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

Freshwater Fish Diseases- Signs, Causes, And Cures

It’s a fine lazy day and you’re just kicking back and enjoying the aquarium you’ve worked so hard to set up. But wait, something’s off. One of your fish looks like he’s been rolling in the sand. And another seems to have less fins than you remember. And still another is so swollen he looks as though he’s about to burst. All in all, it looks as though your fish are sick! Yup, keep fish long enough and it’s something you’ll have to face eventually, and usually fairly early unfortunately. You see, illness is often preventable, but typically we only … 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

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

007: Curing Live Rock And Cycling Your Saltwater Aquarium

Once your tank is up and running it’s ready for life, although maybe not the life you’re thinking of. Every aquarium, whether it be saltwater or otherwise, requires a large amount of bacteria to function. These beneficial bacteria will consume the toxic waste products produced by the inhabitants of your tank and convert them to less harmful substances. The best way to establish sufficient quantities of beneficial bacteria is with live rock. Live rock is essentially pieces of rock that have broken off of a natural reef, typically during a storm. While technically not absolutely necessary, the use of live … Continue reading

006: Essential Parameters For a Saltwater Aquarium

Now is a good time to talk about the essential parameters that must be maintained to successfully keep a marine aquarium. Seawater is a complex mixture, containing every known element in a plethora of compounds. Matching that makeup is crucial to the success of any marine tank. While a good salt mix will come very close to matching natural seawater initially, the makeup can quickly change as the inhabitants of the aquarium consume and change them. Here is a quick breakdown of the essential parameters that are typically monitored for a saltwater aquarium.   salinity/specific gravity: 34-36ppt/1.025-1.027 Both are a … Continue reading