Showing posts with label Aquarium Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aquarium Technology. Show all posts


The Truth about Automatic FISH FEEDERS

With the world going after everything automatic, even fishes want to have their utilities to be automatic! And seriously enough, why should the fishes be left behind?

The Problem with Manual Feeding

You can’t really give the same amount of feed every time. Feeding fishes manually has this drawback where the amount of feed given is purely based on approximation. And fishes as we all know are a greedy lot. They do not know when to stop and can go on eating until everything you gave is exhausted; they might even die due to overeating.

In case you’re out for work, who will feed your fishes? You don’t really expect your dog to do the job for you; or do you?

Even when you’re not out for a long period of time, feeding fishes at regular intervals becomes next to impossible especially if you have a job that has no fixed working hours.

Automatic Fish Feeders

Automatic fish feeders are not only for the aquarium but are for the ponds too. Actually, this concept of automatic fish feeding came from the ponds and has been in use for a long time. Only recently, it was inducted for domestic use in aquariums. The advantages of using an automatic fish feeder are many.

Number of Feeds:  Some advanced feeders have the capacity to provide your fish with food up to 8 times a day! Surely, there are fishes which eat less but eat frequently! You can vary the number of feeds depending on the type of fish you have. The bigger number of feeders are suitable for use in ponds and other large areas.

Type of Feed: With greater advancements in technology, the fish feed comes in pellets, flakes, or in the crumbled form. Earlier there was a problem in providing the desired type of feed for the fishes. But now, the dispenser opening comes in a universal size which allows the easy dispensing of almost any size and shape of the feed particle.

Holding Size: You may not require a large holding size of the feed for domestic and small aquariums, but with larger fish breeding water bodies, the holding size also increases. The popular ones can hold weights of 50 grams of food. The hopper is also an integral part of the holder and provides easy feed to the aquarium.

Avoid Moisture: The big problem with fish feed is that if it comes into contact with moisture, it gets spoiled. Modern automatic fish feeders can hold feed in the absence of moisture.

Automatic feeders are the next-gen aquarium utilities that help you administer the right amount of feed for your well-kept fishes. No doubt that these are great investments for your aquarium and the fish. The fishes are no longer crying foul!


Some Of The Best All Year-round AQUARIUM TIPS

English: Fish in aquarium.
Fish in marin aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to looking after your aquarium you need to be focussed on providing care all year-round. Below we look at some of the most important points

Temperature Control For Your Aquarium
When it comes to caring for your aquarium fish, temperature control is one of the most important aspects. Although we may really feel the weather outside, your aquarium fish are more likely to suffer from any drastic changes to temperature which occurs inside the aquarium. So the following tips are worth noting:

1) Ensure that you switch the lights off during the hottest part of the day.
2) Check that your heater is properly working and keeping a steady temperature. Water which is too warm may result in the fish suffocating.
3) If you need to make any change in temperature always do so gradually.

Regular Care and Maintenance of Your Aquarium

Regular care is needed if you have an aquarium. This regular maintenance should involve vigorous aeration and filtration. Make sure that you clean your tank out regularly to ensure that the fish remain healthy.

Aquarium General Tips

Following these general tips should lead to a better environment for your aquarium fish:

1) Limit the number of fish in your aquarium to maximise the amount of oxygen for each fish. It will also help minimise the number of times you will need to clean the aquarium.
2) Make sure that you think about the positioning of the aquarium – it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight as this may increase the amount of algae.
3) Research the fish before you buy. You need to check that each fish you put into the aquarium is compatible with the general environment and with the other fish. 
4) You should change 25% of the water in the aquarium weekly to help maintain a healthy water balance for your fish


Brilliant Innovations in AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE - SAND FILTER and Gravel Washer

With the popularity of aquarium keeping hobby on the rise, came about newer technology developments that offers utmost convenience to the many aquarists worldwide. Such equipments and supplies are constantly invented and re-invented to help aquarium keepers take advantage of the most effective fish keeping practices possible and help maintain their fishes in the best condition. 

With the discovery of the most basic filtration systems, pumps, and aeration systems, aquarists have discovered the great difference brought about by these technologies. Greater appreciation was felt when the market made available the use of more upgraded filters, UV sterilizers, automatic fish food dispensers, water testing kits, water pH analyzers, flow meters, aquarium heaters, wave makers and a few more brilliant ideas that do make life easier for aquarium owners.

Of the many innovations in the fish keeping and aquarium maintenance tools, the fish tank gravel washer proves to be one of those that offers many advantages. An amazing tool that makes gravel cleaning very convenient, efficient, and gets things done in half the time you usually spend when doing it manually. Its mechanism works by removing dirt from the gravel while simultaneously performing water change without disturbing the gravel and tank decorations, sparing you from having to remove your tank's contents every water change. Not only it greatly helps keep your tank clean, it also saves you a lot of back-breaking work and time. 

Another impressive innovation that is found very useful in tank maintenance is the fish tank sand filter. Unlike traditional filters commonly used in many tanks, this one utilizes sand as medium for bacteria settlement. The sand, which contains some good bacteria, is a vital part of the filter itself, breaking down harmful chemicals particularly ammonia and nitrite which are known bi-products of fish waste and food debris. The beneficial bacteria is said to convert these toxics to something more harmless called the nitrate. This mechanism is also found to greatly help maintain water clarity as well as improve the water quality.

Both useful equipments, the sand filter and gravel washer, could now be easily found in many local aquatic supply stores and many online places specializing in aquarium maintenance equipments. Each may come in many brands, and prices may vary according to its sophistication. Larger tanks would naturally need larger filters or greater washer capacity. Surely there would be newer tools that would offer the same benefits for your tank, your tank water and most especially to your fishes, such discoveries and innovations would always be welcomed by aquarists.

    The fish tank gravel washer and fish tank sand filter are indeed remarkable tools. How they could keep your tank clean and your fishes healthy makes them excellent additions to your aquarium.



Aqua End Table Aquarium
Photo  by Wicker Paradise 
One of the most attractive conversation pieces that you can really have in your own home is an aquarium. Many satisfied aquarium owners have already discovered the almost magical drawing power that these displays can have on even the most cynical, "seen it all" people. It seems that no matter how world-weary, or tired or stressed out you are, the glorious sight of a tank full of vibrantly colored tropical fish is enough to instantly whisk you away into a mystical underwater world where the world's cares, no matter how urgent or pressing just don't seem to matter very much. Honestly now: who can normally resist the charms of several finned beauties traversing the gentle currents concerned only with their own slow and gentle progress? Even just a few minutes spent in front of an aquarium and your eyes glaze over leaving you far more serene and composed than you were before.

As awesome a sight as a home aquarium system is we are as human beings by nature a picky and hard to please a lot, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve upon things whether it be visually or in terms of functionality. It is wholly understandable therefore that even with an already magnificent display of aquatic creatures in our midst our mind is constantly searching for ways to enhance what is by most accounts already a great thing. It is not uncommon for many home aquarium owners to be deeply into another perhaps less glamorous but certainly no less rewarding hobby: perusing online and printed catalogs of aquarium decorations! I am just kidding of course, but given the passion, fervor and dare I say it, an obsession that some people approach this pursuit, it may as well be its own separate undertaking given the amount of time and money that they spend on it. All this is hopefully not wasted time however as at the end of the road, you can only end up with an aquarium display that is even more magnificent and awe-inspiring than you first planned it to be.

Even if you just take a cursory glance at a typical online aquarium supply website, you may well find yourself being slightly overwhelmed by the amount of aquarium decoration options that are available out in the market today. Many people who have been confronted by this staggering wealth of options will often take the easy way out and merely settle for the obligatory rectangular aquarium. That will do fine for an ordinary aquarium but you did have something more special in mind for you, right? If that is the case you may want to check out the Ocean Treasures Collection Ancient Egypt Aquarium. With a motif that is heavily inspired by early Egyptian civilization artifacts, this unique aquarium is truly a showstopper and just may garner more attention than the fish contained therein! The product's exclusive "dry tube technology" works to conceal all electrical cords and ensure that nothing distracts from the beauty of your water masterpiece.


Six Reasons Why You Should Never Neglect CHANGING WATER In Your Aquarium Tank

pH Control – pH stands for hydrogen potent. It is actually the concentration of hydrogen ions present in your aquarium tank, and as you know, hydrogen ion concentration refers to acidity of the water in the tank. As fishes live in the water, performing all their biological activities, the pH value is bound to change. The best way to ensure that the pH values remain conducive for the health of your fish is to change the water often.

Kh control – For the scientifically inclined people, Kh is the hydrolysis constant. Simply speaking, it is the ability of water to buffer, which means, maintain a particular optimum level of the acids and bases in it. Changes occur in the fish tank over time due to the inclusion of chemicals produced from biological activity. That is one reason why the water has to be periodically changed.

Controlling nitrate levels – Ideally speaking, a saltwater aquarium must have a nitrate concentration of at the most 20 parts per million and a freshwater aquarium must have at the most 50 parts per million. Fish excretion is in the form of ammonia, which increases the nitrate level of the tank. There are protein skimmers available that can help to keep the nitrate levels to optimal levels within the tank. But these skimmers will not be able to remove the organic debris that collects in the tank from time to time. That is the reason why complete water changes become necessary. In fact, aquarium sellers do stress upon nitrate level maintenance as the most important reason for making periodical water changes. 

Detoxifying the aquariums – Dead aquatic organisms, byproducts of metabolic activities in the fish and other aquarium residents and the excretion products of your fish will definitely introduce some toxic products in your aquarium tank. Some toxic materials can also enter from the external environment, such as when things drop into your tank or when some microorganisms enter through the air. They could play havoc with the health of your delicate fish. You cannot effectively monitor such toxic intrusions. The best way is to change water.

Cleaning aquarium accessories – If you have live elements in your aquarium tank such as live sand, live rock, sponges, bio balls, etc. it is best to provide them with clean water of aquarium standard to filter out the wastes that they produce from time to time.

Controlling algal growthAlgae are microscopic plants that grow in all types of aquatic environment. They grow faster in aquariums because the water there is stagnant and favorable for their growth. However, algae can pollute the water in the closed environment to drastic levels, which could also mean health problems to your fish. Not only that, algae will compete with the fish with the resources available in your aquarium. If you change the water from your aquarium regularly, you are also removing the algae that have grown in them.

Hence, water changes in your aquarium are a very important aspect of aquarium cleaning. They ensure that your fish live longer and healthier in the home you provide them.


What The Fuss About FISH TANKS?

The most developed male

Fish tanks come in many shapes and sizes. It ranges from a small one-quart to a 55-gallon aquarium. The concept of fish tanks has changed over the years. It used to be viewed as a glass container for fishes, but now, a fish tank can also be viewed as an art or an aqua furniture. For some homes, fish tank has become a design piece of art that is placed in the living room. The focus is no longer the fish, a rather the fish tanks. These fish tanks can be designed to fit comfortably into a corner or all be recessed into a wall. Some fish tanks are built within the wall, framed by wood and appear to be a living painting.

And for some, the fish tanks are specially designed to feed into specific needs.
The materials used to build fish tanks have also changed over the years. The traditional material used to be glass. This is slowly replaced by moulded acrylic as the primary material. The advantage to using this as a primary material is that it reduces the breakage danger, and prolong years of enjoyment with your fish tank.

Fish tanks are not complete without its accessories. These accessories not only helps decorates fish tanks, but it also helps to keep the fish healthy and happy. You do not require a huge investment if you have only a few fishes in a bowl. However, if you plan to raise bigger and more fishes, then you certainly need more accessories for your fish tanks.

If your fish tanks hold 10 gallons or more of Water, then a water pump and filter will help to keep the water clean and moving. Otherwise, you would need to change the water frequently as they get it begins to get dirty easily. The water needs fresh air to be introduced constantly, otherwise, the fish will suffocate. This is where the air filter comes in. The air filter helps to keep the air floating through the water constantly.

A light fixture that attaches to the top of the fish tanks help provides light into the water; it helps to keep the fish from sleeping all the time. If you live in an area where temperate changes constantly, then you may want to consider installing the heater to keep the water at a constant temperate. This will help to ensure that your fish won't be cooked as the water gets too hot or, becomes lethargic if the water gets too cold. The fish tanks accessories are pretty standard. But if you have unusual fish tanks shapes, then you will certainly need a manufacturer to design and build the accessories.

Given all the accessories, these fishes still need proper care. How healthy and happy your fishes depend on the amount of time and effort you put into the care of the fishes and the fish tanks.


All about Care for an ACRYLIC AQUARIUM Kit

Fancy - Aquarium Bed by Acrylic Tank Manufacturers
Photo  by Wicker Paradise 
The practice of keeping aquariums came about in the late 1800's. They were fairly crude. Usually, these ancient aquariums only had one side that was made of glass, with the other three sides being made of metal or wood. Most aquariums consisted of fish that were native to the region of its owner simply because of availability. Also, most old-school fish tanks contained only freshwater fish. The reason is that salt water would corrode the metal frame that held the aquarium together. 

Aquariums drastically changed in the 1960's with the invention of silicone adhesive.  Metal frames became obsolete and more people started to keep saltwater fish and invertebrates. More recently glass tanks have become less frequently used due to the flexibility of acrylic. Literally flexibility! Acrylic aquariums are far more for forgiving than there glass counterparts. If a heavy object strikes a glass tank, it will almost certainly break. The flexibility of an acrylic tank will prevent this catastrophe from happening. In addition, acrylic offers more flexibility in design than glass. Acrylic aquariums have been made into everything from coffee tables to gumball machines.  

That being said, there is a short downfall to owning an acrylic aquarium. They do scratch more easily than glass. When cleaning your aquarium, be careful not to use paper towels, and harsh or abrasive chemicals, as they can scratch the acrylic surface of the aquarium.  Always use a cleaner specifically labeled safe for acrylic. Use plastic or rubber scrubbers, rather than metal to clean the sides of an acrylic tank. Be careful not to accidentally pick up a piece of substrate or gravel while cleaning the inside of the tank. However, if you do happen to scratch an acrylic aquarium, all is not lost. The tank can be repaired, unlike glass. There are acrylic repair kits available at specialty pet stores, your local hardware store and of course online.

When purchasing an acrylic aquarium kit, there will be many different options to choose from, at many different price points. Aquarium kits can be purchased at places such as specialty aquatic pet stores, from huge retail chains, or again online. A fish lover can choose from small cylinder shaped tanks that can double as a coffee table lamp to wall huge wall-sized aquariums. While, there are some basic things that will be included in most kits, such as, a filter, some substrate or coral and sometimes lighting, the kits themselves can vary greatly.  It really doesn't matter where you buy your starter kit, but keep in mind that it is extremely important to buy your fish from a reputable dealer. Don't buy fish that are hovering near the surface, or that are located in a tank with other dead fish. Fish diseases are extremely communicable. Be wary of a fish dealer that refuses to catch a specific fish out of the tank for you. After all, this is going to be your fish and you have a right to choose.


SUBSTRATE in your Fish tank

Gravel in a freshwater aquarium
Gravel in a freshwater aquarium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What the heck is "Substrate", you ask?  Well, basically your substrate is the material that you have on the bottom of your aquarium.  You can have sand, gravel, small stones, or almost anything really.  Half of the fun of owning fish is doing the interior decoration of your tank.  Let your imagination run wild, but make sure that you use materials that are safe for your fish.

The most common substrate is gravel.  You've seen those bags in your local pet store; they come in every color of the rainbow.  You can also go to any hardware store and buy natural gravel if you are going for a less artificial look.  Just make sure that you rinse whatever you use before you put it into your tank and remove any bits that are unusually sharp.

Gravel gives your tank a nice aesthetic appeal while also anchoring your plants and helping you develop the biological filter within your tank.  It's also the easiest substrate to clean when you are using your gravel vac during your water changes.  Gravel is heavy enough to resist being siphoned out of the tank but light enough to swirl around and release all waste that has become sediment.   It is also fairly cheap, especially if you purchased a large bag from the hardware store.

Many hobbyists, especially cichlid owners, prefer to use sand.  If you are keeping fish that sift sand looking for food, going with something finer than gravel is the ONLY way to go.  Like gravel, you can find it in many different colors, although it is harder to find than gravel; most pet stores carry only white and black, and the black is quite expensive. Here too, you can find a cheaper alternative down at your local hardware store.

Most stores carry bags of sand marketed as "play-sand".  These sands are generally used to fill children's sandboxes and as such, are safe and ready to go.  They'll require a great deal of pre-washing before you put them into your tank though, because of the dust that they contain, but they are attractive to use and quite cheap. Some larger stores may actually carry some colored sands, but they are harder to find and will probably require a special order.  Avoid "silica" sands as they have sharp edges that can cut your fish.

Sand is more difficult to clean, however, because of its lightweight.  You can't plunge your gravel vac into the sand without sucking it up with your wastewater.  You have to be a lot more careful while siphoning, and periodically make time to stir the sand by hand to release trapped pockets of waste and biological matter.  If you want easy to maintain, sand is not for you.

You can also buy bags of crushed shell or limestone.  These are useful if you are putting together a marine tank or an African cichlid tank as they are made up of calcium carbonate and this tends to raise the water hardness and pH, which both of these types of fish will enjoy.  This is obviously a poor choice for fish from the soft water, low pH environments like many river fish from South and Central America.

Whatever substrate you chose, it will require occasional maintenance.  Generally not much more than doing a quick stir and a little redecorating when your fish move it around, but your substrate will last just about forever, so pick one that you can live with.


A Practical Guide to PROTEIN SKIMMERS

English: Protein Skimmer, used to help maintai...
Protein Skimmer used to help maintain a healthy tank environment for fish and coral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Protein skimmers are arguably the most useful component of the modern saltwater aquarium. Oxygenating water, removing dissolved organics, and clarifying water all help our
closed systems imitate the pristine waters of the reef. Most protein skimmers are improperly tuned and only provide a fraction of the benefits. So if you are looking to buy a skimmer, or judge if yours is working right, here is a summary.

The basic idea behind a protein skimmer is to have the finest bubbles possible suspended in the water the longest time. This allows time for the dissolved waste to coat the bubble, rise to the top, and be removed. I will use the old counter current air-driven models as an example. At the bottom of the skimmer, an airstone creates a current upwards. Near the top of the skimmer is an inlet for tank water, with the water exit at the bottom. The trick is to get the bubbles to remain suspended, but not be pushed out the bottom, by adjusting the amount of water flowing downwards. This allowed for the maximum coating of the bubbles, and maximum density of bubbles in the skimmer.

Venturi skimmers are a way of injecting air into water. The idea is like that old straw trick we annoyed our parents with. Blow across a straw that is in a cup of water, and presto, you have a projectile spray and a waiter cleaning up a mess. Venturi inlets just reverse this and use a stream of water to draw air in. These are very effective, although you need to see that the design allows for the air/water mixture to remaining in the skimmer tube until saturated. This includes swirling the mixture to maximize tube length, sending it through a byzantine maze to maximize space, or utilizing the countercurrent design mentioned above.

Venturi designs have improved by reducing the size of the bubbles injected, as in the needle wheel and downdraft technology. Needle wheel skimmers have air injected before the pump where the bubbles are chopped finely by the custom impeller. These are very effective and produce a very dry foam. Downdraft skimmers send the air/water mixture through a tube of bio-balls to break apart the bubbles and maximize contact time.

When you have your skimmer set up, you will want to adjust it for your tank. Overall, an adjustment will probably be a matter of raising or lowering the air/water mixture level in the skimmer. If you run your skimmer and you are getting a brown residue in the tube but not in the cup, you need to raise the level of the air/water. This is done by either opening the valve to let more water come in from the pump, or if your pump is maxed out then you need to restrict the amount of water coming out of the skimmer. If you are getting a lot of clearish, watery looking foam in the cup, then you can lower the level of the water/air mixture so that the foam takes longer to build up then overflow.

Please make small adjustments at a time, and let your skimmer run for a few hours before adjusting more. This is important because you skimmer will skim differently depending on the surface tension of the water. Depending on your feeding schedule or the time of day you skimmer may be making larger bubbles one minute then foaming over the next. Even the oils on your hand can make the water tension fall and the skimmer will not skim for a few minutes or hours.

Good luck and enjoy your tank,
Intrinsic Reef Design



Firthfield Pet Store, Northwich
Firthfield Pet Store, Northwich - Wikipedia
If you are considering buying an aquarium full of fish or if you already own one, then you cannot afford to stop there. Just like any other pets, fish in aquariums require a lot of care and attention. You cannot just throw fish into an aquarium and expect them to survive and thrive. You must purchase the proper aquarium supplies for your fish.

I'm pretty passionate about this subject because owning a pet supplies store I have seen far too many people choose to own fish because "they are easier and require less than other pets." While this is true on many levels, it is no excuse for people to not buy the proper kinds of aquarium supplies for their pets.

If you are unsure of what kinds of aquarium supplies you might need for the fish you have purchased or are hoping to purchase, then look no further than to a pet supply store for help. Go to a store near you and talk to someone that is knowledgeable about aquarium supplies. Ask all of your questions and allow them to lead to aquarium supplies that are reasonable and necessary for the livelihood of your fish. Make sure that you have a full understanding of the needs of your fish before you purchase them. You need to realize that fish take work just like any other pet and that something will be required of you in taking care of them.

If you aren't quite ready to visit a pet supply store, then go to your local library and find some resources for starting an aquarium and filling it with the right aquarium supplies. There are many great resources out there, you just need to find them and learn what you can. You can also benefit greatly from learning about the proper aquarium supplies by doing an internet search based on the kinds of fish you have or are thinking of purchasing.

When it comes time to actually purchase aquarium supplies, you'll want to make your way back to the pet supplies store. Nowhere else will you find as great of help from people who really know what they are talking about. So get to your local pet shop and find all the aquarium supplies you need. And don't worry, most aquarium supplies come in a wide variety of price ranges, so don't feel obligated to run off and buy the most expensive ones. Instead, go for what fits your budget.

Having fish can be a great and fun thing. Just be sure to fill your aquarium with the right supplies and your fish will live long and stay happy.


DIY DRIFTWOOD for your Aquarium

A beach covered with driftwood near Porirua, N...
A beach covered with driftwood near Porirua, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DIY driftwood takes time, but it will save you tons of money. Some small pieces cost well over $20. Also, the soak method (minus the salt) will work for store-bought driftwood. Store bought driftwood is cleaned and has not been soaked. This may lead to tannin’s being leaked into your tank

What you’ll need:

  • Driftwood, which can be found anywhere. It doesn't necessarily have to come from the water. You could find it in the woods, as long as it is weathered down and looks unique. Also, make sure the wood is not rotting.
  • BIG soaking container, I use a 15 gal rubber maid container.
  • Aquarium Salt, I use Doc Wellfish brand. This is used as a natural way of killing bacteria and parasites.

The first step, clean off your wood! Make sure all debris and bark are removed from the wood (or it’ll fall off in your tank!). Once complete, boil the water in the BIG pot and add aquarium salt. I use about a tablespoon per gallon. Boil the entire piece for about 2-4 hours depending on your size. If you can only fit half the wood in the pot then you will need to boil the other half.

Once the boil is complete you can transfer your wood into the rubber maid container. Add water until the whole piece of wood is underwater (you can also add salt if you want). If the wood does not sink place something on top of it until it does. It’ll sink after a week or two. You’ll notice the water turn into tea-ish color. It is the result of the tannins that are released into the water. If you didn’t soak the wood, the water in your tank would be this color. Tannins are natural and some fishes actually like it because it’ll make them feel more at home. It’ll also affect your PH, I’m not sure about GH or KH. You’ll need to do water changes every other day to clean the water. This may take weeks or months.

When the color of the soak water suffices, you will need to soak your wood for another week without any salt. This will make sure that the wood does not hold any salt that may leak into your tank.

Once soaking is complete wash the wood well and transfers the wood into your tank. Do not keep the wood out of water for a long time or it will float.

    For more information and pictures about this project, please visit and check the DIY section.

    The article was written by, member of CFT Community - Proofread by Brandan Njagu


Different Types of FILTERS

A commercially available canister filter
A commercially available canister filter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aquarium filters are an absolute must in keeping a proper fish tank setup.  No one has operated an effective aquarium system without properly functioning fish tank filters or aquarium filters.  The importance of aquarium filters is not subject to debate; they are an essential part of any aquarium system.  You do not need to be intimated by this because as essential as it is, fish tank filters do not require too much effort and money from aquarium owners.

Whether you are a hobbyist or a serious aquarist, your main goal is to provide the best possible environment for your fish to not just live, but thrive in.  Thus, you must give a lot of thought to which fish tank filters and filter media should be used to produce the most excellent results within your budget.  You will be glad to find that there are a lot of options available to meet your demands, needs, and restrictions.

The importance of aquarium and fish tank filters
Aquarium filters are essential because they rid your aquarium of chemical waste products, both soluble and physical.  Fish tank filters simplify the maintenance of your aquarium or fish tank setup.  You should remember that fish tanks are definitely smaller counterparts of the natural habitat that your fish are used to.  Thus, aquarium filters are essential in supporting the fish's existence.

As with all living organisms, fish and other possible animals that you can put in your aquarium produce waste materials through breathing and their excrement.  Aside from this, food or plants that are not consumed and other organisms that have died inside the fish tank can also add to the waste.   These waste products contaminate the water, making it dirty as they continue to collect.  As more waste products are collected, thereby contaminating the water, there's a higher health risk for organisms living inside the aquarium.  This is where filtration comes in.  Installing fish tank filters is a tried and tested method to make sure that the aquarium will continue to be a conducive environment for your fish and other aquatic pets.  Simply put, no one wants to live in a dirty house, not even fish.

What are filter media?
Filter media are the materials present in aquarium filters, where the water passes through.  Once the water passed through the filter media, the main cleaning or filtration action begins.  There are three kinds of filter media in aquarium filters: biological, mechanical, and chemical.

Mechanical filter media are composed of synthetic fibers.  These fibers vary in roughness and come in two forms: sponge and floss.  Mechanical media are the front liners in the cleaning process happening in fish tank filters because they are the first to absorb large debris and dirt that can cause damage to the more delicate chemical and biological media.  Mechanical filter media have to be cleaned on a regular basis, but this shouldn't be a problem since the debris can be easily rinsed away from the filter.

The main role of biological filter media is to remove toxins such as nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites that are present in organic wastes produced by the living organisms in the aquarium.  Biological filter media come in the form of bio-balls, rings, substrates, and gravel, which should be increased when you add more pets to your fish tank.

An internal aquarium filter driven by air disp...
An internal aquarium filter is driven by air displacement
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lastly, chemical filter media are responsible for removing other pollutants that the two other types cannot get rid of.  These pollutants range from air pollutants and organic compounds from biological processes to bi-products of fish medications.  Chemical filter media usually take care of unwanted odors or colors in your aquarium water.  Carbon and resin are the usual components of this type of filter media.

How do aquarium canister filters work?
Aquarium canister filters are currently becoming the most common type of aquarium filters.  Canister filters are situated below the tank, inside the stand of the fish tank.  They have cylinders that are closed, measuring around 15 inches in length, with locking lids that have two valves.  The intake valve draws water into the aquarium canister filters, where the water passes through the media.  The outtake valve spews out filtered water back into the tank.  Canister filters are easy to maintain unlike the more popular HOB or hang on back filters.  Usually, aquarium canister filters can still be effective even if only undergoing maintenance once or twice a year.

What is a wet/dry filter?
Wet/dry filters used to be an extremely popular choice for biological filtration in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Advancements in filtration technology have made the wet/dry filter a less popular choice. In fact, some more hardcore hobbyists have labeled them as "nitrate factories."

Wet/dry filters are very good at breaking down ammonia into nitrate. They provide an aerobic environment for bacteria to break down waste so they do not deplete oxygen from your aquarium. Unfortunately, aquarium wet/dry filters [] are almost too efficient for a reef tank and may cause nitrate levels to build up too fast. That's why many hobbyists prefer using live rock in the reef aquarium environment as their primary biological filtration.


A Beginners Guide to a Clean and HEALTHY AQUARIUM

aquarium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A clean aquarium is the best habitat for all kinds of fish or other living organisms like crabs for example. A clean aquarium means your fish and plants will live for a long time saving you time and allowing you to enjoy watching them grow. The best way to keep an aquarium clean is to have all the proper equipment and use it often to clean with. It is also a matter of know how. There are a few things that every aquarium owner must know to clean an aquarium and maintain it in the best possible way. 

People who don’t know much about aquariums might use harsh household cleaners to clean their aquariums. This would have detrimental to the small ecosystem you ought to be striving to create. Good tips for keeping your aquarium clean is to keep the water supply clean by cleaning the water pump. To do so one should always keep the filtration system in mind. A good clean filter is what the life of your aquariums ecosystem depends on. Cleaning the filter too often might also have a negative impact on your aquariums life. 

It is therefore important to maintain a balance and to clean your aquarium's filter only when needed or specified by the manufacturer of the filter. Many aquariums experts recommend that the ornaments as well as the glass ought to be cleaned at least once every two weeks. Cleaning the aquarium ornaments and glass prevents algae from building up inside. If the aquarium is made from plastic materials then cleaning should be performed at smaller time intervals, perhaps once a week. When performing maintenance operations to your aquarium, you should always keep in mind a few things to ensure that things are going smoothly inside your aquarium. Check the air pump and see if it is running ok. It is imperative that there is enough oxygen for the fish but also to allow for proper flow of the water. 

Another thing that will ensure a longer life for your aquarium is ensuring that the water is changed often. This way your fish and plants will live longer and your aquarium will definitely look better. One more thing that you should do to maintain a clean aquarium is to clean, or at least rinse the gravel that sits on the bottom of your aquarium. This process entails that you remove all contents of the aquarium including the fish. Therefore, its viability depends highly on how many as well as what kind of fish you have. 

Keeping a clean aquarium does not only entail cleaning it every week or two weeks. You should also consider acquiring a water purifier. There are many kinds of purifiers out there for different types of aquariums as well as sizes. When you use a water purifier to clean the water contents of your fish tank you should always let it sit and mix with the water to allow it to dissolve. If you are new to aquariums, always remember to read the instructions on every product used. Be careful; keep a schedule for maintenance operations and treat your aquarium with love and it will eventually flourish.



Elite 799 pump
Photo: Windell Oskay - Flickr
As we all know rivers and lakes are the natural habits of fish and other marine life. Rivers and lakes have a large surface area which makes maximum provision of oxygen for fish survival possible. On the other hand, an aquarium is not like river or lake, it has a smaller surface area and there is a limited movement of habitats.

This makes the provision of alternative means of oxygen for fish to breathe importantly. This artificial process of providing oxygen is called aeration. It's a simple process of re-oxygenating the water in an aquarium tank.

The Aquarium Aerating System: 

An aquarium aerating system made up of a series of materials that increases the supply of air (thereby increasing oxygen concentration) they are:

  • -the air pump
  • -t-pieces
  • -rubber tubing
  • -clamp or regulator
  • -diffusers or airstone 

Air pumps come in different shapes and sizes but the most popular ones are tecax air pump from Taiwan together with 'Dyna free, and the dragon' another popular one is super 555 from India though cheaper, but not as rugged. Occasionally available are the more expensive whisper and rens air pumps from Uk and rance respectively. Always place air pumps above the water level hooked to a non-vibrating material.

You can accomplish aeration in your aquarium tank by using the above-listed aeration materials.

For small tanks, all you need is to attach a simple aquarium air pump to airstone by means of a rubber air tube. The system will be blowing air into the water which causes motion in the aquarium tank and thus provides the necessary oxygen your fish needs to breathe in the aquarium.

Sometimes people complain that the air pump is too loud. A trick to keep the air pump quiet is to insulate its vibrations by placing the air pump on a large sponge.

I have even heard of some people who have buried the pump in cat litter with an air tube running to the surface from the air inlet... but you don't have to go to that extent. A large sponge should do the trick.


Accessories Needed to Enrich Your AQUARIUM, Filters, and ANGELFISH

Sponges, plastic balls, ceramic tubes and grav...
Sponges, plastic balls, ceramic tubes and gravel
are all suitable for aquarium filtration
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Accessories Needed to Enrich Your Aquarium.  There are many items on the market to make the maintenance of your aquarium easier!  Some of these include:

* Timers:  Timers aid you in supplying a consistent amount of daily light to your aquarium that is not possible when using a manual system of turning your lights on and off.

* Automatic Feeders:  These are great if you travel; however, they should not be used for daily feeding as you need to spend a little time each day to check on the fish and make sure the aquarium is set up and running properly.

*Ozone Treatments:  Ozone kills bacteria and speeds the breakdown of nitrates and it is a priceless aid for fish breeding. In soft water, the pH can be affected to the point that it can endanger the fish.

*Ultraviolet Radiators or Sterilizers:  These are also reliable in killing bacteria and other water germs without reaching the established bottom bacteria that is necessary for a biological filter system. If your fish suddenly begin shooting and reeling through the water, they may be suffering from nitrite poisoning, a very bad side effect of UV radiators.  If this occurs, the fish must immediately be placed in non-toxic aged aquarium water!

*Carbon Dioxide:   Essential to plant growth in aquariums.  It can be dissolved in the water by carbonation and plants will stagnate without carbon dioxide. Pouring carbonated water into your aquarium is one of the simplest ways of providing carbon dioxide to your plants. However, carbonated water contains salt, either added for flavor or it is naturally present. This is dangerous for your fish.

*Water Softeners:  These may be necessary for most of your decorative tropical fish come from mineral poor waters or soft waters. Most fish can easily survive in hard water, but if you want to breed or raise tropical fish, soft water is a necessity.

There are many other useful accessories for your aquarium from automatic water changes to adhesive films that show a plant design to magnets for cleaning the front glass.  Check with your pet store to see what is available in your area.

Aquarium Filters

Filters remove small particles and debris from the water.  While these small particles are not dangerous to the fish, they do hinder plant growth by filtering the light they need to grow.  In addition, they aid in gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) and prevent warm patches in the aquarium by circulating the water.

One type of filter for aquariums is a biological filter which includes material such as coarse gravel, basalt splinter, ceramic tubes, and lavalit.  After a few weeks, the materials become covered with bacteria.  However, the bacteria perform an important job in an aquarium in that it decomposes any deposited organic substances (from old fish food, and fish excrement).

What is being described here is bio-mineralization.  The tank byproducts are oxygen, nitrates, sulfates, and phosphates which are absorbed by the plants as nutrients.

Certain things must be taken into consideration before selecting a biological filter:

* The ratio of plants to fish to bacteria will never be balanced.

* The best filter can't replace the need for an occasional partial water change.

* The bacteria need oxygen and this is usually acquired by the water that is pouring through the filter. If the filter is turned off for several hours the bacteria will suffocate and die.

* A biological filter should never be turned off for more than 1-2 hours at most.

* In the beginning, you must be careful of the number of fish you stock and the amount of food that is given at feeding time as bacteria are too few to be able to effectively convert the organic waste.

Even with a bacteriological filter, the filter mass needs to be cleaned occasionally. During this cleaning, only the debris is removed by rinsing with cool-to-lukewarm water.  Excessive cleaning will destroy the valuable bacteria, leaving a small amount of the strata uncleaned in the filter will assure that the bacterial cultures will regenerate themselves.


Freshwater angelfish
Freshwater angelfish - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Angelfish are large and very decorative cichlids which are found in the majority of community aquariums.  The wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes make them a beautiful and entertaining addition to our aquariums. The Angelfish is a very undemanding decorative fish that are majestically calm and long-finned.

Angelfish do not eat plants and are available in several varieties:

* Veil fins

* Albino

* Marbles

* Silver

A few rules must be observed when introducing Angelfish to your tank.  Angelfish need well-planted tanks at least 1-meter side length but have no other special needs other than an occasional feeding of live food.   However, if they are combined with smaller fish when they are fully grown they may eat their smaller companion fish.

Angelfish immensely enjoy chasing small Neon's.  The danger is always present and recognizable until the angelfish becomes fully grown and decides his liking for neon food!  Another equally deadly combination with Angelfish is Headstanders.  At some point, Headstanders realize that the skin mucus of the angelfish is very tasty, and they begin to use the angelfish as take-out food! The Headstanders can damage the skin of the angelfish to the point that the angelfish can and will die.

Other than these two species, Angelfish can be easily mixed with other livebearers with an excellent outcome.  A pair of angels that are ready to spawn need their water to be very soft and slightly acidic. It is usually best to keep them in a tank that is highly planted with no companion fish.  Their eggs are laid on a large leaf, root, or a rock, and should be transferred to a different tank to hatch away from their parents because Angelfish are notoriously bad parents and do not properly care for their brood.

Many breeding books give detailed instructions on breeding angelfish and hundreds of other types of fish.


Why Is SAND Such An Important Part Of Your Aquarium?

English: Coral sand from a beach in Aruba.
Coral sand from a beach in Aruba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But the truth of the matter is that a sand bed in an aquarium can be very beneficial. First and foremost, sand provides fish with a more natural habitat, since that is what is actually present in the beds of their seas and oceans. You will find your fish happier in the sand and even spawning in them, which could be a delight to watch. Sand is not very difficult to clean too if one does it in the right way. In fact, using sand in an aquarium makes it look more real and the fish enjoy is more than a gravel bed.

Live sand is especially beneficial to the organisms in your tank. Live sand is biological sand. It is pre-seeded with certain microscopic organisms such as bacteria and algae. These organisms help to clean the water in the tank and also produce the chemicals that are present in the natural habitat. Live sand can be very expensive, such as live aragonite sand, but it is a very good option to have at the bottom of your tank since it will not require maintenance. Not only does live sand clean itself due to the organisms present in it, but it will also contribute a major share in the internal cleaning of your tank.

There are many different types of sands available that can make good choices to your aquarium. The following is a list of some of the sand types that are used:-

Aragonite sand – Aragonite sand is the most expensive variety of sand available, and so it will not be a good choice for larger aquariums. However, it helps in the buffering of the water and is fantastic for keeping the tank at an optimal chemical condition.

Silica sand – Silica sand is common beach sand, and it is very cheaply available. It is mainly composed of silicon dioxide, SiO­­2, which is a natural ingredient in sand. The plus points of this sand are that it is smooth and sifts easily. It is very easy to clean during setup and maintenance, and it is available very cheaply.

Coral sand – As the name suggests, coral sand is suitable for tanks that have corals as their inhabitants. Since corals can change internal levels of the tank, such as the nitrate levels and the pH values, drastically, it is wise to use this sand. Coral sand has a natural buffering action that can maintain the chemical composition of tank water at optimal values.

Black beauty – Though this is not actually sand, it is sold as such. Black beauty is actually solidified and powdered iron slag. It adds a contrast to the tank and is good for aesthetic reasons. But the sand particles are sharp, so do not use this sand if you have fish that sift too much on the bed.

Cleaning of sand is a very important process and must be done in the right way. These are the steps you must follow while cleaning sand:-
  • Take about two gallons of the sand in a capacious bucket. 
  • With the help of a pipe, run water on the sand till half the bucket is full.
  • Then drain out the supernatant water. This will contain many floating dust particles.
  • Put water again, and this time, sift through the sand.
  • Again pour out the water. 
  • Continue this process till the water you pour out is quite clear.
  • Thus, it is very easy to clean the sand in the tank, and that should not be a problem in deciding to use it as a bed product for your aquarium. Sand does add quite a bit of grace and naturalness to the tank, and fishes find it closer to their own natural surroundings.