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choosing new aquarium

Goldfish Supplies, can you teach a goldfish to drive

Can you teach a goldfish to drive

Can you teach a goldfish to drive?

Well, the answer is yes, you can teach a goldfish to drive.  We have been telling you for a while that fish are very smart and can be trained – Smithsonian agrees.  According to an article published in Smithsonian Magazine, a group of researchers designed a mobile tank for goldfish to drive on land.  The study was performed to learn about fish navigation skills, no matter the habitat.  The study was published in February 2022 in Science Direct.

Can you teach a goldfish to drive

Going on to say that the fish were taught to make movements necessary to propel the vehicle to dispense food.  This enabled the fish to navigate over land and obstacles visually thru the Fish Operated Vehicle (FOV) walls.  Their FOV, simply put, is a fish tank on wheels.

ABC News goes on to report that before the experiment could begin the fish needed to be taught how to drive the car. The scientists were surprised how quick the fish learned  to get the food dispensed.  Once the fish learned how to drive the FOV, they were successfully able to drive the vehicle on land and their skills drastically improved with repeated attempts.

The Can you Teach a Goldfish to Drive Study had 2 conclusions. First, fish navigational ability is universal to the species rather than specific to the environment. Second, it showed that goldfish have the ability to learn complex tasks in an unfamiliar environment and make adjustments to survive.

“It shows that goldfish have the cognitive ability to learn a complex task in an environment completely unlike the one they evolved in. As anyone who has tried to learn how to ride a bike or to drive a car knows, it is challenging at first,” study author Shachar Givon, a graduate student at Ben-Gurion University, said in a statement.

 

 

Cleaning Your Aquarium

Cleaning Your Aquarium

This subject may not seem worth an article, but you’d be surprised how little people know about cleaning your aquarium.  I remember when I was a young fish keeper boiling the gravel on the kitchen stove to make sure was as clean as possible, I look back now and think what the hell was I doing??

Everybody likes a clean aquarium, thinking the inhabitants are well kept, happy and not distressed , a little like a cat or dog bed or bird cage, but with aquatic life this can be different.

The aquarium needs to sit somewhere in the middle of this, clean but not overclean.  The popular saying in aquarium talk is you keep water not fish, and this is so true. Bacteria is the key and you do not want to clean this out.

Weekly Cleaning Routine:

Use a non abrasive pad to clean the glass and avoid scrapers around silicone joints if used.  Change any pre-filter pads , avoid over cleaning the main filter pads.

Fortnightly Cleaning Routine:

Use a gravel cleaner to clean the gravel or substrate, it is advised to rotate and do 50% at any cleaning session, this stops taking to much water out of the aquarium, 20% maximum water removal is a good target.

Use this water taken out by the gravel cleaner to clean any filter sponges. NEVER rinse under the faucet as any chlorine will kill the friendly bacteria.

Monthly Cleaning Routine:

Remove rocks or woods or ornaments and remove trapped uneaten food or waste.  Aquarium ornaments can be cleaned using a sponge, avoid any abrasive pads as may remove the paint.  Trim any live plants and remove dead leaves etc.  Exchange or recharge any filter media like carbon.

Never use furniture polish or any household chemical in or around the aquarium and turn off the lights when cleaning to try and keep the stress down from the cleaning of the aquarium.

 

For all aquariums, big and small AquariumH2o has the supplies you need to keep your dream aquarium! When we say we have all the supplies you need, we mean it, we are a one-stop shop for all that you need. If you have any questions, call us at 856-985-9339 or email us at sales@aquariumH2o.com.

Bottom Feeder Fish So Important

Why Are Bottom Feeder Fish So Important?

So why are bottom feeder fish so important to an aquarium?

Why are bottom feeder fish so important?  A bottom feeder is an aquatic animal that feeds on uneaten foods, algae and other debris on the bottom of the tank. In essence, cleaning the aquarium for you.  The general room of thumb with stocking quantities is one bottom feeder for 6 of mid or surface feeding species.  Bottom feeding types are usually catfish based species or loaches, popular in the ornamental trade.  See Swell UK’s article on bottom fish.

Aquarium fish can be broken down to three types of fish:

  1. Surface Feeders, these are aquarium fish with mouths on the top of the head, like guppies.
  2. Mid Range Feeders, these are aquarium fish with mouths at the front of the head, like tetra’s.
  3. Bottom Feeders, these are aquarium fish with mouths at the bottom of the head, like corydoras.

Most types of bottom feeders have barbells to help locate food, as in the wild are usually in dark dee water with little natural light.  They often have a flattened body shape as they spend most of their lives skimming the bottom of tanks and aquariums.

Uneaten food from over feeding or fish waste can pollute aquarium water fast, as due to being a small body of water usually 10-150 gallons.  Bottom feeders eat this food source and therefore help maintain a better aquarium water quality.  Also, create zones in the aquarium to stop over crowding of species.

It is important that you use aquarium foods that are suitable for bottom feeders, it is common in aquariums that the bottom feeders can starve, if you are only feeding floating flakes there is often little food that gets to the bottom of the aquarium.  Granule’s or sinking pellets are suitable for bottom feeders, Aquariumh2o stock Dajana products specially formulated for bottom feeders.

For all aquariums, big and small AquariumH2o has the supplies you need to keep your dream aquarium crystal clear! When we say we have all the supplies you need, we mean it, we are a one-stop shop for all that you need. If you have any questions, call us at 856-985-9339 or email us at sales@aquariumH2o.com.

Green Aquarium Water

Green Aquarium Water

Green Aquarium water isn’t always bad for fish and plants, certainly not pleasing on the eyes but can be easily treated.  Green water is caused by an increased growth of single cell algae blooms, technically called phytoplankton.  When the blooms become too concentrated in your aquarium it turns the water green. Plants and fish like green water as phytoplankton is the start of the food chain in a productive aquatic eco-system in both fresh and salt water aquariums.  Healthy tanks have a balance of phytoplankton in fact, it creates oxygen and is a food source.

What are the Causes of Green Water in an Aquarium?

Bacteria and algae lives everywhere in the aquarium, in the substrate,  filter, filter media, and on decorations.   In order for phytoplankton to bloom, there needs to be excessive light, an imbalance of aquarium nitrates and room to grow.

  • Lots of light either natural sunlight or artificial tank lights
  • Left over food in the water
  • Too many fish and waste
  • Dirty water
  • Not enough good quality water changes
  • Dirty substrate
  • Poor tank maintenance

Rid your Tank of Algae Blooms

Algae blooms can be cleared in your tank once you recognize what caused the bloom to start in the first place. Algae need the proper amount of food and light to bloom.  You can rid your fish tank of green water by adding chemicals, adding a UV clarifier, half tank water changes and thorough substrate vacuuming.  Following a couple of suggestions can help get your fish tank or aquarium back to crystal clear water.

  • Chemicals, called algaecides can be used to help kill the algae
  • Control the lighting
  • Install an Ultra Violet Clarifier, often called a UV Filter
  • Completely break down your filter, clean or purchase filter media
  • Do a thorough water change
  • Clean the tank, substrates, glass, decorations, rocks or wood
  • Vacuum to clean the gravel or sand
  • Install an algae eater

Prevent Green Water in your Aquarium

Green water in your aquarium isn’t always a bad thing.  It creates food and oxygen for your fish and plants to eat, but an over amount of blooms will turn your tank water into pea soup like green water.  If the water remains untreated it will ultimately lead to problems for fish by raising the pH too high, starving the tank of oxygen, blocking filters, and trapping fish.  

  • Reduce the amount of light:
    • put your tank lights on a schedule
    • make sure you have an aquarium background installed to reduce light coming from back
    • control direct sunlight, do not put your tank in direct sunlight
  • Install a UV clarifier
  • Do regular tank maintenance:
    • Water changes, do a full water change of up to half or a third of the water
    • Proper substrate and gravel cleaning and vacuum your gravel and substrates
    • Remove visible algae from the glass with a proper Aquarium Glass Cleaner
    • Wash all ornaments, plants centerpieces, rocks wood pieces, and decorations
    • Perform regular water changes
    • Clean filter media
  • Regularly remove uneaten food and wastes, don’t over feed your fish (check out our blog on feeding aquarium fish)
  • Maintain proper aquarium water parameter’s by purchasing a water testing kit
  • Floating aquarium plants that eat algae like duckweed, water sprout or guppy grass

For all aquariums, big and small AquariumH2o has the supplies you need to keep your dream aquarium crystal clear! When we say we have all the supplies you need, we mean it, we are a one-stop shop for all that you need. If you have any questions call us at 856-985-9339 or email us at sales@aquariumH2o.com.

 

 

choosing the right aquarium substrate or gravel

Choosing The Right Aquarium Substrate

When setting up a new tank choosing the right aquarium substrate or gravel is one of the most important considerations to be taken into account.
Careful consideration is the key to your success or failure in many cases.

Why do you need substrate? You do not actually need it as many fish are kept in aquariums without substrate and would be easy to maintain, but would not look attractive and the fish are not going to act like they are in natural underwater environment.

The first considerations are what fish you are going to keep? What PH range is required?  Hard or soft water? Substrates chosen specifically for these will help.  Coral based sand for instance will give hard, alkaline water parameters and a silica gravel base will give a more neutral PH.

Additional consideration is do you want to have natural live plants? If so, choose a substrate that is designed for plant root growth.

What size substrate do I use?  Larger fish especially cichlids are better with coarser heavier gravels. Bottom feeders prefer a smaller gravel size or sand.

Adding Substrate

Gravel is probably the most popular substrate option for many aquariums. The variation in shapes, sizes and colors make gravel suitable for a variety of set-ups.

Substrate material should be between half to 2 inch thick especially if plants are going to be grown.

Wash it first under fresh running water to get all particles of dirt out to stop your aquarium going cloudy.

To calculate how much sand or gravel you’ll need to buy in order to achieve a two Inch (2″) gravel depth in your fish tank, please use the following formula:

  1.  Multiply tank length by tank width (in inches); Example: 36″ in. x 14″ in. = 893
  2. Divide the answer by 10; 504 / 10 = 50.4 lb or 23 kilo

Spread the substrate out evenly and try to create a slight slope in the front to allow cleaning to be a little easier.

Using proper consideration while choosing the right aquarium substrate will make your next new tank set up a proper success.

How To Choose and Introduce New Fish to Your Aquarium

How To Choose and Introduce New Fish to Your Aquarium

Get fish acclimated to their new environment!

Here are some useful tips on how to choose and introduce new fish to your aquarium.  Every aquarium owner loves this part of fish keeping. The excitement of going to your local fish store, choosing your new fish, asking advice, buying new supplies. Then, rushing home to add them to your collection.

How To Choose and Introduce New Fish to Your Aquarium:

  1. Purchase from a reputable long established aquarium store, does not have to be a big strip mall store. Often the best aquarium stores are tucked away, offering in many cases generations of experience and knowledge.
  2. If you are just starting out and are adding fish to an aquarium, never purchase more than three fish on any visit.  Another great tip is take some of your aquarium water with you if you do not own a test kit to check your water quality.  Often stores will charge a small fee to check your water quality, well worth it to stop any issues increasing stocking density may cause.  Also, see our Blog on new aquarium syndrome: https://www.aquariumh2o.com/2019/09/19/new-aquarium-syndrome/.
  3. Talk to the staff and tell them what you already have in your collection and what they recommend for your level of experience and local water conditions. Some fish like Discus require soft water and if you live in a hard water area will make it more difficult to keep these type of fish.
  4. Once you get back home, first thing to do is turn your aquarium light off, they are stressed enough from the ride home without adding to been thrown straight under bright lights.
  5. Place the fish transport bags so they float on the aquarium and leave them for at least 10-15 minutes so the water temperatures in the bag and aquarium equalize again to minimize stress.
  6. When opening the transport bag don’t rip it or try to puncture it, use scissors or take off the rubber band. Most experienced fish keepers will not add the store water to the aquarium when they introduce the fish as well, so get your aquarium net and place over a vessel like a small bucket and slowly pour the contents through the net so catching the fish, then slowly introduce the fish to the aquarium. You can of course add the water if easier, just mix the water slowly together.   Finally, slowly tip the fish out so they can escape.
  7. Keep the aquarium light off to ensure the fish can get used to their new home.  Monitor the new arrivals for stress, be sure they aren’t being picked on as new kids on the block.
  8. Enjoy watching the new fish in your aquarium, after all, that’s why you bought them.

Be sure to check our Facebook page often for newest products and other information

When it comes to aquarium keeping, it just comes down to how much time and expense you can give, either way AquariumH2o has the supplies you need to make your dream aquarium, fish, turtle or reptile tank come to life! When we say we have all the supplies you need, we mean it, we are a one-stop shop for all that you need.  From an Gravels & Substrates to maintenance care and Aquarium Aeration, we have you covered! If you have any questions call us at 856-985-9339 or email us at sales@aquariumh2o.com .

Feeding your aquarium fish

Feeding Aquarium Fish Guidance

Feeding your aquarium fish is one of the great pleasures of owning an aquarium. Interacting with the fish and watching them come to the surface in full view of you.

There are many different types of aquarium fish food on the market and I will quickly explain the pro’s and con’s of each type.  But one item stays constant no matter what type of food you are feeding, if the all the food as not been eaten in 5 minutes you are overfeeding!

Flake Fish Food


Most popular and widely used food type, manufactured by forcing the ingredients through two rollers to create a thin flake. Great for surface feeders like guppies, mollies and any fish with the mouth on the upper part of the head, an easy way to identify a surface feeder.  Reputable food manufacturers add all the nutrients and vitamins aquarium fish require, often called a ‘staple diet’.

  • Pro’s
    Easy to source and a complete diet. Allows you to see your fish on the surface.
  • Con’s
    Food can be pulled into a aquarium filter easily
    Not suitable for goldfish or bottom feeders

Pellet Food

Pellet foods are a great way to feed a mixture of species as other fish can take the pellet ‘on the drop’ and bottom feeders can hoover any that hit the aquarium floor.

  • Pro’s
    Often better value for money and come in different size pellets. Avoids food getting sucked into filters.
  • Con’s
    Not suitable for surface feeders and can easily overfeed.

Tablets Food

Feeding aquarium fish

Feeding aquarium fish

Compressed flake or pellets into small tablets. Adhesive tablets are great for affixing to the front of the aquarium glass to get close and personal with your fish.

  • Pro’s
    Slow release so helps stop overfeeding. Ideal for bottom feeders like corydoras.
  • Con’s
    Not suitable for surface feeders

Live Food

Feeding your aquarium fish

Feeding your aquarium fish

Probably the best type of food to feed, as if the fish were in the wild. Bloodworms and daphnia are the most common to be purchased.

  • Pro’s
    Full of natural food and fun to feed and a great food supplement. Frozen live food is a good alternative and easy to store
  • Con’s

Always wash the live food and do not add the water to avoid adding disease.  As short shelf life and can be hard to source.  Experienced fish keepers will use all of the above food types to give an all round balanced and interesting diet to the aquarium inhabitants.

first aquarium fish tank

Picking your first Aquarium

The most important things needed to consider prior to buying or picking your first aquarium:

  • Size – what size aquarium do you want?  Tanks are available based on gallonage.  Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon with or without salt.  Will the floor hold the weight of the tank with the water and all the equipment required to run the tank?
    • Popular tanks sizes start as small as a fish bowl and go to as large as you would like.
  • Location – you want to consider the location of the aquarium.  Place the setup in a room that is lived in.  You don’t want the tank located in direct sunlight or in a cold room where you need additional heaters to keep the water at specified temperatures.
    • This is a big decision, as most aquatic species are very social.
  • Glass or acrylic tank – Acrylic insulates the water better, weighs less and more impact resistant than glass.  However, acrylic will scratch much easier and tends to dull over time.
  • Fish – The selection available for tropical fish is almost endless.  How many can fit in the tank you have, marine fish or fresh water fish, carnivores or omnivores, will they mate?
  • Plants – Live plants or artificial plants.
    • There are so many pro’s and con’s to both, do research.
  • Water – salt water also known as a marine tank or a fresh water aquarium.
  • Expense – When you start to think about all the expenses included in this hobby is that there is a ton of expenses associated with aquarium owning.  Filters, fish, plants, lights, pumps, food, heaters, decorations, theme, electricity.
  • Maintenance – How much time are you looking to invest in the hobby?  All the decisions listed above will dictate how much cleaning and maintenance.

In summary, there is a lot to think about prior to purchasing your first aquarium or fish tank.  The popular aquarium size choices seem endless.  You will find that there is plenty of information available to make the necessary decisions and plenty of people to talk to about your new hobby.  Check out our online store for all of our fantastic inventory…

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