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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 016 | Aquarium Care Tips for a Holiday or Vacation, a Fish, and Some Problems

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 016

Finally! It’s here! Here is another Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast filled with aquarium tips to help you set up some automatic aquarium systems so that you don’t have to worry about topping off the evaporated water or feeding your fish when your away from your fish tank! In fact, you can even keep these systems set up when you aren’t away from your tank, and you’ll have more time to just enjoy your aquarium.

In the last podcast we recorded, Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 015, I talked a lot about the first few fish that I added to my 30 gallon saltwater tank. Not only has it been over 2 months since that last podcast was released, but its almost been 3 months since those fish were added to the tank. In that time I’ve added a Coral Beauty Angelfish to my aquarium, and I’ve had to be away from my tank so that I could go on vacation over the holidays. Everything is explained in the podcast, so go ahead and take a listen while you scroll through some of the pictures and check out all of the links below!

Adam Puli's 10 Gallon Freshwater Aquarium

Adam Puli’s 10 Gallon Freshwater Aquarium

Adam Puli of Melbourne, Australia reached out to me, gave me a few pointers for the podcast, and sent me a few pictures of his 10 gallon freshwater aquarium. He was worthy of a podcast shout out and including one of his pictures in the show notes!

The Components of a DIY Freshwater Auto-Top-Off System

The Components of a DIY Freshwater Auto-Top-Off System

In this episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast I talk about setting up a freshwater auto-top-off system. For now, I’ve included a picture of the necessary components, but check back soon for a set-up video!

Coral Beauty Angelfish head on

Coral Beauty Angelfish head on

Coral Beauty Angelfish from the side

Coral Beauty Angelfish from the side

Above are some pictures of the Coral Beauty Angelfish that I added to my aquarium. I encountered a few problems about 2 weeks after it was added. I think, and I hope, all of my problems are gone!

Equipment and Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Aquarium Tips of Note in this episode:

  • Turn off and unplug the equipment that you’re maintaining
  • Test all DIY projects as soon as they’re complete
  • Test all automatic systems for a few days before leaving your tank unattended
  • Purchase tank-bred fish whenever possible

Do you have some automatic systems set up on your aquarium? Which ones? Leave some 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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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 014 | Stocking a Fish Tank

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 014

It’s about time to put some fish in the tank. The 30 gallon saltwater aquarium has been running for 2 months. I’ve added a complete cleaner crew and I need to figure out what fish I want to put in the aquarium!

In this episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast I talk about the scientific art of stocking a fish tank. I try to explain why there are limitations to the number of fish that you can keep in one fish tank. I also discuss some of the rules of thumb that are used for stocking an aquarium, their exceptions, and how I like to go about putting fish in my tanks.

Aquarium Tips of Note in this episode:

  • Don’t overstock your aquarium
  • Stock your fish tank slowly
  • Perform water quality tests on a regular basis

Is it time for you to put fish in your tank? Do you have any questions or comments? Leave them below!

TJ

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Unpacking the Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System

If you follow along here at Aquarium Tip Tank you know that I have been going through the process of setting up a 30 gallon saltwater aquarium. A couple weeks ago, I decided that it was time to start adding a cleaner crew to the tank. At that point the aquarium had been cycling for about 5 weeks, there had been a few nice diatom blooms, and it was time to add some hardy invertebrates that like to feed on some of the algae.

As with any livestock that is going to be added to an aquarium, I needed to make sure that all of the members of the cleaner crew were acclimated to the conditions of my saltwater aquarium. I started to investigate and do some research into ways to make my own acclimation system until I did a quick search on Amazon. There, I found the Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System for only $20.

Sure, I could’ve gone to the hardware store and found some small diameter tubing, a drip valve, and all of the other materials necessary for this project. However, I probably would’ve spent $20 or more at the hardware store and a whole lot more than the 2 days that Amazon takes to deliver items to my doorstep.

The Doradon Acclimation System all boxed up

The Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System allows users to equalize new aquarium livestock to both the temperature and chemical conditions of your fish tank simultaneously. It holds the bag that your local fish store sent your new fish, coral, shrimp, or invertebrate home in, allowing it to float in your aquarium water to equalize temperature while keeping the top of the bag open to equalize the chemical conditions by dripping water from your tank into the bag.

Opening the Box of the Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System

The Doradon Aquarium Acclimation system includes all of the necessary parts and pieces to hang an open bag in your aquarium water and drip your aquarium water into the bag. All of the parts and pieces are also different colors! This helps make the included instructions easy to follow. The three main parts are the blue aquarium frame with the silver thumb screw, the green bag holder, and the clear dripping cup with flow control nozzle.

The parts assembled with the directions, but still in the box.

Above, you can see all of the parts assembled. The green bag holder has a hook that slides onto one of two spots of the blue aquarium frame. The clear dripping cup has two holes at the back that allow it to slide onto the pointed cup supports at the top of the blue aquarium frame.

Blue Aquarium Frame on the Tank

To start getting the Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System on the tank, you should first put the blue aquarium frame on one wall of your aquarium by itself.

Thumb Screw Used to Keep the Aquarium Frame Upright and Level

The thumb screw allows the acclimation system to be used on various aquarium wall thicknesses. Adjust the thumb screw so that the blue aquarium frame stays upright and level on your fish tank with a little bit of pressure pulling the aquarium frame forward. After all, you’re eventually going to hang a bag with livestock in it from this frame. You don’t want it tipping over, and ruining your plans to acclimate your livestock.

Livestock bag attached to bag holder.

The next step is to pull the top of the livestock bag through the bottom of the green bag holder, open the bag and wrap the open end of it out and around the outside of the green bag holder. Use the pointed arrows of the green bag holder to poke holes in the top of the livestock bag so that it can be held securely by the green bag holder.

Livestock Bag floating in Aquarium water and being held by the green bag holder and blue aquarium frame.

Next, you can pick the green bag holder up with the livestock bag attached to it, and slide the hook on the back of the bag holder over one of the holder supports on the blue aquarium frame. At this point, you should have a bag of livestock floating in your aquarium water with the lights off. The temperature is equalizing, and its time to start equalizing the chemical conditions with the drip cup!

Dripping Cup with Aquarium Water hung from Aquarium Frame and dripping into livestock bag.

All you have to do is dip the dripping cup into your fish tank to collect some of your aquarium water, hang the dripping cup on the blue aquarium frame of the Doradon Aquarium Acclimation System, and adjust how fast your aquarium water drips into the livestock bag using the flow control nozzle at the bottom of the dripping cup.

Acclimation to your Aquarium Conditions in Process

Now, just let the acclimation system do its work for at least 15 to 20 minutes. If there is still water in the dripping cup after 15 to 20 minutes, just leave everything alone until the dripping cup is empty. I actually like to let everything acclimate for about 30 to 45 minutes. The temperature will come to equilibrium in about 15 to 20 minutes, but it usually takes a little longer for the chemical conditions to equalize.

I hope you made it this far because I have a couple more aquarium tips about acclimating your livestock. First, use a quarantine tank. No, a quarantine tank may not be absolutely necessary for your first round of cleaner crew. However, a quarantine tank should definitely be used for every fish that you place in your display aquarium. Yes, I’ll admit that I’m guilty of not always using a quarantine tank with new fish, but you never know what kind of disease, parasites, and stress the fish store has given the fish that you just brought home. That disease will quickly spread to the rest of your fish tank and you’ll end up scrambling to set up a quarantine tank to keep your display aquarium alive and thriving. Its much easier to just use a quarantine tank first, get rid of all the fish diseases, then acclimate from your quarantine tank to your display tank.

Second, acclimate livestock that comes from different tanks and systems of your LFS separately. For example, you may stop by your LFS and pick up a cleaner crew from one tank or tank system while also picking up a fish from another tank or tank system. Or maybe you purchase a fish from one wall of your LFS and another fish from another wall of your LFS. Do not put them in the same bag and acclimate them together. Acclimate livestock from different aquarium systems separately. Sure, that one wall of tanks in your LFS is probably working off of the same filtration system with the same sump, protein skimmers, filters, etc. The other fish that you get from that other wall of tanks is probably running off of an entirely different system and the water characteristics may be different. Acclimate them separately and they will go through a much safer, and less stressful acclimation process.

Finally, acclimate between every tank. Acclimate between your LFS and your quarantine tank, and acclimate between your quarantine tank and your display tank. Your fish and your aquarium will be much happier, and much healthier if you take just a few simple steps.

Putting fish in your aquarium? How do you acclimate them to your tank? Leave comments below.

TJ

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 013 | Elite Reef and Marine-Engineers Interview with Michael Rice

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 013

We’ve been saying that we’re going to have some interviews here on the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast since the start. I’m excited to say that for our first interview we were able to talk to a reef store manager and the owner of a marine aquarium hobbyist news website all in one! In this episode of Aquarium Tip Tank Michael Rice was kind enough to take some time to talk to us. He has a website at marine-engineers.org, he manages Elite Reef, a reef hobby store in the Denver, CO area, and he’s got several years of experience with home aquariums.

Michael shares the story about how he got started in the marine aquarium hobby as well as some aquarium tips about the types of tanks to purchase, stocking a tank with sustainable livestock suppliers, and making sure you do a little bit of research about the fish and aquarium equipment you want to purchase. Elite Reef and Marine-Engineers.org also hold an annual Elite Reef fest that is all about fun and helps raise some money for some great charities.

Where to find Michael Rice:

Sustainable Marine Fish and Invertebrate Suppliers mentioned in this episode:

Charities that Elite Reef Fest has raised money for:

What did you think of the interview? Leave some comments below!

TJ

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 011 | Setting Up a Home Aquarium, Part 2 – Cycling A Fish Tank

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 011

On the last episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank podcast we talked about all of the steps to setting up a home aquarium up until the nitrogen cycle. Since then, I’ve been setting up my 30 gallon salt water aquarium and have started the cycling process. Are you in the process of setting up a tropical fish tank?

In this episode I discuss the final step necessary for setting up a home aquarium. Yes, its performing the cycling process of your tropical fish tank. I discuss why the cycling process is necessary, what happens during the cycle, and methods for performing a fish tank cycle.

You can go check out the post about how I performed my aquarium system check here. I took a few pictures documenting the rest of my aquarium setup process, and they are included below.

Draining the Fish Tank after a System Check

Ready to make some Saltwater for the Aquarium

Making saltwater for the aquarium was very quick and easy with Instant Ocean Reef Crystals. Instant Ocean claims that the Reef Crystals are specially formulated for use in reef aquariums and contains extra calcium, additional trace elements, vitamins, and a metal detoxifier to ensure the health and growth of reef life. Check back at Aquarium Tip Tank for more about making saltwater for your aquarium. We’re feeling a video in the works.

The First Bag of Live Sand being added to the Tank

Next, some Live Rock was needed

Saltwater is Necessary for a Marine Aquarium

Now, remember not to freak out if your water turns cloudy when adding the saltwater. Some tiny particles in the live sand are just getting picked up in the water and will take a few hours to clear up. As shown below, my tank had such a milky white cloud that nothing could be seen inside the tank after it was filled with saltwater. It took about 4 to 5 hours to clear up after turning on my canister filter.

I can’t see anything in that cloudy tank!

Then, when I went to check on things I found water on the floor, under the canister filter. As stated in the podcast, Aquarium Tip Tank no longer recommends the API Nexx Aquarium Canister Filter. At this point, we just don’t trust them. Yours might end up working great. Ours ended up leaking.

Thankfully, it was only the canister filter. I was able to stop the filter and get it out of the tank without too much of a mess. Also, it isn’t absolutely necessary to have a filter running during the cycling of a tank. Some even say that they only run their power filter or canister filter while clearing the cloudy water, then they turn the filter off. The theory is that the filter will end up extracting things that you want to keep in your tank during the cycling process. For example, decaying food particles actually help jump start the cycling process by creating an added ammonia source for beneficial  bacteria to feed on. So, you actually want to keep those decaying food particles in the tank and in the water rather than sucked up in your power filter or canister filter. I may end up just adding a protein skimmer and leaving water filtration up to it and the biological filtration in the tank itself. As always, whatever I decide, you’ll know it here first!

Items Mentioned in this Podcast:

My tank is currently cycling, and creating that biological filtration system. How is your tank coming along? Leave comments below.

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Turn off your RO/DI Filter

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank aquarium tip will keep you from flooding your floor. Do you have a large container or set of containers that you store your RO/DI purified water in for aquarium top-ups or water changes? Ever leave your RO/DI filter running too long, just to come back and notice that water was flowing over the edges of your container and flooding your floor? Make sure you turn off your RO/DI filter before you overflow your purified water containers!

This tip also comes from experience. Yes, I recently let my RO/DI unit run a little too long. Fortunately, I caught it fairly soon after my purified water container was full, and I fill my containers in a bathtub. So, one thing you can do to keep from flooding your floors is fill your containers in a “safe” place over a drain. But if you let your RO/DI filter run to the point of overflowing your purified water container you’re still wasting a lot of purified water and a lot of money.

One thing that might help remind you to turn your RO/DI filter off in time is setting a timer. For example, if you know it takes about an hour to get 5 gallons of RO/DI water, and you need 20 gallons, then set a timer for 4 hours. Most smart phones these days come with a timer application. Maybe you have a watch with a timer on it. If all else fails you can always use the timer on your oven or a simple, cheap cooking timer.

Ever overflow your RO/DI purified water container? Tell us the story below!

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | You can Recycle your RO/DI Waste Water

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you be a little green and save a little bit of water. First, we recommend that you use a water filter to perform reverse osmosis and DE-ionize (RO/DI) your tap water before using it to make saltwater, top up your tank with freshwater, or use it for your freshwater aquarium water changes.  However, when a stream of  water is pushed through an RO membrane, two streams of water exit the membrane. One of these streams of exiting water is waste water containing the concentrated contaminants that were removed from the other, purified stream of water that you are going to use for your aquarium.  In fact, there is usually about 4 gallons of concentrated waste water produced for every gallon of purified water.  Doesn’t that seem like a waste of water? Just recycle it!

No, we’re not talking about saving it in containers and putting it through the RO/DI unit again. What we’re talking about is using it to water your house plants, water your lawn and garden, or wash your car. We’ll admit that there are a few logistics that you might have to work out to make this a viable solution for you. After all, getting 20 gallons of RO/DI purified water to change the water in your 100 gallon tank will produce 80 gallons of contaminated waste water.

You will have to find large containers for this waste water and figure out a way to move those containers to the spot where you’re going to re-use the waste water. Maybe your RO/DI filter is in your garage or your basement and it wouldn’t take much effort to run the contaminated water hose to a series of large, water tight trash cans? Or, maybe you only have  a 20 gallon tank and you only need 5 gallons of RO/DI purified water to perform a water change. In that case, you would only need one large, 20 gallon container for your concentrated waste water.

The topic of moving large volumes of water around could produce several more aquarium tips. For now, just know that there are ways to recycle your RO/DI waste water and use it around the house if you don’t want to dump it all down your drain. Also, you might spend some money on the water that you run through your RO/DI unit, but if you recycle your waste water, you won’t have to pay anything for the water you use to water your lawn!

Do you recycle your RO/DI waste water? How do you do it? Leave comments below!

TJ

 

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We Love our Tropical Fish Tanks. Do you want one? Find out if starting a home aquarium is right for you.

At Aquarium Tip Tank we love our pet fish and we enjoy setting up and taking care of our tropical fish tanks. We love them because they’re beautiful, they are tools for education about underwater ecosystems, they are tools to promote marine conservation, they are fantastic and proven stress relievers, and they are just plain fun! For more on that, listen to Aquarium Tip Tank’s First Podcast!

However, before you jump into this wonderful hobby, there are a few things to consider if you’ve never taken care of a home aquarium before. We definitely don’t want to scare you off, but please realize that the fish in your tank will be your pets. Just like any other pet there is some research that you should do prior to picking out your pet, and there are some pieces of equipment that you will need in order to bring home your new pet and keep it healthy and happy.

Before you buy a Tropical Fish Tank:

For a home aquarium, the initial stages of research, equipment purchase, and tank setup, before you actually purchase and bring home any fish, accounts for the biggest chunk of time that you will have to devote to your new hobby. The size of your aquarium tank and the type of livestock you choose to keep will determine how simple or complex the maintenance of your tank will be.

Tank Selection and Fish Research:

In the end, the environment that you create in your tank must match the healthy living environment of the livestock that you want to keep. The task is to simulate the natural environment of the fish that you choose to keep as closely as possible. So, one of the first steps is to do some research into the kind of livestock you want to keep. You may want to keep an Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator), but when you start doing your research you figure out that a minimum tank size of 220 gallons is recommended to keep an Emperor Angelfish.

Our thought is that you have to start with tank selection and livestock research simultaneously. Do you have such an undying need to keep an Emperor Angelfish that you will use whatever spot in your home is big enough for a 220 gallon tank? Or, do you have the perfect spot for a tank in your home, but you can only fit a 50 gallon tank there? If you can only fit a 50 gallon tank, then you will have to do some research and find some tropical fish to keep that will do well in the environment that you can create with that 50 gallon aquarium.

Personally, I like to find the spots in my house with esthetic quality first, figure out the maximum tank size that I can put in that space, and choose my fish based on that tank size. I like to find a spot in my house where myself and my guests will see the tank, ask questions about the fish, invertebrates, and other livestock, and where its easy to relax and enjoy the personalities of my pet fish. But that’s just me. Maybe you want that Emperor Angelfish so much that you will put a large tank in your large, unfinished basement where most people don’t regularly go. It is up to you. If you need some help selecting a tank, go ahead and sign up for our FREE Tank Selection Worksheet and our e-updates and newsletter.

You’ve selected a tank location, and a tank size. You’ve purchased the tank you’re going to use and researched and selected some fish that you are able to keep in that size tank. What’s next?

Aquarium Equipment Selection:

While doing the research on the fish that you want to keep you may have realized that there are certain environments that your livestock normally lives in. The water temperature must be kept steady, the tank has to be lit to mimic the sunlight that the inhabitants of your tank normally receive, and the water quality needs to remain pristine with the use of a filtration system.

There are several varieties and countless brands of every piece of aquarium equipment. You can do hours upon hours of research to figure out exactly which pieces of equipment you want to purchase, or you can walk in to your Local Fish Store (LFS) and purchase whatever the salesperson suggests for you. The problem with walking into your LFS and immediately walking out with an aquarium setup is that you end up with less of an understanding of how everything works together to create the underwater ecosystem that you want to keep. You won’t know why you were sold those specific pieces of equipment. Maybe it was the best for your intended aquarium, or maybe it was the pieces of equipment that cost the most. We suggest that you at least do some research into the types of equipment that you want to use.

Fish Tank Setup

Now that you’ve purchased your tank, tank stand, filtration equipment, heater, thermometer, lighting, light timers, surge protectors, water additives, substrate, rocks, and decorations its finally time to actually setup your tank so that you can put fish in it! First, you need to place everything and attach it correctly on, in, and around your aquarium. Anything that is going into the tank and is going to be submerged in the aquarium water MUST FIRST BE RINSED off before placing it in the desired location in the tank. This includes your gravel, aquarium safe decorations, rockwork, etc.

Finally, its time to put water into the tank. If you are starting a saltwater aquarium, you may have to make the saltwater first. Once the water is in your tank YOU MUST CYCLE YOUR TANK. A whole article can (and will) be written about the Nitrogen Cycle and how to go about cycling your tank, but for now, just realize that it could take anywhere from 1 week to 6 weeks.

Now that everything is set up and properly cycled, fish can be added to the tank. From this point on, fish tanks require relatively little maintenance. There are many aquarium hobbyists that may laugh at that statement and completely disagree. However, we must remember that our fish are our pets. As with any pet, they need to be fed, and there are health and maintenance tasks that must be performed on a regular basis to keep our pets happy and healthy.

We have to feed our fish every day, just like any other pet, so we should also do a few quick water quality checks every day. While we’re feeding our fish, it only takes a few seconds to check the water temperature, make sure all of our pumps, lights, heaters, and timers are still in working order, and it will be obvious if some algae and grime needs to be cleaned off the inside walls of the tank. This usually takes less than 5 minutes a day. This is less time than it takes to walk, play with, feed, and take care of almost any other pet every day.

There are also bigger maintenance tasks that must be performed on a regular basis, but they are not daily tasks. It is recommended that a 20%-30% water change is performed on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. It is imperative that filter media be changed about once every 2 months. In conjunction with these, water quality testing should also be performed. The time it takes to perform these tasks depends on the size of your tank, how easy it is to change your filter media, and the demands of the livestock.

The Price of a Home Aquarium

All of these pieces of equipment that we’ve talked about so far need to be obtained for use somehow. Again, the cost of these items will depend on the size of your tank and the demands of the livestock you choose to keep. For example, a freshwater, fish only aquarium with fake, aquarium safe decorations, does not demand the specialized lighting and filtration systems that a planted tank or a saltwater reef tank does.

You also may be able to find hand-me-down equipment, equipment on Craigslist, or on aquarium websites with deals like That Fish Place. Personally, I’m in the process of starting a saltwater tank that I got from my brother-in-law. He used to use the tank and tank stand for a freshwater aquarium. With everything that you might get as a hand-me-down or from Craigslist, just make sure that everything works, nothing leaks, and you clean everything out.

Of course, the fish and other livestock for an aquarium also cost money. You also need to make sure you have food, and there are a few very low cost tools ($10 or less each) that you will use when performing routine maintenance. Once again, this is not unlike any other pet.

In conclusion, a decision should be made about if you want to do all of the necessary research, if you have the time, and if you have the money to take care of a pet. Every pet requires some initial research, some time to take care of them, and some equipment to make sure that they are in a happy, healthy, and clean environment. If it is tropical fish that you want to keep, then  join us at Aquarium Tip Tank, and ask us any questions you may have about home aquariums and the beautiful underwater ecosystems.

TJ

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The Finding Nemo Sequel and our Responsibilities as Coral Reef Lovers and Aquarium Hobbyists

Rumors have been flying around that Pixar is in the process of ramping up production on a Finding Nemo sequel, that film writer and producer Andrew Stanton has signed up for the directing job, and that television writer Victoria Strouse will be writing the script. I call them rumors because Pixar does not comment on development.

There is a double-edged sword to these rumors. On the one hand, I love it. I loved the first Finding Nemo, and it is still one of my favorite Pixar films. Of course I do, I love most things about coral reefs, tropical fish, and ocean life. I also think Pixar does a fairly fantastic job at creating all of their animated films.

Sure, us nerdy ocean and aquarium lovers can pick apart some of the inaccuracies of such movies. But Pixar did a pretty good job with the original Finding Nemo of entertaining my 2.5 year old nephew, me, and my 60 year old father while incorporating a few scientific names and some of the basics about ocean life and underwater ecosystems.

Underwater is a place that most people don’t look at and see very often. Therefore, it was out of sight and out of mind for a majority of people until Pixar released Finding Nemo in movie theaters across the globe and put those ocean ecosystems right in front of toddlers, teenagers, parents, and grandparents across the world.

Finding Nemo was also fantastic for the aquarium hobby. Kids wanted to go “find Nemo” at the public aquariums. They started dragging their parents past the puppies and into the fish section of pet stores. Tanks, stands, aquarium filters, and all sorts of aquarium equipment started flying off the shelves like never before. The added interest and money pouring into the industry allowed for advances in husbandry, technology, and research.

So, the other edge of that sword? The downside to all of this is that all of those fish that people now want to keep in their home aquariums come from somewhere. Did anybody realize that the whole movie was about a tropical fish being snatched out of its natural environment by a SCUBA diver, ripped from its family, and placed in a small tank thousands of miles from home? We learned some great things about the oceans on the journey to find Nemo, but he just wanted to be out of that tank and back at home with his family and friends.

Luckily, the aquarium hobby didn’t seem to take much heat for that. In the end, the clownfish populations did. Those new aquarium hobbyists were looking for the “Nemo” fish left and right to put into their new aquariums, and these new hobbyists mostly lacked the proper setup and care knowledge. Then, if one of their ocellaris clownfish died, they would just go grab another one from their LFS. Clownfish populations were practically wiped out in certain parts of the world. There are also new advancements and technologies that have made fish keeping better, and easier.

As tropical fish lovers, coral reef lovers, and aquarium hobbyists we have a responsibility to educate about conservation, proper aquarium setup, and proper aquarium maintenance this time around. Luckily, breeding of tropical saltwater fish has come a long way since the first Finding Nemo. It kind of seems like every other person in the aquarium hobby is breeding clownfish these days.

If people start asking us questions about setting up new tanks we should take the time to show them how to do it correctly. We should educate new hobbyists about the oceans and underwater ecosystems. We should teach them about fish and reef compatibility, the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, and water quality so that new hobbyists can keep their fish happy and alive. Most importantly, we should teach them about conservation, fish breeding, and tank bred fish.

Aquarium Tip Tank will be here to help. If you are new to the aquarium hobby please ask questions, and let us know what you need help with. That is what we’re here for. If you have been keeping fish for a while, and you’d also like to help, get in touch with us. You can comment below, send an email to support@aquariumtiptank.com, say hello to us on Facebook, say hello to us on Twitter, or find us on YouTube.

TJ

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