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Practical advice when starting up your first aquarium


Owning an aquarium is a fun and rewarding hobby, but for many – it’s hard for them to know where to start. Owning fish is not a ‘set it and forget it’ proposition – just like any other pet, they’re going to need plenty of care. As such, today we’re going to get back to the basics, so to speak and talk a little bit with you beginner/blossoming soon-to-be aquarium buffs out there – who are just seeking a little practical advice on how to take care of your tank. 

Here are a few beginner’s tips to help give your fish the best possible living conditions without any real, meaningful heavy lifting. Let’s jump right in!

Feeding your fish

In nature, fish spend the majority of their day either eating something or trying to avoid being eaten by something else. And like humans – their diets can really run the full spectrum. Some eat meat, some eat just plants and others will eat just about anything. Predatory fish are usually less frequent eaters while plant eaters casually graze throughout the day. 

Most aquarium fish eat once or twice daily – but you shouldn’t give them more than what can be consumed in about 2 minutes or so. Fish normally find food whether it’s on the surface, mid-water or at the bottom but presenting in a way that’s helpful is always, well… a help. And be mindful of just how much you’re throwing in there. Lots of food also means lots of waste – which depending on the fish, population size and overall size of your tank – can make for a dirty tank pretty quickly. 

Whichever your option is – make sure you’re doing your due diligence when it comes to figuring out what to feed your fish.

Water changes

We recommend changing 25% of your water every 2-4 weeks – at least in terms of owning an average size tank with an average size population. For solo ‘artists’ – you can go longer between changes. For heavy traffic/population tanks – significantly more. It all depends. 

Tap water is usually high in pH or alkalinity and on its own – is unsuitable for aquarium use. So be sure you’re buying the proper chemicals to help balance out the water before placing your fish in it. You can almost always pick this stuff up at a local pet store – just ask a worker at the store. 

Transporting your fish 

Moving fish from one place to another – for the fish – can be a pretty traumatic experience, especially if you more or less mess up the process. Make sure your water is balanced and you head home directly after purchasing your fish. Allow them to gradually acclimatize to the conditions in the tank by giving them a solid few hours or so in the bag in the tank. Don’t just dump them in there. Also – be sure to remove the fish from the bag before you place them in the water. Give it a little while, let them get used to their surroundings then perhaps the next day – you can turn on the aquarium light.

Just like you would react to a new setting, walk your fish into it. Don’t go banana boats right off the bat. 

Hopefully these tips give you a nice place to start once you get your fish home. Feeding them, cleaning them and acclimatizing them are more or less the 3 pillars to getting started, so this should put you in a good place. If you have questions or would like advice on how to get off to the best possible start with your aquarium – don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Good luck!

What makes bioballs so great


The media that you decide to use in your tank’s filtration system is really meaningful. Its job, after all – is to catch and store as much good and beneficial bacteria as possible. These bacteria don’t just keep your tank alive – they help it thrive, keep it clean and algae-free.

Bioballs are considered a go-to tool for a whole range of tank owners – from the hardcores to the casual pet owner. Simply put – they’re plastic spheres that have dozens of thin rods within. Those rods as well as the cover – allow for plenty of living space for beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Today, we’re going to talk about why so many people choose them, use them and how they can help you. Let’s jump right in!

Easy to clean

Bioballs are relatively low maintenance – but when you need to clean them – they’re easy to clean. Simply rinse them off with water and all of a sudden – you’re good to go! It really is that easy. You don’t need to apply anything, wash it in special water at a special temperature or any of it. Rinse it off and plop it back in the tank! It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Long lasting

Simply put – bioballs are meant to last a long, long time. They’re not like your usual, standard issue fish tank filter that you’ll have to throw out. Once you have you bioballs, they last for life. To degradation and as simple a function as you could hope for.

Scalable

The one undeniable benefit of bioballs are their ability to function with a wide range of media and adapt to a variety of situations. Their round shape alone allows them to easily conform to their surroundings no matter the shape or composition.

Easy to handle

Bioballs weigh 0.3 ounces – which to those who own larger tanks – probably comes as a relief! They’re not clunky, they’re not messy (most come with a mesh filter bag), and they’re as easy to install as they come. And that’s not even getting into the time and money you’ll save on other forms of filtration media.

 

Simply put – a small investment in bioballs can go a long way – and that’s what makes them so great. You’ll see better results and you’ll need to do less maintenance in order to see those results. Who could possibly not want that?

Four benefits of bio balls


To some people, bio balls are just small, plastic balls that sit in your tank, but the reality is that they’re so much more than that. When used properly, they provide users with a powerful biological filtration system for your aquarium.

One of the biggest advantages to bio balls is that unlike a lot of other tank-related media, they’re almost completely uncomplicated and are very easy to maintain. Here are some of the benefits of using bio balls in your tank and why you should consider them for your aquarium.

Easy to clean

Just like anything, bio balls can become clogged over time, but they’re very easy to clean. A simple rinse and your bio ball will be ready to go again! They may get dirty, but they never go bad!

Easy heavy lifting

In every fish tank, there’s good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria converts ammonia into nitrate and that good bacterium makes its home in bio balls. While the open-ended design of bio balls might make you think it’s for aesthetic reasons, it’s actually not. There’s a method to it all and in fact, it serves an important purpose as it increases the surface area of each ball. Bacteria likes to cling to the surface of objects, so the design of the ball simply provides bacteria with additional parking.

Easy to use

Depending on the design of your filter, bio balls simply go in a bag or a space and then you submerge them in the tank. That’s literally the only thing you have to do! It’s hard to get that much benefit from something with so little work to do on your end!

What’s the downside?

The truth is – there isn’t much downside to bio balls as tank media at all. However, people do mistake their purpose and expect them to do things they’re not supposed to. Bio balls are to be used for biological filtration only. They’re designed to house bacteria, NOT trap and remove waste from water.

Your filter should be in place before bio balls in your system so that it can catch waste before it reaches your bio balls. So while bio balls are fantastic for maintaining chemical balance in your tank – remember that they’re not there to do everything.

When used effectively, bio balls are an outstanding form of biological filtration. If you’re interested in how they can make a difference in your tank or would like to purchase them – give us a call today!

Four common uses for bulkhead fittings


Bulkhead fittings are extremely useful not only for what they are actually intended for, but for many other, more improvised ways as well. The most common use is for attaching things like pipes, taps and outflows, and the like, or even waste pipes – but people have found many uses for them over the years outside of the usual intended use.

Here are some ways they’re used and how they can help. Let’s jump right in!

Aquariums

People use bulkheads in aquariums by drilling holes into the base of the tank- allowing them to drain water more seamlessly. If you’ve ever seen some of those deluxe aquariums in hotels or storefronts, they’re usually outfitted with bulkheads to make maintenance both easier and faster.

Ponds 

Coy ponds are a popular fixture in today’s garden and are almost always outfitted with some sort of bulkhead. This allows for easy drainage that allows for whomever is maintaining the pond to add in cleaner water easier and more often. Coy fish need clean water to survive and this makes the process of providing them with that even easier.

Large liquid containers and its transportation

Anytime you see a big barrel, chances are they are being outfitted with bulkheads. Not only does it make it easier to empty liquid – but it makes it easier to seal containers as well. In addition, many of the trucks that transport these materials also have them installed, as it makes things easier in the event of an accident or spill to rid the vehicle itself of any potentially hazardous materials.

Hydronic systems

Any sort of water heater you have uses bulkhead fittings to seamlessly circulate water through pipes, into holding tanks and into heating areas. In these particular applications, they come in a variety of materials ranging from PVC to brass, metal and other materials. When it comes to heating pipes, you’ll most likely encounter brass fittings.

The type of bulkhead fitting you come across or need will largely be dependent on how the bulkhead fitting will be used. To learn more – or if you need one for your application, give us a call and we can help find a solution for you.

 




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