5 Great Android Apps for Aquarium Maintenance

aquarium maintenanceA custom aquarium is a fascinating addition to any home. Aquarium fish swimming back and forth are a mesmerizing and captivating show. Aquarium maintenance is important, however. You’ll need a regular schedule for feeding the fish, and also for cleaning the tank and filters. You must also know when to add chemicals if necessary, and how much to add.

Not to worry. Help, advice, and even reminders for everyday aquarium maintenance are only a tap away. There are several apps for your Android phone or tablet that can ease your aquarium maintenance chores. With these apps, you be on the right track to a fabulous aquarium. Here are five free Android apps you can use to stay up to date with your aquarium maintenance:

Aquarium Note

The designers created Aquarium Note for both freshwater and saltwater aquarium hobbyists. If you enjoy keeping aquarium fish, aquatic plants and corals, this app is for you. It helps you record and keep track of water parameters, aquarium maintenance activities, and more. You can also keep track of your aquarium fish and their health. The app also reminds you when it’s time to perform aquarium maintenance, like changing the water or cleaning the tank or filters. The app can even export your data to email, the web, or to a .pdf file. That way, you can always keep tabs on your saltwater or freshwater aquariums no matter where you are.
Get the app here

Aquarium Manager

A freshwater or saltwater aquarium requires regular maintenance. Like most things, it’s easy for chores like these to slip your mind from time to time. Aquarium Manager helps you schedule regular maintenance and feeding tasks in advance. The app also gives you tips on aquarium fish management and feeding, water quality, and more. You can keep a daily diary of your saltwater or freshwater aquarium right on your phone. You can even take photos of your aquarium, so you can share it with your friends and family.
Get the app here

Aquarium Calculator

This app is a set of tools for new and custom aquariums alike. It calculates tank volume, surface area, and water weight for any type or shape aquarium. You can calculate CO2 and water hardness using common unit conversions. This calculator comes in handy if you need to know how much water you will need for a certain size or custom aquarium design. It  also helps give an estimate of how much the water in the tank will weigh. This is useful to know when placing a new aquarium on a shelf or hutch.
Get the app here

Aquarium Advice

AquariumAdvice.com is an active forum that fellow aquarium owners staff and maintain. It offers up-to-date information on just about anything related to aquarium maintenance. The app helps diagnose problems with your fish or plants. You can read and post reviews of aquariums, filters, and more. The app makes it easy to browse through the forums for whatever aquarium maintenance information you need. It can even help you become an active member of the AquariumAdvice.com owner community.
Get the app here

Fish Lore Aquarium Forum

FishLore.com is another aquarium fish website with an active, fun and friendly forum. This app lets you browse through the forums on your Android device. Express yourself and join the community of freshwater and saltwater aquarium owners. The forum has lots of knowledge, tips, and advice for owners of both saltwater aquariums and freshwater aquariums.
Get the app here

Apps Make Maintenance Easier

These Android phone apps make your aquarium maintenance and fish-keeping tasks easier to handle. They also offer advice and tips from other fishkeeping enthusiasts just like you. They make it easier to join a community of like-minded freshwater or saltwater aquarium owners. The app can even take pictures of your fabulous aquarium fish so you can show them off to your friends and family.

Of course, for the best tips and advice on aquarium maintenance, it’s always best to speak with a professional. The experts at Aquatech Aquarium Service in Culver City have tons of knowledge and experience. You can even use your new apps to keep track of scheduling regular aquarium cleaning sessions from Aquatech, and spend more time simply enjoying your aquarium!

Top Five Fish for Saltwater Aquariums

saltwater aquariums-top 5 beginner fishFish keeping is fun for everyone, from young children the elderly. Keeping saltwater aquariums can be a great way to enjoy fish from all over the world’s oceans. It is relatively easy to keep and maintain a saltwater aquarium, although they may be a little more complicated than a freshwater aquarium.  Whatever extra effort is required to keep saltwater fish is worth it, however. You’ll be amazed at the how many different types of exotic fish are available for your saltwater aquarium. There’s a wide  selection of plants and other features, too. But what are some great aquarium fish if you’re new to saltwater aquariums? We’ve assembled a list of the Top Five Saltwater Fish for beginners.

Clownfish

A clownfish is probably the most popular fish for beginners. Their bright, striking colors make it a classic marine fish. Clownfish are relatively inexpensive, and quite hardy. Although clownfish can be somewhat territorial, they’re usually not aggressive towards other fish. There’s one very unusual aspect about clownfish. If you place two or more males together in saltwater aquariums, the largest, most dominant fish can change its gender to female! They may even begin to breed in your tank.

Blennies and Gobies

These fish are bottom dwellers, and are usually a very hardy fish. Most are relatively small, usually reaching no more than a few inches in length. The fish have a lot of personality, and feature very striking colors. They do prefer an aquarium with a lot of places like rocks and crevices where they can hide. However, blennies and gobies are always a great addition to saltwater aquariums.

Firefish

These are very pretty, peaceful fish to add to saltwater aquariums. They tend to do very well with other fish. Firefish are commonly considered to act as a barometer of sorts for your saltwater aquarium. If the quality of water in your tank is decreasing, these fish are usually the first to sense it. If everything is OK, their dorsal fin will stand upright. When the fish is feeling stressed, due to poor quality water or overcrowding, the fish’s dorsal fin will lay flat against its back.

Cardinalfish

Cardinalfish are really great beginner fish for new keepers of saltwater aquariums. They have a very striking color pattern and body shape, which makes them very interesting to watch. They make an especially captivating display as they swim in a school. Cardinalfish are hearty, eaters, and generally are very peaceful towards other fish.

Crabs and Shrimp

There’s no reason to restrict the type of sea creatures you place in your saltwater aquarium to fish alone. Adding crabs or shrimp to saltwater aquariums adds variety and excitement to your underwater environment. They’re relatively hardy, and they get along great with most other fish. There are many different types of shrimp and crabs to choose from.  They each have their own shape, color, and personality. It is fun and interesting to watch these creatures interact with other fish in your aquarium.

Setting Up Saltwater Aquariums

In their natural environment, most saltwater fish tend to live close to corals, rubble, or sea plants.   They use this natural cover to quickly dart to safety if the need arises.  Some fish live in burrows in the sand, usually near rock outcroppings. In saltwater aquariums, your fish will thrive if they have the same types of hiding places. Rocks, coral skeletons, or sea plants are all great additions to make your fish feel at home.

Fish Need Elbow Room, Too

So how many fish should you put in your tank? A good guideline is to keep two fish for every ten gallons of water. Of course, this is not an exact number. Larger, more active fish produce more biowaste than smaller fish. Smaller, slender fish or passive bottom dwellers tend to put less load on the filtration system. It is still important to perform regular aquarium maintenance, however.

Get To Know Your Fish Better

You’ll be amazed at the large number of saltwater fish and invertebrates available for saltwater aquariums at your local fish store. You can skip a lot of trial and error by learning from people who have cared for aquariums for a long time. That way, you’ll have fewer problems and be able to simply enjoy the ever-changing glimpse of the ocean that saltwater aquariums provide.

Top Five Fish for Freshwater Aquariums

Freshwater aquariumsfreshwater aquariums top fish are inexpensive and fun. If you’ve never had an aquarium before, you’ll have to learn a little about aquarium design, equipment, and maintenance. Once you’ve determined where to place your aquarium, you’ll have to stock it with sand or gravel, plants, and all the equipment needed to keep the water clean. It’s only then that you’ll come to the part that’s the most fun: choosing your aquarium fish.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which fish to choose from the hundreds of species available at you local aquarium store. Fish for freshwater aquariums are very adaptable and easy to care for. Here’s a list of the Top 5 Fish for Freshwater Aquariums:

Guppies

Guppies are the perfect fish to get your new aquarium off on the right foot. They are very hardy fish, so they’ll be likely to thrive when introduced to a new aquarium. They’re also a very peaceful fish. That’s an important consideration when you’re setting up freshwater aquariums for the first time. Beginners should avoid flashier-looking fish like Bettas because their aggressive nature makes them less than perfect neighbors for the other fish.

Guppies are easy to breed, so you can end up with a fully stocked aquarium by starting with just a few fish. The males are especially colorful with big, iridescent fins that shimmer as they swim by.

Tetras

Tetras come in several species, but they’re all great fish for freshwater aquariums. They really stand out when you turn on your aquarium light because they’re so brightly colored and like to swim in a school. Tetras are timid, but they get along well with other community fish. Choose at least six to get the most vibrant display. Tetras like aquariums with  a lot of plants that they can hide in when they get nervous.

Cory Cats

Cory Cats aren’t exactly beautiful, but they sure are fun to watch. They have a broad snout and feelers, and they love to spend their time rummaging around the tank’s bottom cleaning up scraps. That makes them ideal fish for first-time aquarium owners. They’re always active, making them fun to watch, and they get along with all the other common species you’ll find at the fish store.

Danios

Danios are similar in size and temperament to tetras. They feature bright colors in striking horizontal stripes, making it exciting to watch them swim past. Like tetras, they get along great with other fish. Buy a half-dozen Danios so they can swim in a school. Danios are often chosen as the first fish in a new aquarium because they’re so hardy. They’re not fussy about the type of flake food they eat, making it easy to keep them happy and healthy.

Plecostomus

Plecos are like Cory Cats. They’re not beautiful, but they’re useful and fun to watch. Plecos are much larger than Cory Cats, but they have the same catfish snout and feelers. They love eating algae, so they’re great at keeping your aquarium clean. These fish attach themselves to the glass and scour it all day long. They’re very slow and peaceful, and get along with all the other fish in your aquarium.

Easy Freshwater Aquariums

If you want to make it easier to care for your fish, ask your aquarium store to help you select fish that get along with others and prefer the same type of fish food. That will cut down on the amount of time you spend with chores, and increase the amount of time you spend enjoying the endless parade of colorful fish as they swim by. You’ll also find that it’s better to introduce each species separately so they can become acclimated to the new aquarium before a new type of fish appears.

Show Your Fish Some Love With These Aquarium Maintenance Tips for Newbies

aquarium maintenance from aquatech aquarium serviceYour fish will love their new home if you set up your aquarium the right way. Many new fish keepers are in a rush, and feel that they have to get started with their new aquarium immediately. It’s common to head down to the local fish store and purchase an aquarium, fish, and supplies in one stop. But in order to have a thriving aquarium, some factors must be taken into consideration before the aquarium is installed. A fish keeper should also plan on a regular schedule of aquarium maintenance. To keep your cleaning chores to a minimum, follow these handy tips during setup:

Location, Location, Location!

It’s important to choose your aquarium’s location wisely. Experts advise a quiet area to get the best results. Too much activity nearby might scare your fish, especially as they get used to their new environment. Scared fish are not happy fish.

It is also a good idea to keep your aquarium completely covered. This ensures your fish remain inside of your tank, and help to reduce loss of water due to evaporation and splash. It also reduces the overall amount of aquarium maintenance needed. If you have kids or pets, keeping your tank closed will also help keep small hands and paws out.

Avoid placing your aquarium in direct sunlight, or exposed to very strong light sources. This can create heat issues, and can also lead to unwanted algae growth inside the tank. Algae buildup can starve the tank’s water of oxygen, making it difficult for fish to breathe properly. The buildup also makes aquarium maintenance more time consuming and difficult.

Creating an Ecosystem

When starting a new aquarium, keep in mind that an aquarium is more than just a box of fish. Both freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums are living, thriving, ecological systems. A fish keeper creates this environment specifically for the particular underwater creatures that inhabit it. That means that the water must be as close to the fishes natural environment as a fish keeper can make it.

Aquarium maintenance must include water quality checks. You can purchase packets to add to an aquarium’s water to treat it properly. These packets contain the necessary chemicals and micro-organisms needed to re-create the aquatic environment that fishes prefer. It also pays to avoid being in a rush. Allowing an aquarium to run for a few days to a week is recommended to prepare the tank to take on fish.

Digging Your Gravel

An aquarium needs more than just water. It needs a gravel, sand, or other material to serve as a base. Gravel is ideal, because it can be easily cleaned, and it does not need to be every replaced as often as sand. Remember, with regular aquarium maintenance, the gravel must be cleaned, or sand changed at least twice a month. This ensures that toxic elements like algae, fish poop, old fish food, and other debris don’t remain in the water where they can harm your undersea creatures.

A Word About Decor

Adding decorations and a background is always fun. It creates a lively environment for your fish to thrive, and improves the overall visual effect. Your local aquarium maintenance or fish store usually has plenty of decorations on display for you to purchase. Natural objects such as coral, live plants, and shells also make wonderful additions to any display.

Keep in mind that any decorations must be rinsed thoroughly before placing them in the tank. This removes any traces of chemicals or debris created during the manufacturing process. When adding live plants, always make sure that the tank is at least half full to avoid damaging them. Place larger decorations to the rear of the tank and smaller ones towards the front. That will create a nice open swimming area for your fish to roam around in.

Filtering the Possibilities

An efficient filter plays a very important role in aquarium maintenance. The filter keeps the water in aquarium clean and free of toxic chemicals. A properly sized filter is important to maintain the health of fish.

Filters usually perform three separate stages of filtration to keep an aquarium supplied with the right balance of chemicals and flora. Mechanical filtration helps trap solid particles such as fish poop and uneaten food. Chemical filtration uses blocks or pads of material such as carbon to absorb pollutants that cause odors and discolored water. Biological filtration introduces cultures of beneficial bacteria to an aquarium tank to eliminate the toxic ammonia and nitrates that accumulates in the water.

Aquariums Just Need a Little Love

Keeping an aquarium is very rewarding, but it also requires regular aquarium maintenance. Remember to change the water at least once every two weeks.  Clean the gravel or change the sand to improve the look of the aquarium. Clean or replace the filter. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, call  Aquatech Aquarium Service for the best, most convenient aquarium maintenance anywhere. Your fish will thank you for it!

Where There’s a Gill…

A healthy goldfish shows off its gill.The gill is a very important organ in any tropical freshwater fish. For humans the act of breathing happens in the lungs. The exchange of carbon dioxide gas for oxygen gas is an important function for all living creatures. But aquarium fish do not have lungs as humans do. Instead, they have filaments on either side of their throat: the gills.

How the Gill Works

Although most people are aware that fish use their gills for breathing, these organs do much more than simple gas exchange. As the water moves over the filaments of the gills, they exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. Fish take water in by the mouth and push it outward over the filaments of the gill. The delicate structure of the gills of aquarium fish makes them very important for maintaining the health of your fish.

Gills and Fish Health

There are a number of ailments that fish in freshwater aquariums can suffer affecting the gills. Columnaris (also called Cotton Wool Disease) may leave yellowish gray patches on the gills. Velvet or Gold Dust Disease can leave gold to white spots on the fish, and the animal can have difficulty breathing because of damage to their gills. Parasites such as copepods can also damage the gills. Ammonia poisoning causes the gills to become red or bloody, leaving the fish gasping for air. Fortunately, all of these can be treated if caught quickly enough.

Keeping the Fish Breathing

Good aquarium maintenance is the most certain way of preventing these ailments from damaging your fish’s gills.  Some of the ailments mentioned above require medications for the fish in order to combat the ailment. Something like ammonia poisoning can be remedied by improving your cleaning routines and making sure tank filters are working properly. Some of the diseases are contagious, however, and  a full cleaning and disinfecting of the tank may be necessary, in order to keep all your fish healthy.

Making sure that regular maintenance of your aquarium is very important for the health of your fish. How frequently you do a thorough cleaning of your tank can depend on the size of the aquarium. If you do not feel confident about your own ability to do the cleaning, especially if you are dealing with the aftermath of a contagious fish disease, look to an aquarium cleaning service like Aquatech Aquarium Service for expert help and advice.

Careful attention to your fish can ensure they get proper care and thrive. Make note of whether there seems to be discoloration around your fish’s gills or if they seem to be having a hard time breathing. If you notice that one of your fish is ailing contact experts to determine what specifically you need to do to bring them back to good health.

4 Great L.A. Aquariums You Should Check Out

Children at a public aquariumShould you visit aquariums? Southern California has so much natural beauty for tourists and locals to enjoy. Since it is located next to the ocean, the marine life in particular is both diverse and breathtaking. Whether you live in the Los Angeles area and are looking for something unique to do, are visiting and looking for a fun experience for the family, or are considering an aquarium installation in your own home and are seeking inspiration, visiting aquariums in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area is a great idea.

The Wonders of L.A. Public Aquariums

There are a number of incredible sea creatures indigenous to southern California, including the Orca and the Blue Whale – the largest living mammal. The area is home to the basking shark and the blue shark, as well as sea lions and the bottle nosed dolphin. There are a number of great freshwater and saltwater aquariums that will give you the opportunity to get a close look at these animals. For your convenience, we have compiled for your enjoyment a list of four of the most popular and exciting aquariums.

1. Aquarium of the Pacific – Located in Long Beach 

Located across the water from the Long Beach Convention Center, this expansive aquarium attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year, and for good reason! The Aquarium of the Pacific contains over 11,000 types of animals, and over 500 types of species. The aquarium aims to introduce its audience to the seascapes of the Pacific and the inhabitants that can be found there. Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Aquarium of the Pacific is that it strives to emphasize the importance of conservation, creating messages specific to each region of its three permanent galleries.

The Southern California and Baja Gallery

This gallery features an ample three story tank that contains 142,000 gallons of water. Each gallery contains exhibits – this one presents three for its visitors. First, there is the “Amber Forest Exhibit.” This display replicates a giant kelp forest where animal lovers can admire the scorpion fish among others.

The Gulf of California Exhibit includes exotic and beautiful marine creatures, such as the Cortez Rainbow Wrasse, the Mexican Lookdown, and the Porcupine Fish. Finally, there is the seal and sea lion habitat that includes a ray touch pool and a shorebird sanctuary.

The Northern Pacific Gallery and the Tropical Pacific Gallery

This gallery educates visitors about organisms that can be found in the Bering Sea. Here you can view diving birds, a sea otter habitat, and a giant Pacific Octopus tank. The Tropical Pacific Gallery presents visitors with a look at animals living off of the coast of the Islands of Palao.

If you pay this aquarium you visit, be sure to check out the Shark Lagoon, the Lorikeet Forest, and the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, all worthy investments of time with lovable creatures.

2. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro California 

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Offering school and group programs as well as hosting many visitors, this tropical aquarium has both indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces, an auditorium, and wet laboratories. The architecture of this aquarium is striking – in 1981 the famous architect Frank Gehry re-designed the structure.

Along with the impressive architecture, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium boasts the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. At the aquarium, you can explore interpretive displays, museum collections and adaptations of the local sea life. This aquarium is special because it takes an interactive and natural approach to educating its visitors on the marine environment.

3. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, this aquarium welcomes 65,000 visitors from across the globe. It offers educational programs, activities and special events to address pollution, being friendly to the environment, and marine conservation.

Among the exhibits that the aquarium offers its visitors are shark, ray and octopus tanks. There are three touch tanks you can use to feel the animals as well as a crustacean tank. Be sure to look into the kelp forest tank and the sandy bottom tank when you explore this fascinating venue.

Like the other tropical, saltwater and freshwater aquariums, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium recognizes the importance of marine conservation. They educate interested visitors about keeping Coastal waters safe, healthy and clean, and organize community action programs.

4. Ty Warner Sea Center

Located on Stearns Wharf, the Ty Warner Sea Center is owned and operated by the Museum of Natural History. It includes features such as the Living Beach Interactive Tide Pool, and the Biolab, which depicts the biological life cycle of marine creatures. Among other exhibits one very impressive display there is the Mammal Mezzanine, which includes thirty six species of marine mammals.

These aquariums teach their visitors how to respect and appreciate the marine life around them. They also take the time to stress the importance of conservation, so that we will be able to enjoy our ocean-dwelling companions for as long as possible. Show your support for these good causes, and learn about fascinating creatures by stepping in to their world for a day. Locals, tourists, and enthusiasts interested in aquarium design alike have to agree that this is a win-win situation!

Something Fishy: Freshwater Sharks

Freshwater "sharks"Choosing creatures called freshwater sharks may seem strangely fascinating to a fish-keeping beginner. Many people who are beginners in keeping aquariums choose tropical freshwater fish for the occupants of their first aquarium. When a beginner isn’t familiar with many of the species available, certain names have appeal. “Freshwater sharks” has an attraction for many. These fish are also distinctive looking and a wonderful addition to any aquarium.

Cyprinidae, Not Sharks

Learning the scientific names of fish may be part of setting up freshwater aquariums. The fish that are popularly called “freshwater sharks” are actually of the family Cyprinidae, and are totally unrelated to ocean sharks. The popular name was given these fish because the shape of their bodies resembles that of the marine predators. Among the types of fish that belong to this group are Bala Shark, Tricolor Shark, Silver Shark, Labeos, Roseline Shark, and the Rainbow Shark.

Aquarium Residents

Owners of custom aquariums like to have interesting looking fish inhabiting the tank. The rainbow shark is a popular choice for aquariums. It is also called the red-fin shark, the rainbow sharkminnow, the ruby shark or the whitefin shark. These fish tend to dwell at the bottom of the tank, where they eat up leftover fish food. They also clean surfaces, eating the algae that might grow on various surfaces. This quality makes them a useful addition to the population of the aquarium.

Freshwater Sharks Compatibility with Other Fish

The trick about selecting aquarium fish for your tank is choosing animals that will live well together. Although a solitary rainbow shark may live mildly with other types of fish in the aquarium, it is not a wise idea to have two in the same tank. Although they get along well with their own kind out in the wild, they tend to be aggressive if they share the same tank. They exhibit fighting behavior which can include threat displays and head-and-tail butting and biting. A larger rainbow shark would also chase a smaller one all around the aquarium. So if the novice fish-keeper wants to include a rainbow shark in their tank population, they should stick to only one at a time.

Selecting fish for a new tank may be a challenge to the novice, so it would be a good idea to find an aquarium service that will be happy to give advice. Experts can help the new aquarium owner choose the ideal residents for the tank. Many comfortable hours can be spent enjoying the movements of an aquarium population.

Jellyfish Are an Aesthetic Saltwater Delight

Aquarium jellyfishThe latest trend in ornamental saltwater aquariums, jellyfish provide an aesthetic delight for hobbyists with their mesmerizing forms and soothing movements. With the right setup, you can have these exotic creatures anywhere in your home.

It does require a lot more thought, however, than just setting up a standard aquarium, since jellyfish are such delicate organisms. If you follow these steps, you can successfully set up and enjoy your new jellyfish habitat for years to come.

Jellyfish have very specific requirements when it comes to establishing a compatible ecosystem. If you are setting up your own tank, pay particular attention to how the water moves in your tank. Jellyfish can easily be sucked into a filter and liquefied. If you’re not using a tank and filter setup that’s specifically designed for jellyfish, you’ll need to make several modifications.

Keep it simple

If you enjoy “aquascaping” then jellyfish are not for you. Decorations threaten the integrity of the jellyfish, literally. By necessity, their tanks must be plain.

Next, make sure you place your tank in a convenient location out of direct sunlight, away from heat sources and electrical equipment. Then, you can install the filter, following the instruction that came with it. You can use any aquarium filter designed for a tank of at least 8 gallons.

If using the kit filter, you need to remove the sponge filter from cellophane wrapping and rinse in fresh water. Then, lock the filter cartridge into the bubble tube by inserting the bubble tube into the cartridge and rotating. Lock the filter cartridge into the bottom of the tank by inserting it into the bottom of the tank and rotating. Plug the clear airline tube into the air pump.

Next, make sure you rinse the gravel in fresh water. Use aquarium gravel that is porous to keep helpful bacteria, which consume waste created by the jellyfish alive. Make sure you.

After you have covered the bottom of the aquarium evenly in gravel, add a layer of glass marbles to completely cover the gravel to protect the delicate jellyfish tissue from being torn on the gravel. Make sure the marbles cover all the gravel and the entire filtration cartridge.

Temperature is important for jellyfish

Now you can add the heater. Set it to 77 °F – the appropriate temperature for a tropical species, including the common Blue Jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus) – and affix it to the inside of the tank so that it will be completely submerged.

Once that is done, you can fill the tank with salt water. In the kit tank, the water level needs to be 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the top of the bubble tube for proper water circulation, but below the light bulb housing, so the water does not get over-heated by the light. The safest bet is to buy salt water from your local aquarium store to ensure it has the right pH and salinity. at this point, you should plug the light, pump and heater into an electrical outlet and make sure those components power up correctly.

Now it is time to establish the bacterial colony. If you are using a kit, it should contain Stress Coat and Stress Zyme, which contain helpful bacteria that will colonize your filter. The bacteria digest the waste from the jellyfish. You will need to feed the bacteria before adding any live animals to the tank; otherwise, the tank will accumulate biological waste, which contains poisonous ammonia.

The kit also should contain a bottle of Cycle Starter, and you will need to add the entire bottle. Cycle Starter contains the ammonia excreted by animal as waste and digested by filtering bacteria as food. Run the tank for 7 days. During this time, the bacteria colony will grow in your tank.

Before you add your jellyfish, you will need to check that water for ammonia levels, salinity and temperature. If those elements are well within specifications, you can add jellyfish!

Restocking the Aquarium is Simply In the Bag

Acclimating new fish in a tank during restockingOK, so you just bought some new tropical fish for restocking your freshwater aquarium, and you want to get them home and into the tank as soon as possible.

So you race right home, open the bag and dump them right into the tank right?

Wrong!

There is a right way and a wrong way to introduce your new tropical fish to your fish tank, and what we just described is very much the wrong way. Some gentle preparation is in order to move those new fish into their new environment safely.

When Restocking, Acclimation is the Key

The purpose of acclimation is simple: the water that the fish or corals are packaged in has different temperature, pH, and salinity parameters than your aquarium. Fish, and especially invertebrates (including corals), are very sensitive to even minor changes in these parameters, so proper acclimation is the key to ensuring their successful relocation.

Of course, this whole process begins with selecting some healthy fish from your local aquarium specialist. Take special care to make sure the breeds of fish that you have are compatible and get along. Most pet stores are staffed by knowledgeable clerks and attendants who can help you pick out fish that will be able to share a tank without causing one another harm.

Now that you have chosen your new fish, the process begins, bringing them back to your home is an important part of the process of preparing them for their new environment. As you transport your new fish home, make sure you cover the bag with something to help reduce the stress experienced by the fish during transportation.

Once home, let the bag float in your tank for 15 minutes to a half hour, allowing the fish to get used to the temperature of the water in your tank. Certainly the water in the transport bag will be remarkable different in temperature from the water in your tank, so this process of acclimation is very important.

Equalize the temperature

After the temperature equalization, open the bag and being very careful not to spill any of the water into the tank, get a clean cup and put some tank water into the bag. You will want to put an amount in the bag about equal to what already was in it, thus approximately doubling the volume. Allow the bag to float for another 15 minutes.

Now take the bag out of the tank and open it to allow you to reach in with a net. Gently scoop up your new fish with your net and withdraw the net from the bag, allowing the net to simply rest in the water until your new fish swim out of it and into their new habitat.

Repeat this process until you have brought all of your new fish from the bag into the tank.

Once you have completed the transfer, it is very important that you do not empty the remaining water from the bag into your tank. This water may contain germs or diseases from the pet store, which may result in a deaths or illness to your fish.

So there you have it! A simple restocking method for introducing your new fish into their new habitat safely! Follow these simple step for an easy and enjoyable time with your tropical fish tank!

A Plethora of Possibilities for Perfect Plantlife

java fern in aquarium
Java Fern

Everybody loves the look of real plantlife in freshwater aquariums, especially newbies who are just getting their feet wet (pun intended!) in the hobby. But the big question is this: What kinds of plants are best suited for the beginning aquarist?

One can find a wide variety of plants at your local store, but which ones are best?

Well, here’s our take on things. The following five plant species are fairly simple to grow and maintain, and can make even the most rank beginner’s tank look like a miniature ocean forest with a minimum of expense. Plus, if you stick to these five, you likely will avoid wasting money on plants that just won’t work.

Best plantlife bets for beginners

The Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) tops our list, largely due to the fact that it does not require gravel or sediment, or even high-intensity light to grow. In fact, for this species, less is more when it comes to light. You could even make your entire tank a java fern forest, if that suits your taste. This species is sometimes seen attached to driftwood and rock in planted aquariums. One issue though is the Java fern’s slow rate of growth, so you will want to plant it first, before you put any other plants around it.

Another great low-light plant with which beginners will find success is Wisteria (Hygrophilous difformis). Wisteria needs to be planted in gravel or sediment, though it can survive if not planted. A very fast-growing plant, wisteria is well-equipped to out-compete algae, as it reproduces at a relatively fast rate and usually requires regular pruning to keep it from overtaking your aquarium.

The only reason Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) isn’t at the top of this list is because it is a challenge to grow for even the most experiences freshwater fish hobbyist. It does not require substrate or high intensity lighting, but once it has established itself and is flourishing in your tank, it can become obnoxious and take over your tank. Java moss requires continuous maintenance in the beginning, allowing you to create a lush garden in only a few months. It is a great plant for hiding aquarium equipment in the tank, too.

Here’s one every beginner can grow: Anubias (Anubias nana). It does require you plant it in a gravel bed, but it doesn’t require high-intensity lighting or any specific water conditions. It can, in fact, even prosper out of the water. Anubias prefers water movement around its rhizomes and it is highly susceptible to beard algae, a brownish/greenish algae that takes over the leaves. The biggest negative for this species is its slow rate of growth. So you should prune lightly and only when you absolutely have to trim.

Also known at “turtle grass,” Anacharis (Egeria densa) is a low-light plant that can either be free floating or planted in the gravel. The invasive nature of this species makes it a difficult find in hobby stores, but if you do find it, take heart in knowing that it grows relatively quickly compared to anubias and java fern.

All this plantlife will prosper in a aquarium that has a pH range between 5 and 9. CO2 injection is not required and most of these plants can be found in any local pet store. Follow this list and your new aquarium will look amazing!