Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Well-Balanced Saltwater Fish Tank

Saltwater tanks are more difficult to maintain because marine life inside has little tolerance to fluctuations. They are used to a stable habitat underwater. Therefore, the key to maintaining saltwater aquarium is copying the general conditions of the sea to your tank such that the marine fishes hardly notice the difference.

It is very useful to study marine life and science of it to start this hobby. It may be quite difficult at first, but if you understand the ecosystem underwater, this hobby will be easier and more interesting for you.

The tank needs a huge amount of water to make it more stable and absorbs shock more easily. This prevents disturbing the equilibrium of water and makes the tank more peaceful for marine life.

For instance, a dead fish will only create a minor imbalance in a big tank, but if it dies in a small tank, there will be dramatic changes.

Nutrient cycles are important to sustain a tank. First, dissolved oxygen comes in to the system over the water-air interface or by the activity of an air pump. The second one is the carbon dioxide which goes out of the system into the air. Other significant nutrient cycles are phosphate cycle, iron, sulfur, and micronutrients. These enter as food and escaping as waste substances.

Water conditions should be checked. Keep it free from dirt. Dead fish or other decaying corals should be removed at once to avoid contaminating the tank. Also check water salinity. It shouldn't be too salty.

The saltwater is an alkaline, and the pH is the alkalinity or acidicity of fresh water. However, the hardness calculates total dissolved mineral content. In addition, the hard water is often alkaline and the soft water is always acidic. Other significant factors are dissolved organic content and dissolved gases content.

Chloramine is commonly used today because it is more stable. A saltwater fish tanks also need the presence of a mixture of salts and other minerals.

Other tanks are adapting to other water sources also. They change the alkaline content of water, the hardness, or dissolved content of gases and organics before putting it to the fish tank. Additives like sodium bicarbonate also help to raise pH.

The water that would be placed in the fish tank may also be filtered or purified in two different ways: deionization or reverse osmosis.

The water's temperature creates the basis of one of the two primary fish tank classifications. These are the tropical and cold water. Most water plants and animals can only adapt with a limited range of water temperatures. It is important that the temperature is consistent to minimize fatalities in the tank. Use a thermostat and heater unit or cooling unit to help regulate the water temperature.

Water movement is also significant in perfectly imitating a natural environment. This can be manipulated by the use of aeration from powerheads, air pumps, and proper design of internal water flow like the path of the filtration system points of inflow and outflow.

For more information on Saltwater fish tanks and Saltwater Lighting please visit our website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Urmann


Friday, February 6, 2009

Saltwater Aquariums - A Beginner's Guide

More and more people are starting to pick up the hobby of maintaining saltwater aquariums. They are drawn to its more natural look, colorful and wide variety of marine life.

Freshwater fish are generally collected from streams, rivers, lakes and ponds while saltwater fish are found in seas and oceans. Saltwater life has a stable environment that they cannot easily adapt to the major changes on temperature or water chemistry.

Marine fish are taken from the wild, such that shipping and handling can be risky. This is the main reason that this hobby is more expensive than maintaining freshwater fish.

To start this hobby, buy the very basic equipment enough to get you started for the meantime. Undergravels will not be very important for a while. Get a good tank with power filters, deluxe heaters and airstones. Additional accessories include crushed corals or special gravel, a hydrometer and some sea salt mix.

Some of the saltwater fish you might consider getting are angel, anthias, batfish, basslet, blenny, cardinal, butterfly, clown, damsel, drumfish, filefish, eels, goatfish and goby.

You can also put invertebrates like a coral, anemone, gorgonian, feather duster, crab, lobster and jelly fish.

The size of the aquarium really doesn't matter but it is better to have a large tank. This is easier to chemically balance and make it more compatible with fish. If you are quite on a budget, get a medium sized tank but be sure to be complete with all the necessary basic equipment.

When starting out, understand the basics of fish compatibility. When two kinds of fish are less related, they are more likely to get along. Any type of fish that can fit into the mouth of another fish is more likely to end up gobbled. To know more about these, research about aquarium literature.

Most hobbyists prefer a combined selection of invertebrates and fish in their aquarium. Although it is more natural to look at this way, it is also a more complicated setup. This phenomenon called Saltwater Ich can end up killing the invertebrates. Since the cell structures of invertebrates and parasites are similar, the chemical reactions are also similar.

When medicating your tank from Saltwater Ich, which usually lasts up to 4 weeks, hobbyists are forced to either sacrifice their invertebrates or their fish. The invertebrates are moved to another tank. The fish, on the other hand, runs the risk of ineffective treatment.

Taking a closer look, these saltwater invertebrates are actually carriers of the Ich problem. Since an appropriate treatment has not been finalized, most suppliers do not guarantee that their invertebrates are parasite-free.

For novice hobbyists, it is best that you initially weigh the risks when having a mixed collection. It is noted that quarantine tanks and freshwater dips can actually reduce the chances that new specimens can introduce such disease to their established new habitat. For starters, you can opt to place a small number of fish for the meantime.

For more information on Saltwater Aquarium Fish and Angel Fish please visit our website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Urmann


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Aquarium Tanks For Today

Aquarium tanks can be a nice environment for a large number of different fish life, amphibians and even numerous varieties of beautiful plants. The specific items that you will be planning to place inside the tank will play a large factor into determining which type of tank will be the best choice for you. After making this important decision, you will then need to make a list of all of the necessary supplies and accessories that you may need.

Fish are of course one of the most popular choices for aquarium tanks. A large number of people take advantage of the many benefits that are offered in care for fish life instead of other choices like a dog or a cat, simply because there is a lot less time that is required in the care and the maintenance that is involved.

If you have not browsed through the stores lately on the large varieties that are available in these tanks, you are in for a real treat. There are numerous different selections that are available in many different sizes. No matter what particular type of plant or fish that you plan on placing in the tank, you are sure to find many choices in aquarium tanks that will work great for your needs. There is also a large variety in the shapes that are offered.

These tanks can be purchased as just a plain and simple tank, and they can be purchased where they are built into a nice decorative stand. Numerous homeowners and business owners are even choosing tanks that are encased in bookshelves and other types of large cabinets. This choice is one that becomes more popular every single year. As a unique touch to the beauty and d├ęcor that is offered in your home, you might enjoy a selection that is found available in furniture such as a coffee table. Aquarium tanks are actually made inside the coffee table, making a beautiful conversational item in any home or office. These tanks can be used for plants, other types of decorations, or varieties of marine life, the choices are actually endless.

For ideas on the type of tank you would like to choose, many of the local pet shops in your area can be a great place to start. You will also find many selections available on the Internet that can be found at prices that are simple unbelievable.

If you would like more information on acrylic aquarium try my site. And I also have a page on saltwater aquarium.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tips in Setting-Up a Saltwater Aquarium

An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least 1 transparent side, keeping water-dwelling animals and plants inside. These aquariums can hold fish, amphibians, invertebrates, aquatic plants, and marine mammals.

Aquariums have two types, namely; the saltwater aquariums and the fresh water aquariums. A saltwater aquarium is harder to maintain because marine fishes and other saltwater life are more delicate to maintain. It requires studying a bit of environmental science to understand marine life.

A saltwater aquarium is more appealing, colorful, and beautiful. Marine life is composed of a wide variety of fishes and mammals, anemones, live corals, jellyfish and crustaceans inside the tanks. You can also keep several colored reef fishes for a more natural effect. Thus, the movement of the living organisms inside often looks colorful and vibrant. Several popular saltwater aquarium fishes include the angelfish, comical blenny, blue lined triggerfish, damsels, and the clown fish.

It is very important to maintain the level of water and salt of saltwater tanks to keep the aquamarine species in your saltwater aquarium alive and healthy. Water from these saltwater aquariums tend to evaporate and leaves behind only the salt. A hydrometer is a useful device in detecting water salinity, and compensating the level of evaporated water.

There are two types of hydrometers used by aquarists. The first one is the swing needle hydrometer. The other one comes with a tube and a separate needle around 3/8 inches in diameter. The swing needle hydrometer is packed with all its parts together as compared to the other hydrometer with a tube and a separate needle. It is placed inside a narrow plastic container. When filled with seawater, the swing needle hydrometer starts moving in an arc position. This is right onto the graduation marked on the container and stopping at the relevant SG.

When setting up your own saltwater aquarium, first check the tank for leaks. Then, clean your tank with 1 teaspoon of pure bleach for every 5 gallons of water. Scrub the tank, plastic plants, rocks and other decorations. Rinse them with clean water.

Install the filtration system next. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Wash the substrate before you put it in your aquarium. Then, put the plants inside, securing the bottoms in the substrate. Fill a large bucket with clean water.

Using your hydrometer, add some salt. Fill your aquarium with saltwater, leaving about one inch at the top. Start your filter system. Then, add the thermometer and heater. Most of the marine fishes are healthy in 70 and 80 degrees.

Let the system run for 72 hours prior to getting the temperature setting. Then add the fish you bought in the pet shop when the tank temperature is within the limits and the chemical levels are all sanctioned.

Buy a power head to produce constant water movement. it is very necessary to marine fishes. Be careful when you buy one. Make sure you do not buy the big one because it can cause a whirlpool effect.

Buy a protein skimmer. This is also important for your marine tank. The protein skimmer will remove organic debris from the water. You will also need an external air pump and water pump for your skimmer.

For more information on Saltwater Aquariums and Saltwater Aquarium Ideas please visit our website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Urmann


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Basic Salt Water Aquarium Setup - Overview of an Inexpensive Saltwater Aquarium System

Many people do not get to experience the enjoyment of saltwater tanks because they think all saltwater aquariums are expensive to setup. The article below will help you see that the truth is that you can have a basic salt water aquarium setup without paying a lot of money.

The Tank- The best size would be right around 40 gallons. These tanks are not very expensive but still offer a great size for stability of all chemical and physical water properties. Stick with the standard glass tops and fluorescent lighting that come with the tank.

Aquarium Filters- A good canister filter will easily be able to handle a 40 gallon basic salt water aquarium setup with ease. Or you could even use a larger hang on tank filter which will cost less money and still give you good results

Other Equipment- You will have to get a heater, synthetic salt mix, aragonite gravel a thermometer and a hydrometer to measure salt levels in the water.

Decorations- This is where the money can disappear quickly. Many people use dead coral skeletons which are very expensive for larger pieces and need to be cleaned frequently.

Live rock is another option that also costs a fair amount of money but will do an excellent job of keeping the water quality high and the fish happy so it is worth the extra money.

Some people have used cheaper volcanic rock in their saltwater tanks but it usually shows algae very well and does not provide the bacteria and microscopic life that live rock does.

The Fish- A 40 gallon tank will allow you to keep at least 4-5 small fish. If you choose the right saltwater fish for your salt water fish tank you can stock it very cheaply. Stick with hardy species that do not cost a lot like clown fish, gobies, basslets, blennies and some more docile damsel fish.

Want a crystal clear successful Reef Aquarium? Our reef tank guide will show you how to avoid the common mistakes that lead to fish death, algae and an ugly tank. To get the secrets to creating a stunning reef aquarium visit http://www.dseventures.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darin_Sewell


Monday, February 2, 2009

The Attractive Cherry Barb

The Cherry Barb is a favorite tropical fish of many aquarium enthusiasts. Their lively nature and attractive coloring help to make them popular.

The male is especially adorned because of his red coloring which turns even a deeper red during the spawning period. The female Cherry Barb is a duller version of the male, ranging somewhere between light orange and yellow. Both sexes have a dark horizontal stripe along their body. Females are more plump than males, but the male is longer, growing up to 2 inches in length.

A lone Cherry Barb will most certainly become stressed. They are most content in a group of six or more. Other non-aggressive fish, such as Danios, female Bettas, Corydoras and Rainbow fish can be housed with the Cherry Barbs.

It is important to keep the Barbs in a 20-gallon aquarium, minimum. The water should be slightly acidic with the pH value being 6.5 - 7.5. The temperature should be 73 - 80 degrees Farhenheit. Plenty of plant life is also a requirement for the Cherry Barb aquarium. They love to swim in and through plants.

Flakes are a suitable food for Cherry Barbs, but give them brine shrimp, vegetable or blood worms as occasional treats. You will see them often nibbling on the plants as well, which makes them good light algae eaters.

During the spawning period the male will become a deeper shade of red and you will see him erect his fins and begin to circle other males as if in a competition. Soon he will be "dancing" with a female. She then starts the process of scattering over 200 eggs onto plants and stones. The male will follow behind her, fertilizing the eggs.

Don't worry about suddenly having 200 fry in your tank, as certainly not all will survive, due partly to the fact that the adults will eat the eggs. You can increase the chance of some fry survival by keeping the aquarium well planted. Fry instinctively hide among plants. Java moss works well for hiding.

During the fry's first few days they live off their yolk-sac. When they are 5 days old, offer them microworms. About 3 weeks later you can begin to wean them from the "baby" food as they are now ready for flaked food.

With good care, these newly hatched fry should live for 4 or 5 years.

The Cherry Barb is relatively easy to care for, making this energetic fish a good choice for the beginner aquarium enthusiast.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Small Decorative Aquariums For Your Home Or Office - Part II

OKAY - it is time to set up your decorative tank. Put your floor surface down, add your decoration (remember to wash or soak) and plant and fill the container 3/4 full with cool water. Let it stand a couple of hours to adjust to room temperature and you are ready to add your fish. Is that simple enough?

As far as selecting fish, remember you don't have a lot of water to work with. You don't want to overload the tank. I would start with two small compatible fish. I know some people laugh at the standard goldfish but they are beautiful and easy to keep. I started with a couple of betas. The males are outstanding and come in an unbelievable choice of colors. The drawback is you can't put two males together or they will fight to the death. One male and one female is a good start. I also started with paradise fish. While not as beautiful as the betas, they are very hardy and can live in just about any type of environment. They may be good for the person who might not be as dedicated as they should be to cleaning the tank. Right now I have fancy guppies. They are small, colorful and cohabit nicely with each other. I have 4 (2 male, 2 female) in a rather small tank and they seem happy. They are, however, constantly having babies which isn't a problem if you have someone to take them off your hands if you don't want to grow them out. I don't mean a couple of babies...they seem to be reproducing every 6 to 8 weeks with dozens of offspring each time. If you don't remove the babies right away, mom and dad have them for dinner. It is a bit challenging but fun if you have the patience. The babies aren't a problem for me as my husband takes them to his showroom to grow out and eventually put in tanks as 'fillers' as they are very colorful.

So, now you have selected your fish and a couple of appropriate choices of food. Take them home and add some of the water that has been sitting in the tank into the receptacle the fish came in, let it sit for an hour and into the tank they go. If you purchased healthy fish, you are done. Feed the fish small amounts twice a day. Don't let old food sit in the tank (I use the baster a couple of times a day but once will do), do a partial water change every couple of days and a full cleaning (take everything out and scrub) once every 7 to 10 days. Turn the light off at night to prevent algae from growing and to give the fish a rest.

There are a lot of variables that you will just learn as you go. Don't get discouraged if you lose some fish. It may not be your fault as some fish might not be healthy when purchased. Don't be afraid to ask questions at your local aquarium store. If they know you are a beginner they will help make your decisions easier. One note of caution: If you have cats as I do, be careful where you put your decorative tank. Need I say more? Good luck and have fun!

Visit one of my 175 Aquarium related websites. Here are a few to begin with http://www.thefisharium.com/ and http://www.clownfishes.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cora_Lights


Lobster Tanks Info

Though they resemble fish, lobsters are not fish, but animals who survive on air. So they should always be kept in oxygen-enriched environment, to keep them alive. Otherwise, they will drown. They don't have blood and muscles but gain strength from internal fluids that they go on pushing from one chamber of the body to another. Hence they are called as hydraulically operated animals. Due to their hard shells, lobsters are also called as crustaceans. Their body fluid is essential for their survival. If this fluid is lost, their body starts deteriorating and the hard shells turn soft and slimy. The death of a lobster is final when their body elements start deteriorating, beginning with the tail detaching itself from the body and exposing the flesh. Hence lobsters should be handled with special care and maintenance of certain environmental conditions is necessary, when they are kept in the tanks.

Retaining the balance of environment in the tank is one of the most important factors. Biological filters like pads, bio rocks, etc. should be kept in the tank to support the growth of bacteria that destroy the pollutants emitted by the lobsters and thus help in maintaining the environmental balance. The amount of bacteria is important to balance the system, since their levels can increase or decrease based on the number of lobsters within the tank. According to scientific studies, the number of lobsters should equal the number of bacteria. In case of any discrepancy in the numbers, the bacteria are outnumbered and hence cannot destroy the growing amount of waste in the tank. This leads to rapid instruction and death of the lobsters and the bacteria.

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