All posts by Jeremy Gay

Jeremy Gay is an author, lifelong fishkeeper, and aquatic specialist. He's a former editor of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK editor at Reefbuilders, a former aquatic store manager, and has collected fish in Sri Lanka and the Amazon. He's been on tv and radio, contributed to Koi Carp and Gardeners World magazines, been a product tester, a judge, and a product developer. Jeremy is here to guide and advise you on all things tropical, pond and marine, from set-up to stocking, health, feeding to breeding, as well as solving many common fishkeeping problems along the way.
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Why you absolutely have to test your water

An aquarium or pond is a thing of beauty, and fish, plants and corals, a miracle of nature. But without testing the water that our aquatic creatures live in, it can all go horribly wrong…The basicsAll fish produce invisible waste products that they release into water, 24 hours per day. The key one that we test for is ammonia, emitted by fish via their gills, and when they go to the toil...

Why two fish nets are better than one

Catching fish can be really tricky. Here’s a few pointersEvery pond and aquarium owner should have a net, as you never know when you might need to catch your fish. If fish are sick or injured, and need to be moved to a hospital tank, you’ll need a net. If fish are fighting and you need to separate them, you’ll need a net.If you’re moving fish, stripping down a tank, or even remo...

Where to place your aquarium

Correct placement is critical to getting a tank right from the start. Where you place it can affect your safety as well as your enjoyment. It can even affect the fish too. Here are a few pointers on aquarium placement.Choose the right roomA correctly set-up aquarium is a thing of beauty, and should go pride of place in your living room. Place it away from the television, so that it doesn...

How to set up an aquarium for tropical fish

Starting from scratch with tropical fish? Here’s our guide to everything you need to get started, and why you need it.TankThe tank itself is of course, essential, but they come in many shapes and sizes, and cater for all tastes.As tempting as it is to go for a whacky shape, a standard rectangle is best for the following reasons:It has a large surface area in relation to its vo...

Pond surface skimmers explained

pond skimmer cleaning the surface of a pond

Surface skimmers are a very worthwhile addition to any pond filtration system. Whereas a typical pond pump only removes debris that sinks down to the bottom, a surface skimmer will remove any surface debris that won’t sink, aiding water quality, and improving viewing.Surface-skimmed water is healthier because any oils or residues are removed, meaning better gaseous exchange. Pollen, petals...

How a UV steriliser can benefit your aquarium

Two of the biggest problems any aquarium owner will face are fish disease and nuisance algae. Anything that helps to reduce or prevent both of those is a welcome addition to the aquarium cupboard, and an aquarium UV steriliser can do just that.UV stands for ultraviolet, and a special UV bulb emits light at 254 nanometres. At that wavelength, the light is damaging to our eyes (so it’s safely...

What you need to know about tropical fish foods

There is a plethora of fish foods available, and almost as many foods as there are fish. Here’s our handy guide on selecting the right food for your fish.Flake or pellet?The most popular fish food available is flake food. The vast majority of tropical fish will eat it, and it’s a complete diet, meaning that for many fish, if they had to, they could just eat flake every day for their e...

How to change from fluorescent to LED aquarium lighting

For decades, the most popular form of lighting available to aquarists were fluorescent tubes. In sizes such as T12 (1 ½” diameter) T8 (1” diameter,) and T5 (⅝” diameter) fluorescent tubes were highly effective at lighting fish, enhancing colours, and for growing plants or corals.But there is another way. LED.The good news is that fluorescent light tubes haven’t disappeared alt...

What you need to know about marine salt

The fundamental difference between freshwater and marine tanks is of course salt. If you’re new to keeping marines or are considering moving over to the salty side of the hobby, here’s everything you need to know. It’s not just any old salt!Salt is salt. Right? Not exactly. Salt as we know it is Sodium Chloride, NaCl, but the “salt” in the ocean is actually a chemical soup cont...

The eight best tropical fish for aquariums, and five to add with caution

With such a massive choice of fish which ones should you choose and which ones should you avoid? In this Swell Guide we recommend some of the most tropical fish to get you started.1. Zebra danioZebra danios, Danio rerio, are just about the hardiest tropical fish you’ll ever keep. They don’t mind if the water is hard or soft, still or flowing, warm or unheated, and they are the single ...

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