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How long should a UV light be on in an aquarium?

Selection of tropical fish

An aquarium UV steriliser should be switched on and running for 24 hours per day, every day. Exceptions would be setting the tank up before there are any fish in it, adding beneficial bacteria to the water, as UV light kills bacteria, or if you are using a medication that stipulates that UVs should be turned off.Some marine keepers like to run UV intermittently to allow phytoplankton and zoo...

What to feed corals in a reef tank

One of the greatest advances in reefkeeping in the last few years has been in nutrition. Photosynthetic corals get nutrition in two ways - via their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic zooxanthellae algae during the day time, and via their polyps at night time. And its advances in feeding the actual coral polyps, along with improvements in lighting, which has meant that corals can now feed...

How to keep your fish pond cool in summer

Hot weather can cause real problems for some pond fish and it’s in heatwaves and during warm, muggy nights that your fish are most likely to succumb. Coldwater fish have a higher oxygen demand than tropical fish, yet warm water holds less oxygen.So as your pond water warms up the problem becomes two-fold. The fish demand more oxygen as the heat increases their metabolic rates, yet the wate...

How to keep your tank cool this summer

The weather has been absolutely glorious, with May being the hottest since records began, but where does that leave your fish? Even tropical fish don’t like it too hot, and for the first time this week my tanks went over the temperature I set them to on their heaters. The perfect temperature for most tropical fish is 24C, and that’s what my heaters are set to. But on Sunday outdoor t...

How to control hair algae in a reef tank

Hair algae is the common name for the green filamentous algae that grows in reef tanks. Its most common in new aquariums where the surfaces are new, clean and bright, the system is fully mature, and there is a lack of algae-eating livestock.What causes hair algae in a reef tank?Hair algae is caused by bright light and nutrients like phosphate, and it will often grow on rocks first but can...

How to test alkalinity in a reef tank

Alkalinity, also known as KH, dKH or Carbonate Hardness is one of the most important parameters in a reef tank. Control KH and you will be well on the way to success as it is as important as salinity, and temperature.The KH in the oceans is 7-8 and when you mix up most saltwater that’s the KH you will start off with. Some Pro or Reef salt recipes have a higher KH to offer a degree of buffer...

How to get rid of blanketweed in a koi pond

Garden pond in spring

Blanketweed is a real pain, especially at this time of year as long daylight hours, warm water and fish waste fuel its growth. Its a type of filamentous algae which starts off growing on the sides of the pond and amongst plants, but in severe cases it can stretch right across ponds and all through the water like a giant green spiderweb, and can even trap fish, especially Sterlet and Sturgeon with...

How to clean an aquarium filter sponge

Cleaning a sponge should be the easiest of tasks, with few ways to get it wrong, but not if its an aquarium filter sponge. Unlike a sponge you would use to wash the car or clean the dishes, when in aquarium water a sponge colonises with beneficial bacteria that convert toxic fish waste (ammonia,) to less harmful substances. If a sponge is the only media in your filter its actually the li...

How many fish can I keep in my tank?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and one that we’ll attempt to answer here. But it is subject to many variables which need to be addressed first. Fish need food, water, oxygen and ammonia-free water in order to stay alive. Fish consume oxygen, lowering it, and release CO2 as they breathe, raising it. Low oxygen can kill fish as can high CO2 levels, so the surface are...

How to set up a nano reef tank

Getting into marines in a small way? Here’s how:TankTo be classed as a nano marine tank, it should be 50 litres or less, although bigger is always better for marine, and all tanks, even large ones, are nano when compared to the ocean. Bigger tanks are more stable when it comes to temperature and water conditions, and they enable you to keep more of the iconic reef fish.Tangs, for e...

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