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The Swell guide to brackish fish

Mudskipper, Periopthalmus sp.

Brackish fish are some of the most well known, distinctive, characterful fish available and include species like Archerfish which can spit jets of water at insects in the trees above, Mudskippers which can crawl onto land, and many species of pufferfish. A brackish aquarium can be easy to set up and run and is guaranteed to be the talking point of your home. What does brackish mean?B...

How to manage KH in a marine aquarium

Swell UK Marine Coral Advice

KH is probably the most important water quality parameter after salinity and temperature. More important maybe, than Phosphate. Corals can survive a wide range of Phosphate levels but if the KH is too low for a prolonged period, all aquarium corals will die.KH is also known as Carbonate Hardness or Alkalinity, and its the parameter which can alter the most on a daily basis. Corals use Carbon...

What sorts of fish can live in an outside pond?

Koi carp

There are around a dozen species of fish which suit the UK climate year-round and are legal to be kept in our ponds. Of all of them, goldfish and goldfish varieties like shubunkins and Sarasa comets are the best for most ponds because they are cheap, hardy, colourful and don’t grow too large. If you have a large pond then Koi Carp and Golden Orfe are suitable too and will reward you with rapid ...

Don’t want a heater? Set up a tank for temperate fish

Swell UK Common Fish Diseases

Think of an unheated, coldwater aquarium and you may be forgiven for thinking that your fish choice is limited to goldfish. But there are dozens of readily available tropical freshwater fish that actually prefer their tanks on the cooler side and are better suited to our modern tanks and lifestyles. You don’t need a heater for them, and you will have a tropical-looking aquarium.The trouble ...

Which test kits do I need for my tank?

Honey gourami

All tropical, coldwater and marine aquariums should be tested for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. We use these test kits to tell us if there are beneficial bacteria present in the system, if it’s converting fish waste into less harmful substances, and if the water is safe for our fish. We test the pH too, but its often less life-critical to fish than ammonia.The four most important tests can...

How to start your first marine aquarium

So you want to keep marines but you don’t know where to start? The first place to start is with the aquarium itself. How big can you go? And what do you want to ultimately achieve? Do you just want a Nemo or do you want to recreate that holiday you went on and build a dazzling living reef in your own home? Both are possible but you need the right tool for the right job. Marine tank siz...

The Swell guide to loaches

The Yoyo loach, Almora loach or Pakistani loach, Botia almorhae

Loaches are a diverse group of popular aquarium fish that naturally inhabit tropical, temperate and cold freshwaters. Although some look superficially similar to catfish with those whisker-like barbles, they are actually part of the order Cypriniformes and are related to barbs, rasboras, danios and carp.They are often added to aquariums to provide movement on the bottom of the tank and to cle...

When should I start to feed Wheatgerm?

pond stick fish food

Autumn is upon us so its time to start thinking about preparing the pond for the colder months. Use a pond thermometer to monitor the water temperature as it will be different from the air temperature because it warms and cools more slowly. Stop feeding high protein growth feeds when the water temperature hits 15℃ and below, and from 15 -10℃ switch back to a staple diet. When the water t...

How to get really clear pond water

pone with clear water

The ultimate aim for any fish pond owner is to be able to view and enjoy their fish. Here’s the Swell UK guide to getting gin-clear pond water.Fit a UV ClarifierUltra Violet Clarifiers are purpose-built to destroy the unicellular algae that cause green water in ponds. You cannot overdo the amount of UV you have on a pond but you can underdo it, and have a too high a flowrate for it to b...

How to aquascape a marine aquarium

An effective aquascape is key to a successful reef tank, as it dictates water flow in around the corals, as well as providing them with places to be anchored. Get the rockwork right, populate with corals and it can look spectacular. We used to use predominantly live rock to aquascape marine aquariums. Live rock is taken from the oceans and brings with it lots of calcareous algae, bacteri...

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