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How to plant aquarium plants

Aquarium plants come in three main forms - potted, bunched and invitro - and all should be prepared differently before planting. Potted plants have rootstock, usually grown in a rock wool base, and inside a slatted plastic pot. First, remove the plant from its plastic shipping packaging, then slide the plastic pot off and lie the plant on its side. Tease away the rock wool until the white pl...

What is the best external filter for aquariums?

new Eheim 5e external filter

External canister filters are the filter of choice for aquariums over three feet in length and combine mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to clear water and break down waste. They’re termed “external” because the pump and canister sit outside the aquarium, usually in a cabinet underneath, and the filter is connected to the tank via an inlet hose and an outlet hose. Standar...

How to insulate your pond in winter

Winter garden pond

Our pond fish are by their very nature coldwater, but although they can tolerate extended winter weather, it doesn’t mean to say it does them any good. As pond water cools the fish’s immune system becomes vulnerable, they eat less and stop growing, and any damage or infection takes a long time to repair. Koi keepers who show their fish want them to achieve maximum growth throughout s...

What eats flatworms in a reef tank?

Flatworms can be a pest in reef aquaria and if left alone they can multiply and reach plague proportions. Here’s how to control them.FishMany wrasses eat flatworms and of them, the sixline or pyjama wrasse is one the best. Its stays small is reef safe, cheap, and widely available. It doesn’t often jump out like many wrasses can and can be housed in smaller reefer tanks too. It’s als...

How to theme your aquarium – 4 great decor ideas for your tank

The most eye-catching and impactful aquatic displays are often the ones that follow a theme. Here’s some easy to create decor themes to make your tank look spectacular. Flooded forestFew tanks look more natural than one simply decorated with fine sand, wood and with brown, tea-stained water. “Blackwater” habitats are common around the world and many of the fish we keep from Car...

5 Essential fishkeeping items for Lockdown 2.0

Keep yourself and your fish safe this November with these essential items.FoodStock up on your favourite brand of fish food, but if you’re having to spend more time at home now is the time to feed treat foods, species-specific foods or to try another brand. Are all your fish getting fed exactly what they need or are they having to make do with an all in one flake food?Algae-based wa...

The best top, middle and bottom-dwelling tropical fish for aquariums

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

An effective community aquarium features fish of all colours, shapes and sizes, but where they swim in the tank matters too. Different species naturally inhabit different areas in the water column, as its where they’ve learned to survive in nature. Surface dwelling fish are first to any food that hits the surface like tiny insects falling from the tree canopy above. Bottom-dwelling fis...

How to set up a paludarium

A paludarium is a magical blend of aquarium and vivarium, where fish, amphibians, aquatic plants and terrestrial plants can all be brought together in a unique watery habitat. Paludariums are essentially half land, half water and can be achieved in a number of ways, either by half-filling an aquarium and providing rocks or wood above the surface that animals can hall out on. Or by investing in a ...

The six best marine fish for new reefkeepers

Selection of tropical fish

Choosing marine fish can be a minefield, with most of the desirable ones like puffers and butterflyfish being unsuitable for reef tanks. Here's the Swell UK Guide to the best marine fish to start your reef tank with.Six line wrasseThe six-line wrasse stays small, is hardy but also performs a useful task in the reef aquarium, eating pests like flatworms. Every reef tank needs a wrasse to k...

Which aquarium do I need for tropical fish?

Want to keep fish but are unsure which tank to go for? Get started the right way with the Swell Buyer’s guide to aquariums.SizeTanks range in size from just 20cm in length and 10 litres in volume to 150cm and over 400 litres in volume and larger. All are capable of keeping fish alive but a small tank will restrict the sorts of fish and the number, versus a bigger one. Decide on the sort...

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