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

2018-07-17

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 www.CarolinaFishTalk.com and check the DIY section.

    The article was written by krayzievanh@yahoo.com, member of CFT Community - Proofread by Brandan Njagu  b.njagu@gmail.com


2018-06-21

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 [http://www.marinedepot.com/wet_dry_filters__index-ap.html] 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.



2018-06-10

A Beginners Guide to a Clean and HEALTHY AQUARIUM

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.



2018-05-30

AQUARIUM AERATION Basics

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.




2018-05-10

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.

Angelfish

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.



2018-04-27

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.


2018-04-11

Lighting your CORAL

English: An open brain coral under actinic lig...
An open brain coral under actinic lighting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are some species of coral that can survive with the normal amount of lighting, so for the beginner, you may want to stick to these species. Specifically, Mushroom Coral and Coral Polyps can survive with normal lighting techniques.

Conversely, species such as SPS (Small Polyp Stony Coral) that include Acropora, Montipora, Porites, Brain Coral, Bubble Coral, Elegance Coral, Cup Coral, Torch Coral, and Trumpet Coral require far greater intensity with lighting, making them a substantially greater challenge for the aquarium hobbyist, especially considering more light usually means more harmful algae will grow in the tank.

The best lighting technique to keep your coral safe is the light emitting diode (LED) technology, which has begun to make the former standards: gas and filament based lighting systems obsolete.  Though initially more expensive than gas and filament systems, over time they save money because they use less power and have a longer lifespan, meaning fewer replacement costs and hassle. 

It is important to note that the zooxanthellae’s photosynthesis process requires light of two different colors: red and blue, which is why aquarium lights often will exude a purple hue, as most of them provide both colors as an industry standard. 

While it is essential to have the minimum amount of light in order to meet the zooxanthellae's minimum requires for photosynthesis to work, it is also important to note that it has an upper limit tolerance as well. Your lights must, therefore, be in the middle or bad things will happen to both the zooxanthellae, and as a byproduct, the coral. 

While not an exact science as for how much or how little light depends on how many zooxanthellae reside in the coral, and that can be anywhere from thousands to millions, but a good place to start would be to ensure that your intensity minimum is 3000-lux and that you don’t go above 120,000-lux. While this may seem to be a quite wide and open range, you will have to make determinations base on the behavior of your coral.



Good quality types of lamps to use would include fluorescent, and you should use six lamps, or if your aquarium is not wide enough for that, then it is recommended that you instead utilize high output lamps, which are more expensive, but necessary. You should replace these bulbs every six months. Power compact fluorescent lamps, which are U-shaped, are an even better option, and you will only need four. 

Coral is an excellent addition to any aquarium, and there is much fish that enjoy coral as a food source. Regardless if you have added coral to your aquarium to survive or as sustenance for your fish, you have to have the right lighting or it won’t survive.



2018-04-03

Useful Tips for Cleaning an ACRYLIC AQUARIUM



English: Photo by Angela Grider. A diver clean...
A diver cleaning acrylic at the Georgia Aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cleaning your acrylic aquarium can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, the job can be safe for the tank and easy on you. Scratches can be avoided with the help of these useful tips to guide you through the process.

* For cleaning the outside of your acrylic tank DO NOT use products that contain ammonia, alcohol, or abrasives such as Windex and other commercial cleaners. DO NOT use coarse sponges or pads. The best thing to use is a soft cotton cloth with water or polish dedicated especially to acrylic.

* Mag-floats or a soft cotton cloth should be used on the inside of an acrylic tank to remove algae. Be extremely careful as to not allow sand and gravel to come between the mag-float/cloth and acrylic while cleaning, it will more than likely leave scratches. There are also sponges/pads made for cleaning aquariums that are compatible with acrylic as well, but be sure to read the labels and directions carefully.

*When there are algae close to the bottom of the tank, gently move aside any sand or gravel close to the edge of the acrylic. Use a plastic card (something like a credit card) to gently scrape off the algae from the acrylic sides. Soft plastic scrapers can also be purchased that are used for cleaning aquariums.

*Gravel or sand vacuums are great for cleaning the bottom of any fish tank. Be careful when using not to bump the sides of the acrylic tank.

*If algae become a big problem, you can empty the entire fish tank and soak with bleach water (use 1 part bleach to 20 parts water) for 24-48 hours. The algae will wipe off clean with a soft cotton cloth. Remember when refilling the acrylic aquarium to use double the amount of water conditioner (start right) to accommodate for the bleach.

* If scratches do occur in your acrylic tank, purchase an acrylic scratch removal kit. These will allow you to buff the scratches right out. There are even some kits that can be safely used underwater without having to remove any life from the aquarium.



Acrylic fish tanks have multiple advantages that come with them, but one common concern about them is their ability to scratch easily. Acrylic tanks can scratch, but the great thing about acrylic is that those scratches can be removed. Glass can also scratch, but there is no removing those scars on glass tanks. With the right equipment and knowledge, cleaning your acrylic fish tank is simple and scratches can be avoided.



2018-03-21

ACRYLIC AQUARIUMS Offer Big Advantages for Fish Lovers and Beautiful Home Decor

Fish lovers and anyone wanting the beauty of aquariums to add to their home decor needs to take a close look at acrylic aquariums. These beauties of high-tech pet supplies offer at least three distinct advantages for aquarium owners:

Polished front pane
Photo  by Moto@Club4AG 
1. Acrylic aquariums are much lighter weight than traditional glass aquariums. If you consider a 20-gallon aquarium as an example, the typical glass aquarium weights about 35 pounds. An acrylic aquarium the same size weighs about 17 pounds. When you add the weight of the water, the 20-gallon glass aquarium comes in around 225 pounds. The acrylic aquarium, then, would save several pounds in total weight, which would is significant for handling and set it up, as well as on those occasions when you need to move it. In addition, if you're buying your aquarium via the Internet or through a catalog, you'll find shipping costs are reduced significantly. Not only is the aquarium lighter to ship, it requires less packing and extra shipping charges which most supplies add to ensure the more breakable glass.
2. Acrylic aquariums are virtually unbreakable and leak-proof. Without getting into the technology of it all, a quality acrylic aquarium is fused together by heat and molecular bonding making it virtually leak-proof, with no degradable joints or seams. Most glass aquariums are warranted against leakage and breakage for 1 to 6 years at most. Acrylic aquariums generally carry lifetime warranties. In addition, the acrylics have improved in recent years so that they maintain their clarity and are unlikely to "yellow" or become less clear with age. Although acrylic scratches more easily than glass, aquarium manufacturers sell cheap (about $10) scratch removal kits. Careful cleaning with soft cloths eliminate the scratching problem from the start.
3. These aquariums offer aesthetic benefits for fish lovers and home decor. They come with safe, rounded corners and no sharp edges. They come in a full range of sizes to fit your current aquarium stand or allow you to customize your home decor by purchasing the combination of aquarium shape, size, and stand you want. Acrylics are also more flexible than glass, giving them a distinct "bend and not break" advantage around children, non-fish pets, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes! They also are generally better insulated than glass aquariums, making them require less energy to maintain necessary water temperatures for the health and well-being of your fish.

Whether you already have an aquarium, or you're just getting started, acrylic aquariums offer important advantages over others. For beautifying your home or just showing off your fish, you should buy an acrylic aquarium when you make your next aquarium purchase.




2018-02-16

CALCIUM REACTORS - Do I Really Need One?

IMG_2111
Photo  by ctenophore 
Lots of people would like to own an aquarium in their home and are attracted by the thought of owning some of the more exotic species of fish. What puts most people off, however, is the possible cost of all the equipment needed. What might seem to be a relatively inexpensive pet, needing only a tank, a filter, a light, and some fish, can begin to seem more pricey when taking into consideration water treatments and tests, protein skimmers, and CALCIUM REACTORS

But do you actually require a calcium reactor? Just what is a calcium reactor anyway? Is it really so important? The first piece of advice I should offer is to not be scared by the various aquarium supplies available. A large amount of technology being sold might seem huge at first but remember that you don't really need all of this additional equipment. Be sensible, do some research on each item and determine whether you do need their help to keep the environment in your aquarium clean. Secondly - calcium reactors. So just what is a calcium reactor?

A calcium reactor is a piece of aquarium equipment designed to keep the level of calcium in your water high. This is especially useful if there is a particular drain on calcium levels in the aquarium. A lack of calcium can occur when there are several saltwater fish in a tank but is more often caused by placing a reef in the tank with them. For those with reef tanks, it is crucial to have a calcium reactor. Most species of fish are vulnerable to fluctuating calcium levels and will be badly affected if the calcium content reaches a certain level.

Additional costs such as calcium reactors will certainly increase the overall cost of an aquarium. However, it is important to see that they can also provide you with the ability to keep more exotic and diverse tanks. Anyone can create a basic freshwater aquarium, but a diverse marine tank including coral life is far more complex and impressive, and also a challenge to maintain correctly.

So rather than focusing on the costs of such a challenge think of what an opportunity you will be giving yourself. But don't stress; you shouldn't need to buy a calcium reactor immediately. In fact, it should be several weeks before the calcium in the tank will need to be altered. Only when you've populated your tank fully will it become necessary.




2018-01-27

Automatic FISH FEEDERS - An Introduction

Today, people are more eager to keep at least one fish in their homes. Fish keeping has become one of the favorite hobbies of people. But most of them often face problems when it comes to feeding their fish. The people find it hard to feed right amount of food or feed on time, or to make proper feeding arrangements when they have to be away from their homes for days. But the invention of automatic fish feeder has solved these problems.

The automatic fish feeder is designed to feed the fish automatically by releasing the right amount of food at particular time intervals. This device can be fixed to the aquarium, mostly on the top position. This device either run on battery power or electrical power. Some can use both these power sources.

Normally, this has a container which is divided into numbers of small cells. The number of cells may vary from 8 - 28. In these cells, you fill fish food. Some devices provide an option to fill the container with different varieties of food at a time. You can even provide medications to the fish using this device.

The next feature is the timer through which you can set a particular time to release the fish food. There is an LCD screen which helps you to set the feeding time, a number of feedings in a day and in some devices, it displays the amount of fish food left in the container.

An automatic fish feeder can usually feed up to four times per day. Some of them can feed up to eight times per day. There are few which can even feed up to one month.

Some automatic fish feeders face food clumping problems. Clumping happens when cool air enters the cells and damps the food. As a result, the food gets clumped and it will stick to the cells instead of falling into the tank when released. To counter this problem, many automatic fish feeders have a stir bar which prevents clumping.

    By Allen Richards
    This is what an automatic fish feeder is and this is how it works. Nowadays, these devices are in great demand and it is not an unusual thing since they offer many benefits to fish keepers. Now, the manufacturers are working hard on to improve the product. You can have a look at automatic fish feeders of different brand names if you visit the author's website automatic fish feeders.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-01-15

Basic Tips On AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE

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Photo  by Atomic Mutant Flea Circus 
Well maintained aquariums reward their owners with majestic displays from the vibrant and healthy fish. The living creatures within the enclosure make aquarium maintenance a crucial part of ownership. The best way to execute this responsibility is to gain basic knowledge as well as engage a specialist. It takes regular attention and not money to keep the glass pond beautiful and healthy.

The health and beauty of all creatures largely depend o what they eat. As true as the old adage You Are What You Eat states, the health, beauty, and vibrancy of your fish will depend on what you feed them on. With numerous online platforms and books on fish feeding, it is not difficult to master this. Consulting a specialist in aquatic life in Cincinnati OH will guide you on the specific foods based on your type of fish.

Like all other living things, the temperature is crucial for the fish in ponds. Water bodies do not experience drastic changes in temperature. This means that the organisms inside are unlikely to be affected by external temperatures. However, for aquariums, the temperatures change drastically considering their size. The likelihood of boiling or freezing is therefore heightened. This means that you must pay constant attention to the temperature.

Temperature is so crucial for aquarium life because it determines the state of the ecosystem. Human beings and animals in the wild take cover when it gets hot or cold. Fish in an enclosed glass box have very few options and depend on your care. Just as you throw a coat over your shoulders when it gets cold or heads to the shade when the sun scorches, attention must be given to the animals in the enclosed glass environment.

PH is crucial for survival in any aquatic environment. Different environments have varying PH which is the case in fresh and salty waters. It is worth noting that some fish are meant for salty waters while others are for fresh lakes. Making a mistake on the PH will turn your aquarium into a death trap.

Water PH can be altered by several factors considering the small size of glass ponds. An innocent maintenance activity like changing the water or type of food is likely to significantly affect PH. Caution should be exercised whenever any material is introduced into the pond. Consider the alkaline or acidic demands of your fish and other creatures when setting up an aquarium.


Aquariums are owned and run by ordinary citizens and not Ph.D. holders in fish studies. It only requires basic knowledge to ensure healthy, beautiful and vibrant aquatic life. This knowledge helps you to identify signs of stress or sickness so that you can take appropriate action like informing an aquatic vet. The signs that are worth watching out for include white spots as well as erratic behavior.

As part of basic maintenance, scrubbing your pond is critical in maintaining good health. This is the trick to maintaining a healthy ecosystem that will make your lounge attractive. Water should be changed regularly and attention paid to any algae buildup. The above tips ensure that your fish live a long, healthy and happy life.

    About the Author: Lelia Hall



2017-12-24

Decorate Your Aquarium With DRIFTWOOD

English: Driftwood
Driftwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 
Before you decorate your aquarium with driftwood, there are a couple of things you should know.

When purchasing driftwood, you have to make sure it is safe to use in an aquarium. They sell driftwood for reptiles that may look ideal for aquariums, but it may contain chemicals that can really hurt your fish.

If you happen to find a piece of wood or roots, do not be tempted to use it in your tank. If it has not been properly dried or cured, it can quickly rot.

There is some preparation required before you add driftwood to your aquarium. To make the best of it you need to give it some thought. Using driftwood and other natural objects makes your aquarium look incredible but you have to be careful, since you might cause some stress and might end up having to take the aquarium apart and starting all over if you don't do it right the first time. You can have a beautiful aquascaped fish tank with very little effort if you plan ahead.

To start, draw a rough sketch of the idea you have for your aquarium, think where you want to locate the driftwood, the plants, and any other structures you want to have. Imagine how your aquarium would look with the driftwood positioned vertically, or horizontally. Create many different designs of what your dream aquatic landscape would look like. Of course, if this is a new tank and you don't have any inhabitants yet, you can actually redecorate as much as you want in the dry tank until you are satisfied with the look.

Driftwood needs to be cleaned. Once you've decided where to place the driftwood, use a clean brush to thoroughly scrub the driftwood and remove any dirt or debris it might have. Don't use soap or any other chemicals. Use only water or you risk poisoning the tank. Once you have cleaned the driftwood, you need to cure it and saturate it.

Some driftwood will remain submerged underwater, but some will remain buoyant if it's not fully saturated and "waterlogged." The way to do this is soaking the driftwood in water as long as possible. Make sure you use a bucket large enough for the water to cover the piece completely. You are going to let the driftwood soak from one to two weeks. Be patient. It'll be worth it in the long run. Now, even when you soak your driftwood thoroughly, some large pieces can still retain buoyancy, so secure them to rocks with monofilament (fishing line) to anchor them.

Driftwood contains tannins that can darken and discolor the water, and soak it long enough will draw the excess out and you'll be able to keep your water cleaner. Although the tannins cause some discoloration, it will not harm your aquarium inhabitants, but it will lower the pH slightly over time. You might use this to your advantage if you have very hard water. You might want to know, however, that that stained water is great for many brightly colored Tetras like Neons, Cardinals and Bleeding Hearts. So if you decide to keep this species, you only need to lightly soak and scrub the piece or pieces of driftwood before adding them to your aquarium.

If you want clear water, then keep soaking your driftwood, and when the water starts darkening, empty the water and gently rinse the driftwood. Fill the bucket with clean dechlorinated water and continue soaking the driftwood.

Every time you change the water, you'll notice the water is less and less dark. When there's no more significant discoloration for three or four days in a row, you can finally place your driftwood in the tank. Keep in mind that even after curing and soaking the driftwood, it may still release tannins and discolor the water, but filtering your water with activated carbon will clear it right up.

You can also boil the driftwood. Use a large enough stock pot, and the tannins will leach out faster, and the curing process will be shorter. Moreover, boiling sterilizes the driftwood. It kills any algal or fungal spores that could take hold once you introduce the piece into the aquarium. Boil the driftwood for 1-2 hours to sterilize it.



With your driftwood properly prepared, you can now start the decorating process. If you are redecorating an inhabited tank, the best time to do it is during a water change. You only need to place the driftwood into your aquarium and refill it.

There are plants such as Java Moss or Java Fern that can be attached to driftwood to create an aged look. You can secure the plants with monofilament, which can be removed when the plants have naturally attached and grown into the driftwood.

So, patience and some planning are crucial in your new set up, and this is particularly true if you are going to use driftwood as decoration.




2017-12-15

PHOTOGRAPHING FISH: 5 Tips For Frustrated Beginners

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Photo  by CĂ©line Martinet 
Photographing pets can often be a difficult proposition. Add water, glass reflections and the low lighting of an aquarium environment, and you've got the recipe for one extremely difficult photo shoot.

But it doesn't have to be that hard. Armed with the following tips, you can get great photos of your fish in just about any situation.

1: Get a tripod.

Tripods are usually used for non-moving subjects. But they can be immensely helpful when photographing fish, even ones that are constantly moving. Low light levels lead to slow shutter speeds. So anything you can do to stabilize the camera will be of tremendous help. The best way to photograph moving fish with your camera on a tripod is to loosen the levers on the tripod so you can move the camera freely left, right, up and down but the camera will remain in position if left alone.

2: Get your fish acquainted with the camera.

Now that you have a tripod (since you faithfully followed the first tip), set it up in front of your aquarium with the camera mounted on the tripod. Now leave it. For as long as possible... several days would be ideal. The purpose of this exercise is to get the fish used to see the "thing" you're constantly moving around, pointing it at them and making noises. When they're comfortable with the sight of the camera, they'll be more relaxed and less prone to dart around the tank or hide.

3: Use a digital camera.

Digital cameras allow us to "just take the picture" without worrying about whether we're wasting the film and processing money on a shot that won't be good. When you can focus on getting the best shot possible, no matter how many tries it takes, you're on the right track to get the shot you want.

4: Turn off the lights in the room.

Ambient light causes reflections on the tank glass that may ruin a perfectly good fish photograph. Eliminate all sources of ambient light that you can, and be very aware of any reflections as you shoot. If there are some reflections you can't get rid of, try putting your body between the light source and the glass to shield the tank from the light.

5: Clean the glass, cut the pumps.

Turning off the aquarium pumps before you shoot is an excellent way to clean up your shots of particles and bubbles in the water column. and if you happen to have a planted freshwater tank or reef aquarium, this will also prevent the plants or corals from swaying in your picture, turning into a blurry mess.


Cleaning the glass is probably the most overlooked step to aquarium photography, and quite possible is responsible for more ruined photos than any other issue. Remember, just because you don't see it now, doesn't mean you won't see it in the picture. Amazing how that happens. So clean the glass well, every time, before you pick up the camera.

6: A Bonus!

Have fun. Aquarium photography can become an interesting and challenging hobby all its own. Have fun with it, experiment freely, and be sure to share your pictures online!