Archive | November, 2012

How To Perform an Aquarium Water Change

I’ve had to perform a water change or two for my new 30 gallon saltwater aquarium, and I figured it was about time to share some aquarium tips and a video showing how I perform a water change for my aquarium. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your aquarium maintenance and water changes quick, easy, and mess free.

Setting up for an Aquarium Water Change:

  • Prepare new water ahead of time.
  • If freshwater, have some ready and sitting in a container for a day or two prior to performing water change. Condition the water properly and de-chlorinate. Make sure water conditions match that of the water in the display tank.
  • If saltwater, make sure pH, salinity, and water chemistry match the conditions of the water in the display tank.
  • Make sure new water temperature matches the temperature of the water in the display tank.
  • Have a towel handy.
  • Gather all of your tank cleaning and water changing tools and have everything staged and ready.
  • Keep filters, pumps, power heads, and protein skimmers running while you clean the walls and insides of the tank. This way, a lot of the algae and gunk that is scraped from the surfaces will get removed by the filtration devices and not just sink to the bottom of the aquarium.
  • Turn all heaters, pumps, power heads, filters, and protein skimmers OFF BEFORE REMOVING ANY WATER! You don’t want to break the heater or any of your pumps and electrical equipment by running them when they are dry if they are meant to be wet.

Once you’ve done these few simple steps you are ready to change the water in your aquarium. Take 20 to 30 percent of the water out of your display tank, and add that same volume of new water back into the tank. Here is a video showing how I clean out my tank and use the Aqueon Water Changer to perform a quick water change. Enjoy!

Have any cool tricks for performing aquarium water changes? Leave comments below!

TJ

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 015 | The First Fish in My Aquarium

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 015

In the last episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast we talked about several tips, tricks, rules of thumb, and the method I like to use for stocking an aquarium. Well…I’ve added the first couple of fish to my 30 gallon saltwater aquarium, and in this episode I share my fish selection story! This podcast is jam packed with aquarium tips and fish facts!

About a week ago, I came home from the local fish store with a Six-line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataeniaand) and 2 Tank-Bred Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Go ahead and listen to the story about the experience that my wife and I had picking out our new pet fish, and below you can check out some pictures of our new pets getting acclimated to their new home!

Floating Fish Bags While Gathering Acclimation Equipment

When we first arrived home I immediately floated the bags at the top of the tank, and turned the lights off. There were a few pieces of equipment that I had to gather and get ready before I started drip acclimating the Six-Line Wrasse, and I wanted to make sure that I started regulating the temperature as soon as possible.

Six-Line Wrasse Drip Acclimating

I only have one Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System. I could only drip acclimate one fish at a time. I decided to drip acclimate the Six-Line Wrasse first. I figured that the Six-Line Wrasse likes to dart through rocks, explore, forage, and find hiding places a little more than the clownfish does. The clownfish were tank-bred so maybe they were more used to the conditions found in home aquariums and  they might withstand floating in a bag for 15 0r 20 minutes longer than the Six-Line Wrasse. Note: The 2 Clownfish were bred together, lived together in the same tank in the fish store, were put in the same bag to be brought home, and are being referred to as one single fish for acclimation purposes.

After about 20 minutes of drip acclimating the Six-Line Wrasse, the drip cup was out of water and it was time to get the Six-Line Wrasse out of the bag and into the tank! I unattached the bag from the acclimation system, captured the Six-Line Wrasse in a small net, gently pulled it out of the bag, and released it into its new home!

Six-Line Wrasse happily foraging on live rock.

I made sure that the Six-Line was swimming around and exploring the aquarium, but I had to quickly start drip acclimating the Clownfish now that the acclimation system was available.

Ocellaris Clownfish Drip Acclimating

It took another 20 minutes to finish the drip acclimation process for the Ocellaris Clownfish. Once the drip cup was empty, I grabbed the small fish net and transferred the Ocellaris Clownfish to the aquarium!

2 Ocellaris Clownfish happy in their new home!

All of the fish seemed to be healthy and happy when first introduced to the aquarium, and a week later they are still doing great! They have been exploring all of the holes, crevices, nooks, and crannies of the live rock. They come right out to the front of the tank to say hello every time I’m in front of the aquarium!

Aquarium Tips of Note in this episode:

  • Get your family involved and share the fun!
  • Angelfish are best as the last addition to an aquarium
  • Select Tank-Bred fish whenever possible
  • Have 3 or more of each schooling fish
  • Inspect the fish tanks before selecting the Local Fish Store that you purchase your fish from
  • Have a deep sand bed for a Six-line Wrasse
  • Tank-bred Ocellaris Clownfish can be kept with a variety of other tank-bred clownfish, as long as they are introduced into the aquarium at the same time.

Did you recently add some fish to your aquarium? How did it go? What fish did you add? Leave comments below!

TJ

 

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Unpacking the AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer

If you’ve been following along with the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast you’ve been listening to a lot of aquarium tips for starting and setting up a home aquarium. You may have also heard me say something like, “A protein skimmer is  not necessary for the first few weeks of cycling your tank.” While this is true because you want to allow the organic compounds that the protein skimmer would normally remove to break down into nitrogenous waste to kick start your biological filter, a protein skimmer is one of the best ways to help filter the water and increase the water quality in your aquarium.

My 30 gallon saltwater aquarium had been up and running for about 2 weeks and I decided it was probably time to do some research and  purchase a protein skimmer. You may have also heard that my API Nexx Canister Filter leaked. My tank had been cycling for 2 weeks without any kind of filtration and only the Hydor Koralia Evolution 550 Aquarium Pump being used for water circulation. Everything was going well and all of the water tests that I performed were showing me that the tank was cycling correctly, but it was definitely time to add some filtration to the aquarium.

I decided to go with the AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer. Protein skimming is a type of mechanical filtration that physically removes organic compounds from the aquarium water, but it is the only way of removing those organic compounds before they start to decompose. This improves the water’s redox potential and eases the load on the biological filter. There are many aquarium hobbyists that swear that a  protein skimmer is the only filtration device they ever use to keep a smaller sized reef aquarium thriving and happy. My plan is to only use a protein skimmer, some chemical filtration with a phosphate reactor, the biological filtration of my live rock and live sand, and, of course, regular water changes.

There were a few things that I had to keep in mind when selecting a protein skimmer for my tank. The protein skimmer I chose had to:

  • Hang on the back of the tank- I don’t have enough room in the tank stand for a  sump to house the protein skimmer.
  • Not be an eyesore – After all, it is going to be hanging off the back of the tank and everyone will be able to see that it is there.
  • Be rated for at least 30 gallon aquariums, and preferably rated for larger aquariums.
  • Be quiet – In the world of aquarium equipment quieter is always better.
  • Be easy to clean and maintain – Isn’t this always a necessary feature?

The design of the AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer takes care of all of these concerns, and more! Some of the features included with the Remmora-S are:

  • Hangs on the tank
  • Compact Size and Profile
  • Translucent Gray Acrylic Main Body to inhibit the growth of algae and marine organisms
  • Rated for aquariums between 20 and 75 gallons
  • Neoprene foam noise muffler
  • Extended Collection Cup
  • Optional collection water drain fitting
  • Level adjustment screws at the base of the skimmer
  • High Flow Spray Injector
  • Nylon cleaning brush
  • Cobalt MJ-1200 Pump

The reviews were great. The Remora-S had everything I needed. I went ahead and ordered one, and it arrived just a few days later!

AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer arrives in a 3′ tall box

The Remora-S Protein Skimmer arrived in a very large box despite the fact that it is only 19 inches tall. Its probably from all of the packaging that was used to keep my delivery safe!

Remora-S Packed for safe travels

As you can see, the Remora-S protein skimmer was packed to withstand the worst of shipping environments. I’m glad everything arrived safely!

All the parts and pieces were packed well inside the actual Remora-S Protein Skimmer box too

The body of the Remora-S protein skimmer, collection cup, Cobalt MJ-1200 pump, and cleaning brush were also safe inside the actual AquaC packaging. However, I figured all of the parts and pieces would look much better out of the box!

All AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer parts out of the box!

The only real assembly steps for the Remora-S Protein Skimmer are giving everything a quick freshwater rinse, and attaching the output of the Cobalt MJ-1200 pump to the flexible intake tubing of the Remora-S. Then, you are ready to hang the Remora-S on the back of the tank, adjust the leveling screw, and plug the pump in. Skimming has been started!

Skimming with the AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer

The full profile of the AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer

The AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer uses a spray injection system that produces a powerful, high-pressure air-induction spray to bombard the main skimmer chamber and generate an enormous amount of waste-removing bubbles. Protein skimmers work by using an air stone, aspirator, or spray induction to create a large air/water interface by injecting large volumes of bubbles into the water column. Organic waste molecules then collect on the surface of the bubbles in the collection cup. The more bubbles that are created, the bigger the air/water interface is, and more organic molecules can be collected. For a huge increase in performance, the Remora-S features a high flow spray injector for increased air and water flow, smaller bubble size, and thus, more bubbles and organic waste removal.

Are you using a protein skimmer for your aquarium? What kind? Where is it in your system? Leave comments below!

TJ

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