Posts Tagged ‘Fresh Water Aquarium’
To develop the best conditions for fresh water aquarium creatures to live, you need to be very specific in how you set it up. You need to have the correct amount of lighting per gallon, and keep the temperatures at a healthy amount. You also need to keep the water pH within the right parameters so that you don’t kill the fish with acidity or alkalinity. One of the best ways to maintain homeostasis in your tank is to get the right freshwater aquarium filtration.
Every fresh water aquarium needs some system of filtration in order to sustain a healthy environment. One other important thing that the filter does is air out the water inside the tank. Water creatures need this mix in order to endure. To set up an effective freshwater aquarium filtration you need to run the water in the tank completely through the filter every 15 to 20 minutes. There are several types of filters out there that can help you achieve these results. The two main ones are box filters and canister filters.
Box filters are some of the first fresh water aquarium filter accessories to be made available. The plus to these filters is that they are relatively cheap and they are easy to set up. The negative side of these filters is that they do not have a very powerful intake flow.
Canister filters are the more powerful version of the box filters, and are best used in larger tanks. They are located outside of the tank and can be easily hidden. The downside to these filters is that they are hard to take apart and clean out.
A Fish That Can Help You Clean
When you fill your aquarium with fish, get a bottom dweller. These fish are more than worth their keep because they live on the bottom and keep the gravel and plants clean from any food that has fallen down there. They also keep the bottom of the tank algae-free. One of the best algae eaters and a real boon to the fresh water aquarium maintenance is the plecostomus. This fish’s name has lots of letters and is hard to pronounce but it is the easiest answer to algae problems. They come in all sizes.
Do Daily Checkups
Each day you should check to make sure that there is no leftover food floating around the tank. Only feed an amount of food that your fish can eat in three to five minutes. Too much food could make the water unhealthy and will make your tank cloudy. Do a check to make sure that your water is clean, your heater is working (if you have fish that need one) and that the lights are going on and off when they are supposed to. The biggest thing is, of course, to make sure there are no sick fish in the tank.
Ideally, you need to have a small tank all ready to go for isolating sick fish . Not everyone does but it will make life a lot easier if you can manage to have one. A sick fish should be isolated until you can determine what is wrong with him or her and whether or not the illness is contagious. This is especially critical with an injury, as a fish that is not well will often be mistreated by the other fish in the tank. If the fish does have a contagious disease, you will have to treat all the other fish as well.
Fresh water aquarium maintenance means doing water changes at least every two weeks. While this is necessary, it is not always the thing people most love about having an aquarium. Luckily, you only need to take out about 20% of the water, not all of it. Around once a month you will want to do a more thorough cleaning, where you take out one-half of the water. This too is when that second tank is going to come in handy. If you have one, you can keep the water in it just right so that when you clean the primary tank, you can move all the fish into the backup tank.
Water is usually removed from the tank using a siphon and fish are moved from one tank to another with a net. If you have to clean your tank with the fish still in it, be very measured not to hurt any of the fish.
A two-week cleaning means using a sponge to scrub the inside and outside of the aquarium. Do not ever use soap. A small amount of salt applied to the sponge will clean the glass beautifully. Either rinse or change your filter. Check the hoses if you have an air filter in your tank, and use a gravel cleaning device to get the substrate clean. If you have a bottom dwelling fish, this will be much easier as he will already have done most of the job.
When you do your monthly cleaning, take out all of the structures and plants and clean them with water and salt as well. Check the pH of the water to make sure it is what it’s supposed to be. The best way to fill your tank up again after a cleaning is to use distilled water and heat it up to the right temperature before adding it. Tap water should only be used in an emergency as it is never the best choice for your fish. It often contains chlorine and other organisms which can be deadly to fish.
The biggest thing to recall about freshwater aquarium maintenance is that you must never change all of the water at once. Replace only small amounts of water to the pre-conditioned water in the tank–not more than 20% weekly or 50% when you clean the whole tank. Fish are a wonderful hobby and you can spend endless hours engrossed in watching their movements and behavior. Make sure that you help them to be as healthy as possible by feeding the right types of food and performing regular freshwater aquarium maintenance.
The plants that you place in the fish tank should be similar to the fish’s original habitat. This is true even though your fish probably has never “seen” or experienced his native habitat first hand.
Typically, five types of plants can be used in your fresh water aquarium.
The first type of plant is grown by bulbs. These for the most part produce rather large plants, most of which are far too large to use in a normal sized fresh water aquarium. These plants, such as the water lily and the aponogeton, are much better suited to outdoor settings, especially koi ponds.
Depending on the species of fish you choose, you may want to include plants that float. Floating plants make a great place for the young fry who need to shield themselves for protective purposes in a fresh water aquarium. Good examples of floating plants are Fairy Moss and driccia.
You may also want the group of live plants called Rhizomes. This plant has a thick, horizontal stem with leaves sprouting on the top. The roots to this plant are located on the bottom. The rhizome is used as a “runner” over the surface of the substrate. This one spreads and grows new leaves and roots.
The anubias and African Fern are two variations of rhizomes. It’s easy enough to plant these. You merely tie these to the driftwood you already have in your aquarium.
You’ve probably seen the type of plant that looks like a crown with roots growing beneath it and leaves growing above. This is called a rosette. They cover the water by sending out runners and growing new plants as they go. Many times these plants, which include the Amazon Sword and the Sagittaria, tend to also produce lovely flowers.
A stem is the plant you find in aquariums with leaves growing from the nodes of a single stem (forget where the name comes from now?). The end of the plant is firmly rooted in the substrate. The leaves come in several varieties, including single, paired or even multiple.
One of the most common of aquatic plants is the Java Moss. Also called the java fern, this particular species is a great starter plant. This plant can live at different PH levels and types of water.
Another plant that’s perfect for your first aquarium is the water wisteria. Like the Java Fern, this plant grows quickly. This plant will aid in keeping algae levels down. But be careful. It has the ability to use many of the same nutrients from the water.
You’ll want to check out another hearty plant, the anubias nana. This remarkable plant has the uncanny ability to thrive in just about any condition you place it in. It’s a very pretty plant, too. It flowers underwater. And any of your fish that are herbivore won’t eat it. For the anubia nana to truly do well, though, you’ll want to attach it to a root or maybe a stone.
The grass-like lillaeopsis is another good choice for your tank, especially if your tank is near sunlight.
If you’re truly ambitious at trying your hand at plants, consider purchasing the cryptocoryne beckettii. This is an amphibious plant – meaning it grows both underwater and on land. It does remarkably well underwater and it has the ability to be found in many beautiful colors.
Then there’s the Amazon sword – technical name is the echinodorus bleheri, if you’re interested. This is, without a doubt, the most popular of all aquarium plants of all time. It’s an easy plant to care for, even if you’re only beginning your journey in aquarium keeping. It grows fast. And it’s great because it helps to control the algae content of your tank as well.
Live fresh water plants can add another, more enjoyable dimension to your fresh water aquarium. They may require a little more care but the rewards are definitely worth it. You can start out slowly. And as you gain experience, you can expand the types of plants you use. Not only will you enjoy the experience, you’ll be making sure your fish feel right at home!