Quarantine Tanks- The Why and How of Setup

  A quarantine tank is just want it sounds like- a separate tank designated for the quarantine of sick or potentially sick fish. It serves two main purposes- to provide a safe and controlled place to administer treatments and to prevent disease from reaching your main tank in the first place by providing a location for new arrivals to be checked out. Many medications and treatments are simply unsafe for use in the main tank- they may kill all invertebrates, plants, and algae; wipe out the biological filtration; be difficult to dose correctly; or be difficult to remove when the … Continue reading

What To Do With Your Aquarium When You Go On Vacation

All pet owners face the issue from time to time of what to do when they want to, or have to, travel. With most pets it’s pretty simple. Cats, dogs, and the like are easy to move and even non pet people know enough to meet their basic needs. But fish are different. Unless the tank is tiny then it’s not going anywhere and while most people know fish need food the knowledge stops there. And even just properly feeding a tank can be a challenge for someone unfamiliar with fish. Even more so an aquarium relies heavily on lots … Continue reading

Upgrading From a Freshwater Tank To A Saltwater Tank

It seems eventually every successful freshwater aquarist thinks about moving on to a marine tank. It’s easy to see why- the ocean’s bounty is vast with all manner of interesting and often incredibly colorful creatures. But few actually go on to actually set up their first saltwater aquarium. They’re held back by their concerns. These concerns would be perfectly valid were you to dive right in with little to no knowledge or strategy as happens far too often. But with the proper understanding and planning setting up your first saltwater aquarium can be much easier than you had hoped.   … Continue reading

Controlling Algae In Your Aquarium

What is Algae? Algae are a very diverse group of simple mostly unicellular organisms. Many of the various groups of algae types are not even closely related so it’s easier to understand why they can take such a wide array of growth forms, patterns and reproductive strategies among other differences. They are not plants, as even multicellular species lack the organization and specialization typical of plant cells. Algae typically function in much the same way, however- by gathering simple nutrients from their surrounds and converting them to food through photosynthesis, releasing oxygen as a byproduct. Overall algae’s needs are pretty … Continue reading

Picking A Filter For Your Aquarium Setup

Every aquarium needs a filter- it seems to be pretty common knowledge. But beyond that the confusion starts. One glance at the options available at the local pet store or online retailer can leave the beginning aquarist lost in a sea of possibilities. And the manufacturers tend to not make it any easier. No matter what type or size of filter they’re selling it’s the right one for you as far as they’re concerned. This leaves it up to you to pick the best option for your aquarium setup yourself. To do so, you’re going to need a bit of … Continue reading

What Is An Aquarium Sump And Why Do You Need One?

A sump, when related to an aquarium, is basically just a secondary tank positioned somewhere below the main tank and that is fed with water by way of gravity. The water is returned to the main tank with a pump once it has been processed in the sump. Generally, the volume of the main tank will pass through the sump a couple of times an hour. The sump itself can be configured in a number of different ways to provide specific functions that benefit the main tank in some way.   First and foremost a sump, even in it’s simplest … Continue reading

004: Getting Your Aquarium Into Place

Okay, so you’ve got your new aquarium home and have found a suitable place to set it up. But before you get too far along there are a few more things to be done. First, even with a new aquarium, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough rinse. Don’t use soap, though, as it can leave behind residue that will be harmful to future inhabitants. This applies to all equipment, tools, and any other items destined for the inside of the tank as well. Should something require more cleaning than what water alone can offer, vinegar may be … Continue reading

003: Finding An Appropriate Location to Set Up Your Aquarium

Every aquarium needs some space to call its own within your home. And while there are likely numerous places in your home where your new tank would technically fit, finding one that’s just right is crucial to your long term success- or to keep you from pulling your hair out at least! You probably have already picked out a spot you think will be suitable for your new tank. But before you go dragging your aquarium into place it’s a good idea to make sure the location you’ve chosen is right for it. Finding a different place now will be … Continue reading

002: Choosing An Appropriate Aquarium Type And Size

Even today the rule of thumb of one inch of fish per gallon continues to be passed around. Of course with a little thought you realize this logic is flawed. A dozen tiny one inch fish will have no where near the same impact on the water quality as one giant foot long fish. Instead, look at the surface area of the tank. The larger the surface area to total volume the better. This is particularly important for planted and reef tanks, as lots of area allows for lots of plants or corals. Not only will this mean better gas … Continue reading

001: The Responsibility That Comes With An Aquarium

When you think of an aquarium, all sorts of wonderful images come to mind. Maybe you picture the bright colors of a coral reef or the lush vegetation of a planted tank. But what you probably don’t picture is you, arm deep in that aquarium trying to restart a clogged filter. For every gallon of water in that breathtaking aquarium you see, there is a gallon of blood, sweat, and tears that went into making it what it is. There are many things to consider before deciding to set up an aquarium.   Of course before you can do anything … Continue reading