Aquarium Advice

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How long should aquarium lights be on for?

There is a maximum of 12 hours of daylight on the equator so that’s the maximum length of time that any aquarium containing tropical fish should be lit for. Any more will cause algae.But it’s worth considering other factors that affect sunlight duration in nature. At dawn and dusk, the sun’s brightness is at its weakest so by utilizing controllable LED lighting you can simulate dawn an...

How to soften aquarium water

Lots of our aquarium fish naturally inhabit soft water in the wild, including Cardinal tetras, Angelfish, Discus, Rams, Clown loach and Pearl gourami. And most of the fish that come from the Amazon basin, peat swamps in South East Asia and rainforest streams in West Africa prefer it too. Soft water is water is which is low in calcium and magnesium. Rainwater is soft water and water only ...

How to aquascape a planted tank

Swell UK planted aquarium

Few freshwater aquariums look more stunning than a planted tank. But its the first few steps of setting it up that can make the difference between an average looking scape and a jaw-dropping Nature Aquarium.Start at the bottom by placing a deep layer of aquatic soil on the base of the tank. Aquascaping soil is soft for roots to bury into, holds nutrients to fertilise plants and holds rocks an...

What tropical fish will clean my tank?

Set up a tropical tank and sooner or later you’ll want some cleaners. The tank light will cause the glass and decor to go green and detritus (fish poo and uneaten food,) will start to build up in the gravel. But are there really fish that will clean your tank for you or is it a myth?There are thousands of fish species available and some of them do indeed graze on green algae as well as othe...

The 10 best dwarf cichlids for your aquarium

Dwarf cichlids have big characters for such small fish, and they’re suitable for tropical community tanks. Just keep it to one pair of dwarf cichlids per tank. Here are some of our favouritesRam, Mikrogeophagus ramireziRams are gorgeous yellow fish with pink, black and blue markings. They need warm, soft water and are ideal tank mates for cardinal tetras. The standard fish are called bl...

New years resolutions for fishkeepers

This year has been a big year for enjoying hobbies like fishkeeping. Here's how to take it up a level for next year.Get a bigger tankThere is nothing more liberating than moving your prized collection to a larger tank. Fish grow larger in bigger tanks and you can have more of them. It’s win-win!Get a second tankAlthough many fish will mix, some prefer different pH or temperature...

How to treat Whitespot disease in fish

Clown loach are prone to Whitespot

Whitespot is one of the easiest fish diseases to diagnose as just like its common name, it manifests itself as tiny white spots all over the fish. It’s most common in tropical fish although goldfish can also contract it, and Whitespot in marine fish is actually caused by a different parasite.Any tropical freshwater fish can get Whitespot at any time, although some species like Clown Loach ...

What should the pH level be in a tropical fish tank?

Tropical fish come from a range of pH levels in nature but most are happy in a pH of 7. 7 is classed as a neutral pH and is neither acid nor alkaline. Aim for a constant pH of 7 in your tropical aquarium and most popular tropical fish species should thrive. Exceptions are fish which naturally come from very acidic waters like Discus and Chocolate Gourami, or from alkaline waters like Lak...

What is a tankbuster?

Tankbuster is the term given to freshwater tropical fish which grow huge and outgrow their tanks. It’s also been known for big, powerful fish to actually break tanks, usually by thrashing rocks against the tank glass with their tales. Big fish can break glass heaters too. Tankbusters usually grow to a length of two feet or more, making them way too big for average aquariums, and requir...

Best algae eaters for a tropical fish tank

bristlenose catfish in an aquarium]

Noone likes a green, algae-filled tank, except for these guys that is! Here’s the Swell Guide to the best algae eaters for your aquarium.Bristlenose catfish, Ancistrus spp.Bristlenose catfish from the genus Ancistrus are brilliant all-round algae eaters. They don’t get too big like Common and Sailfin plecs do and the tank bred ones are hardy with regard to pH and temperature. They’l...

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