Archive for August, 2010
When most people think about an aquarium, they think only of the fish in the tank. A glass tank filled with water, fish, and maybe a plant or two. However, there is quite a bit more to it than that.
The most successful people with their tanks take into account the whole ecosystem of a freshwater aquarium. They understand that the aquarium is not just water, fish, and plants but rather all of the contents are one single living system.
Looking at the set up and maintenance of a freshwater aquarium in this way requires you to treat each component like a part of the whole picture. Each time you want to add something, stop and consider how that may affect the other fish, the plants, and the water quality. Everything that changes in an established aquarium can have a compound effect that bears consideration.
A healthy aquatic ecosystem will strike the right balance of fish and plants. It will be getting the proper amount of light. The filter will be keeping dirt in check and the all important nitrogen cycle will be operating smoothly.
The nitrogen cycle is an often overlooked but very important aspect of any healthy aquarium. The key to the cycle is the beneficial bacteria that live in the gravel substrate of the tank as well as in the filter. These bacteria metabolize fish waste and leftover food converting harmful ammonia and nitrites into harmless nitrate that feeds the plants. The plants use the nitrate as food and through photosynthesis, release oxygen into the water. The fish use the oxygen to breathe and they in turn release carbon dioxide that the plants use in photosynthesis and the cycle continues.
Knowing about how the cycle works and the importance of balance can then help you decide what to add to the tank. It should be apparent that adding too many fish at one time can be bad, it would create too much waste, the bacteria couldn’t metabolize it all and the ammonia levels in the water could spike. A sudden jump in ammonia levels could kill both the new and the old fish so it is of utmost importance to do things gradually when it comes to adding more fish to the tank.
Every inhabitant in the tank uses one substance to create another that is in turn used by something else and so on through the cycle. So with a healthy aquarium ecosystem, all living things are in balance, the water chemicals are at proper levels, and the whole aquarium thrives as one.
Lights are one of the most important aquarium products to have. They help make the conditions in marine fish tanks as close to its natural environment as possible. Aquarium lights are necessary to maintain proper behavioral cycles and for marine plants to grow and thrive. Improper or inadequate lighting can cause your fish to be stressed, more susceptible to diseases, and have poor appearance and coloration.
Different marine fish tanks need different kinds of aquarium lights, based on their size, depth, and the kind of organisms inside. Small, shallow fish tanks require only low intensity light, whereas deeper tanks need a higher intensity of light to penetrate the entire aquarium. The intensity of aquarium lights can be measured in watts. A general rule of thumb when matching aquarium lights to the size of marine fish tanks is to use 3 to 5 watts of lighting per gallon of water. So a 55 gallon tank would require an aquarium light with 165 to 275 watts.
Fluorescent bulbs are the most popular and readily available kind of aquarium light. The most affordable kind of fluorescent lamp is the Normal Output (NO) lamp. However, NO lamps provide only low intensity lighting. They have wattages that range from 15 to 60 watts, which make them unsuitable for marine fish tanks. A NO lamp is best used for freshwater fish only tanks.
HO and VHO lamps
Marine fish tanks require moderate to high intensity lighting. High output (HO) and Very High Output (VHO) lamps are suitable for saltwater tanks that only contain fish. HO lamps are not as readily available as the VHO kind. Both HO and VHO lamps require special ballasts and end caps in order to be used as aquarium lights.
Power compact (PC) bulbs are fluorescent bulbs that can be used to light any kind of marine fish tank. They also need special ballasts and light fixtures to work. However, they are the most energy efficient out of all the kinds of lights.
If you really need a high intensity light source, a metal halide lamp is your best bet. Metal halides are used to light marine fish tanks containing corals and anemones, fish with high light requirements, and deep marine fish tanks with plants.
Keep these in mind and you’ll be able to choose the right kind of aquarium light for your marine fish tank.
If you are a freshwater fish aquarist, planning a wedding or just want much more information on aquarium gravel and substrates look no farther. Fish Tank Rocks come in several distinct sizes but generally two unique styles: organic gravel and painted colored gravel. The most well-known colors are red, blue and green despite the fact that some manufactures make purple, orange as well as other exotic colors.
OK, I’ve got a bag of aquarium gravel, what should I do with it? Before using it in an aquarium, you really should rinse the gravel thoroughly in clean water to remove debris and dust. Just in case you were wondering, most painted gravels are made with non-toxic paint, so it is not harmful to your fish. Some gravel even glows in the dark, which can act as a night light in a child’s bedroom if they are afraid of the dark. Approximately one pound per gallon of rock is suggested in a freshwater aquarium. For instance, a 55 gallon fish tank would need about 55 lbs of Aquarium Gravel. Finally, you can add the gravel to the aquarium and begin filling it with water.
Do fish care about the color on the gravel? Most fish do not care about the color of the aquarium substrate. It’s mostly personal preference. Though, brighter colors may possibly help enhance the coloration in many fish, whereas they tend to camouflage or darken up in organic colored aquarium gravel. As a side note, some Cichlid gravels are created with a special size and color in mind to promote spawning and maintain pH. Does gravel size matter? Yes! Smaller sized aquarium gravel is much better for anchoring plants and decorations and also contains much more surface area for bacteria to grow on. But larger gravel is easier to clean.
Now you’re telling me I need to clean the gravel, why have any gravel at all? The aquarium rocks contain bacteria that help break down fish waste like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Without this beneficial bacteria, your fish would most likely die. To thoroughly clean your aquarium you must buy an aquarium siphon, also known as a Gravel Vacuum. This tool removes fish waste and debris without removing the substrate or bacteria. Be sure to save money by shopping on the internet for aquarium gravel, a gravel vacuum as well as other aquarium decor.
Custom Fish Tank – How to Beautify Your Aquarium
To give your custom fish tank a finished look you need some accessories. If you own a large custom fish tank, take advantage and fill it with several accessories. Apart from the obvious beauty, accessories also make your fish healthy and happy. Accessories are readily available and much within anyone’s budget.
Many times custom fish tanks will already have some accessories. Adding accessories to custom fish tanks 10 gallons or more will be beneficial. The filter and the pump will be the most important accessories you need to add. Water pumps make sure the water circulates properly and avert the need to change the water frequently. Fish, as well as, the plants you put in your custom fish tank need oxygen in order to live. You will need the pump to supply enough oxygen for them, as fish use their gills for breathing.
Undergravel filter system or air stones enable the air pump to create bubbles in the water. Talk to your local dealer concerning the power and size you will need for your custom fish tank. The purpose of the filter is to assure an ongoing supply of oxygen throughout the water.
Heaters and water thermometers are only necessary in places where the room temperature varies a lot. The purpose of the heater is to maintain the temperature of the water so the fish will remain healthy. Accessories vary in price, but you will always find something to fit your budget.
Lights also create a better environment for fish and improve the appearance of the tank. You will find plenty of accessories that are available in standard sizes. However, if you are having difficulty locating sizes appropriate for your custom tank, inquire about custom built accessories.
Accessories will not look after the fish for you. So your responsibility for feeding and caring for them doesn’t stop because you installed some nice accessories. Taking good care of your fish and adding accessories will assure them better health and much pleasure.
To learn more about custom fish tanks visit fish aquariums for sale
A tank gravel vacuum also referred to as a tank gravel siphon may be used to clean your freshwater or saltwater aquarium tank. A gravel vacuum is used to take out fish waste materials or detritus from your tank in order that Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels will not rise. Elevated ranges of these chemicals are hazardous to fish, which is why it really is significant to siphon your freshwater aquarium at the very least monthly. You must cleanse the aquarium tank more regularly should you have a large population of fish, or messy fish like Oscars, Koi or Goldfish. This article will not elaborate significantly on saltwater tank cleaning, but you’ll be able to use the gravel vacuum to eliminate detritus in the sump, the identical way you would clean a freshwater aquarium.
To start out, choose a siphon through your preferred internet fish supplies shop. It really is encouraged to obtain the medium or large aquarium gravel vacuum as the majority of the smaller vacuums take a long time to clean the substrate. Some vacuums will have an automatic start or perhaps a shake to start off. This really is practical when you don’t like to commence the siphon by sucking within the end of the hose.
To get started washing your aquarium, start out the siphon and place the narrow end into a bucket. Then place the broad end to the gravel and begin raising and lowering the gravel. You are going to observe that dirt and debris is being sucked up and will wind up in the bucket beneath. Be sure to stir up the gravel and get rid of as much debris as possible with out sucking up the aquarium rocks. This skill will require some practice to develop. Most aquariums cleanings will take away 10-30% of there aquarium’s water volume per cleaning. This water needs to be replaced with aquarium temperature, dechlorinated fresh drinking water when the cleaning is full. When you are done, be certain to rinse the gravel vacuum after which place it into storage.
When ever you are constructing a pond you actually can’t do without a garden pond pump and pond filter, presently there are actually loads of obtainable versions that one may shop for, this unique document ought to supply an individual a fundamental understanding of which capacities a backyard pond pump should really have.
The 1st step and without doubt the key step will be for you to determine your water volume within your back garden pond. So find out the length, width and also typical depth and multiply all of them together. If your garden fish-pond is circular then a little bit of basic school math will probably be required. Determining the right volume level properly is extremely important as the backyard pond pump will need to be powerful enough to pass the full water volume through to the back garden pond filter every single 60 minutes. You must simply avoid purchasing garden fish pond pump that certainly can not pump the volume of water every single 60 minutes.
You must do this first. By chance you do not figure this correctly, you undoubtedly can’t find out what strength your pump ought to have and might discover that your filtration system will probably not operate correctly. Mentioned above previously, the complete water volume must pass through the filtration every single hour.
The second consideration would be to consider if you’d like to use your brand-new garden fish pond pump to provide the stream of water for your waterfall or perhaps one other water feature. What you should keep clear of here is purchasing a garden fish pond pump that may not necessarily offer your water feature the desired effect with regards to the quantity of water flowing from your water feature. So make an attempt to evaluate the quantity of water that is necessary to stream through your waterfall and then determine if you find any garden pond pumps are designed for offering this specific quantity, you may find it is quite a bit cheaper to scale back making the particular waterfall smaller.
The next step is certainly to work out the overall expense of ownership for a 5 year period, thus take into account the initial purchase price also, the electrical power usage of any garden pond pump which satisfies your electric power and also water flow specifications.
The fourth tip is to aim to purchase a fish-pond pump that is probably to some extent more powerful than what you truly require. You could decrease the power of a fish pond pump, you cannot improve the maximum power.
Last but not least if you have brought your new garden pond pump check with a professional electrical installer if you are unsure with fitting a new fish pond pump by yourself. This tends to end up being serious since water and electrical energy can be extremely harmful as soon as they come in contact with one another. The most important factor to avoid is certainly risking your life. As with most fish-pond electrics you ought to look at the cabling included in a seasonal garden fish pond servicing routine.
Using these basic recommendations you are able to take a look at the types of backyard fish pond pumps available from any nearby garden fish pond dealer. You won’t then waste any money by buying an unacceptable type.