new aquarium, there may not be enough beneficial bacteria to keep the nitrite and ammonia levels at a safe level.

Once you have your supplies, if you have purchased an EcoBio-Stone, be sure to place it in chlorine-free water and let it soak overnight. While it is soaking, it is time to start putting your aquarium together. Your first step is rinsing the tank and gravel thoroughly. Do not use soap or any other kind of detergent. This will kill the fish. Next, set up the filter and the heater according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Now add the gravel, decorations and attach the air pump to any decorations that require it. Follow this with water. Make sure you add a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, from the water. A water conditioner will keep the pH level at 7.0, which is what most fish thrive in. Set the heater to a level that will keep the water between 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. After soaking the stone, add it to your tank. Now it is time to cycle your aquarium.

To avoid new tank syndrome, you must cycle your aquarium. Cycling your aquarium refers to the process of letting the aquarium build up enough good bacteria to support fish. On its own it takes about 35 days to build up enough good bacteria to keep ammonia and nitrite levels in check. Using EcoBio-Stone, your tank will have colonies of good bacteria built quite quickly. One block lasts about two years and will keep your tank water clear and bacteria levels at the correct amount.

Now is the time to buy just two or three fish. Before releasing the fish into the aquarium, set the plastic bag you carried them home in into the tank. This allows the fish to adjust to the water temperature. Wait 10 minutes. Gently release the fish and throw the water in the bag away as it will have fish waste in it.

Each week you should check the pH levels, nitrite and ammonia levels. The latter two should be zero. Each month change 20% of the water (remember to add water conditioner), clean the gravel using the siphon. Add new activated carbon to the filter and wash the filter itself. If you take the time to learn how to start a new aquarium, you will avoid new tank syndrome and enjoy your new fish tank for years to come.

An EcoBio-Stone is a must when you prepare to start a new aquarium. It helps to provide attractive equipment and healthy environment for the inhabitants.

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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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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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The Importance of Selecting the Proper Lighting for Your Aquarium

Lighting is always a requirement for aquariums. Not only does it highlight the fish and the dcor but it also serves the ecosystem in the tank, particularly if you have decided to add fresh plants to your tank.

When buying an aquarium, getting a full tank setup means getting all the necessary equipment, and that includes the lighting. However, if you prefer to have a more customized setup, purchase separate lighting instead. The light you have to get will depend on the size of the tank and your selection of fish and plants.

The power of the aquarium lighting should be around 2 to 3 watts for every gallon of water in the tank. Keep in mind, however, that the lighting requirements for the aquarium with live plants would be more than that of the same aquarium with artificial plants. Be careful though, because more light is not always good for all fish. Some fish thrive in a brightly lit habitat, while some are bothered by too much light and end up being stressed. Furthermore, an environment with too much light causes algae to grow much faster.

For your lighting needs, you can choose between using fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive, and therefore good for smaller aquariums, but their yellowish glow is not quite the same as natural light. They also generate heat so it would be a good idea to keep a thermometer handy, and monitor the water temperature regularly.

If you have live plants, you’ll need an aquarium fluorescent light. Available in the form of tubes or compact fluorescent bulbs, their light is much brighter and does not give off any heat. The fluorescent light can be used by your live plants. If your tank is very heavily planted, you may need more than 3 watts per gallon. A compact fluorescent bulb will fit into any fixture designed for incandescent bulbs, while fluorescent light tubes need to be purchased at the correct length for your aquarium hood.

Although ordinary household fluorescent lights can be used, full spectrum fluorescent light is best, especially for bright-colored fish and plants. Full spectrum lights are composed of all the important wavelengths of light with each part of the light spectrum having different effects on the aquarium. The bright colors of tropical fish are brought out by the purple end of the spectrum while the blue parts promote the growth of algae. Aquatic plants generally will thrive on the orange to red parts of the spectrum.

Although a lot of fish are nocturnal, it is still important for the main aquarium light to be turned off at night to imitate the natural order they are used to. The use of submersible LED lights will allow you to watch your fish when the main aquarium lights are off. You can use different colors to highlight the dcor or the fish. To watch the fish without disturbing their daily routines, use small red or blue LED lights.

Replacing your aquarium light bulbs is an inevitable part of aquarium maintenance. Regardless of whether the light is still working, replace the bulb every year, because they grow dimmer over time.

The well-being of the fish and plants as well as the appearance of your aquarium depend on how well you have chosen your lighting. It is therefore important to make the selection with great care.

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

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Why Aquarium Water Testing is Important

One important thing that a person setting up an aquarium must not overlook is aquarium water testing. When you have arranged the decor in your aquarium and put water in, do not immediately add the fish but instead, let the water stand for several days to let the water settle. Beneficial bacteria in a product like EcoBio-Block will help you to speed up the nitrogen cycle. You can monitor this cycle daily with water quality tests, and add the fish a few at a time. At the start of the cycle, you will see a spike in the ammonia level. This will be followed by a nitrite spike when the beneficial bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrites.

Once you have fish living in your aquarium, test the water daily for the first few weeks as the water adjusts to having fish living in it. After this initial period, test the aquarium water weekly. Although most aquarium supply stores will test it for you, it is much easier to purchase a water test kit and do it yourself at home.

You will be presented at the aquarium supply store with a wide variety of testing kits to choose from. There are basic kits with strips that test important water quality indicators like pH, nitrate, water hardness, ammonia, nitrites and others. The strips change color to indicate the quality of the water.

The basic kits are convenient, but have some drawbacks. They are cheaper but are not very reliable. You can go instead with more complex testing, which involves a test tube. Add also a thermometer to your testing supplies so you can test the water temperature.

The health of your fish depends largely on the quality of the aquarium water. That is why it is essential that you do regular aquarium water testing. You need to add whatever is necessary in order to bring your water level to healthy levels for your fish.

Healthy pH level is around 6 or 7 for most fish, but they will generally tolerate a fairly wide range of pH. Any decor, food or medication added can change the pH level in your aquarium. You can increase or reduce the pH to healthier levels by adding some chemicals. A natural, but much slower approach will be to add driftwood or peat for more acidic water or a lime rock if you want more alkaline.

High ammonia levels are toxic to fish. Nitrite levels too, must be kept as close to zero as possible. What will reduce both will be partial changes of water. An easier way is to add beneficial bacteria. Nitrites will be converted to the less harmful nitrates by the beneficial bacteria.

Even simpler and less trouble is to have a bacteria colony established with the EcoBio-Block which gives long-term, continuous results. The bacteria breaks down ammonia into nitrites and then into safer nitrates. The bacteria live and multiply in the block and disperse into the water, keeping the water clear and healthy.

Aquarium water testing is a very important part of keeping your aquarium environment safe and healthy for your fish.

Leonard Boyler has been keeping fish for more than two decades. The products he likes best make aquarium care and maintenance very easy from start up to making your cloudy fish tank clear. To find out more about what you can do to keep your aquarium water clear and healthy for your fish please visit ONEdersave.com.

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