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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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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 012 | Diatoms and New Tank Syndrome: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 012

My 30 gallon saltwater tank is almost done with the initial nitrogen cycle, but a brown film has started to coat my live sand and live rock. This is a diatom bloom and what many aquarium hobbyists call New Tank Syndrome. In this Aquarium Tip Tank podcast I share some aquarium tips for dealing with a diatom bloom. I also share some information about what diatoms are, where they come from, and why they decide to coat a tropical fish tank.

I wanted to be able to show you some of these diatoms that are growing in my fish tank. I’ve included a few pictures below.

Light Brown Diatoms on Live Rock and on Live Sand

At this point I also have a few small spots on the live rock with some green algae and some light purple coraline algae. Hopefully, you can see both of those in the picture below.

Spots of Green and Purple Coraline Algae growing on Live Rock

I also mentioned in the podcast that I would include the picture that Ryan Howells shared with me. He has a fairly new nano aquarium with a mated pair of clownfish that have laid some eggs! Here is the picture that he sent me of his tank!

Ryan Howells’ Nano Aquarium with a Mated Pair of Clownfish

Ryan’s tank looks like it is working out to be a nice little marine aquarium! He recently contacted me and told me that he was just finishing up the cycling process of his tank. It looks like he’s got a little more than that! There’s a nice colony of coraline algae, and of course, his mated pair of clownfish!

I had stated on many previous podcasts that I would give listeners a shout out if they decided to get in touch with me, let me know about an aquarium breakthrough, and send me a picture of their tank. I’m a man of my word! Keep sending your fish tank breakthroughs and updates.

Have a diatom bloom in your fish tank? Leave 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 Tip Tank Podcast 010 | Setting Up a Home Aquarium, Part 1

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 010

Its time to start setting up your tropical fish tank and here are a few aquarium tips to help you on your way! We’ve discussed all of the pieces of aquarium equipment that are needed to start a home aquarium. I’ve purchased all of the equipment that I need to start setting up my new saltwater aquarium. Have you acquired all of your aquarium equipment? Are you finally ready to start setting up your home aquarium?

In this episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast I’ve listed and I discuss all of the steps of setting up a home aquarium. I’ll start with getting all of the equipment set up, and attached to the correct places of the aquarium. I’ll get into performing a 24 hour system check, and I’ll end with starting the nitrogen cycle. In part 2, I will discuss the entire nitrogen cycle process for a home aquarium.  Included below are a few pictures of my home aquarium setup process.

White Vineger, Sponge, and Towel For Cleaning the Aquarium

Above are all of the cleaning supplies I used to do a final wipe down of the tank. Below are the two light timers that I’m using. The Ecoray 60DX LED lighting system has one plug for the blue LED lights and one plug for the white LED lights. I’ve used zip ties to label them so that I know which plug is which. The white zip tie is around the plug for the white LED lights and the neon yellow zip tie is around the plug for the blue LED lights. I would’ve used a blue zip tie for the blue LED lights, but the pack of zip ties that I have didn’t have any blue zip ties. You can also see the plug for the heater. It is not plugged in yet because there is no water in the tank for it to heat. You may also notice that the surge protector has several places to plug things in. The thing I like about this surge protector is that the plugs rotate to easily accommodate different sized plugs.

Two Light Timers. One for the Blue Lights and one for the White Lights

Close-up of white LED light timer

Close-up of blue LED light timer

Ecoray 60DX LED Aquarium Light System on DIY Tank Hanger

Starting to Fill the Fish Tank for a System Check

Items Mentioned in this Podcast:

How’s your Tropical Fish Tank setup coming along? Leave comments and/or questions below!

TJ

 

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 009 | The “Smaller” Pieces of Tropical Fish Tank Equipment

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 009

So far, at Aquarium Tip Tank we’ve gone over the bigger, more expensive, absolutely necessary pieces of Aquarium Equipment to start a new tropical fish tank. These are items such as the tank itself, the tank stand, lighting, and filtration systems. In this episode we talk about the rest of the smaller, yet just as important, pieces of equipment that are needed to begin a tropical fish tank!

I need to purchase some of these items myself, but I also talk about the pieces of equipment that are necessary, but I already have from other aquariums. Some pieces of equipment can be used for more than one fish tank as long as you make sure that you rinse all aquarium tools under running tap water prior to putting them in any aquarium water.

I’ve created links to all of the items that are talked about in this episode below.

Make sure you have your smaller Tropical Fish Tank tools and equipment:

Please say hello to us on Facebook, or Twitter, find us on our YouTube Channel, or leave a comment below!

TJ

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 008 | Aquarium Filtration, Part 2

Aquarium Tip  Tank Podcast 008

In this episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast I discuss the mechanisms used to perform mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration in a home aquarium system. The devices I talk about include Hang-on-Tank filtration systems, Canister Filters, Under-gravel filters, and Wet/Dry filtration systems. I also discuss my choice of aquarium filtration for the 30 gallon saltwater aquarium that I’m in the process of setting up.

I chose to go with a Canister Filtration system and I chose the API Nexx aquarium filter. However, let me do a little clarification here. Make sure you do your research and choose the filtration system that you think will work best for your situation. I have to admit, if I had a larger tank, and more room in the tank stand under my tank, I probably would’ve tried to set up a wet/dry filtration system with a separate reservoir under my main tank. I would’ve sectioned off that reservoir and created different areas for my mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. I would’ve tried to get a little refugium going, and maximized the potential for biological filtration.

I just don’t have that kind of room under my small, 30 gallon tank. The API Nexx filtration system should work great for what I’m looking to do with my home aquarium! I do think the API Nexx Filter is a great canister filtration system that is also expandable. If you’d like to use the API Nexx Filter, I’ve posted a link to Amazon for one below. If not, and you’re going to use a different type of filtration system for your aquarium that’s awesome! Go ahead and leave a comment below and tell us how you are filtering your aquarium water, or how you plan to!

Update: We do not currently recommend the API Nexx Canister Aquarium Filter. It leaked when I first set it up for my aquarium system check. Somehow, I got it to work for 4 days without any leaks during the system check. Then, I drained the aquarium, put live sand into the tank, put live rock into the tank, filled the tank up with saltwater and re-started the API Nexx Canister Filter. A few hours later I went to check on the tank only to find a puddle under the tank stand. The API Nexx Canister Filter was leaking from the base. I have removed the filtration system from the tank while it is cycling. I am in contact with representatives from RENA and will post updates with the outcome.

Grab your Canister Filtration System now:

Other posts mentioned in this Podcast:

We love our listeners and respect your opinion! Please search for “Aquarium Tip Tank” in iTunes to find all of our podcast episodes and leave a review. We’d love to know what we can do better and we’d love to keep improving! Also, please feel free to contact us with any aquarium questions, stories, and we really love breakthroughs – tell us about the fish you just added to your tank!

TJ

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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 007 | Aquarium Filtration, Part 1

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 007

In this episode of Aquarium Tip Tank we talk about the three main methods of filtration and how they are performed. In the next episode of this filtration series we will go over the devices that are used in an aquarium set up to perform the different types of filtration and discuss the  filtration system that I am planning on using for my 30 gallon marine tank.

Do you use all 3 methods of filtration? Leave comments below!

TJ

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