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

So You Didn’t Cycle Your Aquarium Before Adding Fish

All too often the question comes up online- why are my new fish dieing? The first answer is usually another question- did you cycle your tank? Nearly every time the answer is no.   The aquarium cycling process is a very important step that’s skipped far too often by beginners. This usually leads to dead fish and a frustrated aquarist. But fear not! Even if you didn’t cycle your tank before adding fish all hope is not lost.   First, a quick overview on what this cycle is and why it’s important. Basically, all of your fish are continually releasing … 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

Common Miss Steps of Beginning Saltwater Aquarists

Keeping a marine aquarium healthy is no easy task. After all, you’re trying to recreate an entire ecosystem within the confines of a box often no bigger than your average piece of furniture. And it’s often not an exact science either. Even with all the knowledge available on the subject today there’s still no substitute for experience and a keen eye. Problem is experience and knowledge often only come after trying and failing a couple times first. To give you a leg up, here are some common miss steps beginning saltwater aquarists often make.   Rushing When it comes to … Continue reading

Common Problems And Solutions For Freshwater Aquariums

When it comes to aquariums problems are inevitable. Old or new, big or small- it doesn’t matter. Problems will appear. Finding the cause and fixing it before things get out of hand is key to long term success. They also present a good opportunity to learn a little more about how your aquarium functions and how to keep it healthier in the future. The majority of problems ultimately boil down to an issue with water quality. This isn’t surprising, as the water is pretty much the most important part of a successful aquarium setup. Nonetheless, just what exactly is wrong … Continue reading

Great Fish For Your First Saltwater Aqaurium

If you’re considering a saltwater aquarium then you probably already have some ideas of the fish you want to keep. You may not know all their names but you at least have a mental image of what they look like and can picture them swimming happily up and down your tank already. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, let’s take a closer look at those fish and see if you’re headed for a tropical paradise or a underwater disaster.   What makes a good starter fish? First, we need to determine just what it is that makes … Continue reading