All posts by Jeremy Gay

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Jeremy Gay is an author and freelance aquatic specialist. A former editor of Practical Fishkeeping magazine, he offers a wealth of experience on all things aquarium and pond.
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How to clean a pond without draining it

Pond cleaning is an unenviable task, but it needs doing. If you don’t clean a pond it will fill up with leaves and debris, and plants and algae may overgrow. Sediment filled ponds suffer from low oxygen levels and if dirt gets disturbed nuisance algae will be fuelled. The temptation is to strip the pond completely, but stripping it will do more harm than good. Use the right tools and you’ll b...

What temperature should a tropical aquarium be?

We often divide freshwater fish into two types - tropical and coldwater, but what defines a tropical fish, and what temperature is tropical?If you take the oceans, Tropical is determined when water temperatures are above 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) year-round. Temperate refers to waters which are typically 10-20C, 50-68F year-round, and below 10C,50F year-round is referred to as polar....

How to get crystal clear aquarium water

Crystal clear, healthy-looking water is the aim of virtually every aquarium owner. We are drawn to clear water as a species, we like to live next to it, swim in it, and of course, drink it.But if not properly maintained aquarium water can quickly become cloudy, full of algae and discoloured. Dirty aquariums are one of the biggest reasons why people give up fishkeeping, so by keeping your tank...

How to set up a planted aquarium without CO2

Swell UK planted aquarium

Planted tanks can be some of the most beautiful aquariums, and live aquatic plants can benefit fish too. Plants definitely grow better with the addition of CO2, but some plants don’t need additional CO2 at all. A thriving, healthy planted aquarium can be created without CO2, as long as you choose the right plants, and light it accordingly.It's all about energyPlanted tanks can be divide...

How to lower GH in your aquarium

GH is an abbreviation for General Hardness, and it's a reference to how hard or soft your water is. If freshwater contains lots of dissolved minerals it is described as hard, and if it is low in minerals or devoid of minerals altogether it is known as soft.Seawater contains huge amounts of dissolved minerals, so is always hard. Reverse Osmosis water has been stripped of minerals, so is always...

How to change the aquarium filter without losing bacteria

Goldfish

Filters and bacteria are the life support systems for aquariums. Filters trap physical waste and oxygenate water by agitating it. Beneficial bacteria then develop within the biological section of the filter, and break down harmful fish waste. It's actually the bacteria that keep fish alive, by first converting ammonia, then nitrite to nitrate. Without bacteria conventional aquariums would not be ...

How to get rid of Black Beard Algae (BBA)

Black beard algae (BBA) is a horrible, tenacious algae which is unsightly and hard to get rid of. It typically grows on the edges of the leaves of slow-growing plants like Anubias and Java fern, and once on the leaf, it’s difficult to eradicate it completely. It grows on rocks and bogwood too.Black beard algae may be caused by a number of factors including too much light, no CO2 or fluctuat...

How to raise pH in aquarium water

The pH of freshwater varies around the world, and most fish have adapted to live and breed in a narrow band of pH values. Some fish prefer low pH, some neutral, and some high, and if your fish need a high pH, like Lake Tanganyika cichlids, you need to know how to raise it, if it’s too low.Test firstThe first thing you need to do is establish the pH in your tank, and in your tap water. D...

How to clear green pond water

green pond water

What is green water?Green water is made up of millions of tiny algae cells all floating around in the water. They are green because of the chloroplasts inside them which photosynthesize and turn sunlight into energy. Just like plants.What causes green water?Spores are probably airborne, but any body of water can turn green if there are sufficient light and nutrients. In the garden pon...

How to make a wildlife pond

Wildlife ponds are one of the most important additions to any garden. Here’s how to build one.A wildlife pond doesn’t have to be large or complicated - it’s just the fact that you have one that’s important. Ponds are oases for birds, animals and insects, and as soon as you build one, they will come. Having water in the garden is relaxing, adds to its beauty and is doing your part for ...

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