Aquarium Tips #10-12
Aquarium Tip 10 - Super Helpful Aquarium Equipment
With the popularity of aquarium keeping on the rise, there have been many new technological developments that offer the utmost in convenience to aquarists worldwide.
New equipment and supplies are invented and re-invented to help aquarium keepers take advantage of the most effective fish keeping techniques available and help keep their fishes healthy and happy.
By using only the most basic filtration systems, pumps, and aeration systems, aquarists have discovered that their maintenance has been greatly reduced.
By using higher quality, and often more expensive equipment, their maintenance can be further reduced.
Adding upgraded filters, UV sterilizers, automatic fish food dispensers, water testing kits, water pH analyzers, flow meters, aquarium heaters, wave makers and a few more brilliant items to your aquarium will make your life much easier.
Of the many innovations in the aquarium maintenance industry, the fish tank gravel substrate washer proves to be one of the most useful tools.
It is an amazing tool that makes gravel cleaning very easy, efficient, and it gets the job done in half the time you usually spend when doing it manually.
It works by removing dirt from the substrate, while simultaneously performing a water change without disturbing the substrate or tank decorations, sparing you from having to remove your tank's contents for every substrate cleaning.
Not only does it help keep your tank clean, it also saves you a lot of back breaking work and time.
Another impressive innovation is the fish tank sand filter. Unlike traditional filters, commonly used in many tanks, this one utilizes sand as a medium for bacteria settlement.
The sand, which contains good bacteria, is a vital part of the filter itself.
These bacteria break down harmful chemicals, particularly ammonia and nitrite, which are bi-products of fish waste and food debris.
The beneficial bacteria convert these toxins to something more harmless called the nitrate, which is removed during water changes.
This new sand filter is also found to help maintain water clarity as well as improve the water quality.
Both of these tools, the sand filter and the gravel washer, can be found in many local aquatic supply stores and many websites specializing in aquarium maintenance equipment.
There are many different brands and price points depending on the products sophistication.
Larger tanks would naturally need larger filters or greater washer capacity.
Aquarium Tip 11 - Do You Know How Heavy Your Aquarium Is?
Aquariums filled with water, decorations and fish are quite simply, heavy.
Not all furniture is built to carry the load of a full aquarium. Fish tank stands offer one alternative to fish tanks placed directly on furniture.
But how can you calculate the weight of your aquarium prior to purchasing?
The rule is to add 8 pounds for each gallon of water plus the dry weight of your fish tank and decorations.
For example, if you purchase a 16 Gallon tank and you are trying to figure out if your old Ikea dresser can carry the weight, multiply the 16 gallons by 8 and then add the dry weight of your aquarium and decorations. Let's assume your tank and decorations weigh 25 pounds dry. The calculation would then go like this:
16 gallons X 8lbs = 128lbs + 25lbs = 153lbs
That's right... 153 pounds! That's a lot of weight. Either you need a very sturdy piece of furniture to take the load, or you should look into a fish tank stand.
BiOrb Fish Tank Stand
BiOrb makes a stand that is specifically constructed to handle the weight of any BiOrb or BiUbe tank.
And the good news is that the stand lives up to the design standards of its aquarium cousins.
The aquarium stand features a cylindrical construction complete with two rear compartments that can conceal your electrical wires so as not to take away from the overall design.
The tank stand is built to support any BiOrb or BiUbe aquarium. Assembly and setup are easy.
BiOrb uses only six screws to hold the aquarium stand together, although the stand ends up being extremely sturdy.
A screwdriver comes with the BiOrb tank stand in case you forgot where you left yours.
There are a number of other fish tank stand options out there, but if you are a BiOrb or BiUbe fan, you'll want to take a look at the aquarium stand by BiOrb.
For many BiOrb owners, design is of equal importance to the other aspects of owning fish. And so an aquarium stand that maintains the design aesthetic is important.
Aquarium Stand Safety
One other issue to consider when purchasing a fish tank stand is earthquake safety.
If you live in an area that has frequent tremors, the BiOrb pedestal-style stand might not be the ideal choice for you.
In this case you'll want to look into a fish tank stand or other piece of furniture that is substantial enough to bear the weight of the aquarium while providing a surface area on which you can secure earthquake safety measures.
In most cases, earthquake straps which secure to the tank, aquarium stand or furniture and wall are the best way to make sure the tank stays in one place when an earthquake hits.
Aquarium tip 12 - Ever Wonder How Fish Sleep?
Every creature on earth has some way of resting and so do fish. Sleep, if defined as a time when rest is taking place, eyes are closed, and there is no thought or moving around, is something that happens in fish.
Because most fish do not have eyelids, they don't close their eyes as such, but they do go through a period when their internal processes slow down and they are not as active as they normally are.
In reality it may be more of a rest than a sleep, but for the fish it has the same effect as a night's sleep has for humans.
The lights of an aquarium are turned off every night to encourage the fish to rest/sleep.
No one knows the exact reason for why fish sleep. It might be because, as in people, their bodies need to have a recovery phase, or it might be because many fish hide away to sleep, that they use it to protect themselves from predators and regain energy at the same time.
Scientists have studied how fish sleep or rest and they have discovered several different things.
During rest/sleep fish are not aware of what is going on around them. However, they do not go into the deep REM sleep that humans do.
Some fish spend time in-between being asleep and being awake. Some kinds of fish sleep by going into a type of hibernation. Take, for example, the Koi fish.
This fish, like many others, reacts to the coming of cold winter temperatures by going down to the water bottom. They slow their metabolic rate and cease activity.
The digestive system of Koi fish even shuts off so they do not get hungry. When temperatures warm up, the Koi move back into their normal living depth.
Other types of fish become dormant during hot and dry weather periods instead of cold ones.
Some fish sleep in the mud. Carp are one example of this behavior, as is the African lungfish. Lungfish often cover themselves with mud and leave a little hole through which to breathe air.
One of the most interesting of all examples of fish sleeping is the Gobes that lives in the Ganges River. These fish are amazing! They dig a burrow and sleep in it during the driest months. They breathe through their tail, which is the only part of their body still touching water.
Scientists have discovered a Parrot fish that lives on reefs who sleeps by squeezing himself into crevices. Then he excretes mucus which covers his entire body with a protective coating and goes to sleep.
Some sharks never really stop moving at all, as they have to be in motion to push water through their lungs so that they can breathe. They do spend some of their time in some state of rest but there is no way to tell if it is what we would define as sleep.
More Aquarium Tips to Come...
If you haven't had a chance to check out The Ultimate Freshwater Aquarium Guide, I urge you to do so now. It contains my step-by-step system to getting a healthy and thriving freshwater aquarium up and running.