Aquarium Advice

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How to get nitrates down in an aquarium

Nitrates are the bane of many an established fishkeeper. But there are some quick and easy fixes. What is it?Nitrate is part of the Nitrogen cycle and is formed when ammonia is converted by bacteria. Nitrosomonas bacteria convert ammonia into nitrite, before Nitrospira convert nitrite (NO2) to nitrate (NO3). Nitrite and nitrate sound very similar and are often confused, but nitrite i...

How to clean aquarium sand

Aquariums are great when they’re clean, but they need frequent maintenance to keep them that way. Here’s how to clean the sand.Sand or gravel is often the first decoration you’ll place into your aquarium. Fish occur naturally over sand, gravel, silt, stones and rocks, and many species are adapted to sift sand to find food. It gets dirty quickly though.Sand siftersAdd sand si...

How to lower pH in your aquarium

What is pH?pH is a figure of measurement for acidity and alkalinity. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being very acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being very alkaline. Vinegar is a well known acid with a pH of 3, and bleach a well known alkali with a pH of 12. Most tropical fish live in waters with a pH between 6 and 8, although there are some notable exceptions. Chocolate gour...

Why is my fish tank water cloudy?

Cloudy water affects so many aquariums. Here are some of the things that cause it.New gravelThe most common cause of cloudy water in new fish tanks is the gravel. When aquarium gravel and sand is brand new it will contain some dust. All new gravel and sand should be washed vigorously in a bucket, with tap water, until the water runs clear. If gravel isn’t prewashed before being ad...

Why two 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 ...

Placing your aquarium

Correct placement is critical to getting a tank right from the start. Here’s a few pointers on aquarium placement.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’t compete or distract you, but in a place where you can sit comfortably in your favourite chair, and ob...

Everything you need to keep 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 it...

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’...

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...

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