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Planted Pefection

Don Matakis

Love the look, but think planted aquariums are more than you can manage? Converting to live plants may not be as difficult as you think.

Freshwater Aquariums Spotlight10

Feeding the Little Guys

Wednesday April 16, 2014

It's exciting whenever a fish owner discovers they have newborn fry, whether it was by intent or by accident. However, the real challenge now begins - how to feed the little guys? Conventional foods are not only too large, but often lack the requisite nutrition that fish fry need to grow properly. As a result, many young fry are lost, due to lack of the proper food. It's ideal if you can plan ahead, but even if you can't, this primer on feeding fry will help you get through those critical first few weeks.

More About Feeding Fish
Choosing Fish Foods
How To Make Fry Food
Nutrition 101
Prepared Fry Foods
What is Infusoria?

Photo Open Cage

Rocks For Aquariums

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Now that winter is finally on its way out, many of us are spending more time outside. If you are like me, you may have noticed some interesting looking rocks that you would love to put in your aquarium. Not only are they as attractive as those in the store, but the price is right. Why pay a premium price for something you can get by the side of the road for free?

While you can often use rocks from the great outdoors, it's important to be aware that anything you put in your aquarium can impact the water chemistry. Unless the rocks come with a tag that says they are aquarium safe, you'd better test them before tossing them in your tank. How do you test rocks? Here are my tips for how to sort out the good rocks from the bad ones.

Have you used rocks from the great outdoors? Share your rock story with the us.

Related Topics
Substrate For Planted Tanks
Replacing Aquarium Gravel
How To Wash Gravel
Is Gravel Necessary?

Photo Shirlie L Sharpe

Hardy Danios

Monday April 14, 2014


Whenever I'm asked which fish are particularly hardy, a number of fish come to mind. Quite a few of them are Danio species, and with good reason. Danios usually don't mind cool water, so they are great for unheated tanks. They play well with most other species, will eat virtually anything they are given, and tolerate a wide range of habitats. Some are small enough to be kept in mini tanks, but as a rule, Danios are best kept in schools. In a large tank, a school of Danios can be a stunning display. For those just starting a new aquarium, most Danios make an excellent first fish.

Related Reading
Good First Fish
Common Aquarium Mistakes
Schooling Fish

Photo Jubs

Do Phosphates Matter?

Sunday April 13, 2014
Phosphate Filter Pad
Every aquarium has some phosphate (PO4) in the water, even though you can't see it. Should you be concerned about the amount of phosphate in your aquarium water? And where does it come from in the first place? Will it change over time? Those are all good questions.

Depending on the water source, it's possible to have a fair amount of phosphate from the get go. Once the tank is running, those levels can rise. Everything from uneaten fish food to fish waste to water additives can increase the phosphate levels in your aquarium water. Over time phosphate levels can rise enough to contribute to algae growth. Here is how to avoid phosphates, and reduce them if they get too high.

Related Reading
Aquarium Algae
Phosphate Control Additives
Phosphate Control Media
Phosphate Testing

Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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