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BASIC PIRANHA FACTS

Piranhas have red throats, razor-sharp teeth to rip flesh with ease, and silvery gold flesh (red-bellies have red bellies, of course). Piranhas are native to South America and Guyana and it’s against the law to bring them in and out of most countries. They are quite dangerous and aggressive fish since they reside in schools, which has a tendency to promote a competitive environment.

When planning a piranha aquarium, fish size should be regarded first. Grown piranhas have been known to develop to two feet long in a big enough tank. Piranhas are in addition group swimmers, which means they’ll need room to roam. Strive to provide two gallons per each inch of piranha fish. An aquarium six feet long by two feet by two should allow ample hideouts. A minimum fifty-gallon aquarium is recommended.

TANK UPKEEP AND CONDITIONS

Piranhas (Serrasalmus nattereri) are very sloppy eaters. Ten to fifteen percent water switch-outs every seven days will ensure waste not trapped by the filter system is taken away. Regarding filter systems, almost all piranha aquariums will need at least two devices to manage the process, especially if the aquarium is fifty or more gallons. Nitrate concentrations, which have harmful effects on piranhas particularly, should be monitored directly. PH levels ought to stay between six and one half and 6.9 to copy those of the Amazon where piranhas came from.

Water degrees in a piranha enclosure should be about eighty degrees to encourage piranha movements. Many piranha owners employ additional water pump devices to prod piranhas to swim in opposition to the waves as in the River of the Amazon. The practice additionally promotes metabolism levels, stimulating eating habits.

For decoration, it’s preferable to keep the fish tank low lighted to encourage piranhas to venture into open water. Man-made fauna is recommended. Any rocks and synthetic centerpieces will need to be tightly fastened, seeing as strong piranhas will hurl pieces around, potentially breaking glass.

DIET

Piranhas’ diet consists completely of proteins. Living meaty rations such as non-fatty poultry or beef and fillets of fish may be administered daily or bidaily. Feeder comet fish are a non-expensive choice, but piranhas will dine on practically any variety of meat. Experiment to find what yours favor. Whatever you do, don’t leave your fingers in the water too long!

TANK MATES

Obviously piranhas are aggressive fish, which makes your choice of tank mates relatively slim. However, some other aggressive fish can co-exist with them. For example, tetras, cichlids, oscars, pleco catfish and pacus. These fish are by and large excellent defensive fish, while the plecos have tough outer shells and can grow to larger, intimidating sizes. Pacus resemble piranhas and will fight back. Tetras are quick and small with sensory instincts which allow them to stay clear of piranhas. Piranhas also aren’t likely to give chase to such speedy, small cohabitants. Cichlids may or may not coexist with piranhas; they have simply been known to team up against them to survive. Oscars are large and in charge and inexpensive to replace if they’re slurped by a fat red-belly.

As a rule of thumb, don’t introduce too many new experimental tank mates into your piranha tank. Add them one by one to see how they adapt. Whatever you do, don’t get too attached to them until you know they’re going to make it!

SUMMARY

We hope you’ve benefited from this informational piece regarding piranhas. Feel free to visit AquariumUniverse.com for more piranha aquarium information including photos and videos, additional guides and aquarium resources.

With a new aquarium, cycling your tank is the first and most important thing you need to do. This is the process in which your aquarium needs to establish good bacteria. When you first setup your aquarium it will be contaminated with bad bacteria. Before putting cichlid fish into the tank it is important that this bad (harmful) bacteria converts into good bacteria. The first stage of bacteria will break down ammonia into nitrites, and the second stage of bacteria will break down the nitrites into nitrates. Both ammonia and nitrites are harmful to your fish, but nitrates are not, as long as they are at a safe level (below 20ppm).

There are two ways to cycle your tank: with or without fish. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but most fish enthusiasts prefer to do a fishless cycle. Doing a fishless cycle (which I recommend) has many more advantages: it’s faster, easier, and avoids permanently harming fish. Plus, the water will be completely ready for fish once the cycle is finished.

Fishless Cycle

One effective way of doing a fishless cycle is to use media, gravel, sand, or decor from another (disease free) aquarium that already has good bacteria established. If you can’t find any of these materials, you can purchase bacteria in a bottle from your local fish store. Also, during this process I suggest raising the temperature in the aquarium to around 85 degrees, this allows for a faster chemical reaction.

Cycling with fish

If you decide to go the other route, then you will need hardy fish that can withstand these harmful water conditions; I suggest using either tetras or guppies. Cycling your tank with fish can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks for the nitrates to become established. You will need to do frequent water changes (20%) 3-4 times a week until the cycle is complete. Of course if you are doing a cichlid fish aquarium you will need to remove the starter fish before adding any cichlids to the tank.

Conclusion

Whichever method you chose, it is important to realize that this can be time-consuming (3-6 weeks), therefore patience is a virtue. It is also important to constantly test your water during this process to ensure that your tank is cycling properly. I recommend using a liquid test kit rather than the basic test strips. Make sure before you add sensitive fish, your nitrates are at, or below 20ppm.

If you’ve enjoyed this article by Tim Carter, you can visit his website at http://www.cichlid-fish.com for more information and tips on Cichlids.

Freshwater aquarium fish are just as lovely and relaxing as their saltwater cousins, but are much easier to take care of. While a freshwater tank still has to be kept clean and in the right pH range, there is no salinity to worry about.

Some freshwater aquarium fish are easy enough for a young child to take care of. The best fish are not so sensitive to water quality, and so they make a good, hardy species for the family to enjoy. These popular species are also coldwater fish, meaning the aquarium will not need a heater.

Goldfish

Without a doubt, goldfish are the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. If cared for well, a goldfish will live about six to eight years. People have bred the ones with bright orange scales for hundreds of years. They cost as little as 25 cents each and produce a lot of waste relative to their size; so changing the water in the fish tank frequently is important to the fish’s health.

Angelfish

Domestic angelfish originate from species native to the Amazon River. Their flat, triangular shape is rather uniform, but breeders have produced a range of colors and patterns in their scales. Some have delicate flowing tails and fins while some are more compact.

Angelfish are sometimes known to eat very small freshwater aquarium fish, but in general, if there is enough artificial fish food supplied, an angelfish will not turn on his tank mates.

Neon Tetra

Tetra are very small fish; domestic tetras rarely grow bigger than an inch. But neon tetras have a bright stripe along the sides of their tiny bodies, giving them a big visual impact. They swim in schools, making their colors even more obvious.

Tetras originally came from South American waters. Tetra generally should not be put in a tank with other freshwater aquarium fish because they are liable to be eaten or bullied. They can live up to ten years in a home aquarium.

Betta fish

Betta fish are actually a large family, comprising many members beyond the popular red “Siamese fighting fish”. Siamese fighting fish have elaborate fins in red trimmed in blue, purple or green. Fish keepers say a male betta fish should never be kept in a tank with another male as they will fight. In general, the beta fish needs to be paired with fish that are too big for him to attack and do not have large fins.

Freshwater aquarium algae are threats to aquatic life in a fish tank. Algae are remarkable when it comes to surviving and spreading through a tank and you will have to work diligintly to get rid of this problem. If unchecked the aquarium will become like a sewer system of toxic water and your fish will surely die. You can prevent this by knowing what you are seeing when there is a problem, and knowing exactly what to do about it. Your fish will seem more iritable when the problem starts but prevention is the best way to deal with this. You help prevent algae grownth in your tank to start, with a fresh water change every week. Algea cannot thrive when there is new water in the tank provided that you have done all of the other maintenance that you needed to.

Some algae species are edible like many of the seaweeds and they are sources of food in many parts of the world. There are hundreds of edible species and they are found to contain vitamins and minerals. They are also being processed as fertilizers and livestock feed. One branch of aquaculture is algaculture which is dedicated in the farming of algae. In freshwater aquariums, there are quite a number of algae and they survive through the nutrients in the water. In some cases freshwater aquarium algae serve as food for aquarium inhabitants like shrimps and snails but if their growth is not controlled, they could be a threat to other aquatic life.

Commonly found in new aquarium setups are the brown algae. They also flourish in low-light aquariums where phosphate level is high while the nitrogen is low. They are a slimy and soft algae that are found in the aquarium glass, in the substrate, and even in decorations. It has been observed that brown algae go away in the presence of strong lights but may still remain in shadowy areas of the tank. In contrast, the green spot algae thrive in aquariums with strong light. They appear as green spots on aquarium plants and the tank glass. This type of freshwater aquarium algae is hard and appears if phosphate and carbon dioxide levels are low.

The hair algae and thread algae appear as strings in the water. They grow in aquarium tanks if there are excess amounts of iron. They can easily be removed by twirling a toothbrush around them. Thread algae grows on leaves of plants and normally found on leaf edges and can reach lengths of 30 cm. Hair algae usually grow at the base of plants and all over substrate and sometimes on decoration. They have green-gray color and grow to about 4 cm. Most aquarists welcome hair algae because fish like Angels and Barbs consume them as supplements to their food. Freshwater aquarium shrimps like the caridina japonica consume the algae in the likes of the thread algae.

A kind of algae that enhance the look of a tank is the beard algae. Algea of this kind creates a carpet appearence of algea across the decor and plants in your aquarium like a carpet. Closer to light sources, they are created. They are soft and slippery and rapidly grow to a maximum of 3 cm. Beard algae need a stable constant light source and an lack of nutrient balance in your aquarium to get the perfect conditions they like. They are common in aquariums without plants and can be very difficult to remove manually. By putting fish in your tank that eat algea, you are instantly reducing the effect that algea can have on your tank which is a popular methed of control. Fish like the Rosy barbs, Siamese algae eaters, and Plecos would be a great help in reducing them. Before introducing them to the existing species in tank, make sure that they are compatible tank mates for the inhabitants presently in your tank. If they can not adapt to the present aquarium setup, they have little use in controlling the beard algae.

Freshwater aquarium algae in tiny patches add color and life to the aquatic ecosystem. Aside from serving as food for some aquatic life, they provide a sort of hiding place for fish fry. They are also good indicator that there is an imbalance in the system. They can show that there may be an excess of nutrients in the water. Excess nutrients may indicate that there is an overfeeding of fish and that an unhealthy plant is excreting some nutrients. Harm to certain plants and your fish are often indicated by the presence of algae and is often a sign to beware of danger in your tank.

The growth of freshwater aquarium algae depends on the existing conditions inside the tank. Three ways that algae can thrive in an enclosed ecosystem within your aqaurium. These necessities are water, light, and nutrients that are basic in all aquariums. Controlling these sources of life for algae is the major step in preventing them to grow and cause some damage. Light can be controlled by placing the aquarium far from the sunlight and artificial light must not be used more than eight hours per day. The light must also not be too bright and an automatic switch with a timer should be installed.

Aquarium fish eating habits are different in every species. In controlling phosphate levels that serve as food for algae, it is more practical to feed them with less than to overfeed. If fish have eaten and there are excess foods in the water, remove them immediately. Aside from removing floating wastes and excess foods in the water, changing part of the water will reduce the chances of phosphate and nitrate build up. Change at least 10 to 15% of the water once a week and scrape off any algae sticking on the glass at the same time. Testing the water from time to time is a good monitoring practice. You must stop algae grownth and you do this by destroying the perfect conditions that support their grownth in your tank

The popularity of Betta fish, also well-known as Siamese fighting fish, is because they are one of the most beautiful pet fish available nowadays.} Pretty much all Bettas have dazzlingly coloured scales and fins. Male fish are more brilliantly coloured by way of hues ranging from ruby to sapphire, and are more hard-hitting than their female counterparts. It is in addition accepted in a small amount of places to allow the Betta fish clash for bets.
They are frequently found in slow moving waters, and require warmer temperatures of water. This fact would also mean it is worth putting a heater in your tank to keep a temperature of at least 70 degrees to keep your Bettas comfy. In addition to their normal diet of flake foods, Betta fish will benefit from being fed insect larvae and small measure of insects.

Be sure to give your Bettas extra space to breathe and move about with their long flowing fins. They also need good amount of oxygen as these Betta fish are labyrinth, that is, they breath oxygen from air.

Additional Care Required

The fact Betta fish are violent in nature is well known. It wouldn’t be advised to have two male Betta fish together, or to add a new one along with an existing Betta fish. This might turn nasty if the stronger Betta fish start attacking, or biting the weaker ones. Care must be taken to segregate the attacking fish for the safety of the rest. If Two male Bettas do have to be added to one tank then it may be adviseable to add fish condos or mesh dividers to keep them apart. It is also better to keep the fish tank containing Betta fish covered when possible.