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Top 11 Secrets to a Successful Home Aquarium


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Discover Tips and Secrets To An Amazing Aquarium

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Top 11 Secrets to a Successful Home Aquarium

  1. 1. ==== ====For GREAT AQUARIUM Information ====Tropical fish make great pets. They are skimpy eaters, they dont have to be walked, they dontscratch, they dont make noise, and you only have to clean up after them every coupleweeks.Once everything is going well in your home aquarium, watching and caring for your fish is agreat stress buster. The lighted tank with the gently bubbling water adds a touch of serenity, aswell as a nice natural decor to any room.With that said however, purchasing the right equipment and setting up your home aquarium iscritical in establishing its long-term success. A great way to start the process is to visit several petstores, look around and ask questions. Once you find a store that feels right for you, establish arelationship with an expert at that shop and try to stay loyal to both the person and the shop. Ifthey are aware of your home setup they will be very valuable to you in the future when you needprofessional advice. A well thought out plan is crucial. Dont come home with a tank and a bag offish on a whim and expect to immediately set up a tropical watery paradise for the fishes. Onceyou purchase everything you need and get everything home, its important you set it up andmaintain it properly.Frank Bulman, director of husbandry at Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tenn.,provides the following suggestions for a successful home aquarium.Proper size and location.Water weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon making a large aquarium quite heavy, so make sure the floor canhandle the load. A small aquarium requires more maintenance and attention than a largeraquarium but they are lighter and water changes are easier. Avoid locating your aquarium in asouth facing window as it will receive too much sun and may overheat in the summer or get toocold in the winter. If this is your first aquarium, its recommended you start with a smaller, maybe a10 or 20 gallon tank and then expand as your knowledge and confidence grows Hint: Locate theaquarium away from heating and air-conditioning vents and make sure it is within reach of agrounded electrical outlet.Adequate filtration.Aquariums are miniature eco-systems with waste products being broken down by living bacteriawhich serve as biological filtration. These bacteria need good water flow and oxygen just like thefish do. There are many types of filters to choose from. Filters that trap particulate waste aremechanical filters. Filters that remove dissolved organic material use activated carbon and areconsidered chemical filters. Additional Info: A good filtration system will address biological,mechanical and chemical processes and keep your water safe for its inhabitants. Hint: Talk withyour pet store professional about the pros and cons of each type of filter to find the one best for
  2. 2. your situation.Creating an Environment.Once your aquarium is set up and stable and in no danger of toppling over, add two to threeinches of gravel to the bottom. Now is the time to add a few decorations, but dont overdo it - makesure you leave ample room for the fish to swim around. Adding large stones, castles, tunnels, andplants not only helps your tank mimic a natural habitat, but it also provides a valuable place foryour fish to hide, rest or get away from their aggressive tank mates. Additional Info: Theaquariums interior should be designed to fit into the room in which it is located, so carefullyconsider the colors you choose for the gravel and decorative items. Hint: Use your aquarium tocreate a focal point of a room. Treat it like a living work of art.Proper fish selection.Selecting the right fish is important so do your homework before populating your tank. Know whichspecies are compatible with each other and which species are not. Additional Info: Very oftenjuvenile fish are sold and they soon outgrow the aquarium, so be sure you know how large eachone will get. Hint: Dont purchase all your equipment AND your fish on the same trip. Get the tankset up and ready before you introduce your new family to their habitat.Healthy fish.Take time and make sure you select healthy fish. Avoid purchasing fish that are not eating or arestaying apart from other fish. Sick fish will often have their fins clamped close to their body or willbe scratching or rubbing on objects in the aquarium. A good fish shop will hold fish for aquarantine period and make sure the fish are healthy and eating before they are sold. AdditionalInfo: It may be necessary to set up a separate quarantine tank up at home to make sure new fishare healthy before adding them to your community aquarium. Hint: Look into their eyes. Healthyfish have clear eyes.Adding new fish.It is best to add a few fish at a few at a time to a new aquarium. This gives the bacteria populationtime to grow. A necessary purchase is a test kit to check ammonia and nitrite levels in your water.Heres an easy chemistry lesson: Ammonia is the main waste product in an aquarium and its verytoxic to fish. This is where your healthy bacteria population comes into play. They convertammonia into nitrite, which is less toxic than ammonia but is still harmful. Other bacteria will thenmetabolize the nitrite and convert it to nitrate which is not harmful to your fish. Additional Info: Agood pet shop should willingly check these levels for you if you bring them a water sample. Theammonia and nitrite levels should be close to 0 ppm before adding additional animals. Hint: Dontjust dump your new fish into the tank. Float them in the plastic bag in which them came so theycan slowly adjust to the temperature of their new home. Fifteen minutes is usually enough.Dont over feed.Feed your fish s a little pinch of food at a time and dont add more food until the first has beeneaten. When the fish start eating slower, stop feeding. Never add more food than the fish can eat
  3. 3. in about five minutes. Uneaten food will foul the water creating high ammonia levels. AdditionalInfo: Some fish are vegetarian and will feed on algae and debris. These fish are helpful for keepingthe aquarium clean. Hint: Make sure you are feeding the proper type of food for the species youhave selected.Dont over clean.Resist the temptation to remove everything from the aquarium and thoroughly clean. This will wipeout the beneficial bacteria and will result in toxic water conditions. Instead wipe down the windowsand walls of the aquarium with a clean sponge or non-abrasive cloth. The dirt and debris trappedin the gravel is best removed by siphoning the gravel with a hydro clean tube. This allows the lightwaste material to flow out with the water leaving the heavier cleaned gravel behind. Replace thewater that has been removed with new water that has had the chlorine neutralized and is similartemperature as the aquarium. An established aquarium should have no more than 25% of itswater removed per month during cleaning. Additional Info: Mechanical filters will eventually needto be cleaned. Keep in mind substantial colonies of beneficial bacteria will colonize and live inthese filters. After cleaning, keep an eye on the waters ammonia level and feed lightly until thebacteria have a chance to repopulate. Hint: Keep a bucket or plastic water bottle handy in which tosiphon the dirty water from the aquarium. Use that water in turn to water your plants!Provide proper lighting.Your aquarium should have a consistent light period, which provides natural periods of light anddark. This can be accomplished by using a timer or turning lights on in the morning and off in theevening. Natural light may be adequate but avoid direct sunlight. Additional Info: If the light fixturedoes not cover the top of the aquarium, a screen should be used to keep fish from jumping out.Hint: Too long of a light period can result in excess algae growth.Maintain proper temperature.Many aquarium fish are tropical and must live in water that is 73 - 82 degrees F. Most often theambient room temperature is too cool and a submersible heater is necessary. Do not use too largea heater or too small a heater, generally 2-5 watts per gallon is adequate. Additional Info: If theaquarium overheats and becomes too warm, try directing a fan toward it and that will usually coolit down to acceptable levels. Hint: Unplug your heater when cleaning. Exposing a hot submersibleheater to air will cause it to break.Be Aware of Your New Eco-system.Its important to pay attention to the behavior of your fish. Watch for those who are lethargic or arescratching or keeping their fins clamped. These are signs of possible disease problems and ifcaught soon can be treated successfully with salt or medications. Overly aggressive ones shouldbe removed or isolated from other fish. Your pet shop team will be able to help diagnoseproblems. Additional Info: Pay attention during feeding. In an aquarium with a large fish populationits just as important to watch for the fish that are not eating as it is to watch for those who are.Hint: Name each fish and each morning when you feed them, look for each one and say goodmorning to it. That way, you will see each fish every day and can catch any problems very early.
  4. 4. Tim R. OBrien is vice president of communications for Ripley Entertainment, owners of the twoRipleys aquariums. Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies(, the second most attended attraction inTennessee, was Voted The Number One Aquarium in America by and ForbesTraveler has named it one of Americas best aquariums. More than 100,000 exotic sea creatureslive in its 1.4 million gallons of water. The aquarium is known for its shark exhibit that features 11-foot sharks and one of the longest underwater tunnels in the world. Ripleys Aquarium of theSmokies is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. family of worldwide entertainment facilities thatincludes another world class aquarium - Ripleys Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, S.C. More than 13million people visit Ripleys 70-plus attractions in 13 countries each year. Ripley Entertainment a division of the Jim Pattison Group, the third largest privately held company in Canada.Article Source:'Brien==== ====For GREAT AQUARIUM Information ====