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Monday, September 24, 2012

Freshwater Aquarium - The Solution To Pollution Is Dilution?


Most if not all Aquarist know that the best solution they have to keeping their water in the proper specification is dilution. So the term all Aquarist know is "The solution to pollution is dilution". But what does this mean?
If you have a freshwater aquarium you need to monitor several parameters. If any of these get above the required specification, usually you will need to take action by diluting the water in your aquarium.
The definition of dilution is taking a substance, such as water, and mixing it with another substance to make it weaker. Lets look at an example.
You have a 75-gallon freshwater aquarium and your nitrates are high endangering your fish. Steps you can take to cut nitrates are to feed your fish less because the decay of excess food creates nitrates.
You can also add more plants in your aquarium because they will consume the nitrates that have been created. But both these actions are slow and take time to cut the level of nitrates in the water.
For immediate action, to reduce the level of nitrates is to replace some of the water in your aquarium. If the nitrates are real high, most Aquarist will replace 40% of the water to get the level of nitrates down.
This action of removing the polluted water, high nitrates, with water that does not have any nitrates in it is called dilution. So you can see "the solution to pollution is dilution".
When To Use Dilution
Other times you will want to use dilution are when other parameters are high, such as ammonia and nitrites. These two, ammonia and nitrites, are toxic to your fish at very low levels so you should immediately dilute your aquarium by up to 40% if you have indication of ammonia or nitrites in your aquarium.
When Not To Use Dilution
You probably should not use dilution to solve a high pH level in your aquarium. If you are like me you use tap water to replace the water in your aquarium. Because of the chemicals added to the nations tap water, it makes the water basic.
So if you have high pH, replacing the water will probably not do much. In this case the best thing to do is add some chemicals specifically designed to lower the pH in an aquarium.
If you have high levels of chemicals in your aquarium, in most cases, "the best solution is dilution".
If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, download a free eBook, titled "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium", at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums or at Your Home Freshwater Aquarium.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7264147

Freshwater Aquarium - Understanding PH


When you install a freshwater aquarium in your home or office you need to become a part-time chemist. There are several parameters you need to watch, one being pH.
Having been a nuclear chemist in the Navy, I became quite familiar with what pH was and how to measure it. It was important to protect the piping in the nuclear plant and the steam generator. In a freshwater aquarium it is important to prevent stressing your fish
What Is It
PH is a measure of how alkaline (basic) or acidic a substance is. In this case we will be measuring the pH of water in your freshwater aquarium.
First of all pH has no units. It is just a number that goes from 0 to 14. If your water is measured as having a pH of 7, it is said to be neutral. That is it is neither basic nor acidic.
If your water has a pH less than 7.0 it is considered acidic and greater than 7.0 your water is considered basic.
How To Measure It
When you measure for pH you are actually measuring the concentration of the hydrogen ion (H+) in water. The more acidic the water is the more hydrogen ions are in the water.
When I was in the Navy we measured pH by using electronic probes. But this type of equipment is quite expensive for the normal Aquarist. Most of the people who own aquariums will use paper strips that will change to a certain color based on the pH of the water.
In my case, being an ex-Navy chemist, I prefer to use a more advanced method; I use test tubes and chemicals. I add the chemicals to my sample water in the test tube and look for a color change in the sample water. The color will decide what the pH is.
Adjusting It In Your Aquarium
In my aquarium my pH remains rather constant, around 6.8. If you do have to adjust your pH, the best way is to get chemicals that will either raise or lower pH. These chemicals are obtained from your local pet store.
Follow the directions carefully and do not try to adjust the pH by more than 0.1 at one time. A rapid change of more than 0.1 can stress your fish and cause illness or even death.
If you use tap water for replacement, it is usually basic when it comes out of the tap because of the chemicals added to the water. Let it set overnight to remove the chemicals and lower the pH which more closely resembles the pH in your tank.
If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, download a free eBook, titled "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium", at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums or at Your Home Freshwater Aquarium.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7263398

Freshwater Aquarium - Monitor Your PH When Replacing Your Water


One of the chemical parameters you will have to measure when you have an aquarium with fish is pH. PH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline your water is, and freshwater fish like various pH levels.
Some fish like it as low as 5.5 or as high as 8.5. So when you select the fish for your aquarium, make sure they like the same range.
What Is pH
As I mentioned before, pH is a measurement to determine how alkaline (basic) or acidic your water is. A pH of 7.0, found in distilled water, is neutral; it is neither acidic nor basic.
Water that has a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic, while water with a pH greater than 7.0 is basic.
The pH of the tap water where I live is 7.4, or slightly basic. When I let this water sit overnight, the pH drops to 7.0 because the chemicals dissipate and the water reacts with the air (carbon dioxide in the air will lower the pH).
Adjusting pH
Before adding replacement water to your aquarium you will want to know what the pH is. Usually when you sample your tap water for pH, it will be slightly basic but when you let it sit overnight the pH will drop to where it is neutral or 7.0.
If it is not at the desired level you need for your aquarium, you can buy chemicals that can lower or raise the pH for you. But make sure you follow the directions carefully or you might end up chasing pH.
If your pH is not that far away from what is in your aquariums water, you should consider adjusting the pH after you add your replacement water. If you are like most good Aquarist, you will replace 10% of your water every week.
As an example on how little the pH will change we will use my aquarium as an example. I have a 75-gallon aquarium and replace 10 gallons of water every week.
Here are the numbers used in my calculation to see how much pH changes by replacing 10 gallons of water, with a pH of 7.0, in my 75-gallon aquarium with which has a pH of 6.8.
  • 10 gallons of replacement water with a pH of 7.0
  • 65 gallons of water in tank with a pH of 6.8
  • pH change in aquarium after adding replacement water is 6.862.
Using a free calculator I found on the Internet calculate the amount of pH change, you can see that the pH in your aquarium is only changed by 0.062. This amount of change should not stress your fish.
If your calculations show that the change in pH will be greater than 0.1, adjust your replacement water so that the change in pH in your aquarium will be less than 0.1.
If your aquariums replacement water is higher or lower than the pH in you aquarium, perform a calculation to determine the amount of change. If the change will be less than 0.1, then go ahead and add the water. If greater than 0.1 then adjust the pH in the replacement water so that the change will be less than 0.1.
Minimizing the pH change to less than 0.1 will decrease the stress of your fish.
If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, download a free eBook, titled "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium", at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums or at Your Home Freshwater Aquarium.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7251958

The Responsibility That Comes With Keeping An Aquarium

Whenever you visualize an aquarium, all sorts of wonderful images spring to mind. You may picture the brilliant colors of a coral reef or perhaps the lush vegetation of a planted tank. But what you most likely don't picture is you, arm deep in that aquarium attempting to reactivate a blocked filtration system. For every gallon of water in that amazing tank you observe, there's a gallon of blood, sweat, and tears which went into making it what it is. There are several points to consider before choosing to set up an aquarium.
Obviously before you do anything you must determine just what it really is you wish to keep. A successful tank may last several years. You have to sort out exactly what it is you would like to keep, and discover whatever you can regarding it's requirements. Some fish can be unbelievably gorgeous yet if they demand a particular diet or maybe grow to several feet in length they may not be right for you.
Every aquarium requires time dedicated to maintenance on a daily to weekly basis. With no regular attention small problems can easily grow. Putting aside a little time at normal intervals, like every Sunday afternoon for instance, will go a long way towards maintaining your tank in tiptop shape. This can include things like changing water, cleaning filters, as well as feeding the aquarium's inhabitants. Moreover, problems can occur unexpectedly that may demand immediate attention, like a busted water pump. Having a schedule that permits for such predicaments being handled rapidly is really a definite plus. Some setups have increased maintenance requirements over others and could demand daily attention. If you travel regularly plans might need to be generated to allow for this.
Depending on the size and complexity of the initial setup, the start-up cost can be quite significant. A small freshwater setup might be had for easily below $100 while a basic saltwater aquarium may run a couple of hundred dollars at most. The sky's the limit after that obviously. Even so, just because the aquarium is up and running doesn't mean your spending is complete. An aquarium additionally requires regular expenses. Recurring costs such as filter media and fish food do mount up over time. Depending on just what you intend to keep livestock costs can also get rather high. A bigger setup can also have a visible effect on your power bill.
Needless to say there exists an incentive for your work and investments- an incredible aquarium! And appreciating that beauty is all the more special if you realize it was due to your hard work.
To learn more about aquarium setup please visit http://www.aquarium-setup.net/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7259410

Choosing The Right Tropical Fish

When you fist start planning for your new aquarium the choice of fish and options of equipment can be a little overwhelming. Firstly there is the tank, what size? Where will I locate it? Then comes the question of what type of equipment should I choose, this is before you think about the type of species you are going to keep.

The first decision you should make is what type of Tropical Fish are you going to keep there are plenty of options, Community (Neon Tetras, Corydora etc), African cichlids, South American Cichlids, Biotope (an aquarium perfectly matching a species requirements). If you are going to keep large species then a large aquarium with good filtration is a must but if you're only keeping small species perhaps a community aquarium then a smaller aquarium will be fine.
You should ask yourself the following questions before deciding on a species:
-How large will the fish be once fully grown
-Once fully grown will the fish attack smaller fish in my aquarium
-Is the fish territorial
-What water parameters does the fish require (ph, hardness) and can I provide these
-Will it eat my plants
-Will it dig up the substrate in my tank
-Is the lighting suitable for the given species (too bright or too dim)
-What does the fish eat some fish are very fussy and will only take live foods
-Is the fish happy living alone or does it need a group of its own in the aquarium
Now you have decided on the type of fish you are going to keep you need to choose a location for the tank, avoid direct sunlight, loud noises and ensure the floor it is going to be placed upon will handle the load (a square meter of water weighs 1 ton!).
Now that you have chosen the type of fish you are going to keep and chosen a location it is time to think about decoration. The choices here are endless however you should match the natural habitat fish you intend to keep also do some research in to the species if you intend to plant your aquarium, Cichlids and some other species will destroy plants in a matter of days.
As a rule Community aquarium should have a gravel or sand substrate with places for the fish to take refuge and plants (presuming the kept species will allow) African Cichlids if you intend to keep mbuna (rock dwellers) then the aquarium should be full of rock with lots of places to hide. Some Africans are open water swimmers so need plenty of free open water.
There is a mass of products for decorating the aquarium on the market, some are novelty the traditional bubbling diver with his treasure chest for example. There are also some very realistic artificial bog woods which give your aquarium a very natural feel. The other advantage is you are making your fish feel at home and fish that feel comfortable in their surroundings are more likely to show good colouration as well as being more likely to breed.
When selecting new tropical fish for your aquarium, its important you are well informed if new to it, and have a good selection of healthy fish to choose from.
View a great selection of the Finest Tropical Fish online.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7260049

Freshwater Aquarium - Frozen Or Unfrozen Food for Your Fish


There is a raging debate among Aquarists, should I feed my fish frozen food or food that is not frozen? Let's look at both sides of the argument and see if we can come to a logical conclusion.
I really did not think there was an argument but I guess there is. Be advised, this article is bias because I already have an opinion.
The Unfrozen Food Argument Side
People who argue for feeding their fish unfrozen food remind us that humans do not eat frozen food. Well I beg to differ; I eat Popsicles and ice cream that are frozen as a treat for myself. Even my children eat them.
I cannot buy into this argument that since humans do not eat frozen food, fish should not eat frozen food. It is like saying that humans cook their meat so our pets or all animals should cook their meat.
Another argument is that the digestive lining of freshwater fish is very sensitive and the cold food will damage the lining of their digestive system. But when I watch my fish eat the frozen bloodworms, they are usually eating the parts that have broken off and are not frozen any more.
If the food was frozen by the time the food gets to the digestive tract it is unfrozen. So how will frozen tidbits clean out the digestive system after it becomes unfrozen?
The Frozen Food Argument
Here are the arguments presented by the side that supports feeding your aquarium buddies frozen food. One argument is that it cleans out the digestive system of your fish. How it cleans out the digestive system of our fish is difficult to comprehend.
By the time a frozen piece of food is dropped in the 75-degree water and enters the mouth of your fish and finally makes it down to the digestive tract, it is unfrozen. So how does this clean out the digestive tract compared to the fish-eating unfrozen food?
The last argument used by this group is that there are no warning labels on the packets the frozen fish food comes in saying to defrost it before feeding your fish. Every thing else has warning labels, so why not a precaution on feeding your fish frozen food.
My Position
I feed my fish frozen bloodworms and brine and cannot help but notice that most of the frozen cube will have melted in the 75-degree aquarium water by the time the treat is consumed.
I have been feeding my fish frozen food for many years with no adverse affect on my fish.
So the debate rages on, but my position is and will remain, to continue feeding my fish frozen treats.
If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, download a free eBook, titled "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium", at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums or at Your Home Freshwater Aquarium.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7253988

Information on Weedy Sea Dragon

This sea dragon is the marine emblem of the Australian State of Victoria. Weedy Sea Dragons are protected by the government and are subjected to strict export controls in Australia. Get to know more about it in the Article below:
Weedy Dragon Physical Description
Adults are red in color, with yellow and purple markings. There are appendages which are like leaves. This helps the fish to camouflage. There are short spines too which protects them. Males have narrow and dark bodies in contrast to females. These spiny fishes have quite a long dorsal fin along the back side and small pectoral fins on either side of their necks. This helps in providing them balance. They can reach a size of up to forty five centimeters in length.
This dragon is found in central New South Wales coast around the southern coast of Australia to southwestern part of Western Australia.
The habitat of this type of fish
This camouflaged fish frequently stays in kelp-covered rocky reefs located at a depth of about three meters to fifty meters. They live in areas ranging from deep offshore reefs to shallow estuaries. The places are related to sea grass meadows, rocky reefs, structured colonized sea weeds and sea weed beds.
Weedy Sea Dragon Behavior
They camouflage to defend themselves from their predators in their habitat area. These fishes cannot swim well.
Weedy Sea Dragon Diet
The carnivorous weedy sea dragon feed on sea lice and small crustaceans.
Weedy Sea Dragon Reproduction and Life Cycle
The breeding season is during early summers, with generally 1 brood per season. These sea dragons can have 2 broods per season if the condition is favorable. Before mating, the male prepares for the area in his tail where he will keep eggs. This area becomes slightly swollen, spongy and soft. The female pushes the eggs in the tails of the males. The eggs get fertilized in their tails. The males carry around one hundred and twenty to three hundred eggs in his tail. He carries the eggs for around two months. The eggs get hatched over a period of six days.
The hatchlings are big in size ranging from 2.5cm to 3.5cm in length. There is a yolk sac attached to them, which helps them for about two days while the snout grows. Once the snout is grown they begin to feed. By the end of fourteen weeks, the juveniles can reach about fifteen centimeters.
Get To know more about the Other types of Australian Animals only at http://www.australiananimallearningzone.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7251016