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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Be Creative and Functional with Aquascaping

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tips will help you enjoy your tank while making sure that it also fits all of the needs of your livestock. Want to make sure that your tropical fish tank looks a little different from all the rest? Want to make sure you enjoy a little personalized style in your aquarium? But what about making sure that you’re providing a cave or some hiding spots for your butterfly fish at night? What about making sure that you’ve got places to secure all of your corals so that they can get the necessary light they need? Well, go ahead and be creative with your aquascaping, but while you’re doing it just keep in mind the needs of your livestock.

We don’t only talk about reef tanks here, that just happens to be what I’m trying to set up. Therefore, you don’t have to use live rock, or any rocks for that matter. You can go out and get fake decorations that suit both the needs of your creativity and the needs of your livestock. Or, maybe you want to arrange, cut, scrape, and sculpt your rockwork into your own fun and useful decorations! My opinion is…go nuts. If people ask you how and why you aquascaped the way you did, its time for a fun lesson!

Share some pictures of your aquascaping! Fire me an email at tj@aquariumtiptank.com if you have too!

TJ

 

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Test Your Homemade Aquarium Saltwater

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will keep you from fouling your tropical fish tank water and creating all sorts of health problems. Are you sure you put enough salt mix into your RO/DI purified water? Did you add too much salt mix? Maybe some water has evaporated from your saltwater containers and the salinity is a little off. How’s the alkalinity and pH? Grab some test trips and take a few minutes to test your homemade saltwater before just pouring it into your fish tank!

Get out your hydrometer and do a quick test for specific gravity and salinity. Yes, a refractometer is better, but also much more expensive. You want a quicker, more accurate way to measure pH? You can grab a pH Tester for $15 from Amazon and have one delivered to your house in just a few days! These simple tests take less than 2 minutes, and can easily give you peace of mind about the quality of saltwater that you’re about to add to your home aquarium.

Question? Comments? Leave them 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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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Use a Drip Loop for the Cables of your Aquarium

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you keep from frying your lights, heaters, and other electric aquarium devices. No matter how much you try to prevent water splashes and overflows, you’re never going to completely prevent them in the years that you have your aquarium. The problem is that water can help conduct electricity and there are several pieces of aquarium equipment plugged in somewhere near the tank. It is possible for that splashed, overflowed, or leaked water to travel down the cord to the plug and create a short, a surge, a fire, and possibly electrocute somebody. In order to prevent this, make sure that all of your power cords have a drip loop. We’ve included a picture of a drip loop below. This way, any water traveling down the cord sits at the bottom of the loop until it either evaporates or drips to a spot under and away from the plug and outlet.

Use a Drip Loop on all electrical cords for your Aquarium

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Use a Labeling System for your Fish Tank

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you keep all of those lines, cables, plugs, and hoses in order! Ever look at the back of your tank and wonder what all of those tubes and cables were running to? Or from? There is a hose taking water from the tank and into your filtration system, then another hose bringing the filtered water back into the tank. You might have yet another hose bringing water into your display tank from a reservoir with fresh, top-up water. Then there are cables and plugs for all of the electrical components like lights, filters, pumps, heaters, and power heads. If you want to keep them all in order, grab a label maker, or some other type of labeling system and put labels on all of those hoses, cables, and plugs!

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Make sure your Fish Tank Test Kits are NOT Expired

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you make sure that you are getting the correct results when you test the water parameters of your tropical fish tank, or any aquarium tank, or any water for that matter. Ever gone to test your water and noticed that all of your liquid tester is dried up? Ever get everything to turn up with such bad results that there’s no way a fish could be alive in that water? Take a look at your expiration date on your test kit, and make sure you’re not using an expired test kit!

Hopefully your test kit has an expiration date. If your test solutions are dried up – and not from using them – its definitely time for a new kit. Some test kits say that they have a 5 year shelf life, but then go on to say something like “discard them one year after opening.” Just make sure you know that you are using a valid, non-expired test kit to test the water in your fish tank and get the most accurate results! After all, it wouldn’t be any fun, and would be very confusing, if you thought that all of your water parameters were spot on because you used an expired water test kit and then had something go wrong with your fish tank.

What kind of test kit do you use? Leave a comment below!

Email us, say hello on Facebook and/or Twitter with any questions you may have!

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Turn Your Aquarium Power Back On

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day is just a little reminder that will help you keep everything in your aquarium alive and running. Ever get done doing some type of maintenance on your aquarium at night, get up, go to work the next day and think to yourself, “Hey, did I plug the lights back in?” For one day this probably wouldn’t be a detrimental mistake. But what if it was your aquarium heater in the dead of winter? You might come back to some dead aquarium fish or invertebrates. We tell you to unplug and turn just about everything off when doing partial water changes or other maintenance tasks. Well, when you’re done, just take a quick second to make sure that you’ve plugged all of your equipment back in, you’ve turned it all to the on position, and everything is working properly!

Ever mistakenly left the power off on your aquarium? Leave a comment below!

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of The Day | Measure Twice on DIY Aquarium Projects

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you save a little bit of time, and possibly some frustration when performing do-it-yourself (DIY) aquarium projects. Wouldn’t it stink to come home from the hardware store with pieces of wood that were too small for the tank stand that your building? Just follow the good old saying, “measure twice, cut once” to save yourself the time of traveling back to the hardware store to buy new materials.

You should also probably write all of the dimensions and sizes that you come up with on a piece of paper somewhere. You may even want draw a diagram of your project with accurate dimensions. That way, you can bring it to the store with you when you are looking for the correct size pieces for your DIY light mounting system or your DIY aquarium plumbing.

Are you doing a DIY aquarium project? Leave your comments below. Say hello to us on Facebook!

TJ

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Aquarium Tips of the Day | Don’t Scrape with Substrate

Today’s Aquarium Tip Tank tip of the day will help you keep your tank scratch free. Understandably, you wouldn’t just take some of your substrate and start scraping it on the sides of your tank. However, it is possible to inadvertently get some into the scraper that you’re using and scratch the inside walls of your aquarium. Just pay a little bit of attention to what you’re doing when it is time to scrape the algae off the walls of your aquarium and make sure that you don’t have any gravel, sand, crushed coral, small shells, or any other kind of substrate stuck in between your scraper and your aquarium walls.

This is especially important with acrylic tanks. They tend to scratch a little bit easier. However, glass will scratch too if you don’t realize that you have a piece of substrate between your scraper and your aquarium wall.

Trust me, at some point you will get some sand wedged between your scraper and your aquarium wall. It might be with a magnetic scraper. It might be with a razor-like scraper. It might be with a softer, “acrylic safe”, scraper. At some point you will try to get all the way to the bottom of your tank to rid the entire inside surface of your tank of algae and debris. You’ll kick up a little substrate and the tiniest of particles will get wedged into the space between scraper and wall. Just remove your scraper from the wall, shake the debris loose in the water column, possibly take a quick second to remove more stubborn pieces of debris under a freshwater faucet, and resume. It certainly doesn’t take much time, and it will save you years of an unsightly eye sore.

Leave your comments below, and say hello to us on Facebook.

TJ

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