Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Small Fish’

Sticky: Types of Aquarium Plants

planted tank

Planted tank

While many novice aquarium hobbyists decorate their tanks with sunken pirate ships and other novelty items, these decorations eventually grow old. If you are looking for some attractive, natural-looking décor for your home aquarium what you need is a few live aquarium plants. Not only are live plants beautiful in the aquarium, they are also very beneficial for your fish and for your aquarium as a whole.

Types of Live Aquarium Plants

Live aquarium plants can be divided into three general categories: ferns and mosses, rosettes, and stem plants. Ferns and mosses are those plants which do not flower and propagate by producing spores. This category includes plants like java ferns, crystalwort and willow moss. The rosette category includes flowering aquarium plants which are often used ornamentally in ponds as well as the home aquarium. Some popular specimens in this category are Amazon swords, vallisneria and water lilies.

Stem plants are the largest category of aquarium plants and they are also some of the most popular. Some of the most commonly used stem plants include hornwort, cabomba and anacharis. Plants in this category often grow quickly and can be easily propagated by taking cuttings and rooting them in substrate. Some stem plants are also very hardy, able to thrive in a variety of aquarium environments including brackish tanks.

Floating Aquarium Plants

As an alternative to these three categories, live aquarium plants can also be divided by their rooting requirements. While most aquarium plants need to be potted or rooted in substrate, some plants must be allowed to float on the surface of the water. These plants provide a complementary look to rooted plants in your aquarium while also increasing the oxygen content in your tank and providing a place for small fish and newly-hatched fry to hide.

Some of the most popular floating aquarium plants include hornwort, a slow-growing plant, and anacharis, a plant that grows very quickly. Water sprite, duckweed and azolla are frequently used in goldfish ponds because they provide a healthy food source for fish as well as attractive decoration. Many floating plants can thrive when rooted in substrate but floating free on the water’s surface allows for the maximum level of growth and spread.

In the home aquarium, live plants can be very beneficial. Not only do they help to filter out toxins and produce oxygen – they also suppress algae growth and provide your tank with a beautiful and natural décor scheme. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your live aquarium plants, pot one or two in an EcoBio-Planter. These planters are made from natural zeolite and crushed stone which makes them a simple yet attractive item to add to your tank. EcoBio products are infused with beneficial bacteria which immediately start working to nitrify tank water, making it cleaner, clearer and healthier for your fish. EcoBio-Planter has the additional attraction of being great for your plant’s life as well.

If you are serious about starting a planted tank you will first need to decide what type of plants you want to cultivate and what is needed in order for them to thrive. Aquarium plants require fluorescent lighting and periodic feeding in order to achieve their maximum growth. If you care for your plants properly they will repay you by helping to keep your tank clean and clear, creating an ideal environment in which your fish will be able to thrive.

 

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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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Everything You Need To Know About the Different Types of Fish Food

Once you have purchased your fish, you need to supply them with the proper food that will keep them healthy and happy. It doesn’t always have to be a big bag of fish flakes. Your fish also need good nourishment that will give them an active life, enhance their growth and stimulate breeding. Their diet should also give them a more efficient immune system against sickness.

One popular type of fish food is the dry fish food. This includes flakes, pellets, wafers, and granules. There are many different formulations of dry fish food to cater to different species of fish. They can be made from plant, animal or fish products. Most of them are fortified with vitamins and minerals for a more complete nutritional diet for your fish. Some are concocted for special purposes like intensifying the colors of the fish or making the scales shinier.

Larger fish, those bigger than an inch, require a more specialized diet. The carnivores or omnivores will prefer meat in their diet. One very popular meat food is bloodworms. Bloodworms are red mosquito larvae that can be purchased frozen from aquarium supply stores. They are considered the more nutritious alternative to flakes and pellets. They look like small ice cubes when packaged and you just drop these cubes in the aquarium water when it’s feeding time.

Other fresh or frozen foods for your fish are brine shrimps or krill. Not only are brine shrimps nourishing, they also somehow bring out the colors of tropical fish. A small crustacean, called the Daphnia, or water flea is also another option for the carnivores. They may be delicious to fish but they are not really full of nutrients.

Earthworms or other worms are also popular food for some larger fish. They are high in protein but will not give your fish a balanced diet. Like the Daphnia, they should not be the only food source of your fish. To many larger predatory fish, feeder fish or any small fish are the best food, although they don’t usually go for community fish in an aquarium.

There should be a rotation of some or all of these foods in feeding your fish not just to give them balanced nutrition but also to provide variety in their diet. They are likely to get tired of the same food day after day just like any person. You also have the option of supplementing the dried pellets or flakes diet with live or frozen food.

Herbivores, unlike carnivores, will be happier snacking throughout the day rather than eating at a regular schedule. Fresh plants in aquarium tanks are good sources of food for them, and they can also eat any algae that are present in the aquarium.

You can also supplement your fish’s food supply with vegetables like blanched spinach leaves, slices of zucchini and cucumber, and peas directly to the tank. Let this vegetable matter float for an hour or two, and then remove them from the tank. Some dried foods, particularly algae wafers, also make a good choice for herbivores.

Feeding the right food to your fish is not really difficult. You just have to make a little research to find out the preferences and nutritional needs of your fish. Different species will have different needs. Make the necessary adjustments to the kind and amount of food you feed them as they grow. Remember to give them variety and a balance diet and your fish will thrive and live a full healthy, perky and happy life.

Leonard Boyler has been keeping fish for more than two decades. His favorite products make aquarium care and maintenance very easy from start up to clarifying cloudy aquarium water. To learn more about how you can keep your water clear and have healthy fish, please visit ONEdersave.com.

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Aquarium Care Series: Feeding Basics

by Ruby Bayan, OurSimpleJoys.com

girl-feedingsProviding your fish with the right types of food at the right time is crucial. For your pet fish to flourish in their captive environment, they need to assimilate nutrients that are identical to those found in their natural habitat.

Fortunately, different types of fish food, packed with necessary minerals and nutrients, and prepared in various forms, are commercially available. With your knowledge of your specific fishes’ nutritional and feeding requirements, and the help of your nearest well-stocked pet food store, your fish communities can enjoy the diets essential to their health, appearance, and life span.

Feeding Principles

There are several basic principles you need to remember when feeding aquarium fish. By following the feeding tips related to these principles, you can rest assured that your fish community will remain in an equilibrium and in optimum health.

  1. Each specie of fish has unique food and feeding requirements. Carnivores will need plenty of protein — from meat slivers or small fish. Herbivores will require adequate fiber — from plants and algae. Some species appreciate chasing live food like insects and worms.
    Tip: Research on the food requirements and feeding habits of each breed of fish you keep. Then inspect the different types of food commercially available. This will help you determine which types of food you need to stock up on.
  2. Overfeeding can be hazardous to your fish community. Fish can only eat as much as their stomachs will allow. Typically, fishes are able to swallow their one-meal intake within three to five minutes from the time the food is introduced into the tank. After that, the leftovers will remain suspended in the water and start to decay, polluting the environment. Not even the most efficient filtration system can counteract a heavily contaminated setup.
    Tip: Feed the fish a little at a time, at regular intervals during the day, instead of dropping one “big meal” into the tank. To help minimize accidental pollution and maintain a clear and healthy environment for the fish, consider incorporating a water-conditioning product in your set-up like the EcoBio-Block.
  3. Fish can also get obese — another consequence of overfeeding. Some breeds of fish (like cyclids and catfish) are prone to non-stop eating, giving way to obesity and poor health. Fish food that are too fatty (like Whiteworms) should be given sparingly.
    Tip: Be aware of this obesity phenomenon and feed only the quantity and quality of food that will ensure good health and nutrition.
  4. Sometimes not all the fish are able to eat properly. In a community tank, fast swimmers and hyperactive fish will get to the food sooner than the rest. Juveniles will be more picky than adults. Nocturnals will only eat when it’s dark. Surface feeders will only eat food that are floating; bottom feeders will only eat food that have sunk. A new fish may be too shy to approach the food, and sick ones will simply ignore the feedings.
    Tip: Observe all the fish during feeding time. Ensure that all of them are able to eat properly and adequately.
  5. Fish appreciate variety in their diets. Feeding your fish the same food for months at a time can lead to some form of malnutrition. In their native habitats, fish obtain a variety of foods, so this is what you should strive to simulate.
    Tip: Vary the types of food you give your fish community — through a mixture or alternation of prepared foods (dried and frozen), live foods, and greens, for a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
  6. Live or fresh foods, though nutritious and preferred by most fishes can be risky. Worms, insect larvae, water fleas, and brine shrimp are just some of the live foods that most fish enjoy chasing and gobbling up. Unfortunately, introducing these tasty delights into your aquarium poses the risk of introducing disease-carrying bacteria or accompanying predators (leeches and diving beetles) as well.
    Tip: Always rinse live and fresh food under clean running water to remove dirt and dead ones. Culture your own batches, if possible, to avoid harvesting unwanted predators. And scoop out the uneaten ones after each meal because they will eventually die and pollute the water.

Nutritional Requirements

In order to understand what types of foods are essential for your fish, here’s a rundown of the different nutrients that are crucial for fish health and longevity:

  1. Proteins – About 50 percent of the total calorie requirement of fish come from proteins. Amino acids, the building blocks of muscles, cells, and tissue are essential, especially for juvenile fish.
  2. Carbohydrates – More required by freshwater fish than marine fish, carbohydrates are also necessary for energy and growth.
  3. Fatty Acids – The major energy source for most fish, fats are stored in their tissues to provide stamina and serve as storage medium for fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  4. Minerals – Abundant sources of minerals exist for fishes in their natural habitat. In an aquarium, fishes will need prepared food fortified with minerals (like calcium for their bone formation).
  5. Vitamins – The essential vitamins your fish need are: A (from greens and crustaceans), B-Complex (from greens, eggs, and yeast), C (from greens, algae, and fish eggs), D (from snails, shrimps, and earthworms), E (from algae, greens, and egg yolk), and K (from water fleas, greens, and liver).
  6. Fiber – Also a necessary diet component for fish, fiber is abundant in vegetable matter.

 

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