Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Tank’

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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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 Safely Add New Fish to an Established Aquarium

Introducing new fish to an already existing aquarium is not as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of things to think about and prepare before you can safely transfer your new fish to your aquarium. You cannot just buy any aquarium fish you want then dump them in the tank as soon as you reach home.

First thing to check is the quality of your water. It is stressful enough for all the fish involved when new fish are introduced to their number. Do not add to it by making them suffer in poor water quality. The stress in them might reach fatal levels. Make sure that you have the highest possible water quality by testing for the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Do the necessary changes or cleaning before you add the new fish to the aquarium. If you dont like frequent aquarium cleaning, add an EcoBio-Block to your aquarium to give it the beneficial bacteria and trace minerals that can reduce harmful substances in your water and keep it clean, healthy and clear.

When choosing what fish to add to your aquarium, you need to determine if they will live companionably with your existing fish. Some fish will eat smaller fish, some others will fight and kill each other. You also have to know if your water will sustain the new fish. This means that you have to get the aquarium fish that will survive the temperature, pH, nitrate and ammonia levels you currently maintain. It is advisable that you add more than one fish at a time, to reduce the chance of any fish picking on just one new fish.

Your first step when preparing the aquarium for a new arrival is to rearrange the tank. Your established fish have their own hiding spots, and may become territorial if a new fish is introduced. Rearrange the plants and decorations, which will remove established territories and make the environment new for all of your fish. Make sure that there are plenty of hiding spaces where the fish can go until they get used to each other.

When introducing new aquarium fish to an established tank, never bring your new fish home from the pet store and immediately dump them into the tank. This will shock their system, and they may not make it.

For best results, you may want to set up a separate tank where you quarantine new fish for a week to check for signs of illness. Sometimes, pet store fish carry diseases, and you don’t want to introduce these into your aquarium. If you decide to transfer your new fish directly from the pet store bag to your established tank, first float the bag with the fish in your aquarium for a few hours. This allows time for the water temperatures to equalize. Then, open the bag to release your new fish into the tank.

Careful preparation to the aquarium, timing of the introduction of new fish, plus proper acclimatizing will ensure a smooth transition with minimal stress to all your aquarium fish.

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Sticky: How to Cycle an Aquarium

aquariumcycleDid you ever think you couldn’t have fish because “they just die”? If all your fish die within a week of buying them, it’s not just the fish. The most common cause of mass fish deaths is an improperly cycled tank. Before you buy any fish, it’s absolutely imperative to make sure your aquarium is well-cycled.

What is cycling? Simply put, the cycling process is the time it takes to set up a biological filter for the nitrogen cycle to function inside the aquarium. Your aquarium is much more than a tank full of water, it has to be an entire contained eco-system to keep your fish healthy. The goal with your cycling time is to develop a culture of beneficial bacteria (or “bio-bugs”) that will break down the ammonia from the fish’s waste into nitrites, and then from nitrites into nitrates. Ammonia is extremely toxic to your fish and will kill them very quickly with much less than one part per million in your aquarium.

There are several methods for cycling. This is a method that is very effective, easy to do even for beginners and does not subject any live creatures to the potentially deadly cycling process. First, set up your aquarium with filtration, heater, aerator, etc. and fill with water. Add whatever de-chlorinator you prefer; if you’re not sure what’s in your water be sure you use a treatment that eliminates or neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and potentially harmful metals. With the filter running, add a tiny amount of fish food…about one or two flakes. The food can be old, stale food that’s no good for feeding anymore — it’s only there to rot. As the food decomposes it will produce the ammonia that will feed the bio-bugs as they get established in your aquarium.

That’s it! Keep adding one or two flakes every day throughout the cycling process, then do a partial water change before you add fish. It’s safe to add fish when both ammonia and nitrites test at zero but there are nitrates in the tank to show that ammonia is actually being broken down. A full cycle takes 36 days to complete, though some hardier fish can be added after a couple of weeks as long as you keep a close eye on the water parameters.

Don’t want to wait 36 days? There are a few products on the market that can help speed up the process. There are bottled, refrigerated products such as Bio-Spira that can give the cycle a big boost by adding the bio-bugs directly (via a liquid) instead of having to wait for them to get established in the aquarium. The only problem I’ve found with those products is that you add them, it boosts the bacteria, and that’s the end of its use. One great cycle-time reducer is the EcoBio-Block. This product is a little more expensive than Bio-Spira, but you get a lot better value for your money.

To use the EcoBio-Block, rinse it off in some de-chlorinated water and then place it in the tank after the water has been treated and filtration is going. Make sure you set it somewhere near the aerator or below the flow of an HOB filter (the kind that hang on the back of your aquarium). The EcoBio-Block has the beneficial bacteria the aquarium needs sealed into it; the flow of water facilitates the dissolving of the seal and ensures that the bio-bugs get the oxygen they need. These blocks can take a couple of weeks to start working (though sometimes they work much faster), and once it’s working you’ll be able to begin adding the fish you want, hardy or not, because this effectively finishes the cycle. Test your water; it may not be necessary to do a partial water change before adding fish unless there’s an excess of decomposed fish food in the bottom. Don’t take the block out! The EcoBio-Block is still useful for about 1 1/2 to 2 years; it’ll keep the bio-bug population healthy and contains all the trace minerals that normally have to be replenished through water changes. The minerals are time-released into the water to keep it healthy without constant water changes.

In short, the cycling process is simple but time-consuming. If you decide to shorten the cycle time take care with which product you purchase to help, there are a lot on the market that don’t actually do what you need. The above have proven to be good, reliable products that greatly aid with this process. Once you’ve achieved a good biological filter and the nitrogen cycle is up and running, you can start adding the fish!

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