Aquarium Care

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

Posts Tagged ‘Substrate’

How to Obtain Clear and Good Aquarium Water Quality

Aquarium with neon tetras

Water quality management should be a very important consideration for those who own an aquarium. This is made possible with the help of different products in the market such as EcoBio-Block among others. However, you must also be refilling the tank regularly, have proper feeding habits and also good filtration in order to have the best aquarium water quality.

Majority of the people give up keeping an aquarium as a hobby within two years because the task of maintaining clarity all the time is very challenging. You have to clean the tank once or twice a month. Even after doing this in the right way, cloudy appearance might still occur.

It is difficult to come up with one solution for the cloudy appearance because it is caused by many issues. However, you should be encouraged because the problem can be dealt with easily. Gravel that is not washed properly can result to this during the first setup. Therefore, the residue will be washed out when the tank is filled.

The gravel can also react with the liquid to cause leaching of chemicals resulting in clouding. It is good to first test the substrate before you could fill up the tank. This is done by first knowing the pH of the water before the substrate could be added. You should add small amount of substrate and then leave it for some days. You might have to change the substrate if the pH happens to rise.

A cloudy appearance might also be caused by the bacteria bloom that the tank of the fish receives after the beginning of the nitrogen cycle. This happens many times so you can choose to wait it out or do partial refills during the first days. The aquarium might also be having more than enough fish food or a lot of fish waste. This will result to a build up of bacteria.

The other causes of this problem can also be excessive light, a lot of nutrients and also imbalance in the tank. This means you might go a long way in order to tackle the problem. However, EcoBio-Block can be very helpful in this situation. You only have to rinse the block in water that is free from chlorine. You need to soak the block through the night before you could drop it into your first tank.

The tank content will be clarified and the speed of nitrogen cycle will be increased once this step is used. It also eliminates bad smell because the new tank syndrome will be shortened. This is the best way of enjoying better aquarium water quality even without frequent refills.

 

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How To Keep Aquarium Fish Healthy From Day To Day

How to keep aquarium fish healthy is a common question both new aquarium owners and seasoned veterans ask. If you already have a tank you are probably fighting this battle every day, and if you are considering the purchase of one, no doubt you have many questions about keeping your tank clean and your fish healthy. Thankfully for both the newcomer and the old-timer there are products available, like the EcoBio-Block,that can help to ease the burden of maintaining your tank, saving you both time and money. Continue reading to learn more about how to keep your fish healthy with less hassle. These tips will assist you in getting more out of your aquarium.

One of the best ways for keeping your tank clean is to change out a percentage of the water regularly. Changing out the water will help to remove dead organic material and it will also remove fish waste. You can help to prevent mineral buildup and toxins simply by changing out 10 to 15 percent of the tank volume once a week. If you use an EcoBio-Block product this part of aquarium maintenance becomes a lot easier, because the stream of beneficial bacteria coming from the block will take care of organic waste which breaks down into toxic ammonia and nitrites.

You should also consider making a regular vacuum of the tanks substrate. Lots of debris can build up over time between the rocks. Unfortunately this debris is typically too small to see easily or even at all, but rest assured it is there. A good rock cleaning at every water change or about once a week or so can make a big difference in the overall quality of the water in the tank.

Water temperature is another key element for the health of your aquarium fish. Of course the temperature you should maintain will be determined by the type of fish you have. There are lots of different devices that help to keep the water temperature constant, and there are devices you can float in the tank to monitor your water temperature too.

While those little toys, trinkets, and plastic flowers at the bottom of your tank may appear only to be decorations, and in part they are, they also provide a sense of security and safety for the fish. Make sure the bottom of your aquarium has 50 to 70 percent coverage as this will help your fish feel less threatened.

Of course keeping your fish fed helps to keep them both happy and healthy. There are a number of brands and types of food you can use, and of course you will want to choose the type of food that is right for your particular fish. Remember too not to overfeed them. This can add debris to the water and make cleaning a more frequent chore.

Watch the fish closely for signs of aggression. Your fish should always appear relaxed and swimming peacefully. If you notice aggression, such as one fish actively chasing other fish around the tank or away from certain areas, you might consider donating that fish to a friend or the pet store to be placed with other more aggressive fish.

Keeping your tank clean and the fish healthy is a much easier task when you make use of products like EcoBio-Block that help to reduce frequent maintenance. If you are wondering how to keep aquarium fish healthy, follow these tips and invest in products that can assist with the job.

When you want to keep healthy fish in your aquariums or fish bowls, the conditions must be close to ideal. Healthy water is just one component of a positive environment for tropical fish varieties.

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Sticky: Starting a New Aquarium

Sit back and enjoy your new aquarium

Sit back and enjoy your new aquarium

Aquariums can be beautiful and fun additions to any home. The easiest way to start having an aquarium in your house is to choose a freshwater aquarium. These are easier to manage and you have a greater chance of success than if you tackle a saltwater aquarium.  Even so, there is a lot to buy and many things to think about before you can have fish swim around your tank.

You need to select a tank size and make sure it fits into the space you have allotted. You need to select a tank size of at least ten gallons as mistakes are less likely to be lethal if there is more water to work with. Fish tanks are heavy. A full 20 gallon fish tank is over 200 pounds.  Make sure you have a good supporting system for your fish tank so it doesn’t collapse.

Choose a tank with a larger surface area, such as an oblong tank. Fish do better with a larger surface area. Glass tanks are better for beginners so choose one of those as opposed to an acrylic fish tank. Most tanks come with standard measurements which can be used to select the tank for you.

Your initial purchase checklist should include the following:

  • A suitably sized aquarium, possibly 20 gallon-sized
  • A stand or surface for your aquarium
  • A hood or lid for your aquarium
  • An aquarium light
  • A heater that heats the size of the aquarium you are buying (check with the staff at the pet store if you have any doubts about the heater size and wattage).
  • An aquarium thermometer
  • Substrate for the bottom of the aquarium
  • A fish net
  • Something to condition the water
  • A filter for the aquarium

You should get enough substrate to fill the bottom of the tank to a level of about two inches.  In general, a pound of substrate should be purchased for every gallon of water in the tank. This means you should buy about 20 pounds of substrate for a 20 gallon tank. The filter should be adequate to filter out the junk in the tank. A filter should be able to filter about 100-150 gallons per hour.

Once you’ve rinsed out the aquarium, you’ll need to fill it with water. Place the aquarium exactly where you want to keep it. Buy a bottle of aquarium water conditioner. Buy two buckets that you only use for the aquarium. Fill the tank with washed substrate to a depth of 2-3 inches. Put a clean plate on top of the gravel (this keeps the gravel from splashing up). Let the cold water in the tap run for a few minutes to clear the lines of excessive minerals and then fill the bucket up to three-fourths full. Pour the water from the bucket onto the plate until the water is halfway up the tank. Then add your plants and decorations. Put in the heater and the filter but don’t plug them in until the tank is full.

Next, fill the tank with water using the other bucket. You can remove the plate when the tank is halfway filled with water. Start the filter and the heater and run for a minimum of twenty four hours before adding fish.

You’ll want to consider adding an EcoBio-Stone or other EcoBio-Block product, depending on the size of your tank and your particular needs. These are porous volcanic and cement rocks which slowly release necessary trace minerals and calcium in to the water. They contain beneficial nutrients and helpful bacteria that create the proper ecosystem for your aquarium helping you minimize your maintenance time and reduce the need to change the water in your tank.  Nitrifying bacteria are established in your tank and the tank is cycled more quickly. The water stays clear and odor is kept to a minimum. EcoBio-Block products last for up to 1.5 or 2 years and require no maintenance.

If all goes well, you’ll have a healthy, happy aquarium system that will last for years with a minimum of interference by you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy your new aquarium.

 

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Sticky: Cloudy Fish Tanks – Finding the Cause and How to Solve It

Cloudy Aquarium

Cloudy Aquarium

Many a new aquarium owner has panicked when their tank has taken on the appearance of what one such owner described to me as “a smoke filled room at a party.” In aquarium lexicon, we call such smoky appearance “cloudiness” because of its resemblance to the wispy clouds that sometimes appear in the sky. Everyone who keeps fish as a hobby wants their tank or tanks to be sparkling clean and clear at all times. Cloudy fish tanks look unsightly, and the water in these tanks can seriously harm the health of your fish. What causes these cloudy fish tanks, and what is the best way to get rid of the cloudiness?

The water clarity in a fish tank is generally affected by several factors, and the color of the water can often be a clue as to what is causing it to be cloudy. The water in a fish tank that has just been set up will often display a gray or white tint. This is called a “bacterial bloom” and it is very common in new tanks, for the nutrients and the bacteria in the water are imbalanced.

If your tank is so new that you have not added fish to it, dust from one or more of the decorations you added, or from the gravel or other substrate you placed at the bottom of the tank may be the cause of the cloudiness you see. Any item that goes into your fish tank must be made for that purpose, and you must rinse it well beforehand. When bacterial bloom appears in a fish tank that has already been established, your tank filter may not be working properly. You may be overfeeding your fish, or you may have too many fish in too small an aquarium.

A green cloudiness in your tank water means you are dealing with a sudden algae bloom. There are several reasons for an algae bloom some of which mimic the causes of a bacterial bloom. For example, when there is too much waste matter in your tank, be it left over food or the waste products from your fish, the bacteria from this waste converts into nitrates. As these nitrates grow in number, an algae bloom is imminent. Leaving the tank light on too many hours a day encourages the growth of green algae, and so does a high phosphate level in the tank water.

You may sometimes see a yellow color in your cloudy fish tanks. Decorative driftwood, decayed plant matter from aquarium plantings, fish waste, and dissolved organic carbons, often called DOC, can all be the cause of yellow cloudy water. Occasionally, you may also see a brown cloudiness in your tank water. This is caused from an overgrowth of brown algae. Brown algae can be caused by the tank not getting enough light, or from certain types of driftwood that have been placed in the tank.

By eliminating the causes of the different varieties of cloudy tank water, you can make caring for your aquarium much easier. Partial water changes of 10 to 20 percent of the water can help, as can making sure the filter on your tank is of the proper size. In order to remove the cloudiness from the water, and to make sure it does not come back, you need to see to it that your tank has a good supply of beneficial bacteria. This point confuses many newcomers to the aquarium hobby. They are so sure that bacteria are a bad thing that they balk when told it is needed in their tank! However, once they understand about good vs. bad bacteria, they are eager to know what they can do in order to maintain a colony of the good bacteria. Fortunately, there are some good solutions available. One of the best for cloudy water is the EcoBio-Block. When hobbyists learn of the advantages that go along with placing a product from EcoBio-Block in their aquarium, they agree that this is the easiest solution to the problem.

These products contain live beneficial bacteria, which multiply and make their way into the tank water every 30 minutes or so. They work in new set-ups as well as established aquariums to establish a nitrifying bacteria colony. This will take care of most cloudy water naturally, cuts down on the need for water changes and vacuuming the gravel or substrate, and will last for years. You could almost say that EcoBio-Block products are an aquarium owner’s best friend!

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Aquarium Care: Care and Maintenance of Aquarium Plants

by Ruby Bayan

aquariumplantwebAs caretaker of the simulated natural environment in your tank, you will have to make sure that your aquarium flora are planted well, and receive adequate light, nutrients, and the constant care and maintenance they need to thrive. This may all seem a bit overwhelming, but once the plants are established, they do not really require much fuss.

Planting Techniques

Once you’ve chosen your assortment of aquatic plants and are ready to introduce them into your tank, be sure you are not also introducing unwanted elements such as snails and tiny predators. Rinse your newly acquired vegetation under clean water and remove damaged or decaying leaves, stems, and roots. Plant them into their designated places gently to minimize bruising.

Rooted plants should be planted into the substrate only up to where their leaves meet the roots. Burying them too deep will cause the stems to rot. If the plant is mature and has a good root system, you can trim off a third of the roots, including the old brownish ones because these are, in effect, dead roots.
Tubers should be planted at an angle, with the shoots just above the substrate; otherwise, the plant will not survive.

Cuttings, which are usually sold in a bunch or cluster, should be separated and planted one by one, and properly spaced out for better growth. Spacing them will also help provide adequate lighting to the bottom leaves. Thrusting clusters into the substrate, or tying them together, will crush the stems and cause them to rot. Trim off a few leaves from the bottom of the stem and sink the stem into the substrate up to its first bottom leaf.

As to the placement of plants in your tank, try to follow some basic principles:

  1. Put tall ones, and those that tend to grow tall and thick, at the sides and at the back.
  2. Plant short and rosette-type plants in the front and center.
  3. Do not use the rooted plants in areas where fish that have a tendency to dig can uproot them. Instead, plant them behind rocks, driftwood, or other dominant decor.

Lighting Considerations

All plants have unique lighting requirements. Some require intense light while some can’t tolerate it. Most aquatic plants require about 10 to 12 hours of light exposure in order to thrive, and very few will continue to flourish if the light source is partially blocked by tall neighboring plants.

Remember that if certain species like the red-leafed and fine-leafed ones need bright light, extending their exposure to regular light (i.e., the standard fluorescent tube that came with the tank) will not suffice. Putting the aquarium by the window so that it will catch the sun’s rays is not a good idea either — too much light will encourage algae growth. The best strategies are to add fluorescent light tubes or install aluminum reflectors behind the light source, and to ensure that the glass cover is always clean so that proper illumination reaches all the plants.

Regular Care and Maintenance

Just as you would diligently check on the health and wellness of your fish, give a little attention to your aquatic plants as well. Here’s a list of things to do:

  1. Fertilize. Aquatic plant fertilizers that are rich in nutrients like iron and potassium are available as pellets and in liquid form. Follow the product instructions on the quantity, schedule, and manner of applying these fertilizers. Some substrates are mixed with laterite clay that is specifically beneficial for tank vegetation.
  2. Change some of the water. Aquarium plants play an active role in the tank’s nitrogen cycle, but sometimes the water composition degrades into one that is not any longer highly beneficial to plants. This is when your assistance is required — once a week, changing the water (less than 20 percent) helps in refreshing the quality of the environment. Be sure to de-chlorinate and check the temperature of the new water before introducing it into the tank. You may also add fertilizer to the new water if appropriate. If you have an EcoBio-Block in your tank, water changes can be done less frequently.
  3. Do regular check-ups. Regular maintenance for plants also includes trimming dead or damaged leaves and branches, propagating by cutting or separating new growth, and removing snails. Some serious aquatic plant enthusiasts introduce CO2 into the tank to boost the plant systems. You can inquire from your vendor about this option.
  4. Avoid toxic elements. The standard manner of treating fish ailments is by dropping medication directly into the water. Unfortunately, some fish medications are harmful to plants, affecting leaf coloring, absorption of nutrients, and overall health. Therefore, when medicating fish, transfer them to a tank containing no plants. Also, when using water conditioners and anti-chlorine treatments, never pour them directly on the plants. (Also, remember to take out your EcoBio-Block, medications can be toxic to the beneficial bacteria).

And finally, address warning signs. Be aware of indications of poor maintenance. When environmental conditions are not ideal, you will see the effects on the leaves of the plants themselves. Pale and widely spaced leaf growth in the stems is a sign of poor or insufficient light. Yellowing of the leaves is a sign of lack of nutrients like iron. Blackening of the leaves indicates pollution. Holes or damage indicates the presence of either snails or vegetarian fish. Attend to these distress signs immediately so that your aquarium garden will always be in good health.

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