and "all the fish in the aquarium should be fed regularly"). soundofheaven.info is .. of fresh- water fish are able to take in salt, even though their own salt content is denser. You will learn everything you need to know about your freshwater aquarium from the setup to adding in fish, and even some things to watch out for. Chapter 1. Freshwater Aquarium Book - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File . txt) or Freshwater Fish Disease Symptoms and Treatment.
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1. Aquariums. I. Title: Quick and easy freshwater aquarium set-up and care. . perfect balance of plants, fishes, and sometimes even freshwater inverte- brates. PDF | 78+ hours read | An alphabetic list with the scientific names of all various English (common) names of the freshwater aquarium fishes. List of 30 freshwater aquarium fish species which has been published by Green wave publication. Study on growth performance, nutritional value, fillet quality, and economic efficiency of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and giant gourami (Osphronemus goramy) reared in concrete ponds.
They offer many advantages over previously mentioned lights. Whether this is your first fish tank or you just want a little bit of a refresher, this is a great thing for you to look into. Buy the gravel, plants, a power strip and other decorations. This allows you to setup your timer to turn on the various lights at different times. The water is then pushed up through the uplift tubes in the back of the tank where chemical filtration takes place with the activated carbon in the top of the tubes. Water flows through the airlift tube allowing a colony of beneficial bacteria to grow in the sponge.
Chapter 1 explains how to set up the tank as well as the stand. The first decision will be how large you would like the tank to be as well as what will keep it supported.
There are a lot of varieties of tanks that you can choose from, but most of the time it is best to stay somewhere between 25 and 50 gallons for a beginner. Chapter 2 will talk about the importance of a good filter to keep your fish happy as well as some of the aesthetically pleasing decorations and gravel. There are some great suggestions that you can follow concerning how to look for leaks and anything else to get the whole tank set up nicely.
Chapter 4 will spend some time looking at ways that you can introduce the fish to the water. Whether this is your first fish tank or you just want a little bit of a refresher, this is a great thing for you to look into.
Chapter 5 will finish out the guidebook with some tips and warnings of what you should do when you are working on your aquarium. This is a great place to start if you still have questions and would like to get some things figured out ahead of time. Use this guidebook in order to get started on the wonderful journey of starting your own fish tank in no time.
Similarly, you can visit my website TheAquariumGuide.
The tank size is going to depend on a few different factors such as limited space. The amount of space as well as the amount of time you have to spend on this project will all determine how big your tank should be.
One of the biggest determinants of your fish tank size is how many fish you would like to have and the types of fish. For example, if you want a lot of tiny fish, they may all fit in a decent size tank, but the bigger fish would need more space and therefore you could only keep a limited number inside the tank. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to setting up your new fish tank: You might want to choose the types of fish first and then mess around with the numbers to see how much of each you could comfortably keep inside the tank.
This allows you to have a wide variety of fish, yet is small enough that a beginner will be able to handle. It is not recommended that you start out bigger than this, at least for the first time aquarist.
You can contain a few fish that are pretty hardy and see if you enjoy the hobby and want to try more; upgrading from this size is easy. These tanks are too small to hold your fish and can be more work than the larger ones. For this, you will need something sturdy that can hold the tank, which is why there are specially designed stands for aquarium tanks. Not only is the glass around the tank heavy and hard to deal with, but you have to add water, rocks, plants, and fish inside this tank as well.
For this reason, you need a stand that will be strong enough and not fall or break with all the weight, causing a serious situation for your home and especially the fish. Here are some of the things you should consider when picking out the stand for your new fish tank: Do not use wooden desks, end tables, TV stands, or dressers for this task. Otherwise you are setting the whole thing up for failure.
Once you have all of the equipment, you must decide on the right place to place both the stand and the new tank. The right spot is critical.
Not only does the right spot make it easier for you to keep an eye on the fish, but it can keep the fish healthier for a longer time. There are a few things that you must keep in mind when it comes to picking out the right spot for your fish equipment.
Instead, choose a wall that is in the interior of your home and away from the light. This will cause dust to blow into your tank and make it more difficult to maintain a consistent water temperature. In most cases, it is best to set up the tank on a floor made of wood rather than on the carpet or on a rug. Your fish are not going to be able to just get into the tank and live happy lives. You must make sure that the filter is ready to keep the water flowing properly.
There are multiple factors to consider when purchasing a filter and the other elements for within the fish tank. Most people will choose to use a canister filter or an undergravel filter. If you go with the undergravel option, make sure to get a powerhead or air pump that is strong enough to keep up with the size tank you have. The canister power filter needs to be strong enough to circulate the amount of water in the tank that you choose at least five times every hour.
Now that you have had time to decide on the filtration system you will use, it is time to install it. The methods that you use for installation will change based on the filter. Do not turn on the filter until you have filled up the tank completely. Next, attach the air lines to the correct tubes, wait until the tank is full of water, and turn on the filter.
For the power filter, set it up on the back of your tank choosing a position where you can get the water distributed as evenly as possible. Do not turn this filter on until the tank is completely full. To find out more about the different type of filters available in the market today, check out my post — The 5 Filter Types and Their Uses In Planted Tank.
Gravel and sand come in different shapes and colors and are available at any animal store. There are many advantages of using a quality su strate.
Some of the things you will need to do when it comes to your substrate include: You do not want to have a lot of dust from the gravel in the tank so the filter does not have to work as hard to keep the tank clean. You may want to slowly pour some gravel in to give it time to settle. This helps to keep it in place. There are many options to choose from in the store. You can decide if you want decorations that look cool while enhancing the look and feel of your tank or you can choose some beneficial to your fish.
Before purchasing any decorations, do a bit of research to ensure you are choosing options that are not harmful to your fish while also being attractive for you. One of the ways that you can ensure your fish are happy and will live for a long time is to keep their water fresh at all times and to maintain the water temperature.
These steps will assist you and your fish will remain content together: Before you waste your time filling up a whole 50 gallon tank, take some time to see if there are any leaks in the tank. Fill up your tank with about two inches of water and then leave for a while; after some time, return to see if the tank still has the same level of water. Make sure that you are doing this whole process in an area where you do not mind having some water spillage.
You can also keep a bit of sealant nearby so that if any leaks appear, you are able to take care of the issue right away and continue working. Once the tank is one-third full, you can add in your decorations such as live or artificial plants, driftwood, small statues or structures, or any of the decorations you see at your local pet store.
Of course, the items in your tank should not be completely random. Some of the things that you can consider when picking out decorations for the tank include: Each fish is going to like different plants, which can be a food source for them. Be sure the plants you choose are not harmful to the fish in your tank.
Now that everything is placed in the tank and you know there are no leaks, it is time to fill up your tank completely. Leave a gap on the top rather than letting the water overflow; it is always better to have a little less water than too much when it comes to cleaning up a mess. Fill up the filter reservoir and plug it in. If the filter is working properly, you will notice that the water is going through it quietly and smoothly and it will begin to circulate after a few minutes.
Allowing the filter to run a few hours without any fish in the tank will allow you to assess the filter, the circulation, and any leakage. Installing a heater into the tank will help keep the water at the optimal temperature for the fish.
Most heaters are going to attach to the tank with suction cups. It is best to place the heater near the mouth of the filter to help heat the water evenly.
Most heaters come with a thermostat that is preset for the proper temperature range. Fish swimming in water that is correct for their body temperature will be as happy as possible inside the tank. Read this post to learn more about aquarium heater. The tap water that you place inside the fish tank is going to have a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to your fish, hence, you will need to add neutralizer to the water, unless you are using distilled water, which can be purchased at a pet supply store.
Follow the instructions on your bottle of neutralizer to ensure you do not put too much in. This simple step will help to make the water safe for your fish. If you try to do a cycle with the fish inside, you will kill off the fish and waste a lot of your time and money. Follow the steps on the cycle container you received in order to go about this step properly the first time for the best results.
Here is a good resource on cycling aquarium water: This is one of the ways many fish will die right away in your tank. Here are some of the steps that you should take in order to keep your fish as healthy as possible to live a long, healthy life. You should take some time to choose the fish that you would like to have in your tank. You might want to do some research on the different types of fish before you head to the store to make sure that you are getting the right ones for your needs.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing fish: Check out the nitrogen cycle page to learn more about starting the nitrogen cycle and how to speed it up. If you must use fish to cycle, try to get a hardier species like the zebra danio or cherry barb.
You may notice your fish tank cycle kicking in gear if you start to get some white cloudy aquarium water after a few days. STEP Add tropical fish. Only add one or two fish at a time. Adding a couple fish at a time gives your filtration system the time needed to take on the increased biological load that the new fish introduce.
When you bring the fish home let the bag float in the tank for about 15 minutes so that the fish can become acclimated to the temperature and pH of the aquarium water. After 5 minutes of floating the bag you should add some of the aquarium water to the bag so that the fish can become acclimated to the pH level in the aquarium.
This will help reduce the amount of stress imposed on the fish. Stressed fish often leads to dead or diseased fish! Don't feed your fish on the first day. They probably wouldn't eat any food on the first day anyway. Let them get acquainted with their new home. If you're interested in some good and hardy first fish, please read the Good First Tropical Fish article. Get ready for regular maintenance. Be prepared to spend some time once every week or two to clean your tank.
Performing regular water changes will reduce the nitrate levels and keep your tropical fish happy and healthy. As you can see, the steps for how to set up a fish tank are not that complex and hopefully you now have your aquarium setup and running!
Have fun, take care of and enjoy your fish! Aquarticles I was surprised at the number of people that approached me last meeting about plants. I have always enjoyed keeping them as have several of my hobbyist friends but there never seemed to be much passion with the exception of a couple of people.
In this article I will tell you a little about keeping and growing plants successfully, or at least what makes it successful for me. First of all, let's discuss the need for plants in the aquarium. An aquarium without plants is like a home without furniture. It is livable - but ugly, uncomfortable and inefficient. Live plants aid in displaying fish giving them shelter and security. They provide shelter for baby fish, shy fish, weak fish and females giving birth. They serve as food for vegetarian fish.
They help prevent green water by competing with the algae for nutrients in the water. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and wastes and add oxygen to the water. They increase the surface area for algae, tiny worms, rotifers and protozoa to grow and in turn provide live food for the fish in the tank. And you thought that they just looked nice. I prefer to pot most of my plants. The method is very simple and does not take a lot of time or effort.
First you need some sort of pot. This could be the plastic pots that your garden plants come in, yoghurt containers, the bottom cut off a plastic pop bottle or small clay pots that you can buy at most nurseries. If it is a plastic container, make sure that it is not toxic to your plants or fish. Next get a bucket and add some water to it. Into the bucket add some potting soil. I prefer to use Hillview Potting Soil as I have found that it is pure soil with nothing added.
The reason for mixing the soil and water together first is that if you do not saturate the soil and drop the pot into the aquarium, you take the chance of the air in the soil exploding to the surface and making a real mess of the aquarium.
Believe me when I say that it can be very frustrating if you rush the job and end up with a big mess. It has happened to me too many time to count. Take your finger and push it into the soil to create a small planting hole.
Take your plant and carefully insert the root system into the hole. Carefully fill the hole from the sides, then add aquarium gravel to top up the container. Gently pull the plant upward until the crown of the root is just visible at the gravel surface. I usually have a bucket of aquarium water close by so that I can now submerse the potted plant for a few minutes prior to adding it to the aquarium.
This will allow any trapped air to escape and possibly prevent the grief that I was talking about earlier. Now you can place the FishLore. The potting soil will give the plant that extra goodness and it shouldn't be too long before the plant begins to thrive and propagate.
What do I like about potting my plants? I guess the biggest thing is that like most plants, they do better if you leave them alone. Potted plants can be moved around easily without disturbing the root system. I have a Cryptocoryne wendtii that has been potted for almost four years now. It goes through stages of fullness and dying back but always seems to do well. There will come a time very shortly that I will remove the plant, separate the runners and replant it in many other containers.
Once the pot becomes root bound you will see the roots growing upwards out of the pot , the plant needs to be repotted. Lighting is the most important prerequisite for successful plant growth. I have heard many different opinions on how much light is needed but my rule of thumb is one and a half watts per gallon. Most of my tanks are on homemade stands that have the double four-foot fluorescent strip over them.
I have two aquariums that are on their own stands, My gallon aquarium has two, double four foot fluorescent strips watts and my 50 gallon has one, double four foot fluorescent strip 80 watts. Most store bought canopies are not capable of providing enough light to keep most aquarium plants healthy so be sure to ask your store dealer for suggestions if keeping plants is your focus.
I have also experimented with different types of lighting. I have had good success with both compact fluorescent bulbs and par 20, watt halogen bulbs. Don't be afraid to try different light sources. Plants will recover very nicely even if they look rough. Pruning your plants will also help them to grow healthy and strong. Carefully remove dead or dying leaves and any leaves that are damaged or have holes in them. The plant uses a lot of energy to try and repair these leaves, energy that could be used to produce new, lush growth.
If your goal is to keep a natural aquarium, live plants are a must. If you just want to have a nicely decorated aquarium, live plants can be used with plastic plants and rocks to beautifully aquascape your aquarium. Remember that the key is to be patient and to provide the right conditions for the plants that you are keeping. Ahhh, yes, the often dismissed but very necessary part of the tropical fish hobby, the infamous quarantine tank. Do you really need one to be successful in this hobby?
For freshwater fish you may be able to get by without having a quarantine tank. Freshwater fish are generally more suited to captivity because they are usually tank raised and don't seem to break out in disease as readily as their saltwater counterparts.
However, if newly acquired fish do come down with something such as ich ick or velvet, you will surely wish that you had one ready to go. One newly bought fish that is introduced to your main tank can easily wipe out the entire tank population. Better safe than sorry, right? For saltwater aquarium keepers, I would say that you definitely need a quarantine tank sometimes called a hospital tank. Marine specimens are mostly wild caught and not used to being kept in captivity.
Their journey to a dealers tank is usually much longer and much more stressful for them. Stressed out fish will usually come down with some kind of disease if they don't simply die from the whole ordeal. Saltwater fish keepers will usually have other things in the main display tank such as invertebrates and live rock that they don't want to expose to the harsh medicines necessary to treat one or two fish.
Some medicines can wipe out all of the invertebrates in a tank, so be sure to research any medicine before using it in your tank. Quarantine Tank Setup You don't need to go all out here. A simple tank size of 10 - 20 gallons will suffice for most people. If you have larger fish, then obviously you want to get a bigger quarantine tank. All you really need is a bare bones setup with the following equipment: Fill the quarantine tank with water from the main tank and then turn everything on in the quarantine tank.
Freshwater Fish Quarantine Tank For newly acquired freshwater fish you will want to acclimate the fish to the water in the quarantine tank and monitor them very closely for a period of two to three weeks. Monitor the water parameters with your test kits and check for signs of parasites or bacterial infections. If the newly acquired fish does come down with something you will need to use the appropriate medication and you will need to keep them in quarantine for a further two weeks to make sure that you have indeed treated them effectively.
If after a few weeks no problems develop, you can then acclimate them to the main tank water and then introduce them. If a fish comes down with something while in your main tank, just net them and put them into the quarantine tank.
There should be no need to acclimate them because you used water from your main tank. If you didn't use water from the main tank you will need to acclimate them to the quarantine tank water. After the disease clears up you will still want to keep the fish in quarantine for a week or so monitoring the water parameters with your test kits the whole time.
Conclusion Freshwater hobbyists may get away with not using a quarantine tank, but saltwater hobbyists would be crazy not using one. Save yourself some money, headaches and especially the fish by having a quarantine tank. The fish in your main tank will thank you for it.
So you've went out and bought some fish and the store told you to acclimate the fish by floating the bag in the tank for 15 minutes and then release them into your aquarium. The only thing floating the bag accomplishes is that it brings the water in the bag closer to the temperature of the water in your tank. We need to be concerned about more than just temperature.
The aquarium water chemistry is just as important as the temperature when it comes to acclimating fish. Don't be afraid to ask the fish clerk to test the store's tank water for you. They shouldn't mind testing their water right in front of you. They're trying to sell fish right? Ask them for, at minimum, the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings. When you get home, test your own water to see how much the two sets of results differ.
This can provide you with some insight into how slowly and for how long you should acclimate your fish. There are a few different recommended methods for how to acclimate fish to your aquarium and we'll talk about each of these methods. The most common tropical fish acclimation methods are: You just need to be careful when floating a bag full of unknown water in your tank. Ideally, you're floating the bag in a previously setup quarantine tank but, sadly, many new hobbyists don't use a quarantine tank.
After you've been in the hobby for a while and experience any sort of fish disease outbreak you'll soon come to realize the importance of a simple quarantine tank.
After you leave the fish store you will want to go straight home to avoid ammonia accumulating in the bag in the form of fish waste. Replace this water with the same amount of water from your tank. Float the bag in your tank and bring down the hood opening on the open end of the bag to help keep the bag secure.
Every 10 minutes add about 1 measuring cup use less if the bag is smaller of your tank water to the bag. Repeat this process for about an hour. After an FishLore. The main idea here is to slowly get the fish used to your tank water acclimated. Do not dump the bag water into your tank! If you do, you risk exposing your tank to any parasites or diseases that were in the dealer's tanks. Some fish may be difficult to net while in the bag and you don't want to damage the fish while trying to net them.
If you're having difficulty netting the fish, get a large bowl large salad bowl works well and carefully pour the bag water into the net, allowing the bowl to catch the water. You could bypass the bowl altogether and do it over a sink but make sure that the drain plug is in place just in case you miss the fish with the net. By slowly adding small amounts of water from the tank we are slowly acclimating the fish.
The Bucket Method This fish acclimation method is basically the same as the floating bag method, but instead of floating the bag in the tank you're putting the bag inside a clean bucket instead. The bucket method is better than the floating bag method because you don't have to worry about any of the bag water entering your tank. Every 10 minutes add about 1 measuring cup of water to the bag. After an hour has passed use a small net to get the fish out of the bag and gently place the fish into your tank.
The Drip Method The drip acclimation method is recommended for most saltwater fish and invertebrates because they can be more sensitive to pH, specific gravity and other water chemistry changes.
To do the drip method youre going to need a bucket, a vegetable clip with a suction cup for holding the tube in the tank and a length of air pump tubing that is long enough to extend from your tank to the bucket.
Place one end of the tube into the veggie clip and then place the veggie clip into your tank. Tie a knot in the tubing to regulate the amount of water flow coming out of your tank. Get the siphon going and place the other end of the tubing into the bag in the bucket.
You'll want a slow drip, drip, drip going. Aim for drips every one to two seconds. If you're having troubles using the knot to regulate the drip rate, any type of strong clip should work. Vice-grips locking pliers or c-clamps would work as well.
How long you do the drip method depends on what your acclimating to your fish tank. If youre doing this method for most freshwater species you should be ok doing it for an hour or so before introducing the fish to your tank. If you're doing this method on a saltwater invertebrate FishLore. If you have a good pet shop and you trust their advice, ask for and follow their recommendations on the amount of time needed for acclimation. Acclimating new fish to your aquarium is a critical step and should not be taken lightly.
Getting into the habit of using proper acclimation methods is a good way to ensure your long-term success in this wonderful hobby! You've been working hard all year long and it's finally time for that well deserved vacation. Ah, just to think about it gives me the vacation fever. The time is drawing near and you suddenly realize - what the heck am I going to do about the aquarium and fish care?
Who's going to feed the fish? What do I need to do to get my fish tank ready before I leave on my trip? There are several things to keep in mind and we'll try to help you get things in order before you leave so you can have a stress free and relaxing vacation not worrying about your fish and your aquarium! What about feeding the fish? Fish can go for several weeks without food. Some believe they can go for 3 or more weeks even. Yes, this is true believe it or not and your fish will be fine while you're away.
Your tank may even look cleaner when you get home from vacation since there should be less wastes in the water from the lack of fish food entering the aquarium and less wastes being produced from fish eating that fish food. If you just can't stand the thought of your fish not eating for the amount of time you'll be gone, invest in an automatic fish feeder. These fish food dispensers are relatively inexpensive and they can actually be put into full time use, even when you are at home.
You can fill them with a mix of tropical fish flakes or other flake or pellet foods, depending on the fish you keep and it should be several weeks before you need to refill the food container. Most are fully adjustable you can release as little or as much food as allowed , operate on batteries and will easily attach to the top of the tank.
Another option is to use one of those plastic pill boxes that are composed of small boxes corresponding to the day of the week. You put in the amount of food that day's container that you'd like for your friend, family member or neighbor to give to your fish and then you don't have to worry about them overfeeding and polluting the aquarium water. Try to do a partial water change right before you leave for vacation.
This accomplishes a couple of things. The fish will get some good clean water, which should lower their stress levels and should help keep them healthy in your absence. This also gets the water level topped off so you may not have to worry about a low water level in the tank, but it depends on the rate of evaporation of course.
Rinse out the aquarium filter media, or replace half of it. A clogged filter shouldn't pose a problem since many filters especially power filters have an alternate path for the water to return to the tank should the filter become clogged. You may be concerned about what to do with the aquarium lighting while you're gone. Should I leave it on or leave it off? There is a very simple solution here The aquarium lighting can easily be turned on and off automatically using an aquarium light timer.
If you're keeping freshwater plants or saltwater corals in a reef tank or macro algae in your refugium, you really should have a light timer anyway so that your plants and corals receive adequate amounts of aquarium light. We try to go on vacation at least once a year if we're lucky and we have a neighbor come over several times a day to let our dog out.
They have a dog too and we do this favor for each other when we go out of town. It really is extremely beneficial to have a good neighbor you can trust. While they are letting the dog out, I just ask them to check out the aquariums to make sure nothing is leaking and that nothing looks out of the ordinary.
I have asked them to rinse out a protein skimmer collection cup before while I was away. If you've never seen a full cup of skimmer gunk, it can be very dark colored, yucky and smelly. They did it for me. I guess I really do have some good neighbors. Make sure you give the fish sitter a phone number to reach you at while on vacation just in case of an emergency with your fish or tank.
A leak could develop, the heater could stick in the on position leading to a rise in temperature, the automatic water top off system could stick in the on position, etc. Remember Murphy's Law here - "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time".
Write down a small list of tasks you'd like for them to do. Keep it short and don't put anything that is not absolutely essential. Here is a sample aquarium list of things you could ask your fish sitter to take care of: Feed the fish daily from that day's slot in the pill box - just that amount and no more please.
Look at the temperature of the tank and if it's above 84 degrees F, call me. Quickly look around the base of the tank and on the floor in the immediate vicinity and inspect for leaking tank water. Dump out the contents of the protein skimmer collection cup saltwater tanks only.
Thank you for doing this for me while I'm on vacation - I really appreciate it! Invite the fish sitter over a day or two before you leave and walk them through your list. Show them exactly how to do the various tasks. Don't expect them to know what a protein skimmer collection is or looks like!
Show them exactly how to put the food in the water and exactly how to empty the collection cup, etc. What if I don't have someone to come over? If you're only going to be away for a week, your fish should be fine without food as mentioned above. If you have a saltwater aquarium you may need to adjust the skimmer collection cup so that it doesn't collect as much since you won't be there to empty it.
If you're going to be away FishLore. This is from a water evaporation and feeding standpoint. Although you're fish should be ok from a food standpoint, your tank water may not be in the best shape after two weeks without your care. So, plan ahead, take proper pre-cautions and show the fish sitter exactly what needs to be done and rest easy knowing that your fish will be fine.
Have fun on vacation and we'll see you when you get back! Why is this happening and what are some of the methods we can use to control aquarium algae growth in the aquarium? First, aquarium algae is not necessarily a bad thing. Algae grows very easily when given the right conditions and some day we all may be singing the praises of algae.
There is research going on even as you read this article for using algae as an alternative energy source. Cool stuff indeed. But an abundance of algae growth in the aquarium usually means that something is out of whack. Overstocking, not performing enough partial water changes, overfeeding or feeding improperly, not changing out filter cartridges and not using pure water are usually the prime suspects.
Once aquarium algae starts to overgrow plants, corals and decorations it does make the tank look dirty and can distract from the beauty of your aquarium.
Let's talk about the things aquarium algae needs to grow and how to eliminate or reduce these things so we are not constantly scrubbing the tank walls and having to clean the tank instead of viewing our fish, plants and inverts! You can use the info in this algae control article for both freshwater aquarium setups and saltwater aquarium setups.
Phosphate Get a Phosphate Test Kit. This might be considered one of the most important nutrients for many kinds of aquarium algae growth. Phosphate PO4 can enter the aquarium from tap water, fish food and supplements. One of the first things you should look at is how much you are feeding the tank. Are you overfeeding? Only give your fish as much food as they will eat in a minute or two. Are you defrosting and draining the juice from the frozen foods you use?
These juices could be loaded with phosphates. Are you using food that are low in phosphates? Test them to see for yourself. At minimum, use a bowl to feed frozen foods and tilt the bowl at an angle so the juices drain to the low side and then spoon feed the chunks to the fish. Dispose of the frozen fish food juices down the drain. Activated carbon should be mentioned here too. Some brands have been reported to leach phosphates into the tank.
Place a few pieces of activated carbon and pure water into a test vial, wait about 20 minutes to an hour and then test the water for phosphates. If that brand of carbon leaches phosphates try a different brand.
Replace activated carbon on a regular basis, like every couple of weeks or so. Are you using pure water for your aquarium? Reverse Osmosis RO and Deionization DI units can work wonders on aquarium algae problems, including reducing the amount of phosphate that enters the aquarium. But if you have several tanks or one large one or a reef tank setup one of these water purification devices are wonderful additions. You can even use RO water for drinking water and some actually prefer the taste of RO water over tap water.
Ideally, you want PO4 to be undetectable with standard test kits. Nitrate Get a Nitrate Test Kit. Nitrate NO3 is something else that aquarium algae utilizes for growth. Nitrate accumulates over time in the aquarium. It's also used as a rough indicator of dissolved organics. To keep your nitrate levels in check: Just performing water changes could be pointless if your tap water is loaded with nitrates. Test everything. These will compete with aquarium algae for nitrates.
As the trapped particles break down in the filter they contribute to the bio load on the tank and provide food for aquarium algae. Carbon Dioxide Limiting carbon dioxide CO2 can help too. If you have a heavily planted tank, obviously, limiting CO2 isn't all that desirable. But in fish only freshwater and saltwater tanks you can increase the surface agitation while keeping the tank under stocked and dissolved oxygen levels should stay near saturation.
Most of the time the flow rate in our tanks is inadequate, especially in saltwater tanks. Use common sense here. The goal here is to keep particles in suspension so they get picked up by the mechanical filter or protein skimmer, rather than breaking down inside the tank.
If your power heads are preventing the fish from swimming properly or if there is a constant sand storm in your tank, you may have too much flow.
Silicates Get a Silicate Test Kit. Do you have a brown dusting on the glass every couple of days? Most like these are diatoms that can be the result of silicates in tap water. They supposedly can also be leached from silicate based sand. What to do? There are products that have decent reputations on the market for silicate removal.
As you might have guessed from FishLore. You can purchase an inexpensive reactor for using this type of filtration called the PhosBan Aquarium Reactor. It hangs on the back of the tank or in the sump. If you think you have a silicate problem one of these devices may be worth looking into. More things to do to control aquarium algae Get Aquarium Plants or Macro Algae Freshwater aquarium keepers can use aquarium plants to compete for nitrates and phosphates. Saltwater aquariums can use a macro algae such as chaetomorpha.
The plants or macro algae will consume nitrates and phosphates and compete with the undesirable algae forms. Clean that power filter Hang on power filters and canister filters can do a fantastic job keeping your tank water appear clean and polished. But if you don't routinely clean out and rinse your aquarium filter media you are just providing foods for the algae to grow out of control.
As the trapped particles in the mechanical filter mineralize i. If you don't clean out your filter on a regular basis it could become a nitrate factory.
Vacuum the substrate and perform partial water changes One of the coolest and most useful aquarium products is the Python Aquarium Vacuum. This piece of equipment hooks up to a faucet and lets you easily vacuum the tank with the waste water going down the drain instead of having to haul buckets around. To refill freshwater tanks you can reverse the flow and add fresh water back into the tank.
Add the proper amount of dechlorinator into the clean water flow as it goes back into the tank. This is assuming that your tap water is good to go as far as nitrates and phosphates are concerned. Saltwater keepers can use this tool too even though you should be using premade saltwater for water changes. For saltwater aquariums you will only be able to use the tank water removal part on this type of vacuum. You will still have to use that 5 gallon bucket or whatever you use to pre-mix the saltwater.
Scrub down the glass and then do a water change right afterwards. Vacuum the gravel or top layers of the sand to remove any detritus. If you have a saltwater tank and you have a bubble algae problem, now is a good time to carefully pull them from the rock work. Create a set schedule, say once a week and then stick to it. You really will enjoy your tank much more when it looks clean. The day after a water change and tank cleaning is a great time to take pictures too. Get a refugium A refugium can be a great place to keep competing macro algae or plants.
Although primarily saltwater hobbyists utilize refugiums there really is no reason why freshwater hobbyists couldn't use a refugium setup as well. You can go cheap here too. Form a simple aquaclear hang on power filter, to a bucket, to a plastic tote, all make decent refugiums as long as you can easily hook them up to your display tank. Saltwater aquarium keepers often use fast growing chaetomorpha in the refugium to help compete against algae growing in the main tank. Once the chaeto reaches a large size you can prune some of it thereby exporting nutrients from the system.
Freshwater aquarium keepers could use fast growing plants to provide a similar service. The plants and macro algae will compete with any algae trying to grow in the main tank and make it harder for algae to grow. Replace your aging lights Has it been awhile since you've replaced your fluorescents or metal halide aquarium lighting? As bulbs age they can emit a very different color temperature, frequently emitting light in the spectrum that many species of algae favor.
Replace your bulbs every year or so can be a good guideline or even better, follow the manufacturers recommended replacement schedule. Ultraviolet UV Sterilizer Some use a sterilizer to fight disease outbreaks in the their tanks but they are better at destroying aquarium algae.
There are hang on the tank models that are really easy to install too. Get a powerhead for pumping water into and through the unit and that's it, you're in the business of UV sterilization. Sounds far out doesn't it?
Pond keepers may be familiar with the pond UV Sterilizers. These sterilizers are on the expensive side but if you have really expensive fish or corals in your tank they may be worth researching. Also, like all aquarium products, some are better than others. More info on aquarium uv sterilizer. Aquarium Blackout Hobbyists will sometimes run their tanks with no lights for several days to combat algae problems.
This is sometimes referred to as a tank blackout. Obviously, if you have photosynthetic plants, corals or inverts clams you don't want to try this. Cyanobacteria, often called red slime algae, is a problem often found in marine tanks. This stuff is a mess and can cause many a headache. Hobbyists will try anything to get rid of this unsightly bacteria that can quickly cover large parts of the tank.
Doing a partial water change and vacuuming out as much of the cyanobacteria as possible and then doing a tank blackout for several days may work.
But why did the red slime algae take hold in the first place? Lack of flow, no protein skimmer, overfeeding, overstocked tank, etc. Fix these and then see if the problem clears up before performing a tank blackout.
Algaecides, supplements and other products There are many different products available that will make quick work of ridding the fish tank of algae. These are usually just short term fixes though. If you don't fix the original problem you will be spending a lot of money on these products. Use them with extreme caution, if at all. For example, many hobbyists on forums all over the net talk about some of the red slime removers and getting no adverse effects from using them. Indeed, they usually clear up the slime algae over a period of days.
But, some of these products could potentially wreak havoc with the biofiltration in the tank so research them thoroughly before trying them. The main thing to keep in mind though is did you fix the original problems causing the algae growth? If not, the algae will come back eventually. There are also tons of supplements, vitamins and cure-alls available to hobbyists too.
Are they really worth it? That is for you to decide, but be cautious about adding anything to your tank that you can't test the side effects of using. For example, do you have a strontium or molybdenum test kit? Neither do I and that is why I don't use those supplements in my saltwater aquariums, relying instead on regular partial water changes to replenish these trace elements.
Some of these products are useful buffer, calcium additives, plant foods, etc but be a smart consumer and research these products before using them in your tanks. To sum up: Keep your water parameters in line with what you are keeping too.
For example, saltwater aquarium keepers should try to keep pH in a range of 8. If you still have a problem with algae growth test the nitrate and phosphate levels. Figure out why these levels are elevated and then fix them. Even after doing all of the above you will still have algae growth in your tank, but it should be much less than before and more easily maintained.
Below you will find our compiled list of the items we thought would especially help a newbie. If you have a good aquarium or tropical fish tip that you would like to share, just complete the form at the bottom of the page and we'll post it.
New Fish Tank Tips Realize that if you do things correctly, this can be a long-term commitment. Some fish species can live for a very long time if cared for properly. Research, research and research some more.
It's a really good idea to get as much information as possible on a fish before buying it. Try to find out things such as: Find out things such as temperature, pH ranges, etc. Will it take flake foods? Will it get along with the fish you already have or plan to get? This is an often overlooked area that needs more attention from hobbyists.
If so, do you have the equipment needed to keep them or do you have a plan for what happens when your fish has babies? Find out if your local fish store will take the young fish. If you don't have a means of placing them then you should stick with those fish that don't breed as easily in captivity. Get the biggest tank you can afford. A larger aquarium generally means that your aquarium water parameters will be more stable.
A bigger tank gives you some room for error, like when a fish dies and you don't notice it right away. Or, for instance, when your heater breaks and the stores are closed. The water temperature should be more stable in a bigger tank.
Learn about the fish tank nitrogen cycle. This is a crucial process that you must understand if you want to have long term success with tropical fish. Research aquarium equipment before you buy it. Use google top right of this page or any search engine, and type in the particular model you are interested in and read what others have to say about it. If you enjoy reading, go to the library or buy tropical fish books.
Get a couple of books on aquarium information or the species you are interested in getting. Reading a book is probably the fastest way to get up to speed and it provides a great reference for the future.
On this site you can find some of the fish books we've reviewed. Subscribe to a fish and aquarium magazine. Getting a subscription to a hobby magazine is an easy way to pick up some good tips and it also allows you to stay up to date on anything new in the hobby. Give your fish plenty of places to hide. Ironically, it seems the more places they have to hide the less they do hide. Hiding places can be a place of refuge for your fish and it should lower stress levels for them.
Research the fish you would like to keep and then aquascape your tank for the fish that will be living in it. You want to be able to meet the requirements of the fish you are keeping and modifying the aquascape afterwards is sometimes not an option. Get and use an aquarium water test kit to monitor the aquarium nitrogen cycle. The best way to monitor this cycle is to purchase a freshwater or saltwater test kit that will test for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph.
Test the water coming out of your tap as well. This will arm you with more information when it comes time for those water changes. Don't place your tank next to a window.
Sunlight entering your aquarium will cause major headaches in the form of green algae. Direct sunlight will also cause your tank water temperature to increase. Don't follow the 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water rule. A better guide would probably be 1 inch of fish per 2 or 3 gallons of water. Use the future adult size of your fish when computing how many fish you can keep.
Resist the temptation to overcrowd your tank. The more tropical fish you have the more often you will have to perform fish tank maintenance. De-chlorinate your tap water before putting it in your tank. There are many de-chlorinators on the market. Get an aquarium filter that has multiple 2 media cartridges. This will allow you to change out one at a time. If you swap out all of the filter media with new media you run the risk of having to go through a mini aquarium cycle.
Good power filters that hang on the back of the tank usually come with a separate floss system that you never have to change. Never rinse out your filter media with straight tap water.
Use some of the tank water that you've just siphoned out while doing a water change. The chlorine and chloramine in the tap water will kill the nitrifying bacteria in the filter. Stocking Fish Tips Slowly add fish to your tank. Never go out and buy a bunch of tropical fish because your tank's bio-load won't be able to handle it.
Slowly adding fish gives your tanks biological filtration a chance to catch up. Slowly acclimate fish to your current setup or preferably a quarantine tank. When bringing home new fish, dump the bag contents fish and water into a clean used only for fish 5gallon bucket and then add about 1 cup of aquarium water to the 5 gallon bucket every 10 minutes. Continue to add 1 cup of aquarium water to the 5-gallon bucket every 10 minutes.
After an hour or so your fish should be ready to add to the aquarium. Make sure that any new fish you are planning to add to your tank will be compatible with the current inhabitants. You need to look at temperament, water parameters and tank size requirements.
For instance, please don't put a common pleco in anything under 55 gallons. For new tanks, be sure the fish that you add to your tank are hardy. After the tank has aged for a few months, less hardy fish can be added. A tank needs to "mature" complete the aquarium nitrogen cycle before it can accommodate certain species of fish.
Submitted by: Read the nutritional information on the canister of food to see what vitamins and minerals your fish is getting. Flakes can be the primary diet for many fish because they are packed with the vitamins and minerals your fish needs.
However, try to supplement their diet with other types of food every once in a while. You should see better colors and increased vitality by varying their diet. Do not overfeed your fish. Try for two small feedings per day instead of one large feeding. Give your fish a small pinch of food and see if they eat it all within a minute or two.
If you see flakes floating to the bottom of the tank, then you put in too much food. That is, unless you. Overfeeding will lead to poor aquarium water quality and will increase the stress levels in your fish. Fish Tank Maintenance Tips Always turn off the electricity before working in or around your tank.
Use a power strip connected to a GFCI outlet and all you have to do to turn off the electricity is flip a switch. Also, use drip loops on all of the cords or hang the power strip on the wall, thereby causing the cords to loop before reaching the plug in.
Read the aquarium electrical safety article. Try to change some of the water in the tank on a regular basis. Small frequent weekly or every two weeks water changes are better than infrequent large water changes. Small water changes will cause less stress and shouldn't interfere with the biological cycle in the tank. If you have a larger tank, get a Python Aquarium Vacuum.
These vacuums make doing water changes a breeze. Gravel vac only half of the tank with each water change.
Switch sides on the next water change. Avoid wide fluctuations in your water parameters such as temperature and pH. Try to refill your aquarium with water that is as close to the current tank water as possible.
Fish Disease Tips Set up and use a quarantine tank. This is a small inconvenience that can really save your butt. Only medicate your main tank as a last resort. Use the quarantine tank setup for medicating sick fish and for monitoring new arrivals.
Figure out what caused the fish disease or problem in the first place. Has your tank completed the aquarium nitrogen cycle? Did you quarantine the new fish? Have you been keeping up on those water changes? What are the readings on your aquarium test kits? Try to accurately diagnose the disease before using medication.
Remove any carbon in your fish tank filters before using medications because the carbon will remove medication that you add to your water. Turn off the protein skimmer in saltwater fish tanks while medicating because it can skim off certain medicines. Aquarium Lighting Tips Don't leave the fish tank lights on all of the time. Try for a 8 to 12 hour period of time for lighting. Most want to have the lights on while they are home. You can get the 8 to 12 hours needed by using a timer.
For instance, set it to make the lights come on at 10am and off at 10pm. This will let you view your tank when you get home from work. If you are wanting to keep aquarium plants, be sure to research their light requirements first. Determine if you can meet those requirements with your existing lights or if you need more wattage, which might require a different and usually more expensive aquarium hood. Breeding Fish Tips Make sure that you have the necessary equipment before you start breeding fish.
If you don't have the space to keep the fry and don't have anyone you can give them to, please don't keep males and females in the same tank. This is especially applicable to those keeping livebearer fish like Mollies, Platies, the Guppy and the Swordtail. When breeding tropical freshwater fish, always make note of temperature, ph, water quality, food intake and unusual behavior.
That way you can breed fish again easily by recreating these conditons or by observing unusual behavior between pairs. You set yourself up for the possibilities of new arrivals. Submitted By: So you've finally got your fish tank up and running but you're noticing that it's starting to look a little dirty.
Or, you notice that you need to top off some evaporated water. This is the time for some routine aquarium care or maintenance. Aquarium maintenance or fish tank maintenance can sometimes be a bother for hobbyists but it doesn't have to be that way.
Develop a schedule for carrying out these aquarium maintenance tasks and it will make this hobby more enjoyable. Staying on top of those water changes should increase the health of your fish and make your tank look nicer.
It's important to note that you don't need to completely break down the tank every time you have to "clean your tank" or perform aquarium maintenance. Most of the time you will just need to perform a partial water change 20 percent or so with a good gravel vacuuming and maybe scrape a little algae off the front viewing panel. If you have a major algae problem then something is out of whack.
You may be feeding too much, your tank may be overstocked, you're not performing frequent enough water changes, you're feeding the wrong types of foods, etc. Or, it could be a combination of the above. If you have a problem with cloudy water, please read the article on Cloudy Aquarium Water and be sure to keep up with your fish tank maintenance! Ok, lets talk about cleaning your fish tank: Develop an aquarium maintenance schedule You will want to clean your fish tank at least once every 2 weeks.
Once a week would be even better to take care of your fish tank and it will be easier each time you clean. Turn off the electricity to the fish tank.
This will be safer for you and it will keep the filter from clogging up with the debris you pull from the gravel. Read this article on Aquarium Electrical Safety for more information. Use your algae scrubber to scrape any algae off the front and maybe the sides of the tank.
For acrylic aquariums, make sure that you won't scratch the acrylic with whatever you're using to clean the sides. Some use an old credit card for acrylic tanks.
Check out the filter media i. If it needs cleaning you can rinse it in some of the discarded tank water. The vacuum and bucket method Place the bucket below the aquarium.
Insert the end of the vacuum hose into the bucket and the vacuum completely into the aquarium. Use an up and down motion or a 45 angled up and down motion with the vacuum until the water starts flowing into the bucket. Clean as much of the gravel as possible until 20 percent of the water is drained. The Python vacuum method Hook up the python to the sink. Insert the vacuum completely into the aquarium. Turn on the faucet to begin the siphoning process. Refill aquarium with de-chlorinated water.
Before adding water to the tank you should add the proper amount of chemicals that will remove the chlorine and chloramine from the incoming water. Prime is a great additive to remove chloramines but there are several available for hobbyists to use. Try to add water that is the same temperature as your tank water. High temperature swings would be very stressful for your tropical fish. The aquarium light is an often overlooked area that can sometimes be confusing for a beginner to aquariums.
The confusion may come from the many available types of fish tank lighting that you can use to light your aquarium. The main types of aquarium light are: The type of light you need for your fish tank really depends on what you plan on keeping in your aquarium. This article is a very general introduction into aquarium lighting and below we discuss the various types of lighting needs based on aquarium type. These are very general recommendations and we encourage you to research your livestock's lighting requirements for best results.
Regular Fluorescent Light These are the type of lights that come with most starter tanks and are very affordable.