Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guide to Set up a Freshwater Fish Aquarium - Keeping Fish as Pets

How to Set up a Freshwater Fish Aquarium - Keeping Fish as Pets:
This post gives you a basic guide to setting up a freshwater aquarium using a 54-gallon corner tank as an exam.
The tank itself is separate from the base and rests on top of the base. There is no need to physically attach it, as when the water is in the tank, it is heavy and will not slip off the base. When transporting your tank be careful not to break the seal. Carry it at the corners, where it is stronger.

Most tanks have a cabinet underneath to store your fish supplies.
Fish tanks need a gravel, stone or sand base. It is an important part of the tank’s ecosystem. There are lots of different gravels to choose from.
You will also need to choose a filter. A filter runs 24 hours a day cleaning the water.
Gravel should be three inches deep, covering the entire bottom of the tank. A rule of thumb is one pound of gravel per gallon of water.
For this particular aquarium, a variety of blues with a touch of yellow have been chosen.
Whether your gravel is new or used, it has to be washed with water before putting it into the tank. Soaps and other cleaners should be avoided. If you do not get all of the soap washed off, it can kill the fish and possibly prevent your natural bio-filter from developing.

The gravel is washed outside with the garden hose, rather than the inside sink, to avoid little pieces of the stone from going down the drain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let Good Algae Beat Out the Bad Algae - Cultivate the Right Kind of Algae

Cultivate the "Right" Kind of Algae:

Algae are photosynthetic life forms lacking specialized cells typical of true plants (i.e. vascular structures, leaves, and roots). Algae can multiply rapidly as long as their basic needs are met. They are highly adaptable and thrive almost anywhere with a light source and an abundant source of nutrients – both present in many marine aquariums. Due to their success, most algae grow to nuisance proportions rapidly, spreading stubbornly as you watch helplessly.

Macro Versus Micro:

Many hobbyists are now taking advantage of this characteristic and are purposely cultivating certain types of macroalgae to help improve saltwater quality as well as combat less desirable species of microalgae. Macroalgae are large beneficial algae that actively utilize harmful ammonia, host beneficial microbes that improve biological filtration, and serve as a food source for fish. Some macroalgae, because of their beauty, also make attractive décor.

Cultivating "Good" Algae:
Select species of macroalgae, such as Chaetomorpha sp.and Caulerpa sp., are grown in specialized areas of the sump or in refugiums. Refugiums are a great place to establish macroalgae since they are protected from hungry herbivores and are easier to manage. Macroalgae growth is contained in the refugium and excess growth can be easily clipped as necessary. The clippings can be fed to herbivorous fish. This process prevents macroalgae from aggressively spreading in your main display.

Since most sumps or refugiums converted for macroalgae growth are located underneath the main aquarium, it is important to provide a separate light source for the macroalgae. A fluorescent strip light on for 10-14 hours a day provides sufficient light without encouraging over-aggressive growth.
The use of a timer automates the light schedule to make it easier to regulate the proper photoperiod. If you have plants in your main aquarium, run the lights above the algae scrubber on a reverse schedule of the main aquarium lighting. The staggered lighting schedule provides the added benefit of stabilizing pH and maintaining a higher oxygen level at night.

The careful cultivation of macroalgae harnesses the power of nature to prevent the growth of more nuisance forms of algae as well as maintaining a healthy and stable aquarium.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fish Aquarium - A Best Remedial Measure for Vastu Defect

Fish aquarium is a best remedial measure for any Vastu defect. In a house, every object and direction has Vastu significance. Placing them or constructing them according to the vastu principles will make your life a serene one.
Vastu, the Vedic science is a practical and result oriented concept which is practised to have a prosperous and harmonious life. It is believed that the problems in an individual’s life are due to the lack of proper vastu. Various vastu defects can be resolved effectively with instant results. Seeking the help of a Vastu consultant will relieve you away from all the ailments ranging from health to financial and others.
As mentioned earlier, every object and space/direction in a house is associated with vastu and where there is a defective vastu there tend to be problems. In such cases vastu specialists have suggested a few fortuity signs for a defective vastu.
According to vastu specialists, having a fish aquarium in a dwelling is considered to be the best remedial measure for any vastu defect. Not just a home but also for an office, shop, school, factory and other residing places can have an aquarium to eliminate the defective Vastu problems.

Take Good Care of Your Fishes & Aqauriums - Fish & Aquarium Care

Fragile tropical fish, who were born to dwell in the majestic seas and forage among brilliantly colored coral reefs, suffer miserably when they are forced to spend their lives in glass tanks. The same is true of river fish. Robbed of their natural habitats and denied the ability to travel freely, they must swim around endlessly in the same few cubic inches of water.

Where Fish Really Come From:
The popularity of keeping tropical fish has created a virtually unregulated industry that catches and breeds as many fish as possible with little regard for the animals themselves. While many species of coral are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, most of the fish who end up in aquariums are not.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Five Tips for a Better Aquarium - Basic Pet Fish Care

Fish wish? Setting up an aquarium for the first time can be daunting for the novice fish friend. Or maybe you haven't had a fish tank in many years, and you long to return to the magic and mystery of having a small ocean or pond in a box in your home. These are basic tips and guidelines to help make your fish heather and promote a more enjoyable, fun experience with your aquarium - hopefully for many years to come.

Start out by treating your water. This is one of the most important elements of your tank. Don't take the water for granted. Use a tap water conditioner, which can be bought in most any pet supply store like PetSmart or PetCo. This will get rid of many of the unhealthy elements in the tap water. Don't ever change 100% of your aquarium water. The most you want to change is about twenty percent. Change the water about once a week.

Driftwood to Your Fish Aquarium - Fish Tank Care

Adding natural structures such as driftwood to your aquarium requires some preparation and thought to bring out their best aesthetic qualities. Driftwood and other natural structures make up a large portion of your aquarium. Any adjustments needed can cause significant stress and, in some cases, require taking apart the aquarium and starting all over. Do it right the first time. With a bit of planning, you can have a beautifully aquascaped aquarium with minimal effort and disturbance.

Before placing the driftwood in your aquarium, draw a rough sketch of your aquarium and where you want to locate the driftwood. Consider how your aquarium will look with the driftwood positioned vertically as opposed to the conventional horizontal position. Explore different designs on paper to create a unique aquatic landscape. Drawing a rough sketch allows you to experiment and visualize your aquascape without disturbing your aquarium inhabitants in the process.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Make a Shrimp Aquarium?

Keeping freshwater shrimp is popular among aquarists,especially those in the planted tank hobby. Freshwater shrimp are hardy,make excellent scavengers on the tank bottom, and they can live in small aquaria, making them ideal for desks,offices,or coffee tables. Read on to learn how to set up an aquarium for your shrimp.

1.Rinse the aquarium under hot tap water for at least 100 seconds.Don't even use soap to clean the aquarium as it's toxic to many animals(except for us humans.). When keeping shrimp in aquariums, allow 1 quart(1 liter)of water for 1 shrimp. So that means that a 3 gallon tank can safely hold 12 shrimp.
2.Add substrate. The substrate can be gravel,sand or even soil(for planted tanks). Rinse the substrate under boiling water before adding them to your tank. Substrate is optional,however.
3.Add plants. Many shrimp love climbing on plants so by giving plants, not only will the plants boost up oxygen levels and remove ammonia in the water, your shrimp will also get exercise and a 24/7 salad bar.
4.Add any other decor you have. Then fill the tank up with spring water.Be sure to add some AquaSafe into the water before putting it in the tank.
5.Wait at least a day before adding several drops of Stress Zyme into the water. Stress Zyme will cycle your water in the aquarium. Allow at least 1 week of cycling before adding any shrimp.
  • This setup can also be applied to small fish or snails.
  • Remember your plants need light to carry out photosynthesis but don't put the aquarium in direct sunlight, unless you want steamed shrimp on your plate.
  • You can also use marbles as a substrate for shrimp.

  • This setup can also be applied to small fish or snails.
  • Remember your plants need light to carry out photosynthesis but don't put the aquarium in direct sunlight, unless you want steamed shrimp on your plate.
  • You can also use marbles as a substrate for shrimp.
Things You Will Need:
  • Aquarium
  • Plants
  • Substrate
  • AquaSafe
  • Cover
  • Stress Zyme
  • Shrimp

How to Start a Jellyfish Tank?

Jellyfish are the latest fashion in ornamental fish tanks. Their mesmerizing forms and soothing movements make them a living work of art. With the right setup, you can have exotic jellyfish anywhere in your home, even on your desk! It does require a lot more thought, however, than just setting up a standard aquarium, since jellyfish are such delicate organisms. This article will walk you through the procedure of establishing a jellyfish tank.

1.Gather your supplies. Jellyfish have very specific requirements. You can use a kit such as the one demonstrated in these instructions or purchase the supplies individually. If you're doing the latter, consult the Things You'll Need list below as well as notes about supplies throughout this article.
  • If setting up your own tank, pay particular attention to the movement of water. Jellyfish can easily be sucked into a filter and liquefied. If you're not using a tank and filter setup that's specifically designed for jellyfish, you'll need to make several modifications as suggested in How to Design a Jellyfish Aquarium to ensure the survival of your jellyfish.
  • Jellyfish tanks must be plain. If you enjoy "aquascaping" then jellyfish are not for you. Decorations threaten the integrity of the jellyfish, literally.[1]
2.Place tank in a convenient location out of direct sunlight, away from heat sources and electrical equipment.
3.Install the filter. Follow the instructions that came with your filter. You can use any aquarium filter designed for a tank of at least 8 gallons. If using the kit filter, this is what you need to do:

  • Remove sponge filter from cellophane wrapping and rinse in fresh water.
  • Lock filter cartridge into bubble tube by inserting the bubble tube into the cartridge and rotating.
  • Lock the filter cartridge into the bottom of the tank by inserting it into the bottom of the tank and rotating. (This can be done before or after adding the gravel, as outlined in the next step.)
  • Plug the clear airline tube into the air pump.
4.Rinse the gravel in fresh water. Use aquarium gravel that has pores designed to keep helpful bacteria alive inside. Glass pebbles alone will not work because there is not enough surface area for bacteria. These bacteria consume waste created by the jellyfish. (Note: You only need about half the gravel that comes with the kit.)

5.Cover the bottom of the aquarium evenly in gravel.
6.Add a layer of glass marbles to completely cover the gravel. Make sure the marbles cover all the gravel and the entire filtration cartridge. The glass marbles protect the delicate jellyfish tissue from being torn on the gravel.
7.Add the heater. Set it to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and stick it to the inside of the tank so that it will be completely submerged. 77 degrees is the appropriate temperature for a tropical species, including the common Blue Jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus).
8.Fill the tank with salt water. In the kit tank, the water level needs to be 2 inches above the top of the bubble tube (for proper water circulation) but below the light bulb housing (so the water does not get over-heated by the light).
  • You can buy salt water from your local aquarium store, and you should if you know you have poor quality tap water.
  • Alternatively, you can make salt water yourself. Fill the tank with fresh water, add 1 teaspoon of dechlorinator (any brand) and 3.5 cups of aquarium salt (any brand). This is based on a dosage of 1 teaspoon of dechlorinator per 10 gallons of water and 1/2 cup of salt per gallon.
9.Power up. Plug the light, pump and heater into an electrical outlet.

10.Establish the bacterial colony.
  • If you have the kit, add all of the Stress Coat and Stress Zyme included in the tank package. These can also be purchased separately online. These contain helpful bacteria that will colonize your filter. The bacteria digest the waste from the jellyfish.
  • Give the bacteria food. You must do this before adding any live animals. Otherwise, the tank will accumulate jellyfish waste, which contains poisonous ammonia. Add the entire bottle of Cycle Starter included with the kit, or introduce a fish (that you will later have to provide a home for elsewhere). Cycle Starter contains the ammonia excreted by jellyfish as waste and digested by filtering bacteria as food. This can be purchased separate from the tank online. Or you can Do a Fishless Cycle, a method preferred by many aquarists.
  • Run the tank for 7 days. During this time, the bacteria colony will grow in your tank.
  • Test the ammonia level at the end of the week to make sure it is below 1ppm. That would indicate that the bacteria colony has grown big enough to digest all of the Cycle Starter. If the ammonia level is NOT below 1ppm, continue checking every day until it is. In rare cases, it may take up to 21 days for the ammonia level to drop below 1ppm.
  • Verify salinity with a hydrometer. You want the specific gravity of the water to be 1.024. If using the hydrometer that comes with the kit, this is within the green band. Add salt or tap water with dechlorinator to adjust salinity as needed.
  • Make sure the temperature is 77ºF. Adjust the heater as necessary to bring temperature within 2º of 77ºF.
12.Add jellyfish! You can purchase jellyfish online. Don't forget to order food with your jellyfish shipment. Make sure you are available the day after shipment to receive the package. The jellyfish must be acclimated to the tank the same day as delivery.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to Keep Fish in the Tank and Out Of the Stereo

First, decide where you want to put your fish tank. Water weights bout 8.3 pounds per gallon. A completely set-up 30 gallon aquarium, including gravel, decorations, and water, can weight up to 250 pounds. The larger the tank, the more weight you'll have to deal with
The weight factor makes it highly important that you give much thought to not only where you place the aquarium, but on what. Greco says most homes should be able to support the weight of aquariums up to 75 gallons without additional support. "In any event, it is always best to place a tank along a wall, where floor supports are usually greater, rather than in the middle of a room," he says. You also want to avoid putting the tank too close to a window or heat source. Placing a tank too close to a sunny window may encourage the growth of undesirable algae and throw off the temperature of the whole tank. The same goes for too-close heating systems. You don't want to put the tank too close to that old-fashioned radiator in your pre-war apartment, for example. "Placing your tank too close to a heat source may cause the tank temperature to fluctuate wildly or to overheat, with dire results to the inhabitants at worst," he says.
Filters heaters and lights all require electricity, which means your tank has to be near an outlet. "It is of the utmost importance that electrical service is located close enough to the tank so the extension cords are not used," Greco says. "If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is ground fault protected. It is also important to provide a drip loop so that on the outside chance of water dripping down a wire, it will fall to the floor rather than into the electrical outlet."
Once you've got a spot, start thinking about a tank stand. Greco suggests going for quality and durability when choosing this piece, which he calls "the workhorse of the aquarium hobby." Don't skimp on this important foundation, and stay away from particleboard and TV-type stands. "These types of stands expand and weaken when they get wet," Greco says, "and then the fish tank is in the stereo."

Water Conditions
"Don't go cheap on the filter," Greco advises. Out are the old "box type" filters; in are the new self-contained units. "The newest filters use cartridges that you can throw away when they get dirty, making them much easier to maintain." Some of the newest tanks, like the Eclipse line from Marine Land, have both the filter and the heater built right into the hood of the tank, making them especially well-suited for the junior hobbyist. Greco also advises staying away from 'under-gravel' filters, which he says require lots of maintenance and tend to mess up water quality in the tank.
Invest in a good, submersible well-sealed heater. "The old rule of thumb of 5 watts per gallon may hold in a room where the average temperature never falls below 70 degrees Fahrenheit," Greco says. "In an area where the ambient temperature may drop, seven watts per gallon or greater may be what is needed to maintain a steady temperature." Also, it's a good idea to put your tank's thermostat on the opposite side of where the heater is to make sure you're getting an accurate tank temperature reading.
The type of lighting you will need depends on whether or not you will be adding live plants to the tank. If you're sticking with plastic plants, a simple single bulb fluorescent strip light should do. Live plants require a double fluorescent fixture. For even better plant growth, Greco suggests "very high output" (VHO) or power compact fluorescent lighting.
Let There Be Life!
You've got the fundamentals in place. Now the real fun can begin!
Decorating a fish tank is like decorating your own world, but you have to see it from a fish-eye view. First, start with the gravel. Greco likes to stick with natural stone colors, but there are countless varieties out there. Glass and marble, however, are not the best gravel choices. "Bottom dwellers can get their whiskers torn up on glass gravel," Greco says, "and marbles can trap dirt and make the water quality go quickly downhill." Whatever gravel you choose, rinse it off well and pour it in dry to the bottom of a clean, dry tank until it fills up about 2-3 inches deep. Generally, you should use 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of gravel per five gallons of tank.
Once the gravel is in place, add any rocks, driftwood or other decorations. Try to place these materials so that they not only create a scene pleasing to the eye, but that also provides hiding places for the fish. Make sure that whatever materials you use are aquarium safe. That nice looking rock you picked up on vacation, or the oddly shaped piece of driftwood you picked up along the beach may look nice but may also be hazardous to your fish. Whatever decorations you use make sure they are placed securely. There's nothing worse that setting up a tank, only to have the aquascape collapse due to improper placement.
Next, decide on how you're going to get water into the tank, and remember that this is the way you're going to have to do it from now on. "There is nothing messier than having to drag buckets of water from the tank to the sink and back again, and the closer to the sink, the better," Greco says. However, as most apartment dwellers know, this isn't always possible. "There are devices that will allow the placement of a tank within 100 feet of a sink. These devices, called gravel-cleaning siphons, allow you not only to gravel clean the tank while performing water changes, but also lets you refill the tank afterwards." The one he strongly recommends for New York City apartment dwellers who have to be creative with space is the Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System. "This is one tool that should be found in every hobbyist's toolbox," the professional aquarist says.
Fill the aquarium approximately half way with conditioned tap water. This water should be of the proper temperature range, and dechlorinated either by the use of a slimy water conditioner or by allowing the water to sit, aerated, overnight.
Once the tank is party filled, you can add any plants, live or artificial. Plants should be placed so as to compliment other decorations, and to add a finishing touch to the aquascape. Once the plants are in place, CAREFULLY add the remainder of the water so as not to uproot the plants. If using live plants note that many species of barbs eat aquatic vegetation. It would be wise to ensure that the species you re considering do not fall into that category. Live plants to stay away from include Purple Crinkle, Dragon's Tongue and Underwater Pine, sometimes called Wood Fern.
At this point, you will want to install your outside power filter or canister filter, as well as a thermometer. Once the filters are in place, put the cover on the tank. There are two styles to choose from: a glass cover or a full hood. A glass cover is just that; two pieces of glass joined together by a hinge that covers the whole tank. You will need to add your own lighting if you go this route which is beneficial if you are using live plants since you can add more than one light strip. A full hood, on the other hand, is a one-piece plastic molded top. They usually come with a single bulb light fixture, although double bulb fixtures are available. No matter which manner of cover you chose, each would have a translucent plastic backstrip. This allows you to carefully cut portions out to allow for the passage of the filter and any wires or tubes running into the tank. Remember that some fish are jumpers, so do not make the cutouts any larger than they need to be.
Once everything is in place, plug in your heaters, filter and light. Allow the system to run for 24 hours, after which you will want to check the temperature to ensure the heater is working properly. If everything is in working order, you can then consider adding a few fish. Your newly setup tank may be cloudy for the first few days, or even a week. This is normal, and is nothing to be concerned with. This cloudiness will clear up on its own as the filter begins to do its job.
Finally, The Fish
At this point, there is always the temptation to add too many fish to a newly set up system. (Greco calls this the "just-one-more-fish" syndrome.) Fish should be added gradually, generally no more than one or two small to medium sized fish per 10 gallons. This will allow the tank to become biologically established without too much of an ammonia/nitrite spike that can be stressful or fatal to the fish. Once fish have been added, monitor water quality periodically, taking whatever corrective action is needed. Do not add any additional fish until the biological cycle has finished, generally three to four weeks.
Tank Tips:
Some driftwood may, at first, float. To get round this, you might try soaking it in a clean container of water until it is waterlogged or attach it to a rock base. If using a submersible heater, you should place it in the tank now. You will want to hide it from view while at the same time allowing for viewing of the on/off light. DO NOT bury the heater under the gravel as this may cause the glass tube to crack.
Plastic plants are easier to maintain than live plants, and you can't just put any old plant in the tank. "If it looks like a houseplant, it probably is," Greco says. Stay with the safe, specially made artificial plants if you can. A good rule of thumb: don't put it in if you don't know what it's made of.
When decorating the tank, give the fish some places they can hide.
Once the tank is filled up with water, but before putting any fish in, add one teaspoon of aquarium salt or kosher salt per gallon of water to help fish resist disease.
Good "starting fish" choices are Swordtails, Platys, Zebra Danios, Dwarf Barbs and Small Tetras. Goldfish and tropical fish shouldn't be mixed together. Catfish or other algae eaters (that big "sucker" fish you see stuck onto the inside of the tank in many pet stores is an algae-eater called Plecostomus) should be saved for later on one the life of the tank is established.
When choosing a fish, look for alert swimmers with good color. Signs of possible sickness include scratching along the bottom, white spots or shaking in a corner of the tank. There should be no sick or dead fish in the tank.
Most of the time you will bring the fish home in a plastic bag with some of the water from the tank you bought it from. Once you're home, open the top of the bag, fold it over like a cuff, and let it float on top of the tank for five or ten minutes. Use a net to put the fish in the tank and throw the bag water away. (If you've bought the fish from outside of the immediate area, it's okay to add a little bit of it's native water to the tank but dump the rest.)
Feed your fish two or three times a day only as much as they can eat in one minute. Flaked food is your best bet, with occasional treats.
Remember that old joke about whether fish sleep? Like you, they are on a regular 24-hour day schedule. Rather than keep them in the dark all day and then turn on their tank light when you get home, try to set a timer for it to go on a few hours before you get home and to turn off around the time you go to bed.
Once a month, take about 25 percent of the tank water out and replace it with fresh water.
These tips should keep your tank healthy and your Aqualand residents happy.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How to Care for Silver Dollar Fish?

Just a small article for people who need to know a few things before buying this amazing piranha (yes, they are related to piranhas but have tiny teeth).
1.Silver Dollars do grow large and fast so you will probably need a big tank to accommodate them. Because they grow to the size of a dinner plate (8 inches in diameter), a VERY large tank will be needed to house a shoal of 4-6 adult fish. A 300 gallon or larger tank would be appropriate for these fish. So keep this in mind if you plan on having these fish for a long time.
2.Silver Dollars prefer subdued lighting and may become shy if the lighting is too intense. But, they have been known to get used to regular lighting.
3.The water should be to usual standards (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, <40 nitrate etc.), pH 6-7.5 or so.
4.A good temperature would be about 24-28 C (75-80 F) or around that.
-->You can buy romaine lettuce and hang it from the side of the tank and they will devour it.
-->They should also be fed some live foods like brine shrimp and blood-worms. Water quality doesn't seem to be critical but keep it clean.
-->Silver dollars make a great addition to any large tank. They are a shoaling fish so try to get 6 or so of them.
-->Buy several plants for them to graze on so they won't totally destroy any single one, giving them a chance to grow back.
-->They like the large(about the size of a dime)vegetable discs that are normally for large Pleco's.
-->They also don't like certain kinds of swordplants (Amazon) but not all. They definitely eat melon swords, so avoid those.
-->Silver dollars are vegetarian by nature so they'll eat everything green but seem to avoid things like java moss and java fern as well as tough-leaved plants like anubias.
-->They will however eat any exposed roots and kill a plant if you aren’t careful.
Things You Need:
-->Silver dollar fish
-->Large fish tank
-->A decent filter can clean tank 3 to 5 times per hour

How to Care for Guppies?

Guppies-who doesn't love them? Guppies are one of the most colorful tropical freshwater fish in the world. They are small, and relatively easy and inexpensive to take care of.
1.Obtain a 10 gallon or larger fish tank with an under gravel filter.
2.Obtain a quarantine tank. It should be at least 5 gallons, but it's better to have 10 gallons of water or more. If a guppy comes down with something, you can move it to this tank for treatment. Or you can use it for breeding.
3.Fill your tank and quarantine tank with water. Dechlorinate or allow the water to sit for a week to evaporate the chlorine out of the water before placing fish in the tank(s).
4.Change 25% of your water every week, siphoning the debris from the bottom of the tank.
5.Treat any water you will add to the tank with a water conditioner before adding.
6.Keep the temperature of your tanks between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
7.Keep the lights on for 8 to 12 hours a day. Consider getting a timer for your light.
8.When adding fish to your aquarium, float the unopened bags on the surface of the water in your tank for about 15 minutes. Do not put water from the bags into the aquarium. Net the fish and quickly put the net in the water. Wait for the fish to swim out of the net and repeat the process with the next fish.
-->Note: Don't overcrowd your guppies, around 1 adult per 1 gallon of water is acceptable
-->Raise fry in separate tanks or in the main tank with a divider. If you keep the parents and the fry together the parents will eat the fry.
9.Feed flake food, but enhance diet with treats of frozen, live, or freeze-dried foods such bloodworms, tubifex and brine shrimp at least once a week.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Choose Aquarium Equipment

Fishkeeping is really more of an art than a science. As a true aquarist, you'll develop an appreciation for the beauty of the hobby and a certain respect for the creatures in your tank.
You'll come to view your aquarium not as a pastime or as an attractive addition to your living room, but as a delicate, vibrant system that takes shape and comes to life through your efforts, skill, and vision.
Like all arts, though, fishkeeping does have its technical side. To succeed, you have to create a suitable habitat for your fish, and to do that, you must use the proper tools. Knowing how your aquarium equipment works and why you need it will greatly increase your chances of success.
When planning your aquarium, keep in mind that you probably won't need all of the items that
appear in the following pages. Consult with your dealer to determine which pieces of equipment are necessary to create the kind of aquarium you want.
As soon as fish are added to an aquarium, the normal processes of respiration and digestion produce waste products that pollute the water. There are also other sources of pollution, such as decaying uneaten food.
The biggest challenge in keeping an aquarium is controlling the level of these pollutants so that your fish have a healthy environment. One of the things you need to meet that challenge is an effective aquarium filtration system.
In many ways, aquarium filtration is the most complicated and difficult aspect of fishkeeping. A visit to any well-stocked aquarium or pet store will reveal an astonishing array of filters that vary widely in design and price.
In addition, the beginning aquarist faces a lot of new terms that are used to describe filters. Understanding how filters work and what they accomplish can make it much easier to sort through everything.
You may assume that the basic goal of filtration is to remove debris floating in the water so that it doesn't cause pollution. While this is correct, it's only part of the story.
This process is mechanical filtration. If mechanical filtration is sufficient, very little solid matter will be left floating in the water. However, just because the water looks clean doesn't mean it is safe for fish.
Most of the pollution that causes the water quality to deteriorate can't be seen. In order to remove it, two other types of filtration are needed: chemical filtration and biological filtration.
Only when mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration are available can a truly healthy environment be maintained for the fish. Aquarists often use two different filters together in order to provide these three types of filtration. This is because filter designs that are very good at providing one or possibly two types of filtration tend to be less effective at providing the remaining types.
Mechanical aquarium filtration is accomplished by moving water through some kind of material that acts like a sieve, catching the solids and removing them from the water. Ideally, the most effective mechanical filter removes particles down to very small sizes, but there is a trade-off here.

The smaller the particles are that the filter removes, the faster the filter material will clog. Because clogged filter material severely reduces the rate of water flow through it, the material must be cleaned or changed. The more effective the filter material is at trapping small particles, the more often you will have to clean the filter.
For this reason, most filter material is designed to catch only the larger, more visible solids. Of course, as the filter material catches large particles, the openings in the material through which the water flows become increasingly smaller and thus trap increasingly smaller particles. The material does clog eventually, but it takes much longer.
Chemical aquarium filtration is needed because a number of dissolved, invisible compounds accumulate in aquarium water and they can't be removed by mechanical filtration.
These compounds are not toxic to the fish but can inhibit their growth and cause chronic, low-level stress that eventually leads to disease. Most of these compounds are dissolved organic substances produced by natural biological decay.
The dissolved organic substances eventually reach concentrations high enough to become visible as a yellowish tinge in the water. You can see this when a sheet of white paper is held behind the tank so that half of it is viewed through the water.
If the water is healthy for the fish, the paper viewed through the water will be as white as the other half; if not, the paper will have a yellowish cast to it.
Chemical filtration removes many, but not all, of these compounds. However, some substances that affect the growth of the fish can only be removed by making partial water changes on a regular basis.
If this isn't done, the fish will never grow to normal adult size. This stunted growth will result in fish that never achieve the beauty of mature fish, and it can cause other related health problems.
There are many ways to accomplish chemical filtration, but for all practical purposes, the only method that is both effective and relatively economical is to pass the aquarium water over granular activated carbon.
Granular activated carbon is usually made from an organic material, such as coconut shells, that is ground into small pieces and then heated to 2,000° Fahrenheit to drive off gases in the material. This "activation" produces carbon that can adsorb the molecules of compounds in the water and hold on to them. Adsorption is the adhesion of a thin layer of molecules to a solid (in this case, the activated carbon).
The carbon eventually becomes saturated with molecules and must be replaced. It cannot be reactivated by hobbyists because of the special ovens needed for the process.
Granular activated carbon should not be confused with charcoal, which is sold in some stores at a much lower price but does not provide effective chemical filtration.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using granular activated carbon. The smaller the granules of carbon, the greater the total surface area available to adsorb molecules for any given amount of carbon. The total surface area of the carbon determines how long you can wait before it is necessary to replace it.
A good rule of thumb is to use one ounce of carbon for every four gallons of water. If the tank is not overstocked with fish, the carbon should last at least a month and probably twice that.
See the next section to learn about biological aquarium filtration.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Care for Aquarium Fish

New hobbyists who have had problems keeping fish alive for even a few months are always shocked to find out that the normal life span of the typical aquarium fish is measured not in months but in years.
Although it varies from species to species, aquarium fish should live anywhere from three to seven years, or longer. Goldfish
can live for 20 years or more.
Fish can actually live longer, healthier lives and sometimes even grow larger in an aquarium than they do in the wild.
In nature, a fish's food supplies come and
go with the changing of the seasons and unusual weather patterns. The amount of food may be limited, and it often takes a lot of energy to find enough to survive.
Predators, including other fish, will keep nearly all the young of any species from reaching adulthood.
Few fish get to die of old age in the wild. Fish that are too weak or slow will quickly become dinner.
Although aquariums have limitations, they can be an environment where fish are able to flourish.
Learn about the proper way to feed your aquarium fish.
One of the three rules of fishkeeping is to not overfeed the fish. All uneaten food in a tank quickly pollutes the water. Overfeeding kills the fish with kindness. The best guideline is to feed only enough food each time for the to fish finish it within five minutes.
Most fish will do well on a diet consisting primarily of dry flake food. Use only brand-name, high-quality food. There is a wide variety of flake foods, and it is best to purchase several kinds and feed a different one each time. This helps ensure a more balanced diet for the fish.
Larger fish and many catfish will do better on pellet foods, which have more bulk. Freeze-dried foods are particularly good for fish that need a lot of protein. By occasionally offering fresh-frozen or live foods, you will ensure that your fish are getting a nutritionally complete diet.
When shopping for food, remember that commercial foods have a limited shelf life. If the containers are dusty or look like they have been on the shelf a long time, go somewhere else.
Purchase small containers. Yes, it is more economical to buy larger sizes, but once the containers are opened, the nutritional value of the food will begin to deteriorate.
Within three to six months, less than half the original nutritional value remains. For this reason, do not buy bulk-packed flake foods unless you have enough fish to consume it within a few months.
For vegetarian fish, there are flake foods that are formulated to provide much more vegetable material and less protein. Flake foods can be supplemented with freeze-dried, frozen, and even live foods, all of which are available at the aquarium store.
Many hobbyists keep small catfish in their tanks to eat excess food that falls to the bottom of the tank. These fish must receive the same quantity and quality of food as the rest of the residents.
Because they feed at the bottom of the tank, it is best to feed them just before turning off the tank lights. The catfish will feed in the dark while the other fish are resting. Heavy pellet foods sink and work especially well for this purpose.
Healthy fish can go for at least one or two weeks without eating. When you leave on vacation for a week or so, don't worry about not feeding the fish. More fish have probably died from severe water pollution as a result of well-meaning friends or neighbors overfeeding the fish than ever suffered from not eating for a week.
Diagnosing and treating aquarium fish diseases is so complex that entire books have been written on the subject. Fish can contract a great many illnesses, and curing them can take a great deal of knowledge and effort. In addition, preventing disease is almost always easier than curing it.
Fish that live in good-quality water, receive a balanced diet, and do not continually suffer from physical stress seldom get sick. Their immune systems are quite capable of protecting them from disease-causing organisms, which are always in the water. When they do get sick, though, it always helps to notice their condition early.
As a general rule, changes in the physical appearance and behavior of the fish are indicators of other problems, so it pays to observe your fish carefully. If any of these characteristics look suspicious, test the water to make sure there are no problems there. As a precaution, clean the filter and change a third of the water in the tank.
When you suspect that any of the fish may be sick, do not add any medications to the tank. You should not treat the tank without knowing what the fish is suffering from. Many fish medications are ineffective or contain so little medication that they do no good at all.
Antibiotics in particular are a problem. If used in small amounts, the bacteria they are supposed to kill can develop resistance to the drugs. When used at much higher doses, the nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter can be wiped out.
Most medications include instructions to change some of the water before each dose. As often as not, it is the water changes, not the medication, that are responsible for the fish getting better.
One common but easily cured disease is ich, which is caused by a parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifillis. This disease is typically brought on by physical stress, such as the fish being handled or the temperature of the water changing rapidly.
The fish's body and fins will be covered with very small white spots. Fortunately, ich can be cured easily by raising the water temperature to about 84º Fahrenheit and treating with the proper medication.
Avoid medications with copper in them. Copper can build up in an aquarium and then suddenly be released if the water chemistry changes, killing the fish. Copper is particularly dangerous in tanks with soft water.
Another common disease is fin rot. This disease results in the edges of the fins taking on an uneven appearance as they get shorter and shorter. This disease, which often results from poor environmental conditions, is easily treated with many of the medications available just for this purpose.
One other somewhat common disease is fungus -- typically a fuzzy, white cottony patch. This is a secondary disease, taking hold at the site of a physical injury. If the water quality is poor, fungus can infiltrate the wound. This problem is also easily cured with the proper medication. Ask your dealer for advice.

Things You Consider Before You Buy Your Aquarium

All different shapes, sizes and colors. Spikes, tails, pop eyes, you name it, fish have it. Fish are cool. But how do you look after them? All those water chemicals, live food, and business about putting two fish in the same tank sounds pretty scary. But don't sweat it... just read this guide! It contains all the info you need on taking care of those first fins. This guide takes you through buying fish, putting them in your tank, and looking after them.
1.Decide whether you want Tropical or Coldwater fish. Coldwater fish include goldfish and minnows. There are zillions of tropical fish, from angel fish to corydoras catfish. Coldwater fish are usually a little more hardy, and will survive those first few mistakes.
-->Start off with inexpensive fish, even if you can afford expensive ones. Inexpensive ones are inexpensive because they are very successful in their natural environments or so comfortable in captivity that they even breed regularly and, in either case, do not die easily on their way to and in pet stores. Do get something active and pretty though.
-->Do not start out with saltwater fish. They require techniques and understanding that are much more complex. Plus, the water you'll have to work with and that may leak is messy, slowly corrosive to metal, and conductive. If you think you want a saltwater tank, get a medium sized tropical fish tank with some plants and see if you can keep that in perfect order first for a year or so.
2.Decide what kind and how many fish you want.
-->Research before putting species together. Some fish are compatible, others aren't. One might speculate that fish would enjoy some activity in their lives, so don't get just one. (The fish need not be the same species; for some territorial fish, it is best that it isn't. An armored catfish can be a good "companion" for such a beast.)

-->Make sure you can provide any specialized care the fish need. For example, different fish need different foods, and some fish require more frequent maintenance than others. Owning fish is a big responsibility.

-->Some fish are perfectly happy with flakes and can be fed with an automatic feeder, which makes it possible to leave the tank unattended for a week or two (assumingali the fish are small so the water doesn't need very frequent changing).

3.Get an appropriately sized tank. Look up the minimum tank size for each fish.

-->For goldfish, buy a tank with 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and 10 gallons for each additional goldfish.

-->For smaller freshwater fish, get one gallon per inch of adult fish.
-->The larger freshwater fish require more room. The volume of a fish, and thus, roughly, the amount of food it turns into waste, increases not with its length but with the cube of its length. Therefore, you could keep two or three Neon Tetras, which grow to only an inch or so, per gallon of water, but three or four big six-inch cichlids would be more than enough for a fifty-gallon tank (assuming they aren't very territorial, in which case they might think only one or two is enough!)
-->Active swimmers such as wild-type goldfish and and tetras should have a tank many times their body length. In a small tank, slow swimmers such as fancy double-tailed goldfish and Siamese fighting fish will still be happy.
4.Make sure you have all the proper equipment- filters, heaters (for tropical fish), water conditioner, test kit, etc
5.Set up the tank and cycle it.
6.Put your fish in. Only add a few fish to start with, and slowly build up the population. Adding too many fish at once can overload your filtration system.
7.Perform partial water changes weekly. 20-30% is a good amount. To do a water change, get a gravel vacuum and siphon out any waste in the substrate. This will pull out water at the same time. Replace the water with water from your tap, but remember to treat it with a water conditioner.
8.Test the water regularly. Make sure you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and under 40 nitrate.
9.Feed your fish two or three times a day.
10.Monitor your fish. While they eat, sit and actually observe them. Check for anything strange: changing color, falling off fins, damaged tails, etc. Also, make sure all of your fish are getting along.
11.Try not to stress out your fish. This includes putting your hand in the tank when you don't need to, touching them, or jumping near the tank