Archive for the Cleaning category

Aquarium Water Testing

There are various important reasons to have your aquarium water regularly tested. Tank water parameters have a direct influence on the life span and well-being of the tank inhabitants. Needless to say, keeping your water parameters within proper levels will certainly save you money and time.

The enclosed environment within a tank demands not only regular maintenance, but also your knowledge of how to test your tank water and interpret the results correctly.

You have to bear in mind that even if the aquarium water appears to be clean and clear, that does not necessarily mean the water is perfect for the tank inhabitants. Dangerous elements and compounds that are lethal to fish may be present, and may not be detected without using good quality water testing kits.

Every hobbyist should have water test kits available at all times and be able to interpret the test results. Specific test kits are available for the four basic parameters that you must check on a regular basis— ammonia, nitrates, nitrite, and pH. It doesn’t really matter whether you have an aquarium that has been newly set up or one that’s been maintained for many years, water test kits should always be on hand and available when needed.

There may be several tests indicated to maintain water quality, however there are tests that should be carried out on a regular basis. Aside from the four parameters already mentioned above, you will also need to test for GH and KH.

General hardness (GH) is a measure of magnesium and calcium dissolved in water. On the other hand, carbonate hardness (KH) refers to the concentration of carbonate and bicarbonate ions that is dissolved in water. Each of these parameters has a specific test kit that you can buy from any fish store or in online shops.

aquarium water testing

 

Ammonia

Ammonia is a normal waste product of fish. It is also produced when organic matter and uneaten food breaks down inside the tank. High ammonia levels in the tank can cause poisoning and may be fatal if the situation is not addressed as soon as possible.

Exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause damage to the protective coating of the fish and compromise their respiratory and immune systems. Ammonia toxicity can eventually cause internal and external bleeding that can be life-threatening.

When testing for ammonia, make sure that levels should be zero, and maintained at that level. Any trace of ammonia in the water can stress fish out.

Nitrite

Nitrite is a by-product of ammonia and is slightly less toxic. However, it is still harmful to the tank inhabitants, thus should not exceed zero during testing.

Nitrate

Nitrate is a byproduct of ammonia and nitrite. Although not quite as toxic, very high levels of nitrate can stress fish and decrease their immune function, making them more prone to developing disease. If you are breeding fish, nitrate levels should also be kept very low.

In a suitable environment, nitrate levels should be maintained at 40 ppm or below. Low nitrate levels can easily be maintained by doing regular water changes.

pH

Basically, water pH specifies whether aquarium water is acidic, alkaline or neutral. A pH of 7.0 is classified as neutral, while pH that falls below 7.0 is acidic and alkaline when it is above 7.0.

About the Author:

Peter Hartono is the founder and CEO of Just Aquatic – a proud Australian company that provides excellent online aquarium supplies for betta fish tanks, goldfish tanks and also aquatic plant care products carrying top of the line brands including API, biOrb and Exo Terra.

Good Choices for Your First Saltwater Tank

Getting your first saltwater tank can be such an exciting event. You will finally be able to sit and enjoy the soothing beauty of your aquarium. However, it can also be frustrating and a bit overwhelming. What equipment do you need? Which fish are best for beginners? Here are some tips to help you start off right.

The first thing you should consider is the actual tank. An acrylic tank is a better insulator than a glass tank and is more stable in terms of temperature. Acrylic tanks are flexible, less prone to leakage and strong, which means they don’t break as easily as glass aquariums. Acrylic is also lighter and easier to drill into, which is important for installing certain filters. If your budget allows it, an acrylic tank would be a good idea.

However, for your first saltwater tank, a glass tank will do just fine, since you will be buying fish that are fairly hardy and easy to take care of. Since this is your first saltwater tank, you should consider purchasing an aquarium kit or package, as it comes with all the necessary equipment you’ll need to maintain your tank.

These aquarium kits usually include filters, heaters, test kits and manuals that will make it easier for you to set up your first saltwater tank. Some aquarium kits are so complete that they come with everything but your fish and water for the tank. These kits include fluorescent fixtures, power filters, plants, fish food, water conditioner and more. They come in sizes that range from about 30 gallons to 50 gallons.

For an extremely low maintenance tank, look for a kit that doesn’t require external plumbing for filtration. On these kits, the filter is attached to the back of the aquarium, making them very easy to maintain.

For your first saltwater tank, you may be tempted to buy the biggest, most colorful fish you can find. However, you really should have some experience with a saltwater fish tank before you spend hundreds of dollars on fish. Budget friendly, hardy fish are the best way to start.

The common clownfish was popular even before the cartoon movie made this hardy fish into a household name. While this fish is fairly easy to care for, it can be a bit aggressive, so you won’t want more than 3 of them in your aquarium. Your fish will be happiest if there are a few of their favorite anemones in the tank, as well.

A damselfish is also a good choice for your aquarium. Because damselfish are so aggressive to other damselfish, it is best to only have one of these colorful little guys in your tank.

Tangs are another popular choice for a first saltwater tank. However, you should be sure you have algae growing on your tank or you will need to provide a suitable alternative. The powder blue tang is the hardiest fish in the species. Since tangs are a bit aggressive, you shouldn’t add more than one to your tank.

Finally, you may want to consider adding some other living things, such as a cleaner shrimp or an anemone crab to the tank. Small hermit crabs are also easy to keep and very amusing to watch.

How To Care For Your Fishes Without Spending A Fortune

How To Care For Your Fishes Without Spending A Fortune

By Partha Mitra

Whether you have a big sized aquarium with lots of fishes or just a glass bowl on your table with a couple of Gold fishes, they give you great pleasure and tranquility to see them. Fishes are most soothing pets, but they can be real delicate too. However you can take a good care for your fishes by remembering some small tips. Whether you are out for a couple of days, your fishes will be there waiting for you when you come back. Here are some tips to keep your fishes healthy.

1) Cleaning your aquarium or tank

Your fish survives in the water of your tank or your aquarium. Not only they eat in it but also the water gradually accumulates the bio-waste from our fishes and gravel. So it makes a god sense to clean the aquarium and change the water once a week. Do not change the entire water immediately. Fishes are sensitive to water temperature and a sudden change may affect them. Collect your fishes in a tub or a plastic bag with some water of your tank or aquarium. Seal the plastic bag and put it safely. Then clean the aquarium and change the water. Put the plastic bag (with the fishes and water) inside the aquarium -without opening it. Let the temperature of the water inside the plastic bag change gradually to that of the new water in the aquarium. Your fishes will adapt to the new temperature. Then open the plastic bag and release the fishes inside the aquarium. After all a clean aquarium is always more pleasant to look at.

2) Cleaning your aquarium’s air pump

Dirt and gravel often coagulates the air pump making it function less efficiently. Often bio-waste accumulates in the air filter. Consider changing the air filter at least once a month or as mentioned in the air-pump manual

3) Feeding your fishes.

One big word: Do Not Overfeed your fishes. Most aquarium fishes die of overfeeding rather then underfeeding. Also leftover foods (usually your fishes will continue eating till they are in real trouble!) contaminate the water, and promote bacteria harmful to the fishes. Feed the fish small amounts, which they can consume in three to five minutes and feed them daily. And if you are going out for a couple of days in the weekend, do not try to feed them an extra quantity on Friday. Your fishes will do well on an empty stomach for a couple of days. Also it is always better not to ask your helpful neighbor not to feed your fish when you are away for the weekend. The chances are that your over-zealous neighbor will overfeed them (with a good intention, of course!). There is sufficient food in a balanced aquarium to keep fish healthy even though not fed for a day or more.

See my e-book on Tropical fishes at http://dotpacket.net/tropical

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

Caring For Your Aquarium And Tropical Fishes

Caring For Your Aquarium And Tropical Fishes

By Partha Mitra

Whether you have a big sized aquarium with lots of tropical fish or just a glass bowl on your table with a couple of Gold fishes, they give you great pleasure and tranquility to see them. Fishes are most soothing pets, but they can be real delicate too. However you can take a good care for your fishes by remembering some small tips. Whether you are out for a couple of days, your fishes will be there waiting for you when you come back. Here are some tips to keep your fishes healthy.

1) Cleaning your aquarium or tank

Your fish survives in the water of your tank or your aquarium. Not only they eat in it but also the water gradually accumulates the bio-waste from our fishes and gravel.

So it makes a god sense to clean the aquarium and change the water once a week. Do not change the entire water immediately. Fishes are sensitive to water temperature and a sudden change may affect them. Collect your fishes in a tub or a plastic bag with some water of your tank or aquarium. Seal the plastic bag and put it safely. Then clean the aquarium and change the water. Put the plastic bag (with the fishes and water) inside the aquarium -without opening it. Let the temperature of the water inside the plastic bag change gradually to that of the new water in the aquarium. Your fishes will adapt to the new temperature. Then open the plastic bag and release the fishes inside the aquarium. After all a clean aquarium is always more pleasant to look at.

2) Cleaning your aquarium’s air pump

Dirt and gravel often coagulates the air pump making it function less efficiently. Often bio-waste accumulates in the air filter. Consider changing the air filter at least once a month or as mentioned in the air-pump manual

3) Feeding your fishes.

One big word: Do Not Overfeed your fishes. Most aquarium fishes die of overfeeding rather then underfeeding. Also leftover foods (usually your fishes will continue eating till they are in real trouble!) contaminate the water, and promote bacteria harmful to the fishes. Feed the fish small amounts, which they can consume in three to five minutes and feed them daily. And if you are going out for a couple of days in the weekend, do not try to feed them an extra quantity on Friday. Your fishes will do well on an empty stomach for a couple of days. Also it is always better not to ask your helpful neighbor not to feed your fish when you are away for the weekend. The chances are that your over-zealous neighbor will overfeed them (with a good intention, of course!). There is sufficient food in a balanced aquarium to keep fish healthy even though not fed for a day or more.

See my e-book on Tropical fishes at http://dotpacket.net/tropical/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com



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