Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fish Tank Cleaning - How to Properly Clean a Freshwater Fish Tank

Cleaning a fish tank is an important part of owning an aquarium. Your fish need a clean environment to live if you want them to stay healthy and happy. Excess food and fish feces build up over time, which eventually turn into harmful ammonia, so it's important to keep your tank clean not only for its appearance, but for the health of your fish.

Getting on a good fish tank cleaning schedule will help you avoid algae build up and make it easier to clean the tank each time that you do. You can do a routine clean up in about a half an hour. Cleaning your tank on a weekly basis is the best way to stay on top of the grime and keep your fish healthy.

Many people mistakenly believe that you have to drain the whole tank and replace the water each time you clean the take. Actually, completely cleaning an aquarium can be harmful to the fish. As the fish live in the tank, good bacteria that cuts down on disease starts to grow in the tank. When a tank is cleaned from top to bottom, you remove these good bacteria, putting your fish in harm's way.

You need to regularly replace 10 to 50 percent of the water that is in the tank on a regular basis. Most people do 25 percent. This way you'll be able to add fresh water without completely removing the good bacteria. If there are algae on the sides of the tank you can use a scrubber but don't remove all of the algae because it is natural to their environment and very healthy for them.

Make sure to check the filter for debris, but don't replace it each time you clean. Good bacteria build up in the filter as well so you'll only want to replace it when you absolutely have to. Just use a clean bucket full of chlorine-free water and rub your hands across the filter several times to get the bulk sludge and slime off, that's it!

When decorative items become stained you can remove them from the tank and soak them in a 10 percent bleach solution for 15 minutes, use a brush and be sure to rinse them thoroughly before replacing them! If you do not rinse them thoroughly you could easily kill all of your fish!

Finally, replace the filter, the decorative items and add new water, remembering to use some type of water treatment solution to remove all chlorine. It's also a good idea to add a little conditioning salt to prevent disease.

If you would like to learn much more about proper Fish Tank Care visit where we provide expert advice on that and much more!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Setting Up Saltwater Tanks - Tips to Setup Your Saltwater Aquarium the Right Way

Many people are interested in setting up saltwater tanks but never take the leap and actually set one up. Many are afraid that saltwater aquariums are extremely hard and the fish always die. While it is true that some saltwater fish are delicate and that the tanks require a bit more care there really is nothing that hard about setting up saltwater tanks, as long as you follow a few key pieces of advice.

How To Build The Foundation For a Successful Saltwater Aquarium

Over Filter The Tank- The filter system on your marine aquarium is critical to the overall look and health of your tank and saltwater fish. The filter system does more then just filter the water, it also provides circulation in the tank which will help oxygenate the water. For that reason it is smart to always buy a filter that is rated slightly higher then your tank. This is because as debris builds up in them their performance will degrade and water flow decrease.

Avoid Small Tanks- Anyone setting up saltwater tanks for the first time should never go smaller then 40 gallons. This is because tanks that are smaller will suffer from temperature and salt level changes faster then larger tanks. These changes can cause your fish to get stressed and sick. A larger saltwater aquarium also lets you keep a few more fish then the smaller tanks making the display more colorful and pleasing to the eye.

Do Not Add To Many Fish- Having to many fish in a marine aquarium will almost always end with dead fish, algae and a ugly tank. Marine fish are territorial and will fight for the space they call their own, often to the death. They are also very sensitive to high nitrate levels which are common in over stocked marine aquariums. To avoid overstocking stick with a medium fish for every ten gallons of tank and a small fish for every eight gallons of tank volume.

To create a stunning and easy-to-maintain saltwater aquarium grab a copy of our Saltwater Aquarium Guide. This illustrated guide will show you step by step how to properly set up your aquarium. It's crammed with tips and secrets that the pros use to create stunning displays! Learn more at

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Betta Fish Diseases

Fish diseases are broadly classified in to Bacterial, Environmental and Parasitic diseases. Microorganisms are present everywhere in the tank. However, the problem occurs when your Betta Fish is restless.

Betas are more prone to infection because of low resistant power. This causes a drastic change in their health and wellness that may result in death, if ignored.

Environmental diseases imply the surroundings, where your Betta Fish dwells. Adequate care and cleanliness of the fish tank help to keep the fungus and microorganisms away from your Betta fish.

Types of Diseases:

Parasites are small creatures and Oƶdinium is the most common disease-causing parasite in Bettas. In addition, bugs can literally make your Betta fish sick. Ichthyophthirius multifilis is also a kind of parasitic disease occurring in Betta fish.

Following are some of the Betta Fish diseases that come in the above-discussed three types.

Unionized Ammonia (NH3)

This is an environmental disease referred as Ammonia poisoning in simple terms. It occurs due to the below mentioned factors:

1. A new unhygienic tank
2. Many fishes dwelling in the same tank
3. Frequent water change
4. Filtration problems

Symptoms are as follows:

1. Fish struggling for oxygen
2. Rests at the bottom of the tank
3. Bleeding gills
4. Reddish streaks on the fins
5. Weakness and stationary
6. No food intake

To keep your Betta Fish healthy, you need to take regular care of the fish. If ignored, the poisoning will hurt and break the tissues of fish, resulting in red blood scratches all over the body. In long run, the central nervous system and brain might also deteriorate leading to death.

Flexibacter Columnaris

This is a bacterial disease also known as Mouth Fungus, Flexibater, Cotton Mouth, and simply Columnaris. It is usually found in catfish and live bearing Betta fishes.

Symptoms are as follows:

1. Fish making water unclean frequently
2. Low appetite with no nutritional value
3. Stress
4. White spots occurring all over the body
5. Rotten fins
6. Fungus on the affected area

The bacteria enter the fish from mouth, injured areas, bruises, and gills. It is a communicable disease resulting in death. The bacteria multiply drastically. The disease progresses quickly in high water temperatures, and hence lowering the temperature is not a solution to deal with this condition.

Oodinium Pilularis

This is a parasitic disease also called as Gold rust Disease or Velvet. Oodiniums are parasites, which are capable of eradicating the entire Betta fish population in your tank.

Symptoms are as follows:

1. Fish rubbing against objects
2. Sluggishness
3. Frequent and quick gill movement
4. Weight loss
5. Compressed and closed fins

L. CLARK is a successful publisher of WEBMASTERS you may publisher this article provide you leave the link in place.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Problems Caused by Ammonia and Nitrite in Ponds

You'll never see the two biggest killers of fish and plants lurking in your pond. Chances are, you'll find struggling plants and fish long before you realize these troublesome components are in your water. Unfortunately, for many pond owners, the deadliest threats to their ponds are silent, quick and invisible.

Water quality is the cornerstone of a healthy clear pond. Without healthy water, your fish and plants won't last very long, and your pond will become more of an eyesore than a pleasure. Great water quality all comes back to properly balanced biological filtration. In a properly "cycled" pond, water never contains ammonia or nitrites. However, new ponds and ponds in crisis will exhibit signs of biological imbalance. These signs include ammonia and nitrite concentrations above zero.

High ammonia has three main culprits: in new ponds, with large bacteria die-off or when there's a drastic pH change in your water. In a new pond, high ammonia levels are part of the cycling process. You will see high ammonia until beneficial bacteria are established in your filter and substrate. Until you see ammonia levels drop, your pond is not ready for fish.

Many well-meaning fish keepers kill the beneficial bacteria in their pond by over-cleaning their filters (i.e. rinsing filter pads in tap water or replacing the entire filter pad). Always use pond water to clean your filter pad and change the filter pads gradually- never all at once.

At lower pH levels (under 5.8) ammonia becomes ammonium, a harmless by-product of waste. Left without water changes, ponds become acidic as waste builds up and minerals are depleted. When the pH is brought back up to neutral (i.e. during a large water change), ammonium turns back into ammonia and creates a massive die-off of fish and plants. If you haven't completed a water change in your pond for months, be careful about doing one large water change. Instead, use small water changes over several days to slowly bring your pH back to neutral.

When you have high ammonia levels in your pond (greater than 1 ppm), you'll see your fish gasping at the surface of your pond for air. Often, fish also have enflamed gills and refuse to eat. If you see your fish having these problems in your pond, immediately treat with an ammonia neutralizer or remove the fish to an alternate tank or pond. If all else fails, buy a clean trash can and use this as an alternative tank until you balance your pond's water quality.

High nitrite levels have two culprits: in new ponds and when there's a bacteria die-off. If you have a new pond, you will see an ammonia spike followed by a nitrite spike. Eventually, nitrifying bacteria will establish themselves in your filter to turn these nitrites to nitrates. Nitrites are very toxic to fish, while nitrates are harmless. Like ammonia, you can have a nitrite spike if you over-clean your filters in tap water or replace all your filter pads at the same time.

If you have high nitrite levels (above .5 ppm), you will see your fish gasping at the surface of the water. Their gills will turn brown (instead of red) and they will usually look much darker than normal (especially koi). If you notice these symptoms, immediately add aquarium salt per the dosing instructions on the package! Aquarium salt will save your fish's lives by neutralizing the ion that attacks your fish's blood when you have high nitrite levels. After you have added aquarium salt, you can control the nitrite levels with water changes until the nitrite levels drop again.

Casey Coke is a Marketing Manager for Natural Environmental Systems, LLC, a global supplier of microbial pond supplies and distributor of pond filters and other equipment.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Will I Need a Protein Skimmer on My Saltwater Tank? Protein Skimming of Saltwater Aquariums Examined

One of the most controversial pieces of saltwater aquarium equipment is the protein skimmer. These specialized filters do a good job of stripping a lot of pollutants and compounds out of the water. But is a protein skimmer needed in every saltwater tank?

The answer is no and there are many successful saltwater aquariums that proved this point. Below you will see some types of tanks that will not necessarily need a protein skimming to be successful.

Types of Marine Tanks That May Not Need Protein Skimming

Fish Only Tanks- Generally tanks that house just saltwater fish will do fine without a protein skimmer. Although you will need to have adequate filtration and your water changes will need to be more frequent to keep up with and nitrates that occur.

Soft Coral Reef Tank- Generally reef tanks with soft corals can get away without a skimmer. This is because soft corals are very hardy and many come from less pristine parts of the ocean. This means they can handle slightly lees then perfect water quality much better then other corals can.

Tanks With Refugiums- a refugium is an additional tank that grows special types of algeas around the clock. This algae will use the compounds that other nuisance algaes need to grow. This method works almost as good as skimming.Additionally a refugium can provide a the saltwater fish and corals with natural food

Keep in mind that although a skimmer is not needed to have a great saltwater tank they will give you an extra barrier of protection against algae.A good skimmer will also help keep nitrates down and also oxygenate your tanks water as well.

To create a stunning and easy-to-maintain saltwater aquarium grab a copy of our Saltwater Aquarium Guide. This illustrated guide will show you step by step how to properly set up your aquarium. It's crammed with tips and secrets that the pros use to create stunning displays! Learn more at

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Arowana Introduction and Info

Arowana fishes has been known for many years. they are the king of tropical fish. Asian tropical fishes are very well liked and longed by all hobbyist so that the market price is stable and tend to increase over time. Why is This so? Beacuse arowanas are difficult to breed and one breeder can only produce 30 to 60 fishes and not all breeder will produce eggs. So there is thendency that demand is greater than supply. Furthermore, the natural environment that is required for breeding arowanans only exist in few Asian countries, mainly in Indonesia.

Is arowana still in their natural habitat? It is difficult to answer. If still exist, we migth not see them, because of its scarcity. Currently, arowanas can only be seen in the farm for breeding, some farms has produced up to F5 to avoid its extinction.

Arowana super red are originally from lake Sentarum, This lake flow into kapuas river located in West Borneo. There are a lot of arowana farms, small into big farms. Super red arowana is the hardest to breed outside its habitat. Golden Mahato arowana was originally from Siak river in Pekanbaru. It has gold color scales and at a glance is similar to Cross Back Golden Malaysia. These two are Indonesian arowana trademark, which are very sought after by all arowana fans in Indonesia and Worldwide.

Some Indonesian arowanas include super red, red tail golden, golden mahato, banjar red, and green arowana. Indonesian tropical climate is very suitable for arowana breeding. water is the most critical element in arowana breeding, water source is not a problem in Indonesia. Eg, there is kapuas river "The Natural Habitat Arowana" in Kalimantan and Riau, there are a few small river, so water source is widely available.

A few countries who are the main market for Indonesian arowana production : Japan, China, Thaiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysian and Korea.

There is no doubt, arowana are Indonesia's pride that we have to preserve; as Indonesia is the biggest arowana produce in the world...

Andrew Pangkawira - EzineArticles Expert Author

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Consider This Before Proceeding "To Grow a Reef'

I have been a hobbiest for over half my life. I have experienced firsthand the many pitfalls which contributed to the notion of abandoning the marine home aquarium. Although moving on was an option I seemed to always be drawn to the beauty, the diversity and challenges which this hobby has to offer.

I learned that there is an element in reef keeping which when ignored contributes to failure. The failure was neglecting to consider the long term cost in creating a reef feature, and mentally establishing the time and effort it takes in maintaining a reefscape.

Most people are unaware that the aquarium itself, the filters, pumps, and lights are the cheapest and least time consuming aspect of the maintaining a saltwater feature. True, top quality equipment is high ticket items up front but in the long run are the cheapest. My advice is this: This hobby is expensive, and in some areas, you just can't cut corners. If you can't afford it, don't get involved with it. The 'junk' equipment stems from this often ignored fact.

Second, and probably more critical is the time and energy it takes to maintain a reefscape.
The statement: "Too many people 'dive' into setting up a reef like a fresh water system- buying an aquarium, filling it with de-chlorinated water, adding the animals, and then expecting it to thrive like that in the ocean", demonstrates exactly the mentality of reef keeping. (This may work with goldfish or guppies, but it's not going to work for SW.)

There are two types of people in this hobby: Those who are dedicated and those who are caught up in the "cool" phase. From the reefers I have met who have long term satisfying success in this hobby have a deep understanding that a reef tank requires maintenance (time) and upkeep (money). This hobby requires dedication and very few people who get into it are truly dedicated. This is comparable to owning a puppy. It needs to be walked, fed, brushed, groomed, vet visits, etc... Reef keeping is akin to this. There is some instant instant gratification but a nice reef and long term enjoyment takes time and diligent dedication to establish.

In conclusion, if one desires to 'grow a reef' he or she must take 3-6 months to research and develop a plan which takes into account the due diligence in maintaining and growing a reef for long term. If this small step proves too difficult to achieve then maybe another hobby should be chosen. Avoiding research and planning leaves one vulnerable to the real pitfall, mainly, impulse buying.

My next article will attempt to offer basic course of action and strategies to aid in the long term satisfaction of growing a reef.

Dan Owensby

Aquarium hobby since 1968. Marine and reef experience since 1980. My aquarium was the feature aquarium in the 1994 issue of the FYI section of the Kansas City Star. I own and operate PrimeReef Aquatics since 2005. Moderator on forum. - supplies top quality products, livestock and advice for the serious hobbiest. Their goal is to aid in the advancement and enjoyment of growing a reef. Unlike most suppliers they are interested in the quality of growing a reef not solely the profit of it. For your long term enjoyment of your captive reef system please visit my website at the above link for top quality products.

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