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How To Choose A Tropical Fish Aquarium

The first decision you must make when you buy an aquarium is whether you plan to keep freshwater fish or saltwater fish. It’s up to you whether you want to keep saltwater or freshwater, but if this is your first aquarium, then I suggest you start with a freshwater aquarium. DoggieToys.Deals

 

Here’s why: Saltwater tanks are more expensive and more complex. You have extra things to worry about such as the salinity of the water, water conditioning, and temperature. Because of this, freshwater fish are much easier to care for if you’re new to keeping tropical fish.

 

Here’s a few other things to keep in mind when buying an aquarium:

 

Location

When you’re deciding on a location for your aquarium, remember that it can’t be placed in direct sunlight, or anywhere else that could result in changes in temperature.

 

Also remember that your aquarium, when filled with water, can be very heavy. As an example, a filled 20-gallon glass tank will weight about 225 pounds. Bear this in mind when you choose on a location for your aquarium…as it will be impossible to move afterwards.

 

Level floor

You will need a level floor for your aquarium, as this will reduce stress on the tank and reduce the chance of any cracks forming over time due to the floor being uneven.

 

Electrical outlet

Make sure your new tank is located near an electrical outlet so you can plug in the heaters, lights and pumps.

 

Accessible

You’ll need to have easy access to your tank so you can use the heater controls and air valves. You also need to have room for a net, and room to move decorations around.

 

Shape

When you’re choosing the shape of your aquarium choose short, longer shapes over tall, thinner shapes. This way there will be more surface area at the top of the water, which is much better for your fish.

 

Size

It is best to choose an aquarium over 10 gallons. Why? Because it’s just easier to take care of a fish in a larger tank than a smaller one. Whatever aquarium you choose, it is going to, over time, have a build up of waste material. In a large tank these toxic materials have more room to be dispersed. This means the water stays cleaner for longer, and will require less cleaning than a smaller tank.

 

Material

Aquariums can be made from glass or acrylic. Both have there pros and cons, but I recommend beginners to start with a glass aquarium. Why? Firstly, they cost less, secondly, they don’t scratch so easily, and thirdly, they only need to be supported by the edges.

 

As you can see, you need to put some time and consideration into where you choose to place your aquarium. All these things will play a part in which aquarium you choose to buy.

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A Brief Introduction To Saltwater Aquariums

This introduction to saltwater aquariums was designed with the beginner aquarist in mind. There are many reasons for setting up a saltwater aquarium, not least of which is its beauty. The beautiful colors of fish and coral, interesting algae, soothing sound of bubbling water and the fun involved in creating a fabulous marine world are all reasons why keeping saltwater aquariums gives people so much fun and pleasure.

 

For the beginner even a brief introduction to saltwater aquariums can seem a bit daunting. This is because not only are marine systems a bit complex to set up and maintain they can also be expensive. Saltwater aquariums are not for everybody and even the simplest marine tank can cause headaches. Fish keeping can be tricky and marine fish in particular take a lot of time and effort to keep healthy.

 

This is because marine species are far more sensitive to water quality and temperature changes so you will need to be informed about the needs of all your fish as well as the tank itself. Saltwater aquariums require patience and a degree of know-how to make it work. You will also need to make sure that you can afford to keep the tank in a healthy state.

 

Which saltwater aquarium you choose will depend on your aims for the tank and your personal preferences. There are many different options available in terms of the fish and animals you can keep in your tank as well as the equipment you can choose from. Some saltwater aquariums are not suited for the absolute beginner.

 

The first thing to decide when setting up saltwater aquariums is what kind of fish you want to keep. The next step is finding out as much about each one as you can. Not all marine species are suited to beginners so you might have to adapt your wish-list to suit your level of expertise. Never take on species that are for advanced fish keepers or you could well run into trouble.

 

There are two main kinds of saltwater aquariums namely 1) ‘fish only’ or 2) ‘fish only with live rock’ OR ‘reef tanks’.

 

The first is probably the easiest saltwater aquariums to attempt. This is because in saltwater aquariums of this nature, lighting is not really an issue and you can use a simple tank with its usual equipment and only a few extra bits like protein skimmers, powerheads and live rock or sand.

 

These kinds of saltwater aquariums will usually be either a community tank containing species like clownfish, damselfish, gobies, wrass, and dottybacks, or an aggressive tank where you will find species like lionfish, triggers, eels, groupers, and larger predatory species.

 

Before you choose your fish, make sure you know EXACTLY which species live well together to avoid your tank turning into a complete massacre. If you are a novice to saltwater aquariums start with a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. This is because most if not all of your fish will easily outgrow the tank.

 

Go for the largest tanks you can afford. The bigger saltwater aquariums are easier to keep in tip-top shape.

 

Most important to the health of saltwater aquariums is water purification in your tank. This means that even the smallest amount of impurities in the water can hurt your fish Remember most of these animals are found in natural coral reefs where the water is very pure. So you will need to make sure that the water in your tank is clean at all times.

 

In small (10 gallons) saltwater aquariums you can use a Brita filter or water purifier column or you can use distilled water. These methods won’t work in bigger tanks, however. The best bet for any size tank is an RO/DI (reverse osmosis/deionization) system.

 

Filtration is quite complicated in saltwater aquariums but depends to a large degree on the fish species you intend to keep and how many. In a fish only tank you can use a freshwater filter for example canisters, power filters and the like. You can also try a wet-dry trickle filter. If you decide to keep a reef tank you might want to use a natural filtration system like live rock or sand or a refugium.

 

Protein skimming is also important in saltwater aquariums and it is strongly recommended that you do it, especially if you have lots of fish in your tank. A protein skimmer uses foaming bubbles to separate fish waste that floats up to the water column from the water’s main flow.

 

The foundation in your tank will require the laying down of live sand. In saltwater aquariums sand doesn’t only act as a substrate it is also the breeding ground for millions of vital bacteria. These bacteria help the nitrogen cycle to work efficiently. The sand is also home to the small animals that help control the waste products in your tank.

 

The best sand for saltwater aquariums is calcium carbonate (aragonite). You can get this from crushed corals, or finer sands. You can also use silica and quartz sands but they are not as good.

 

What about live rock? Probably one of the most expensive features of saltwater aquariums, prices may put off many a budding marine aquarist. Live rock can be bought by the pound and it is expensive because it’s the real thing. In the sea live rock makes up a reef structure with little calcium carbonate structures produced by corals. Since live rock is harvested from nature and laws govern this harvesting you can begin to understand why it is so expensive.

 

Live rock is important to saltwater aquariums for the bacteria it introduces into your tank. These little organisms keep your water filtered in the same way it does in nature. It also acts as a home and shelter for your fish and a place for coral to grow. It is well worth the high price you pay. ‘Fiji’ rock is a good choice if you can find it. Try to avoid any live rock that has a mantis shrimp on it as they multiply very quickly.

 

Let’s move on to the lighting in saltwater aquariums. In a fish only or fish and live rock tank lighting is not really an issue. In a reef tank, however, it is critical. This is because light is needed for most corals and anemones to grow. Special lights are needed for a marine tank so use one of the following:

 

Power Compact Fluorescent (PC)

Very High Output Fluorescent (VHO)

Metal Halide (MH)

 

Remember you will still need to cycle your tank and perform the necessary water quality testing before you add any of your livestock. So there you have it – the basics of what to start thinking about as you set up saltwater aquariums. We suggest doing plenty of further research to make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you get started.

 

Marine tanks are not for everyone, so make sure they suit you before you spend a lot of money.

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Aquarium Ornament

Aquarium ornaments aren’t there to add any benefits to the fish, they are just for you to add some decoration in the tank. You can have all sorts of ornaments, big or small, traditional or caricature, simple or even complicated. There are thousands of different ornaments that you can buy in stores or you can even make your own. However ornaments are not for all fish, some fish don’t like them, I know for a fact Oscars don’t take well to any type of ornament or even plant. Some fish do need them though, basically to hide or live in and keep away from bigger fish.

 

Traditional ornaments are ornaments like castles and ships, they provide security for smaller fish from the bigger ones, they also provide a place to stay and play, yes fish do play! Fish ornaments are available in pet and fish stores. They tend to range from very low to very high prices. You can of course get more detailed ornaments that aren’t shaped to be anything except for like branches with weeds on them. Some fish need their ornaments to resemble their natural home, for example lots of plants and branches in the tank.

 

If you have amphibians in your

tank they often like a waterfall ornament with a bathing pool at the bottom of it so that they can bath in it. Amphibians need a lot of greenery in their tank as this resembles their home and therefore you should try to make sure that you fill you tank full of it! Aquarium ornaments are easy to come across and they don’t take much effort to put in the tank.

 

You should always try to keep the ornaments like the animals natural habitat unless it is a fish that couldn’t care less, like goldfish for example. Goldfish are very easy to keep and you can decorate their tank with all sorts of funny ornaments. With smaller fish you can try to decorate their tanks with funky ornaments but I always feel that the traditional ones are better!

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Picking The Right Aquarium Type

Aquariums have evolved into a very popular hobby, with about millions of aquarium and tropical fish enthusiasts worldwide.

 

Starting in the 1850s (when the predecessor of the modern aquarium were first being developed as a novel curiosity) the ranks of aquarium keeping has grown as more sophisticated systems including lighting and filtration systems were developed to keep aquarium fish healthy.

 

However before you can get started in the hobby you must first buy an aquarium. When you get to the pet store or specialized aquarium store you will have lots of aquarium tanks to choose from:

 

Metal Framework:

 

Most of the old style aquariums are made with sheets of glass, which are held in a metal framework. This is usually constructed of pieces of angle iron or stainless steel, which are welded together at the corners. Leakage between the glass and metal is prevented by putty aquarium cement, acrylic or silicon sealant.

 

Battery Jars:

 

Fish Globes or Bowls: This type of aquarium is useful for emergency purpose, but is not to be recommended as a permanent features. The glasses are cast in one piece and a crack, however small, may suddenly expand and cause a flood. This not only results in a loss of fishes but also necessitates the buying of a new tank, as it is impossible to repair the old one.

 

Also, when looking through the walls of this type of aquarium, there is distortion, which adversely affects one’s view of the fishes. Similar disadvantages apply in fish globes or bowls.

 

Plastics:

 

With the ever-expanding applications of plastics, it is not surprising that these synthetic that these synthetic products have been used to replace glass for aquarium. Plastics have advantage of being unbreakable, but are soft enough for the surface to become scratched. This is in time will mar transparency.

 

Vitorlite:

 

This glass-like material is available in many different colours and some very pleasing effects can be obtained by applying it to the sides to back up the aquarium. Moreover, being opaque Vitorlite will hide the wall and any unsightly wires or other apparatus behind the aquarium.

 

Wood:

 

Aquarium frameworks with wood are desirable mainly for aesthetic reasons. The wooden framework however will have to be constructed from plywood to prevent warping.

 

The advantage of the wood lies in the fact that it can be polished, covered with upholstered rug, stained or coated with colours to harmonize with the furnishing of the room.

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A Beginners Guide to a Clean and Healthy Aquarium

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

People who don’t know much about aquariums might use harsh household cleaners to clean their aquariums. This would have detrimental for the small ecosystem you ought to be striving to create. Good tips for keeping your aquarium clean is to keep the water supply clean by cleaning the water pump. To do so one should always keep the filtration system in mind. A good clean filter is what the life of your aquariums ecosystem depend on. Cleaning the filter too often might also have a negative impact on your aquariums life. It is therefore important to maintain a balance, and to clean your aquariums filter only when needed or specified by the filters manufacturer. Many aquariums experts recommend that the ornaments as well as the glass ought to be cleaned at least once every two weeks. Cleaning the aquarium ornaments and glass prevents algae from building up inside. If the aquarium is made from plastic materials then cleaning should be performed on smaller time intervals, perhaps once a week. When performing maintenance operations to your aquarium, you should always keep in mind a few things to ensure that things are going smoothly inside your aquarium. Check the air pump and see if it is running ok. It is imperative that there is enough oxygen for the fish but also to allow for proper flow of the water.

Another thing that will ensure longer life for your aquarium is ensuring that the water is changed often. This way your fish and plants will live longer and your aquarium will definitely look better. One more thing that you should do to maintain a clean aquarium is to clean, or at least rinse the gravel that sit on the bottom of your aquarium. This process entails that you remove all contents of the aquarium including the fish. Therefore, its viability depends highly on how many as well as what kind of fish you have. Keeping a clean aquarium does not only entail cleaning it every week or two weeks. You should also consider acquiring a water purifier. There are many kinds of purifiers out there for different types of aquariums as well as sizes. When you use a water purifier to clean the water contents of your fish tank you should always let it sit and mix with the water to allow it to dissolve. If you are new to aquariums, always remember to read the instructions of every product used. Be careful; keep a schedule for maintenance operations and treat your aquarium with love and it will eventually flourish.

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How to Care For Aquarium Fish

An aquarium is perhaps the easiest type of pet to have. There are some basic steps to caring for fish once the tank is established. There are things that should be done daily to care for fish and some things that need only be done weekly or bi-weekly. Daily maintenance of an aquarium is fairly minimal. Look at the fish every day to make sure they appear to be overall healthy and happy. This may seem silly, but the main cause of sickness in fish is stress. So, a happy fish is a healthy fish. Check to see that all lights and filters on the aquarium are plugged in and functioning correctly. Feed the fish daily. Only feed what can be consumed in the first two to five minutes. Any excess food will become debris in the tank and lead to illness or attribute to excess nitrite levels. You should check the water ph and temp weekly. Any necessary adjustment should be made promptly. Check with your local pet store when purchasing fish to find out what levels are appropriate. They vary amongst fish species.

 

Filter cleaning is extremely important. Filters collect waste excreted by the fish and left in the tank in the form of excessive fool. The filters will eventually fill with debris and be unable to do their job unless they are cleaned. In addition to eliminating waste, filter sometimes act as an aeration device cycling oxygen through the tank. If the filters are clogged, circulation slows. This limits the amount of oxygen in the tank. If left untreated, this could be deadly for your fish. Change the filter on the aquarium every two to three weeks depending on need. You will know when it needs to be cleaned because the water will become cloudy or smelly. Some filters need to be replaced, while other simply need to be cleaned with water.

 

The proper way to change water in a tank is to do it gradually. First unplug any lights and equipment before cleaning the aquarium. Change approximately one third of the water in the aquarium every one to two weeks. Water from the tap should be treated accordingly before adding to the tank and adjusted within two degrees of the aquarium. Again, check with your local retailer when purchasing fish. Some treatments allow the tap water to be ready in as little as an hour, while others need to sit overnight before being added to the tank.

 

Clean the sides of the tank with a scrubber to remove any built up algae. Be careful not to disturb or scare the fish. Move rocks and decorations to loosen any debris. Try to collect this debris when removing the water, either with a bucket or a vacuum type of siphon. Prune any dead leaves from aquatic plants. Clean the outside of the tank with a squeegee and clean tap water. Clean the cover and lid. Lastly, plug the aquarium back in, and enjoy the freshly cleaned tank.

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Aquarium Care Guide- New Tanks

When starting a new aquarium it is important to understand the nitrogen cycle. Many new aquarium owners jump into the hobby of fish keeping too quickly. Before purchasing fish, the aquarium must be cycled. This could take anywhere from twenty four hours to four weeks. In an established aquarium there are certain bacteria that help the breakdown of ammonia to nitrates, but they are not present in a new tank because they are generated from existing fish. If there are no existing fish, then there are no good bacteria.

 

The basic principle of the nitrogen cycle is this. Fish eat food and generate waste. That waste along with excess food and plant debris become ammonia in the aquarium. Ammonia is toxic to fish and needs to be broken down. That’s why the nitrifying bacteria is important. This bacteria, turns the ammonia into nitrites which are more tolerable to fish than ammonia. Next, different nitrifying bacteria will turn the nitrites into nitrates, which are even less toxic to the fish and other aquarium life. The nitrates are collected and minimized by filters; however they will eventually accumulate in the tank. Regular water changes are required to remove the nitrates from the water.

 

It is important to set up and run an aquarium before any fish are introduced into the environment. Wash the tank and any substrate and decorations thoroughly with water. Don’t use any soap. Fill the tank with de-chlorinated water and attach filters and lighting. Allow the tank to cycle until the water is no longer cloudy and sufficient P.H and water temperatures have been established.

 

Now it is time to purchase the fish! Buy hardy fish such as danios, barb, gouramis, and live bearers. They should be able to withstand the high nitrite levels and ammonia in the new aquarium. Only introduce about four fish at a time. Float the fish in the bag in the aquarium for about fifteen minutes before adding them to the tank. This will help the fish become acclimated to the water temperature in their new home. When adding the fish, be careful not to allow the water from the bag into the aquarium. It may be contaminated, or will at the very least, throw off the temperature and P.H. Allow the fish about two hours to become acclimated before feeding.

 

Only feed an amount that can be consumed in the first two to five minutes. Overfeeding is a common problem in an aquarium. It is important not to overfeed, because excess food will become debris adding to the ammonia levels. This is especially important in new aquariums that lack nitrifying bacteria. Test the water P.H. every day within the first month. Watch the tank for cloudiness; if the aquarium becomes cloudy, it may be necessary to add a clarifier. Monitor the fish for signs of stress or illness. A healthy fish will be swimming regularly. Lethargic fish will usually hover near the surface of the aquarium. After about a week change approximately ten percent of the water and begin regular maintenance.

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Deep sea monsters know as Angler fishs

Anglerfishes are famous for their unusual predatory technique. Their first spine have been developed into a fishing pole with a little bate in the end. The fishing pole is actually named “illicium” and the bate is named “esca”. The esca is a fleshy growth found at the end of the illicium. When a predatory fish notices the esca, it thinks that it is a suitable prey. It swims close to the esca, and is rapidly overtaken by the Anglerfish before it gets a change to swallow the esca.

 

There are more than 200 known species of Anglerfish in the world, and more might be found in the future since a lot of the Angler fish species inhabit great depths far down in the ocean where humans and their research equipment seldom venture. The Anglefish species are not contained in any special family or genera, they are instead spread out over several different families. They do however belong to the same order; Lophiiformes. (The order of the bony fishes.)

 

Angel fish species are famous for their capability to kill and consume prey that is much larger than them selves. The ambush effect makes it possible for Angelfishes to kill large prey and their adaptable body makes it possible for them to swallow the catch. Their jaws can be distended to accommodate huge prey and their thin and flexible bones make their stomach larger. The stomach of an Angler fish is very stretchy.

 

As mentioned above, a lot of the Anglerfish species dwell far down in the ocean. They inhabit aphotic zones to where the suns’ light can not penetrate. A normal esca is therefore invisible. The deep living Angler fish species have solved this by entering a symbiotic relationship with a certain type of bacteria than produce light. The bacteria colonise the esca and make it glow in the dark, an example of so called bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is a common feature in deep sea living organisms and other predatory fishes in the aphotic zone will therefore assume that the small esca is a suitable prey. The rest of the Angler fish is dark and can not be detected in the aphotic environment. The light from the esca is not strong enough to illuminate the body of the fish, nor is the light from other bioluminescent organisms. The Angler fish can therefore stay completely hidden and ambush the unsuspecting predatory fish.

 

Deep sea Angler fish have developed an unusual method of reproduction. Once a male Anglerfish finds a female Anglerfish, he will never leave her. He attaches himself to her body using his sharp teeth and produces an enzyme that gradually allows him access to her blood stream. The two fishes will gradually melt together and the male will not hunt, he will get all the nutrition that he needs from the female Anglerfish. When she is ready to ovulate, the hormone levels in her blood will make the male produce sperm than can fertilize the eggs. In order for this method to be successful, the female Anglerfishes are much larger than the male. When the males have attached themselves to a female, they will actually deteriorate even further. One of the largest found female Anglerfishes was bigger than one yard (more than 90 centimeters). Some female Anglerfishes will allow several males to attach themselves to her.

 

 

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How To Discover And Prevent Aquarium Fish Illness

Aquarium fish fall ill just like any other pet. The illnesses are as a result of disease. The common diseases that affect aquarium fish are mostly stress induced.

 

The micro-organisms which cause these diseases may be present in the water as part of the normal micro fauna and grab the opportunity to infest or infect the fish when it is stressed and its normal defense are weakened.

 

Different ways aquarium fish suffer from stress

 

– Aquarium fish usually start experiencing stress starting from the time it’s about living the breeding farm till when the end purchaser finally picked it from retailer. Most beginners don’t really know how to handle fish.

 

– The quality of water is another cause of aquarium fish stress. Different fish species have different water quality that will make the environment conducive for them. Quality parameters like pH, water hardness, high nitrite and carbon dioxide level, low dissolved oxygen salinity of water, water temperature and others.

 

– Any change in environment like physical damage, leaches, lice and introduction of new fish that is not quarantine could lead to stress in aquarium, thus making life non conducive for fish in aquarium tank

 

– Change in weather condition is another factor that leads to aquarium fish stress. When there is heavy downfall as you know the weather will become cold and this could lead to stress in aquarium.

 

– Poor Diet as a result of lack in nutritional requirement always leads to poor performance in fish immune system. Fish immune system will struggle to operate efficiently. This will result in a stressed fish.

 

Warning signs of illness in aquarium fish

 

You can easily know when your fish are going through stress if you watch them very well and often. You will notice signs like fish swimming with clamps up (closed) in their fins, hovering in a corner, heavy breathing and fish brushing its body against objects. These are warning signs you need to act on immediately.

 

How to reduce stress in aquarium

 

To reduce stress in aquarium, you need to guide against factors that lead to stress. The following are tips on how to prevent stress that ultimately leads to illness:

 

– Make sure you have detail information about the fish species that you will be introducing to your tank. Enquiring about its requirements before you buy it will help you a lot. Thus, ask lots of questions before making your purchase.

 

– Knowing the right food for your fish is another important thing you have to know as this may vary from species to species. If you have this knowledge you will be able to provide foods that are rich in nutritional ingredients that your fish require.

 

– Keep the environment clean.

 

– When you want to introduce new fish, make sure it’s quarantined to reduce the risk of disease.