Aquarium Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bio Balls need cleaning?
Yes, they do. Cleaning involves a gentle rinsing which is more than sufficient to keep the bio balls in top condition. Ideally, you should remove only half the bio balls quantity for the cleaning and leave the rest. This will ensure that there is still presence of beneficial bacteria, which could regenerate and repopulate the half being cleaned.

Can I use Bio Balls in saltwater tanks?
Yes you can. Bio balls are used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Some people incorporate living reef systems in saltwater aquariums. The living reef system uses live rock, live sand, fish and corals to facilitate the biological process of cleaning the water. Bio balls can be used in the filtration system to enhance the process. If you do not have a living reef system Bio balls will do the job by itself.

Do Fish Sleep?
Yes, fish actually do sleep. But since most fish don’t have eyelids, it’s hard to tell. If the aquarium lights are left on day and night, the fish will never sleep. They get stressed, and eventually die. Most fish sleep lying on the bottom of the tank. If the room is dark, and you’ve just turned your aquarium lights on, don’t worry, your fish aren’t dead, they’re just sleeping!

Can Fish Change Color?
Fish have special cells in their skin called melanophores. These allow most fish to change their coloration and markings at will. Fish may change their color when they’re stressed, sleeping, mating, defending their territory, or eating.

Do Fish Drink?
Saltwater fish drink water and get many trace nutrients from the water they drink. Freshwater fish don’t drink water. They get their nutrients from food.

When Fish Have White Spots, Are They Sick?
The most common disease in aquariums appears as tiny white cysts on the body and fins of the fish. They look like tiny grains of salt. Symptoms include rapid gill movement and scratching against objects. This is caused by a one-celled parasite. The tiny white grains of salt are actually calcium cysts secreted by the parasites to protect them while they feed. In both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, the same symptoms occur, although it is a different animal that causes the problem. In freshwater, the parasite is “Ichthyophthirius multifiliis”, AKA the “Ich”. In saltwater, the parasite is “Cryptocaryon irritans”, AKA “Crypt”. Both feed on the bodily fluids of fish. Both have a ten to fourteen day life cycle. Fortunately, if the problem is caught in time, both diseases can easily be cured. It is a good idea to look closely at your fish at least once a week and if you see this problem, get the medicine from your pet store.

Ich is primarily caused by a change in water temperature. Make sure that when you add new fish to the tank the water introduced to the tank is the same temperature as the tank water. Also make sure your tank doesn’t experience any  significant fluctuations in water temperature. This will help prevent your aquarium from having this problem.

How do I keep my fish healthy?
Environmental stress is what allows a fish to be attacked by diseases. The most common causes of stress are: a filter that’s stopped working, water changes, rapid fluctuations of temperature, the decay of a dead fish, or a lot of uneaten food left in the tank. When a new fish is added to a tank, this too may be a cause of stress. Territories change and pecking orders change. If the new fish was carrying a disease, and the other fish are stressed by its introduction, then they might fall prey to the same affliction.

Parasites and other harmful microorganisms are always in every aquarium. However, fish have strong immune systems. The primary protection from diseases is a slime coat that covers the body of the fish. When a fish becomes stressed, they may stop excreting this slime coating. They then become targets for harmful microorganisms that are constantly trying to penetrate this invisible barrier. Using an ultraviolet sterilizer lessens the risk of disease by destroying many of these free-swimming microorganisms in the water, and is highly recommended, especially for saltwater aquariums.

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