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Tropical Fish Tank

Aquarium Heaters for your Tropical Fish Tank

Heaters are no more expensive than any other small electrical appliance. Remember, heaters are using up electricity only when they are heating. Thermostats do not use up any current; they only conduct it or cut it off.

The warmer you keep your tanks in relation to the room temperature; the more electricity will be required. If you are concerned about the cost of electricity, keep your tanks in the warmest part of the warmest room – but not near a radiator – and maintain your tanks at the lowest safe temperature of 72° to 73° F.

Incidentally, it costs no more to operate a large heater when a small heater in the same size tank. The larger heater will simply heat up that much faster and shut off that much sooner. Many people are under the misconception that a heater gives off only the temperature at which the thermostat is set while heating. This is not so. A heater, once it starts heating, gets as hot as the resistance wire will allow, and stays at that high temperature until the thermostat shuts it off. Then it loses all its heat to the water. A heater does not feel hot to the touch while it is heating, because it is rapidly exchanging its heat with the water. The same heater in air becomes too hot to touch within seconds.

A test light can be wired to a heater, provided you know how to make the hook-up. If the test light goes on when the thermostat and heater are plugged in, turn the temperature control down until the light just flickers off. If the light fails to go on, turn the temperature control higher. The point at which the light flickers on or off is where thermostat is set for room temperature. A thermometer in the room will tell you what the room temperature is. From there it is a simple matter to turn the thermostat up or down.

If the light goes on and fails to shut off when the thermostat contact is broken, it is usually evidence of the failure of a condenser, which should be removed. The heater should then function normally. A new condenser should be put on as soon as possible, rather than operating without it. The absence of a condenser puts a strain on the contact points.

If the test light fails to go on, check the male plug and the contact points first; then look for a break in the element, or a black spot, which indicates a burned area.

Occasionally the points become so coated with carbon that they fail to make proper contact, or constant arcing may build up a high spot, preventing the contact from breaking properly. Fine sandpaper used carefully will remove those spots and return the unit to proper operating.


Beginner’s Tips to Take Care of Freshwater Aquatic Life

If you are considering to pet fishes at your home and get a new aquarium, you need to make sure that you are ready to take the responsibility of managing aquatic life. Once you learn about every measure to keep the aquatic life alive and healthy, maintaining your aquarium will become easy and stress-free. These tips will help set your first aquarium and enjoy petting your new aquatic friends.

Picking the right aquarium

You need to pick the right aquarium based on the type of fish that you plan on getting home. It can be a saltwater fish or a freshwater fish. Also, consider the number of fishes that you want to get. You should give a thought to the habitat that you can provide to the fishes. If you overcrowd the aquarium, it can lead to low oxygen levels, excess waste, and even fatalities. Take the advice from your local aquarium store to choose the size that can fit your requirements based on the fishes you buy.


Setting up optimal water conditions

You will need different settings for different types of aquatic lives. You need to have the right conditioning of the water for your fishes. If you are using tap water, you will need a biological aquarium supplement with a dechlorinating agent. You also need to check the pH levels of your tank water. Use a pH test-kit to make sure that the pH level of the water you use is between 6.8 to 7.5. Check your fishes health regularly to make sure that they are not stressed due to high pH levels. The water temperature can also cause havoc for your aquatic lives. Keep your aquarium away from the sun or heating appliances. An aquatic heater can also help you in maintaining a comfortable temperature for your fishes.

Regular fish tank maintenance

You need to be regular in maintaining your fish tank to make sure that the environment for the fishes stay clean. Try to replace 25% of the water in your aquarium every month. It will keep your tank’s water clean and safe nitrate concentrations. Prevent algae buildup in the tank. It can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the water. Use a tank scrub brush or aquarium algae magnet.

fish tank

Observing the aquatic life for changes

Devote time in observing your aquatic life on a regular basis. Note down any changes that you find in appearance, appetite, and behaviour and check for what it means from the experts. You can manage your aquatic life really well if you know your fishes better. Enjoy watching your aquatic life and observe them swimming in their new habitat. Note whether adding new elements to your aquarium is effective their habitat for your pet fishes and make changes accordingly.



Treating The Water In Your Aquarium

The water in the tank is a vital element for the fish. Its quality has to be very good and appropriate for the type of fish you have.There are some general aspects common to every fish species. For example, all fish like a pH measurement of acid and/or base water. Usually, the best pH level is between 6.5 and 7.5. Lower concentrations or higher damage the fish’s health.

What about the water type?

You need water treatments to improve the tap water you put in your tank.
Depending on the species, fish like water types like: soft water, hardness, saltwater, alkalinity and so on. The alkalinity of the water is established by a series of test results. Alkalinity is good for the fish, because it regulates the pH balance. The hard water has a lot of minerals, which is often unregulated. Soft water on the other hand, can’t produce dissolved minerals and if the water is made soft by different machines, is doesn’t have a big amount of minerals.

Water treatments

All water treatments have NH3, NO2, and NO3. NH3 is the symbol for ammonia, NO2 is the symbol for nitrites and NO3 is for nitrates. Don’t forget that fish produce ammonia naturally with their waste. The ammonia then becomes nitrites.

If you don’t have experience in owning fish, you should use a kit to test the tank water before introducing fish into the aquarium. The kits have different tools that will indicate the level of nitrites, chlorine, ammonia, nitrates, or any other chemicals in the water.

There a common myth which says that salt must be added to the water in the tank. That is not true. Salt can damage the fish skin. Only some tropical fish species like salt in the water because it relieves stress.

Many people use tap water to fill the tank. This water has big amounts of chloramines and chlorine. Fish, unlike us, can’t survive if they ingest chlorine or chloramines. Besides these two substances, the tap water also has hypochlorite, used to disinfect it.

Before you fill the tank with water, let it stand a bit to remove the chemicals or let the tap run for five minutes.

Ideal is to purify the water with treatments that contain solutions that are decholorinator-based. The decholorinator cleans of chloramines but the bad thing is that it releases ammonia.

Verify the tap water before you put it into the tank. Do this before buying any water treatment.

You can find out what your water contains by calling the local water company. Explain to them what your problem is so that they understand why you inquire upon the water contents.

Normally, tap water has copper, chloramines, chlorine, metal, phosphates, and Trichloroethylene.

If you discover that your tap water has chlorinate, use a water treatment, like thiosulphate dechlorinators that are sodium based.

But if there are other substances in the water, talk to someone from your local pet store and ask for advice. They will tell you what kind of water treatment to use.

Besides purchasing an aquarium and fish, you will also need to clean the tank and use buckets, nets a hose and other accessories that can be found in the pet store. And don’t forget to stay up to date on the latest aquarium water treatments.


Six Reasons To Consistantly Change The Water In Your Aquarium

Ph Levels

pH means hydrogen potenz. This is the actual concentration of hydrogen ions in the aquarium tank. The amount of hydrogen ion is related to the acidity of the water in the tank. The pH value is also connected to the fish activity in the tank. The fish produce debris which changes the pH balance. This is why you need to constantly monitor the values and also to change the water in the tank quite often.

Nitrates levels

Experienced fish owners suggest that periodical water changes in the tank must be done to keep a low nitrate level. The fish naturally produce ammonia through the excretion process and the level of nitrates changes every day.
It is good if a saltwater aquarium has a nitrate concentration of maximum 20 parts per million. Freshwater aquariums must have at the most 50 parts per million in nitrate levels.

But not just changing the water helps to keep an optimal level of nitrates. There are also some protein skimmers available that regulate the nitrate levels. Still, don’t forget that no amount of proteins can remove the debris from the tank. You need to change the water in order to eliminate organic fish waste.

Kh Control

Kh refers to hydrolysis levels, which means the ability of water to buffer. What does that mean? The water has an optimum level of basis and acids in it. Kh control is about maintaining an optimum level between these two components and the tank water. The biological activity in the tank permanently changes the levels and water needs to be changes quite often.

Detoxifying the aquarium

It may not seem that way to you but life in the aquarium is quite an active one. Plants, fish, snails, they all eliminate organic debris. The byproducts of metabolic activities of the aquarium residents and the excretion products bring toxic products in the tank. Even the air introduced in the aquarium or on the water surface can bring new toxic materials or microorganisms. And let’s not forget that you can drop some things into the aquarium also. So change the water as often as you can.

Aquarium accessories clean-up

A good wash must be given to the rocks also, different balls, or other accessories because waste sometimes sits on them.

Algae growth

Algae are known to grow fast in all types of tanks and water. The aquarium environments are very good for the algae because the water is stagnant and a bit hot. But algae pollute the water a lot and can cause fish health problems. Besides that, just like the fish, the algae suck the nutrients out of the water and if they grow too much they compete with the fish for food. Changing the water regularly helps prevent excessive algae growth.

So, in conclusion, no matter how many water treatments and filters you have, a change of tank water from time to time is vital for your fish tank health.

Lighting Aquarium

Lighting Aquarium Coral

If you are not an experience coral breeder, choose a type of coral that can survive with normal light. Some species that don’t require special light are the Mushroom Corals and the Coral Polyps. There are most suited for first time coral owners. If you have one of these species, use normal lightning techniques.
Some species like the Small Polyp Stony Corals (SPS’s) – including the Porites, Brain Coral, Acoropora, Montipora, Bubble Coral, Cup Coral, Torch Coral, Elegance Coral, and Trumpet Coral – need an intense light. This means that they will need a lot of attention from the tank owner. Sometimes, providing these species with light can be a challenge. They need more intense light. This means that algae will grow in the tank, if the light is intense. This can be a challenge for most aquarium hobbyists.

The most common technique for keeping the coral safe is the LED – light emitting diode. Before the LED aquarists used the filament or gas based systems. But once the led appeared, these systems became obsolete. The LEDs have a big power, a longer lifespan, they consume less energy. All this means small costs and less hassle.

Also, keep in mind that the process called the zooxanthellae’s photosynthesis needs tow types of lights: blue and red. The lights in the aquarium often exude a purple hue. Many of them also provide the both colors. It is the standard in the industry.

During the zooxanthellae’s photosynthesis the light must be reduced to minimum. This is essential. Respect the tolerance limits as well. Keep the lights to a middle level or some bad things may happen to the coral and also to the zooxanthellae.

There are no exact measurements on how little or how much light it takes for the xooxanthellae to be all right. Usually, the amount of xooxanthellae in the corals is between a few thousands to some millions. Make sure the minimum light intensity is 3000-lux. Never go beyond 120.000-lux. Constantly observe the status of the coral while adjusting the light levels. Notice how they behave and act accordingly.

Also, use high quality lamps. Those ones include fluorescent. It is better to use six lamps if you tank is big enough. If you don’t have space for all of them, use high output lamps. They are more expensive than the other ones but they are very necessary. Replace the bulbs once at every half a year. The power florescent lams are in a U-shape and they are the best option. You only need for of those and not six.
In conclusion, corals are amazing for your aquarium. Many fish also like to feast on coral. Read all the instructions of the lightning systems carefully and if you have any more questions read on the internet or talk to a sales person from the pet shop. Whether you have decided to have coral in your tank or not, it is always good to keep the lightning levels to the right specifications for your fish species.

Honey Gourami

Honey Gourami (Colisa Chuna)

They should be in water that has between 24 and 26C (between 75 and 79F) and is either medium/hard or soft. The food eaten by the Honey Gourami consists of insects, worms, dried food and crustaceans.

While they will do OK in an aquarium with other fish, the Honey Gourami is more suited for an aquarium where only the same type of fish live. This is because the male needs to mark his territory and get his full colors.

The aquarium where these fish are kept should have rooted plants with feathery leaves and maybe some floating plants. You should use rocks and roots to give the fish shelter in the aquarium. The aquarium needs enough room for the fish to swim in.

The area where the Honey Gourami likes to hang out is the top side of the aquarium. They will breathe from the surface of the water, so it should be exposed. If you leave some ventilation holes in the hood of the aquarium it should be all the fish need.

The color of this fish is yellow with some silver on it, which is more pronounced on the belly. It has a red iris with a stripe colored dark brown from the caudal fin to the eye. The colors of the young Honey Gourami and that of the female are a bit duller.

This species can breed well when kept in an aquarium. They will start by the nest creation, done by the male by binding plants with bubbles. Next, the male courts the female, which releases the eggs inside the nest. The fertilization will be done by the male. The number of eggs varies between 300 and 800 eggs.

Once the eggs are released, the female should be taken out of the aquarium. The male is the one taking care of the eggs until they hatch and the young begin swimming (2-3 days). At this point take out the males as well, so they don’t eat their young.

Aquarium Fish

Choosing Your Aquarium Fish – 5 Important Tips

A short summary on what you should know before you purchase fish for an aquarium:

1. The type of the fish is extremely important. If you choose multiple fish species, make sure they are compatible. There are some predator fish species that must not be placed with calm and sociable fish for example. If you are a beginner, choose a species that doesn’t require that much care, that doesn’t need special living conditions. Also, choose a docile and friendly fish. It will be easier to have in the aquarium because it won’t cause trouble

2. Before buying any kind of fish, no matter the race, make sure the fish are healthy. Do that first by observation. Notice any change in the mood, swimming etc. check the fins and the scales, make sure they don’t have bumps or bruises. Also, buy the fish from local pet shops or from well known breeders. If you see fish that hang around on the bottom of the tank, that could be a sign that they might have an internal health problem. Besides that, if the fish is too active and jumps around all over the place, that could be an illness indication. It is better to keep away from these fish.

3. After choosing a species and checking the health status, also ask about the fish’s temperament. That is strictly connected to the water living conditions. Ask the breeder or the local pet store people what are the general living conditions of the fish. Stretch on the water temperature because that is very important. Keep in mind that saltwater fish prefer a different temperature than the freshwater fish.

4. Another aspect worthy of considering is the fish’s size. You will need to buy a tank. The size of the tank depends on the size of the fish. If it will grow to a considerable size, it is better to buy a big tank from the start rather than a small one and change it later, when the fish is adult.

5. Finally, make sure you know what your fish likes to eat. If you give him the wrong type of food that could seriously damage his health. Many fish have different eating habits. Besides that, also ask about the price of the food for that fish. Make sure you can afford it before you purchase the fish.
These are a few tips on how to become a fish owner. Nevertheless, continue to document on your self and learn as much as you can about fish caring.

Clown Loach

Clown Loach (Botia Macracantha)

clown loach Clown Loach (Botia Macracantha)The Clown Loach is a fish that is local to Sumatra and Borneo, and belongs to the Botia Macracantha family. Other names that people use for this fish are Clown Botia and Tiger Botia. It can reach a length of up to 30cm (12 inches), but usually only in the wild. For those kept in an aquarium, you can expect a length of up to 15cm (6 inches). Their food is usually composed of dried food, worms, plant matter and small crustaceans. Their water needs to have a temperature between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius (75 to 86F).

This is a beautiful fish that has black stripes, gorgeous orange scales and a very distinctive look overall. It’s a very popular fish that a lot of people love to have in their aquarium, especially since he’s not shy. They love being active during the day and it’s safe to have them in a tank where other species of fish live.

This species is a sociable one, so make sure you have at least two of them in the same tank, to keep each other company. You should also make sure to include some spaces where they can hide, as they love doing it. For this you can use a flower pot, a rock clown loach 2 Clown Loach (Botia Macracantha)or a cylinder that is hollow.

The life expectancy of a Clown Loach is a few years when they’re kept in an aquarium. They will grow slowly and their size never reaches the size of a specimen in the wild. Since they’re not getting to full size, they also don’t breed while they’re captive.

If the Clown Loach becomes stresses, it will get whitespot, so check it out before you buy it. If you can, you should keep the fish quarantined for a few weeks before you put it together with the rest of the fish. When buying a Clown Loach, you should check to see if it has a body that is well rounded. If the fish is skinny, there is a good chance that it might be sick.

It’s a nice fish to have and you can enjoy it a lot. If you see them lying on their side, it’s possible that they’re just resting.

Bloodfin Tetra

Bloodfin Tetra (Aphyocharax Anisitsi)

The Blood Fin Tetra, or the Bloodfins as I’m going to call them, belong to the Aphyocharax Anisitsi genus and can be found mostly in Argentina (Rio Parana) in South America. The Bloodfins will grow to be up to 5.5 centimeters (2.2 inches) in length. Their diet consists mostly of dried food, small crustaceans, worms and plant matter. Their water temperature needs to be between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius (72 to 83F). They enjoy it most when their water is medium hard or soft. In your aquarium, you will usually see them in the middle or the upper part of the water.

Shoaling fish, the Bloodfins can be found in most cases either in the middle or the upper part of the aquarium. In an ideal situation, you should have 6 or more fish of this type kept together.

The Bloodfin has a body that is elongated and their color is between yellow and a grayish green, with their anal, dorsal and adipose fin being blood red, together with the tail. The color of the fin is the one that gives this fish the name Bloodfin.

If you’re a beginner, then this is the fish for you, as it’s quite hardy and easy to keep. However, make sure you don’t have Angelfish and Guppies in the same tank, as Bloodfins have a history of nipping of them.

The male Bloodfin has tiny hooklets on the anal fin, and these often become entangled with the mesh of the net when the fish is being caught. If this happens, the Bloodfin should not be pulled away from the net, because this can tear off the hooklets. Although this is not life threatening, the Bloodfin will not be able to breed as it uses these hooklets during mating.

You can find out which are the males by looking at their anal fin, which have some tiny hooklets on them. In a lot of cases, these anklets will become trapped in nets when they’re caught. In such cases, make sure you don’t pull them, as the hooklets can be torn off.

The mating time for Bloodfins is during the morning. The female lays around 7-800 eggs, which are clear as glass. It takes between 20 and 25 hours for the eggs to hatch. If you want the fish, you might want to consider removing the eggs, since the Bloodfins will often eat their young or the eggs.


Food Tips For Healthy Aquarium Fish

Packed dry food is almost all the time unbalanced and doesn’t assure the fish the nutrients he needs. Besides this, the dry food looses its nutrient and vitamin contents at room temperature after a while. This is why it is better to buy small packs of dry food rather than a big bag that will not be good after a few weeks. Breeders also suggest that dry food must be kept in the refrigerator.

These are a few arguments why fish owners should make sure they give their fish a balanced diet. Otherwise, the fish’s health will suffer.

Besides giving dry food, a change of diet is also recommended from time to time. The fish will be really happy to receive a new type of food with a different color or taste. A small change like this will make their life a little more pretty. Many owners create diversity by giving dry food in one day and live food the next day. With the latest technologies, the live food is also sterilized and ready to be served.

The majority of the aquarium shops sell two types of food: foods that are freeze dried and flake foods.

Foods that are freeze dried

In any aquarium shop you will find foods that are freeze dried and the fish love this type of meal. A freeze-dried food is usually formed of a single animal-ingredient. The most common are blood worms, mosquito larvae, and Tubifex worm. Breeders recommend that freeze-food is combined with flake type food.

Tubifex is the most popular freeze-dried food and I will talk about this a bit.

TUBIFEX – these are small red worms that can be collected from the bottom of some rivers or streams, especially where a lot of organic material can be found. It is very hard for an owner to collect these worms by himself so it is better to buy them from a specialized shop where they are clean, freeze-dried and sterilized. This is a traditional favorite food for most fish and it comes in cube forms.

From personal experience I could say that fish love Tubifex and they could eat them all day. Feeding the fish with Tubifex is done by placing the small worm cube to the front inside wall of the aquarium. As soon as you put it there, all the fish will jump at eat and start eat it till there’s nothing left. You will see how excited and satisfied they are after such a full and delicious meal.

If somehow there are some leftovers like bits and pieces of worms, don’t remove them because the fish will come back to eat the rest of the meal after they swim a little.

Flake foods

This type of food is also popular among owners and loved by fish. The breeders and sales persons from the shop recommend brands like Tetra®, Aquarian®, and Wardley®. The Aquarian and Tetra have a lot of different flakes specialties to choose from and all three of them have a good quality and an acceptable price.

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