Diagnose Sick Fish In Aquarium

The most obvious way to determine a sick fish is to view it’s body for any unusual spots or growths. Ich is a common illness characterized by white spots around the gills or on the body. Ich is a species of ciliate protozoa that is often introduced by snails, new fish or caused by changes in the water condition. Should you notice these distinctive white spots you can treat the tank by adding chemicals that will kill the ciliate protozoa. You can also quarantine fish that may be infected until they are healthy.

Another way to determine that your fish may be sick is to notice it’s changed behavior. A common symptom of illness is flashing. Flashing is when the fish appears to be scratching itself on the substrate or rocks and wood in the tank. Flashing could be a sign that the fish is developing an infection on the body.

The fish may also be swimming erratically. This might include darting around the fish tank, moving up to the surface or spinning round on itself in a constant motion. This erratic behavior indicates that the fish is stressed in some way. This may be because the water condition has changed or that the fish is suffering from some kind of illness. As many conditions that affect fish can be attributed to poor water quality it is important to check the water condition first. This could solve the problem immediately and in the future.

Another behavior that might indicate a problem is that the fish are staying around the filter or on the surface a lot. This indicates that they are trying to get more oxygenated water and again might be due to the water quality or may be an illness.

Once you have attained as much physical and behavioral data as possible about the fish you could then consult a fish disease book or visit a website on fish disease. These media often have diagnostic questionnaires on the condition and behavior of the fish. They will ask questions about the fish and help you to determine the problem with the fish and the appropriate action to take.

As a last resort you could take a skin scrape or biopsy of the fish and have the sample diagnosed by a professional. Of course this could create more stress for the fish that could make the condition worse and it is quite costly.

Water condition is the most important factor to consider when keeping your fish healthy. Diligent care of the water and habitat will ensure that your fish don’t suffer from any of the common illnesses. If they do however you can follow the advice listed and take the appropriate action.

Aquatic Style Wall Mounted Aquarium

Conveying energy, vibrancy, and personality wall mounted aquariums are often affectionately referred to as living art or portrait aquariums. Aquariums add life to your open space, choosing this type of aquarium inspires a fresh, forward look with sophisticated style. The vast array of choices available in selecting a these aquarium only serves to increase its value in any room or office. Consider a wall mounted aquarium as an alternative to traditional art.

Aquariums mounted on the wall is, something visible like a living picture. Most wall aquariums are inserted into your wall sometimes leaving you stressed and inconvenience with all the preparation involved. With this  aquarium system, only certified safety wall brackets are used making them very safe, and no part of the wall needs to be removed and all fixing brackets and mounts are thoroughly tested to ensure that your aquarium stays on the wall.

Aquariums have been a popular conversation piece for decades. Wall mounted aquariums are quickly becoming the rage as they are becoming more available and easier to install. Unlike traditional aquariums wall mounted tanks require no floor space, so those in apartments or small offices are now open to enjoy the effects of aquatic life. From customizable designs and sizes to “wall like” furniture options, just about anyone can make this type of aquarium the newest addition to your open wall space.

When assessing the location for installing a your aquarium a few things are important. Determining tank size, placement, and design can seem tricky compared to a traditional aquarium, but with a little attention to detail anyone can do it. All the systems include detailed instructions pertaining to the rightful installation and maintenance of your aquarium.

Customization offers more variety in wall mounted aquariums than the traditional box style. Once you’ve decided on  this unique style you’ll quickly find it becomes the treasure of the room. Select from a variety of colours with wood veneers and stainless steel finishes, aquatic life, lighting and filtration to suit your style. Have fun with your new aquarium, it is sure to be the hit of any room.

Responsible Care for Freshwater Fish Aquarium

Some people find taking care of fishes as a pet difficult. The reason behind this maybe is that they lack familiarity or they were not given the right information on the proper ways on taking care of the aquarium as well as the fishes inside, but the truth is, it is not that much difficult at all.

There are several steps to be considered in order to become successful on taking care of freshwater fishes. First step is to have all the equipments to be used on the aquarium or fish tank. One is the filtration equipment, which is responsible for keeping and maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of the water on the tank and you need an air pump to keep the water on the tank aerated and to produce oxygen for the fish or plants inside the tank.

Decorations such as gravel, sand, and plants that can be plastic or real ones, depending on your choice, are great ideas as well. There are also some decorations nowadays made of plastic such as a fortress, vessel, shells and other fancy garlands and some aquarium backgrounds, which are commonly underwater views. Lights also give a very desirable effect on the enhancement of color in the aquarium and gives real plants inside chlorophyll for them to grow. However, beware of putting different decorations inside the tank because it may just pollute the water or just muddle the water inside. Always remember that fishes needs space for them to swim.

There must also be a cover on the aquarium to protect dust or other materials going into the tank. A stand for the aquarium also plays a vital role in keeping the balance of the tank. Other cleaning materials is also important such as a net, chlorine remover, heater for keeping the right temperature of the water and most importantly, fish food.

Some of the best advices is to be careful in feeding the fish because over feeding of fish may result to harm. There are also some people who put too many fishes on their aquarium, do not forget that some fish fights and it might cause inadequate supply of oxygen for the fish and real plants inside the tank if there are too many fishes on the tank.

Keeping The Aquarium Clean for Goldfish

You will need to use a siphon to clean your goldfish tank because it efficiently cleans up the muck, does not disturb your fish and is easy to use. It’s essential to use during the partial water changes. A typical aquarium gravel vacuum would be a wide tube attached to a narrower siphon tube. By cleaning the gravel every week you would get rid of a lot of substances that could turn toxic for your fish over a period of time. Here’s how you begin the siphoning process:

  • Put a bucket on a low stool or even on the floor in front of the fish tank, and place the wide end of the gravel vacuum in the tank.
  • Now gently suck at the other end and hold it over the bucket. Once you feel the water flowing into the tube let it flow into the bucket. Be careful not to swallow the water though- but even if you do, it isn’t going to be harmful!
  • Now that the siphon has started, use the wider end to suck out the dirt and debris out of the gravel and flow out of the tank into the bucket.
  • Pass the vacuum end over all the gravel and keep doing so till you have removed 10 to 15% of the water.
  • If gravel gets stuck in the vacuum, release the gravel by plugging the other end of the siphon tube with your finger or thumb.
  • When you want to stop the siphon just raise both ends above the level of the tank
  • To stop the siphon, simply raise either end of the siphon above the surface level of the fish tank.

There are gravel vacuum that can be attached to a faucet but this would mean that you be putting back tap water directly into the tank which might not be good for your goldfish if there is a marked temperature difference. Also you would be adding all the chemicals present in the tap water without allowing the chlorine to evaporate. The best option is to keep a container of fresh water overnight.

The Weekly 10-15%

Cleaning your tank is essential to your goldfish’s well being. In fact, both your plants and your goldfish need fresh, clean and healthy water to survive. All you need to do is set aside a little time every week to do what is called a Partial Water Change or 10-15% Water Change.
This weekly routine will not only keep your aquarium look nice and clean, it will keep your goldfish healthy. Partial water changes are no sweat – all you have to do is scrape the algae, vacuum the gravel and replace the water you remove with fresh water. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove the algae on the surface of the tank with an algae scraper before you siphon out the water.
  • As the name suggests you need to remove 10 to 15% of the water from your aquarium.
  • There is no need to remove your fish to a separate container.
  • As you remove the water use the siphon to remove the messy deposits in the gravel.
  • In case you have an under gravel filter, then you would have to clean the gravel during weekly water changes.
  • Do not take out all the ornaments and decorations and scrub them clean because you might destroy some of the much-needed beneficial bacteria that act as natural biological filter.
  • You can clean the filters during the weekly water change but do not change all the cartridges, sponges, carbon packets, etc., as this might remove all the good bacteria and harm your goldfish in the long run.
  • Also remember to rinse any new filter media in cool running water before introducing it to the system.
  • Once you have siphoned out 10-15% of the water and most of the dirt and the alga, it’s time to replace the amount of water you removed with fresh, dechlorinated tap water which has been left at room temperature over night, in container free of soap residue.
  • Use a siphon to transfer the fresh water into the tank as this would be a gentle way to put the water back in and it won’t disturb the plants and the gravel. You would also spill a lot less!
  • Do make sure that the fresh water is of somewhat the same temperature as the water in the tank. You cannot just dunk in cold water because Goldfish are not tropical fish.
    Do remember to leave enough space between the top of the water and the tank hood so that your goldfish get enough oxygen to breathe in.

What not to do

  • If you see that the level in your aquarium has gone down, do not simply add water to make it level again. This is harmful, as you are not getting rid of the impurities in the water. You are just adding water without removing the dirt and thus making the water harder and more difficult for the goldfish to live in. So don’t add water to top off the tank, do a partial water change.
  • Never add water directly from the tap. Please keep a separate container only for aquarium use and leave the water overnight so that the harmful chemicals and chlorine evaporate.
  • Please do not skip weekly water changes because if you do not partially change the water, you are allowing the build up of waste products like Nitrate that are not removed by the filter, and contribute to the growth of algae.

Properly Introduce New Fish Into Aquarium

Fish Quarantine

Fish quarantine is one big, singular factor that must be observed strictly before you can be sure that your new fish is of good health and not an apostle of doom for the other inmates. Most new fishkeepers don’t take consider this very important factor.

For the benefit of intending aquarists, quarantine in the fish world refers to the physical and chemical treatment of new fishes (either imported or caught from the wild) to rid them of disease and restlessness before introduction into a new environment,

A small quarantine tank (30x20x25cm) is advisable for any serious aquarist. The alternative is to be sure that your pet shop has a functional quarantine section to cater for bacterial, fungal and viral diseases.

This is a sure guarantee against fish deaths. The unfortunate thing with most shops in the country is the lack of space and inadequate expertise to build and administer the prophylaxis procedure on new fish, as the procedure is sure to last at least nigh days! To the average aqua-investor, this is an unnecessary tie down of capital and you know what that means.

Admittedly, the expense incurred on quarantine by way of chemical purchase e.g. copper sulphate, wescodyne, malachite green, teremycin etc) is high. This is more or less reflected on the final sales price of the fish, which is slightly higher in our shop. But, this would pay you off in the long run, as it is unlikely that you will complain of fish deaths any longer.

I am quite sure, some fish farmers reading this column would be more concerned about the application of this procedure to solve their farm problems especially those with hatcheries or those who stock with post fry and fingerlings.

Feeding New Fish

When you just introduce a new fish to aquarium tank it’s necessary to feed the fish. Though this will not be instant because no matter how carefully you add the fish to your aquarium tank they will look very unhappy for a while.

Thus it’s necessary that you turn the flights out, and leave them overnight to get used to their new home first before thinking of feeding them. Then feed fish with aquarium fish food with fish flakes the next day, this will make the fish feel at home.

If you already have an established tank, it is advisable to quarantine new fish before adding them to an existing populated, and the cheapest way to do this is to purchase a plastic tank which will need no gravel or plants.

This can be used solely for quarantine and as a hospital tank.

Leave the fish in this tank for about three days during which any disease harbored by the fish would be evident for which it can be treated using available chemicals from your dealer. The fish can then be introduced into the tank in the same way as before.

When you add new fish to an established community, there will probably be a certain amount of harassment of the new arrivals by the original fish. Try to divert their attention by giving them a good feed when the fish are introduced.

Aquarium Peat Filtration

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration of a fish tank is mainly to make the tank look clean to the viewer of the fish tank. Fish don’t mind if debris is floating round, and some quite like it. But the owner of the fish tank wants the tank to look spotless so he/she can show it off to his/her friends. Mechanical filtration is simply a device much like a sieve that strains the water of the tank so as to remove any debris.

Biological Filtration

Biological filtration removes any waste products, like fish food or excrement, that could make the tank uninhabitable by breaking them down into less toxic substances. Biological filtration is the nitrogen cycle in action. To create biological filtration you need to add media that promote the growth of bacteria colonies that convert ammonia into nitrates. Sponge, sintered glass and ceramic material are good for bacterial growth.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical Filtration is concerned with altering the properties of the water. This primarily means the hardness or softness of the water but can also mean changing the amount of chlorine or other chemicals in the water. Fish prefer soft or hard water based on their indigenous environments. East African lakes generally have hard water so fish from these regions prefer alkaline water. Popular fish like the Discus,Angel fish and surface dwelling catfish prefer softer water.

So you often change the properties of the water based on the type of fish you are keeping.

Peat contains tannic acid which acts as an ion exchanger to soften water. Calcium and Magnesium are the principle chemicals present in hard water. Through ion exchange these chemicals are exchanged for Hydrogen and Sodium.

Thus peat filtration systems will soften the water. They will also color the water and will lose their effectiveness over time.

Aquarium peat filtration is used to change the water quality from hard to soft water. This is useful if you want to keep fish that are more accustomed to this type of water, notably South American cichlids.

Aquarium Filtration Units

Fish and organisms cause pollution in the form of waste and if not removed would cause toxin development and consequent illness of the fish. The aquarium filtration units consolidate this waste and purify the water that recycles back into the fish tank. The assembly of a filter relies on filtration media that serves the purpose of removing chemicals, particles, and bacteria. Commonly filters are available as packaged units with mechanical and bacteriological media. Chemical filtration can be added to this. Nitrogen residues in the form of ammonia causes distress to fish and the bacteriological filtration unit remove this component very successfully.

Short description of Aquarium Filtration Units

There are four basic types that you can install in case you are assembling your own aquarium. These are:

  • Internal Power type
  • External Power type
  • Powered filters
  • Internal box type filters

Let us compare the features of each filter assembly.

  1. Internal Power driven filters are in two parts. The main cylinder contains a bio foam compound and is attached under the submersible pump that drives the filter. This is a mechanical filtration system and is most common in aquarium filter units integrated with fish tanks. The filter unit first mechanically filters the water, removing sludge and solid waste etc and then the bio-filter cleans the water of all biological impurities. It is also possible to have an option of chemical filtration, if that is desired or necessary. As this is the most common type of filter almost all manufacturers can supply a suitably sized filtration system to the aquarium owner.
  2. External filter unit are also widely available and give superior duty in comparison with the internal aquarium filtration units. Since these are not integrated into the fish tank the capacity and duty may be of a higher quality and obviously cost compared to the previous internal type. The control is better and one can incorporate additional accessories that enhance the filtration of the water for your aquarium.
  3. Air driven under gravel filters was earlier used by aquarium owners when the power driven versions were still in its nascent stage. This is a kind of biological filter where the water is purified and kept in constant motion through the gravel bed and the aerobic bacteria produced breaks down the waste into less toxic products, thereby rendering a pseudo-filtration action. The assembly is electrically driven or can be attached also to a power pump. Easily available and of a lower cost, the under gravel type of aquarium filtration units offer an easy solution to keeping your aquarium clean and healthy.
  4. Finally, air box filters driven by internal air are compact and fit alongside the aquarium fish tanks. They are made of plastics and contain suitable filtration media. The air box filters are no longer used in professional or commercial units where the previous three types are more popular. They can provide low cost easy installable aquarium filtration units that a newbie or small fish tank owners can easily use.

DIY Aquarium Backgrounds

When you start out in this hobby thinking about a background is probably the last thing on your mind. You are learning that much about this hobby that a background is well down the list. Actually the background should be thought about as part of the planning stage.

You may even end up purchasing a salt water aquarium package where a background is not included.

The planning stage is an exceptionally important part when it comes to setting up a salt water aquarium, however it is also unfortunately one of the things which is not performed.

When you consider starting your aquarium you need to research as much as you can (when you finish researching then research a little bit more!) and then you can start planning. When you start planning you do this based upon the animal you wish to keep and not the equipment you need. You purchase the equipment which is necessary for the animals which you hope to keep not just know but also in the future.

The reason I have talked about planning is that the background is part of this. For example you may want to incorporate overflows into the rear of the tank. Your chosen background needs to accommodate this.

It is also easier to apply a background before the aquarium is installed and full of water.

There are various DIY aquarium backgrounds that you can use which are listed below:

  • Incorporate a painted wooden background onto the rear of the stand.
  • Paint the rear glass of the aquarium.
  • Paint a thin wooden background and attach it to the rear of the aquarium using silicone.
  • Attach a curtain or some other type of fabric across the rear of the aquarium.
  • Purchase reef rock, cut them in half and stick to the inside rear of the aquarium.
  • Make a cave/reef structure out of salt water rated concrete/resin or foam.

The most utilised option out of the above DIY aquarium backgrounds is where the rear glass of the aquarium is painted.

The next thing to think about is what colour do you use?

This is up to you really. It is personal preference, however the most common used colours and blue and black. The trick is to attempt to make it so that the background is not obvious and seamlessly integrates into the aquarium. The rear of the aquarium will probably get covered in corraline etc within time.

If you choose to paint the glass then ensure that you clean the glass first with some glass cleaner and ensure that all fingerprints and oil based marks are removed. If you not 100% sure that it is clean do it again to make sure. You can now either spray or hand paint the glass. Do so in several thin coats ensuring that the previous coat is dry before applying the next.

When all the coats are applied wait until it is completely dry before touching it or moving the tank. The paint does not attach that well to glass and can easily peel.

Whichever of the DIY aquarium backgrounds you choose to use attempt to plan for it prior to starting your aquarium. It is much easier to paint the aquarium when it is empty and not in it’s final position.