SetupTank’s Aquarium Guides

The Truth About Doing an Aquarium Water Change

Dim the lights. Put the phone off the hook. It’s time to let you in on a little secret. As you get to be a more and more experienced fish owner, you actually do not have to do an aquarium water change multiple times a month. If you know what you are doing and don’t overfeed your fish or keep too many fish in the same tank, the water will last much longer. Plus, you run the risk of killing off some of the beneficial bacteria that keeps your tank healthy when you do a aquarium water change But, sometimes you should change aquarium water.

I know. It seems confusing.

Truth is, if there are serious issues in your tank, then, by all means, you should change aquarium water. I have done other posts that can help you identify when things are going a bit funky in your tank – and, remember, it isn’t your fault or like you did something “bad” if your tank’s water goes bad. Water doesn’t stay fresh forever. You’re just one person. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

water aquarium change

If you’ve confirmed that, indeed, your aquarium water needs to be changed, the first thing you’re going to need is a bucket. (Ideally this will be a bucket designated exclusively to change aquarium water.) You’ll also need a length of clear plastic siphon tubing and a siphon starter so you don’t get a mouthful of aquarium water when you’re trying to change the aquarium water.

Put the bucket on the floor, place one end of the tube in the tank and get suckin’. At most, you should only take 25 percent of the water when you do an aquarium water change. Be careful not to siphon up any of your fish. When you start this whole process, make sure to vacuum the gravel and clean out the algae that naturally accumulates before you set your sights on the water.

And now you know the truth about changing aquarium water.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Choosing Fish Food Types for The Fish Tank

People eat. Fish eat. People eat things like pizza, crème brulee, and even asparagus. But fish don’t. Their diets are much more limited than ours, and while they might peck away at a Hot Pocket, they won’t really get what they need out of it. But compared to most pet food types, fish food types for the fish tank are far more numerable.

That’s great, but that also means it can be a little more confusing trying to figure out what fish food types you should buy and feed to your little wet guys. The kind of fish you have (click here to read the post on how to choose fish based on how they appear in the store and click here to read the post on how to pick fish based on their behavior) will determine the fish food types they should get.

A good way of telling this is by studying the size, shape, and position of the fish’s mouth to tell what kind of fish food types they’re designed to consume:

  • Longer jaws mean those fish approach their food from below.
  • Mouths in the middle mean fish approach their food head-on.
  • Extended upper jaws are only on fish who approach food from above.

Knowing this, you can assess what fish food types to buy because of the way your fish are.

A variety of different fish food types.

Dried foods are great because they will feed most fish. Flakes especially have been developed to nourish herbivores and carnivores, and also enhance the color of the fish as well. It’s like eating a hot dog that’s also a tofu dog that also makes your hair shiny!

Tablets are similar to flakes, but just in another form. They disintegrate when you place them in the tank, which means fish will nibble on it as it breaks apart, and it will fall to the bottom for bottom-feeders. Just be mindful, though, if you’re using flakes or tablets to only give your fish as much as they’ll be able to eat in 5 minutes. Otherwise it’ll pollute the tank, and no matter what fish food types in the fish tank,you have in store for them to eat after that, that’s just bad for morale and unhealthy to have floating around in the water.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it. Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Starting a fish tank: How to Add Fish to a Tank

If you think there’s nothing more to starting a fish tank than just peeling open the bag of fish and dumping them out – think again. Usually the dealer will put that plastic bag inside of a paper bag, and transportation from the store to your home is, obviously, when you fish are potentially the most vulnerable. If the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold, it might be a good idea to bring with an insulated box or cooler to assure the fish don’t overheat or get too frosty on the ride home.

You might also want to ask the people at the store to double-bag your fish if your fish has spikes or anything sharp on it that might cause the bag to leak. Whatever you do, though, make sure then bag’s corners are taped and the bag is turned inside-out so the fish doesn’t somehow accidentally get trapped in the corner and hurt itself trying to get out.

These guys wanna go home!

Once you get home with your fish, carefully open the bags. If it was a long trip home, open the bag and submerge the rest in the tank to help equalize the temperature in the bag. This is an important part of starting a fish tank, because suddenly changing the temperature abruptly is bad for fish. Make sure not to let the bag get blown around too much inside, because you’re trying to soothe and calm the fish here, not stir it up or agitate it.

Now that the temperature has been equalized a bit, gently turn the bag onto its side so the opening at the top is on the side. Slowly pull the bag back out of the water to encourage the fish to swim out. Ladies and gentlemen, that is how to start adding  fish to a tank.

Stand back and watch your fish explore their tank – it’s an exciting, special time. You may wish to video tape it. Do so – you’ll be glad you did later!

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Choose Healthy Fish: Avoiding Sick Fish in your Tank!

So you’ve decided to pony up the cash and buy yourself some fish. Congrats! You’re not only on the right site, but you’re reading just the right article, since it’s on how to pick healthy fish. You definitely don’t want to end up with sick fish.

It’s a simple question, how to choose fish, but not exactly the easiest to answer since so much of it can boil down to personal taste, preferences, or inexplicable proclivities. The main thing is, you don’t want to pick out sick fish! Some basics, though, are the following:

  • The fish have to be healthy. That means no clamping of the fins, no rubbing, no rips, tears, bites, and no panting. They should be as active as is typical of their breed in any given environment. If they’re not doing so great in the store, it’s unlikely they’ll improve after being brought home. Sorry, Charlie. Similarly, don’t buy any fish that were in a tank with a sick fish – they could very easily have poisoned the water and the other fish around them.

Fish Doctor MD & Associates, Unltd.

  • The fish should seem well fed. Their tum-tums shouldn’t be concave, but should have rounded contours.
  • Don’t be fooled by the fish’s color. Some fish just take time to develop their full coloration. In fact, some fish won’t even form all their colors until they reach maturity. The body should have some colors and still appear smooth. If you see any bumps, patches, discolorations, etc., keep looking. It’s nothing personal, this is just how to pick a healthy (not sick) fish.

All that said, even the fish wizards out there can be fooled when picking out fish. Simply put, there’s no guarantee a seemingly healthy fish will actually be that way once you bring them home. It’s not something to freak out or stress about, just a fact – and you should take consolation in the fact that beginners and experts alike are equalized by the challenge of how to choose fish. But with these tips, you can at least make that much more of an educated and informed decision about your purchase.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it. Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Clean Up Aquarium Algae

What is aquarium algae? Well, algae are just a kind of plants that grow in the water. A little is okay, but in an aquarium, a lot can be disastrous. Aquarium algae are going to grow no matter what you do, since, like any plants, they thrive on water, sunlight, and nutrients. But you don’t want these aquarium algae to turn into weeds and become a jungle in your aquarium.

So what do you do?

Well, there are a couple things you can do. The easiest is to buy a plecostomus. It’s also known as a “sucker fish” because it sucks or eats aquarium algae. It’ll hook itself onto the sides of your tanks and go to work wolfing down aquarium algae, and will love you for letting them do it. They don’t even want any money for it or anything! They’re omnivores but usually stick to plants. So, that means they’ll help keep your tank aquarium algae-free. (Siamese flying fox and octocinclus can also be used for this same purpose, but the plecostomus is far more common.)

If you don’t have a plecostomus or don’t want to get one, that means you’re going to have to remove the aquarium algae by hand. That’s far less fun than just having a fish do it for you, but it is doable.

Yup. It’s gross.

You can also scrape the aquarium algae off as soon as you see it forming, which will make clean-up quicker and more endurable. If you have a glass tank, you can use a razor blade to take the aquarium algae off.

Changing water  after scraping a large amount of algae is often is the best way to keep nutrients from accumulating inside the tank.

You can also be mindful of how long your tank might be in the sun. As I said, algae are plants, so if your aquarium is going to be exposed to sunlight, aquarium algae will grow much quicker than if you had put it in the shade instead.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Choose the Proper Aquarium Lighting

It might sound counterintuitive and potentially dangerous, but no fish tank is complete with aquarium lighting. Your fishy friends won’t get electrocuted from the lights, but aquarium lighting is essential for your scaly companions to live long, healthy, juicy lives.

Now, there are different types of lights, and the kind of aquarium lighting you need will be dictated by the size of your tank, how many plants you have, and whether your fish are nocturnal or not.

Lighting for Aquariums

Fish imagine all the world is a stage, mainly because they always have spotlights shining on them.

Here are the main different kinds of aquarium lighting and how to select what you’ll need if it’s right for you. Ready?

  • Fluorescent tubes: Depending on the light requirements for your plants, you might need one or more tubes. There are literally dozens and dozens of different types of plants, so, stay tuned for another post exclusively on that topic to supplement this one on aquarium lighting. At the very least, though, you’ll need one. These lights should be changed out once a year since they put out less light as time goes on.
  • Mercury vapor lights: These are ideal for tanks that are taller than 20 inches, but they’re also huge power suckers. They use a lot of electricity and therefore take a while to reach their full intensity after being switched on. These should be on for 12 to 14 hours a day, and if you don’t feel like planning your social life around your aquarium lighting setup, you can get a timer that will automatically turn them on and off even when you aren’t home.

Another aspect to be aware of is the aquarium lighting’s color. If you’re just starting out and this is your first tank, you can’t go wrong with white. If you’re more advanced, different-colored fluorescent tubes can be combined to shine different colors down on them and help add a more soothing vibe to the room the fish live in. A white light and a pink light, for example, can cover the full light spectrum and really help your fish’s color pop.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Know How Often to Feed the Fish

So you’ve got some fish and you’ve got a tank picked out. Shoot. How often should you feed your fish? Do you know? Just like how there are many school of fish in the ocean, there are many school of thoughts out there about how often to feed the fish. Well, it’s actually fairly easy.

See, you only need to feed your fish once a day. You might read other articles or books on how often to feed the fish that say you should do more, but you’re not trying to fatten your fish up to eat them, are you? Over-feeding is a common issue and, unfortunately, fish aren’t able to look up and tell you they’ve had enough to eat. Nope. If you put it in there, they’ll eat it. They don’t know better, but you do. See, fish don’t really need to eat that much, but even they are confused about the “rules.” There are some other rules when it comes to how often to feed fish, but this is the biggest one.

Feed fish often

How often to feed fish? Once a day!

When you do feed your fish, only give them enough that they’ll eat in five minutes. If your fish are shy or nocturnal, you might want to overlap feeding time with when the lights are turned off.

Something else to be aware of on how often to feed fish is that feeding time is a great time to take a closer look at your fish. How are they looking? If there are any unusual changes or strange twists in behavior, it could mean they’re sick or have a disease or even poisoned. Yikes. We’ll get to that later, but, again, since you can’t ask your fish how they’re feeling or if they’re hungry, this is your chance to keep tabs on your fish.

Once a week, you should let your fish go without food. This is to benefit their digestion process. It isn’t cruel, they need it. Just bear in mind that this doesn’t apply to little juvenile fish who are still growing. They need to eat each and every day.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Choosing Live Fish Food for Your Aquarium (Brine shrimp, Bloodworms, Silversides, Tubifex Worms)

Fish are not like us. Humans don’t like to eat things alive. Fish don’t mind at all. In fact, there’s a whole category of fish food known as live fish food. That’s what we’ll be looking at in this post. (If you want to read about dry fish food and other fish food types, click here.)

To clarify, “live fish food” is a term used to refer to food that is, yes, alive, but also frozen food animals. They both have the same nutritional value, but some fish will not feast unless they see their food wriggling about. It’s kinda like how we put ranch dressing with tabasco on pizza, or salad dressing on salad. It’s just better that way.

Now, there are a couple different types of live fish food. This is what they are:

Mosquito larvae. The larvae comes in black, red, and white. Not all of them are available anywhere, but they are not substitutes for each other. For instance, the red mosquito larvae may contain harmful substances since they come from polluted waters — so be sure not to give your fish too  many. When you buy your larvae, ask where they came from — the ones imported from Southeast Asia are always the safest.

Tubifex Worms. There are a lot of different types of worms you can feed your fish if you want to go the live fish food route: tubifex worms, and bloodworms.

Live Food for your hungry fish!

Yum. Live fish food, aka worms.

Brine shrimp. Once sold as Sea-Monkeys – remember those? –  these little suckers are super-resilient. Interestingly, brine shrimp also don’t feed, themselves, but consume their own energy reserves stored internally.

Silversides. An excellent source of marine protein and oils, silversides are fish that you can buy frozen and use as food for aggressive feeders and larger carnivorous fish.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.

Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Pick Fish for Your Aquarium

Aight, so you got an aquarium, a space all picked out for it, have completely flooded your apartment to make your fish feel more at home when it sees you doing the breaststroke around the breakfast nook. Now you’re probably scratching your hairy head – or bald, if you shaved it to, again, make your fish feel less exotic by comparison – and asking yourself, “Hmm, how to pick fish?”

Well, I’ll tell you how to pick fish for your aquarium. In a recent post, I showed you how to choose healthy fish for your aquarium – and while those tips definitely hold true here, you need to figure out what kind of fish you want when you think about how to pick fish out at the store. Do you want an active fish? A lazy one? A flashy one? A dangerous one? One with lasers on it? Spikes? How about a nice swinging pendulum magikarp?

The point is, you should probably brainstorm a list of questions before going to the fish-supply store. Even if you have your heart set on a certain breed or gender, you might change your tune when you ask the staff about the following topics:

how to pick aquarium fish

This little guy is ready to come home!

  • Whether the particular fish likes plants or open areas better.
  • Whether it prefers to be alone or will tolerate or thrive better in the company of other fish.
  • What it eats and where in the tank it eats its food.
  • How much space the fish needs.
  • What kind of water pH the fish needs.
  • Whether they’ll make delicious sushi or not. (Only ask if this you’re not serious about being a real fish owner.)
  • The temperature the fish needs the water to be at.

You’re going to want to make the tank be set up to its optimal condition for that particular fish. That way you can just bring your new friend home and set them loose – not have them explore the plastic bag you’re likely taking it home in.

Okay! Now you’re an expert on how to pick fish! Go out into the street and quiz the first four people you see on this topic to make them feel small and you feel big!

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Choosing an Aquarium Tank Size-Need Aquarium Volume calculator?

Have you ever heard people say, “size doesn’t matter?” Well, don’t be fooled: Your aquarium tank size definitely matters. Also, they probably weren’t talking about aquarium tank size in the first place, but that’s what you’re here to read about, right?

Check the link at the bottom for a nice calculator for aquarium volumes.

Well, basically, what you should know is that bigger is better. Bigger tanks are easier to take care of and maintain, and the potentially harmful chemicals released in the breakdown of metabolic products are diluted more since there’s much more water in the tank. Generally speaking, though, a great aquarium tank size for a beginner or hobbyist fish enthusiast is a 40- x 16- x 16-inch tank. Even though it sounds pretty darn big, it actually isn’t that colossal. It won’t take up that much space in your apartment, house, or bordello.

But whatever aquarium tank size you go for, make sure there’s a cover on the tank. They reduce evaporation and also prevent your fish from hopping out of the water and flopping about on your skull-and-crossbones mini-rug.

Size of Aquarium

If you raise your fish well, they become human. Will you experience true love with it?

Also bear in mind: The thinking that a small fish needs a small tank is completely wrong. Fish get bigger, grow up, and eventually will want a place of their own out in the city. It’s important not to stand in your fish’s way when they express the desire to become independent, as they may come to resent you later in life. And they’ll definitely resent you if you cram them in a tiny tank since all fish need plenty of room to swim about. They’re fish! That’s what they do!

Another factor in determining what aquarium tank size is optimal is figuring out how many fish you want to keep, what your budget is like, and, of course, whether you can even realistically transport a tank from the store to your home. You can order them online, but, remember that since a bigger aquarium tank size is better, that also will mean shipping will bemore and more expensive. Not prohibitively so, but, well, it’ll add up.

If you need an aquarium volume calculator, check this one out over at aquaticommunity. http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/converter/volume-calculator.php

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Aquarium Testing, The best Fish Tank Test!

In another post, I told you all about the nitrogen cycle. Piggybacking off that is aquarium testing. Aquarium testing is important because it’s a surefire way to whether something’s off or hinky about your setup.

Get ready to discuss the great Fish Tank Test!

A lot of things can go wrong. What you need to wrap your mind around is the fact that, in nature, the water is actually alive, in a way. It’s facilitating the life of plants and fish, and is a conduit to processing one’s waste into something beneficial for the other. It’s a different story in an aquarium: The water you get from your tap isn’t alive. It has to be revived before fish can live and flourish in it.

There are kits you can get for a fish tank test, so, breathe a sigh of relief if you thought you’d need a degree in marine biology to keep proper care of your wet ones. But, be warned, there are a lot of different kits.

testing your aquarium

There are aquarium testing kits from a to of different brands that all serve different functions.

One of the main things you’re measuring for in a fish tank test is the water’s hardness. Water gets hard when it has a high mineral content. It alone isn’t toxic necessarily, but it isn’t exactly the most conducive water to sustaining life.

Generally speaking, fish can live in medium to hard water. Plants do best in what’s called carbonate hardness, which is derived depending on the levels of carbon dioxide in it. When fish tank testing, the carbonate hardness should never drop below three German degrees, or dCH, which is the standard unit of measurement for that.

Thee are liquid reagents you can buy from aquarium dealers for fish tank test that can help you determine what’s going on in your water. If something’s wrong with it, be sure to change the water’s happiness with peat filtering, using a cation exchanger, or adding completely desalted water to the tank.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.

Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle

Nothing exists in a vacuum, and that basic principle holds true in your fish tank, too. The fish, the water, the plants, and even that little glowing treasure chest with a demon’s skull tucked away snugly inside are all part of the aquarium’s delicate ecosystem. The ecosystem lives and dies by what’s known as the nitrogen cycle. Aquariums of all stripes will have this, but all you need to know is this: The circulation of nitrogen-containing compounds is a natural process by which the decaying and dead waste products containing nitrogen are converted by bacteria into harmless substances that are absorbed by the tank’s plants.

To explain it another way, an the nitrogen cycle works like this: Ammonia is expelled by fish through the gills and in their waste products, and the nitrates in that are gobbled up by the plants as if they were a fertilizer, other toxic elements are converted to nitrates by the bacteria in the tank’s filtration system, and then ammonia is also turned into nitrates by the filtration system.

There will be a test on this later.

If you’ve ever left a glass of water out overnight, or have ever tasted stale water, you know water quality just dips over time. It happens. There’s nothing you can do to fight it, but by better understanding the nitrogen cycle that takes place in an aquarium, it will lead to your being better equipped and able to take better care of your fish.

In the wild, nature plants and bacteria break down all the harmful chemicals that accumulate in the ocean, pond, lake, or whatever. You can help out the the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium by putting a lot of plants with ample lighting in your tank. Bacteria, fungi, or any other microorganisms introduced into the bottom of your tank that can easily be exposed to air circulation will also help.

You want to assure the nitrogen cycle takes place in your aquarium, though, because without it, ammonia will start to accumulate. If your tank’s pH level is below 7,you’re fine, but check it often – and don’t be alarmed if the pH level rises after you change the water. It could be for any number of reasons, like your tap water having a different or fluctuating pH level.

The main thing to look out for is signs of poisoning: Fish panting heavily and spending most of their time just below the water’s surface is a surefire indicator that the nitrogen cycle is out of whack. So, do something about it!

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step-by-step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.

Click here!

Thanks for reading!

How to Set Up a Fish Tank: Choosing Aquarium Rocks for Decoration

When figuring out how to set up a fish tank you’ve got a lot to think about!

No one deserves to live in a totally barren and empty home, and that includes fish, from the lowly tetra to the mighty snapper. One of the best ways to gussy up your fish’s house is with aquarium safe rocks that are both decorative and functional. “Functional” meaning there are fish aquarium rocks that do more than just make the aquarium look nice and purty.

Rocks can help break up the tank and divide it into separate territories, which are critical for different types of fish. Sandstone, granite, slate, and aquarium lava rocks are all calcium-free and well suited for this purpose.

You don’t want to pick rocks like tufa or limestone, which will change the chemistry of the water – they’ll make it hard and alkaline. Also, some nice-looking rocks from the western United States contain metal ores which can be toxic to fish even at very low concentrations. So do your homework before you figure a rock is a rock. They aren’t. Not all rocks are aquarium safe rocks.

This decorative rock looks smart and also lets your fish play a quick round of soccer!

Something to consider, assuming you have located the best rocks for you and your fish’s lifestyles, is whether you want the rocks to just be eye candy or not. Rocks that are green and gray increase the tank’s overall color palette. Grainy aquarium safe rocks and weathered rocks will add more texture. Warmer colors will glow in the tank’s lights. Darker rocks like slate offer more contrast.

Also, don’t forget to wash your ricks. A seemingly clean rock can actually be a hotel or dirt, grim, and dust. Bust out the elbow grease and scrub, scrub, scrub to make those aquarium safe rocks truly aquarium safe. Use water, of course, and a designated scrubbing brush for this purpose – unless you really want to wash your back in the shower with something you used on aquarium lava rocks. Hey, we can’t stop you.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step by step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

 

Thanks for reading!

Aquarium Temperature and Fish Tank Heating

You might think all it takes to be a fish enthusiast is buying an expensive tank, some rocks, plants, a great case for it, and then position it in front of a window so all your neighbors see you love animals, but you would be wrong. Not only is that a horrible position for your tank, but you also have to concern yourself with the ideal aquarium temperature. That means buying the right heater and installing it properly to regulate the aquarium water temperature.

If you really love your fish, you’ll buy every heater on earth and display them so the fish can see them all. That way the tank will be warmed by their warm fuzzies knowing they have such a great provider as a mommy or daddy.

Why? Well, because tropical fish, like humans, need warmth. Humans get it from the thermostat, bundling up, or going outside. Fish get it from aquarium heating. You obviously don’t want to boil your fishies, but understand that the water’s temperature affects its ability and capacity to contain oxygen. The warmer the water, the less oxygen it can hold, which can affect the plants and your scaly compadres. With the proper aquarium heating unit you can regulate the temperature to a natural level of 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in a heated room, if you keep tropical fresh-water fish, you have to regulate the temperature.

There are three different types of heaters you can choose from:

Rod-type heaters, which are attached vertically to the rear wall of the tank with sticky suction cups.

Bottom heaters, which have heating cables installed on the floor of the tank before everything else in put in it. It works perfectly fine for aquarium heating, but if you’re going to go this route, you should most definitely ask your dealer for help. There are less powerful and more powerful ones, and they are definitely variables to consider if you also want to nurture the plants in the tank as well.

Finally, there are thermofilters, which are a combination of a heater and a filter. When water flows through them, it is cleaned and then slightly reheated.

Remember that all of these can help maintain the ideal aquarium temperature. Pick the one that makes you feel the most special inside.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step by step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Setting up an Aquarium: How to Choose an Aquarium and Stand

So you’ve selected the best possible fishy friends for your lifestyle and personality, and now it’s time to give your tiny guys a totally crunk pad: the perfect aquarium. Set up for the tank your guys will be living in is usually pretty easy — the “tough” part is selecting one, and even that isn’t that hard.

Let’s start by going the different types of tanks, and then we’ll get into how to set up an aquarium.

This 16-wheeler, spotted in Irvine, California toting the EuroCombi tank is not recommended for beginners!

First off, know that there’s no such thing as a “right” tank. It’s your call, and, usually, you want to go as big as your property and budget will allow. Here are the main varieties you’ll run into:

  • Acrylics: These are usually more expensive, but for that price, after you’re done with aquarium set up, your reward is a tank that can’t be scratched or stained as easily. You could scratch and stain them if you really want, but don’t you have better things to do with your time after setting up an aquarium?
  • Glass cubes: Pretty much what they sound like. It’s a cube made of glass, easy to assemble. Just make sure to get a hood so your fish don’t go overboard!
  • Readymade cabinets: These are handy because after you’re done setting up an aquarium like this, you’ve got a convenient place to store all the lighting units, external filters, and cables you need. Well, that your fish need. Not you.

 Aquarium set up is usually pretty hassle-free. So long as you read the instructions and follow them closely, you should have no problems. In another post we’ll go over some of the more complicated problems associated with setting up an aquarium, usually associated with the dreaded Harbinger Fishy Tank 698-X. They’re hard to find and are usually labeled with a big skull and cross bones as a warning to all customers, alongside a label that says: “Caution: several people have died in aquarium set up. Don’t say you weren’t warned!” Okay, so that doesn’t really exist. Not anymore.

Quit worryin’ so much! Now you know how to set up an aquarium and pick the right one for you and your fish friends.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step by step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Picking the Perfect Aquarium Position

The aquarium position you select for your tank is not anything to take lightly. Selecting the right equipment, tank, and plants won’t do you a whole heck of a lot of good if you put it in the wrong place.

Let’s assume for a moment you live in a gigantic house. No, you know what? Let’s say you live in a solid gold millionaire mansion and a famous rapper lives next door. He’s actually a good resource to tap later when it comes to making your fish hustle and flow, but that’s another post for another time. We’ll also explore the best fish to give your manservant and next door neighbor in another post if there’s enough interest in the comments below. (Fun fact: Rick Ross hates Siamese fighting fish and prefers a nice feisty candiru instead.)

First, let’s dip into choices for aquarium position locations you shouldn’t make. Kitchens are a bad idea because the fumes from household cooking can affect the fish – also, you may also accidentally cook your fish. Don’t stare through that aquarium window when you’re out of groceries and think, “I’ll improvise!” That would make you a bad fish parent.

Correct aquarium location

Do you know where the fish tank should go in your new home?

Also bad is a hallway (drafts from doorways and noise from passing foot traffic will be disturbing), close to a door (again, vibrations and noise), and any room with too much light (it’ll make the tank too hot during the day and too cold at night).

Ideally, you want to put the aquarium where it will not be affected by foot traffic, light from windows, or heat from radiators. Great aquarium positions include corners of rooms and really any area that is quiet — it should be far away from windows. If it’s a corner that’s too dark to grow a houseplant, it might be perfect for an aquarium.

Remember that you will want to scout out the best location ahead of time since it will be hard to find the “perfect” spot and also a sizable tank filled with water and such can weigh as much as 150 pounds. And since you’re living in a giant mansion, you should conserve your lifting muscles for your gem-encrusted wallet, not your fish tank.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step by step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!

Selecting Aquarium Gravel or Aquarium Substrate

Much like a beach needs the ocean and the sand to be complete, so to does your tank need water, plants, and what’s called aquarium substrate. Aquarium substrate” is just a fancy way of saying “fish tank gravel,” and, no, ordinary sand won’t work in your aquarium bottom. So put away that tiny yellow plastic shovel and pail and read up, children.

The type of aquarium substrate you need will depend on the type of aquarium size, plants, and of course the fish you have. It’s pretty simple, but don’t just pick them at random.

Aquarium Substrate

Here are the different types:

River sand: Ideal to line your aquarium bottom if you have a bottom-dwelling species. It allows for the easy flowing of water and plant roots.

Fine gravel: This is perfect if you have a smaller aquarium or if a larger aquarium substrate would look a bit queer in a tiny tank. Proportion and style is key.

Medium gravel: It’s your typical one-size-fits-all kinda gravel. Should work for just about any size aquarium. A totally standard aquarium substrate, if that’s what you need.

Coarse gravel: If you want to create a really snazzy stream-bed effect in your tank, use this. You can also mix it in with some medium gravel for a different effect. It will fool your fish into believing they don’t just live in a tank!

Once you’ve selected the proper gravel to fill your aquarium bottom with, remember to wash it because it’s likely to be dusty and dirty. True, they’re supposed to be dusty, but you don’t want to dump in a bunch of contaminants into your tank. Place small amounts of it in a bucket, add water, and then agitate it with either your hands or a designated wooden spoon, for example, set aside for just this very purpose.

Drain, repeat, and keep doing it until the water drains as clear. Do this until all the aquarium substrate is clean. You can’t hear it, but your fish will thank you. If you spring for the enchanted gravel that lets you understand what fish say, then you will be able to hear it. But that’s another post for another time.

If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out my eBook!

Perfect for beginners!

From the basics to more advance fish keeping advice, this is a must have for any beginner aquarium hobbyist. This guide will give you every bit of information in an easy to read step by step guide.

This link will take you to my eBook’s splash page and you can learn more about it.
Click here!

Thanks for reading!