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new aquarium syndrome

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.

 

 

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.

aquarium syndrome

What Is New Aquarium Syndrome

Aquarium Syndrome or New Tank Syndrome is a term that basically describes the problem new aquarium setups may encounter.

Due to the small volume in most aquariums water conditions may soon alter for the worse in regards to tanks usually under 100 gallon water parameters.

The cause of the new aquarium syndrome is a lack of friendly bacteria to help break down the waste the fish are producing and maintain a ecosystem in the aquarium. Allow the aquarium to go through the Nitrogen Cycle which can take up to 8 weeks.  The aquarium will then be ‘balanced’, this means all bad toxins and fish waste has been converted to maintain a healthy aquarium.

There are ways a aquarist can help this natural process:

  • Choose an aquarium filter with a large biological capacity and suitable for your size of aquarium and more.
    Aquarium filters are designed to run 24 hours a day.  This allows bacteria to survive and flourish.
  • Seed the filter with bacteria before you add fish.
  • Fit a mature filter or add gravel from another established aquariu this jump starts the cycle
  • Don’t overstock or stock too quickly.  Never add more than 2 fish at a time and leave a week in between to allow the filter to cope with new inhabitants.
  • Don’t overfeed. If you have uneaten fish food in the aquarium after 5 minutes you are over feeding.  Always remove uneaten food.
  • Don’t wash your filter foam media or the gravel substrate under the faucet, the chlorine will kill good bacteria.
  • Change 20% of the water every week for 4 weeks then 10% of the water for a further 4 weeks, this will dilute any toxins.
  • Always leave replacement water 24 hours to allow chlorines to evaporate or add a tap water conditioner.
  • Buy a test kit and check Ammonia (NH3) & Nitrite (No2).
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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