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This is a great resource for answers, help, & advice to aquarium and pond questions not found elsewhere; With regular posts & article updates.
In our research; we use aquaculture, horticulture, medical, & university research to compile many of our articles.
Our Recommended Lighting for highest efficiency professional planted/reef aquariums: "AquaRay Lighting"
Aquarium Answers Index
Our newest articles are:
How to Treat Sick Fish
Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) in Fish
Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance
Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums
- How do Fish Drink, OSMOTIC FUNCTION- This article deals with the often forgotten yet very important subject of aquatic osmoregulation.
This is not only one of my more in depth and most updated articles this subject, but probably the most in depth anywhere on the Internet as well.
- Use of RO, DI, Softwater in Aquariums- An article dealing with the subject of RO (reverse osmosis), DI (de-ionized), or softwater for aquariums. This is a subject that has a lot of miss-understanding surrounding it. As well this article cover subjects such why soft water via a home water softener should NEVER be for aquarium
A companion article to the above "How do Fish Drink, OSMOTIC FUNCTION" article.
This is a MUST READ article if you are thinking of investing in one of these systems or use softwater in your home for your aquarium
- Reef Aquarium Chemistry Maintenance- This article looks into several methods for maintenance of reef aquarium chemistry.
The article focuses on calcium and alkalinity with a snapshot of minor/trace elements as well as the affect of methods on ionic balance upon reef chemistry such as increasing sodium.
- Hydrogen Sulfides- Hydrogen Sulfide production in anaerobic De-Nitrification for Aquarium/Pond Nitrate Removal.
- Salt in Freshwater Aquariums- The use of Sodium Chloride more commonly known as just plain salt seems to be a constant source of controversy among aquarists. This article deals with the known facts and myths about the use of salt in FW Aquariums.
- Aquarium Nitrates- Although less toxic than ammonia and nitrite; nitrate (NO3) as a nitrogen compound also causes stress at all levels making a fish’s organs work harder to adjust to it’s new environment, especially at levels higher than 100 ppm)
- Aquarium or Pond Bio-Load- This article looks at what the definition of an aquarium or pond bio load, As well this article examines what affects the bio load and its affects on water chemistry.
- TAP WATER USE IN AQUARIUM; From Chlorine and Chloramines to Phosphates -Regularly updated information about the use of tap water in aquariums as well as removal of toxic elements there in.
- AQUARIUM TEST KITS; use & importance- Aquarium/pond Test kit basics and what they should be used for as well as general water parameters to achieve with your test kits.
- Plaster of Paris in Ponds/ Aquariums- This article deals with poor chemical comparisons to mineral block (such as Wonder Shells) and Plaster of Paris (as perpetuated in some backward forum posts). Also the article contrasts the chemical composition of the ocean.
AQUARIUM DISEASES, TREATMENTS AND SIMILAR
- How To Treat Sick Fish- An article any fish keeper should read FIRST!.
The purpose of this article is not to provide any specific treatment regimen for the readers fish, rather to provide an outline that will provide a better chance for success over the typical "my fish are sick and what medications & how much should I dump into my aquarium" question.
- Fin/Tail Rot; Treatment and Prevention in Bettas & ALL Fish (including Arowanas)- "Fin Rot" is a generic term that does not define any one disease, rather there are many causes of this Symptom; of which Fin Rot is better described as a symptom with more than one cause.
This is a practical article for ANY fish one considers to have "Fin Rot" regardless of whether or not the fish is a Betta.
- TB in Fish; Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
A look a rare but deadly and frustrating infection of fish; Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
CLEAR Identification, treatment, & prevention is given, as well as some excellent resources for further information.
- Fish Eye Infections; Streptococcus Gram Positive Bacterial Infections in Aquarium -As well as common eye infections, This article deal with the most common gram positive bacterial infection affecting fish; Streptococcus iniae, and agalactiae as well as closely related bacterial groups; Lactococcus, Enterococcus , and Vagococcus.
- Fish Baths, Dips, Swabs- Fish Baths/Dips for supplemental (& even primary) treatment of Bacterial infections, wounds, sores, Fungus (Saprolegnia), parasite infestations, poisoning & more.
- HITH; Hole in the Head Disease in Fish- Information that is regularly updated about this often controversial disease/syndrome that afflicts Cichlids in particular.
- Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) in Fish - Similar to Ichthyophonus in fish symptoms and similar in that this is spread in cooler waters.
- Ichthyophonus in fish- Ichthyophonus (Ichthyphonus) fungi are one of the more devastating aquarium diseases. It is nearly impossible to treat, however it is easier to prevent.
- Whirling Disease (Myxobolus cerebralis) in Fish- Similar symptoms to the symptoms of Ichthyophonus (Ichthyphonus) fungi.
Whirling disease is a disease of freshwater fish caused by the myxozoan parasite Myxobolus cerebralis. This infection/infestation is most commonly found in the wild found in the salmonid family of fish.
What is noteworthy mostly for prevention is that the parasite has two hosts — the fish itself and a freshwater oligochaete worm, popularly known as the Tubifex tubifex..
- Fish Parasites, Detritus Worms, Anchor Worms - Information about Trematodes, Nematodes, & Anchor Worms in Fish as well as Detritus Worms, planaria, and feeding worms such as Grindal Worms.
- Angelfish Virus, Aids- Although not as common as in the 1990s, this viral infection can devastate an angelfish population (& potentially other fish).
- NEON TETRA DISEASE; Identification, Prevention and Possible Treatment -Information about a fish disease that is often is often a catch all name for diseases of Neon Tetras specifically and many other fish as well.
- FRESHWATER VELVET (Piscinoodinium pillulare) & Costia (Ichtyobodo)- Identification, Prevention, and Treatment of these two somewhat less common diseases.
- Molly Disease, Livebearer, Disease, Shimmies- Cause and treatment of this common problem that is not technically a disease, rather is caused by poor water chemistry.
- Lateral Line in Fish - Information about Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE) which affects primarily marine fish.
- DROPSY in Fish -prevention, causes, and possible treatment of this malady that is often a symptom of other problems.
- Fish Anatomy, Fin Identification- This Aquarium Answers Post is simply for Fish Fin and Fish Anatomy identification.
- Molly Disease, Care of Mollies- Molly Disease ("Shimmies") as well as basics and water parameters for Keeping the popular molly fish in aquariums, including the importance of GH of salt.
- USNEA; USING USNIC ACID AS A FISH REMEDY -How Usnic acid and Mucilage which are both found in Usnea lichen can be used as effective alternative aquarium and pond fish treatments.
AQUARIUM FILTER MEDIA, CONDITIONERS, SIMILAR
- Aquarium & Pond Filter Media- In this article I will discus three basic filter media types and subtypes of these.
These filter media types are Mechanical (such as Micron), Biological (Such as Ceramic Bio Media), and Chemical (such as Carbon).
- AQUARIUM (& Pond) WATER CONDITIONERS - their ingredients (where available), what chemical functions they perform and uses based on my opinions of each based on using these products in a professional capacity as well as tests and available research.
- Activated Carbon for Aquarium or Pond- The pros and cons of carbon use; what carbon can and cannot remove and much more.
AQUARIUM & POND FILTERS, PUMPS, LIGHTING & OTHER EQUIPMENT
- PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting
PUR stands for Photosynthetically Useable Radiation. It is also known as "useful light energy". This is more important for determining your aquarium light source than PAR.
- Lighting Theory of a Planted Aquarium- RQE, PFY, PAS, & PUR The debate of what light energy is "useable" for plant photosynthesis or what's Photosynthesically Usable Radiation for planted and coral aquariums.
- HEAD PRESSURE in Aquarium and Pond Water Pumps
An in depth article explaining the affect of head pressure on water flow in aquariums and ponds. This is a must read for those attempting to determine the best fit for their UV Sterilizer, water features, and over all water flow scheme for their aquarium or pond.
- Marine (Saltwater) Aquarium Protein Skimmers & Ozone Generators- Useful opinions about Protein Skimmers & Ozonizers based on my use and other aquarium maintenance professionals experience.
This article is based on "hands-on experience".
- Aquarium and Pond Pump, Power Head Review- Useful opinions about pumps (power head, propeller, etc.) based on mine and other aquarium maintenance professionals experience.
This article is based on "hands-on experience", however it is still a more subjective article as with the article above
- AQUARIUM HEATERS- Types of Aquarium Heaters, how they work, temperature guide for selecting heaters, as well general care/information.
- POND VEGGIE (PLANT FILTERS)- The Basic types of Veggie Filters and how to install them, based on many years experience using this method (long before it became a fad).
- Do Bio Wheels Really Work- An excellent fact based study of the often over hyped Bio Wheel used for biological aquarium filtration.
FISH CARE, HELP, BASICS, ALGAE & MORE
- Basics of Shipping Fish- Tips and basics about shipping, Problems to be aware of, Methods and products.
- Aquarium Size, Fish Stunting- This article deals with often controversial subject where anecdotal information is most often treated as facts, such as the 1 inch per gallon rule. Regularly updated!
- Aquarium Moving/ Power Failures- Opinions and methods for Aquarium moving based o many years experience moving aquariums both short and long distance. This article has some information in common with the Fish Shipping article.
- AQUARIUM ALGAE; Removal, Control- Information about these algae: Brown Diatom Algae, Common Green Algae, Thread/ Hair Algae, Marine Hair Algae, BBA/Black Brush Algae/Black Beard Algae/Red Algae, Cyanobacteria (Blue Green Algae).
- Blue Green Algae in Aquariums (Cyanobacteria)- more in depth information that is regularly updated about Cyanobacteria.
Not to be confused with Spirulina Algae such as found in Spirulina 20
- Betta Fish Wild Habitat & More - information about the natural habitat of the common Bettas and how it can relate to their care domestically.
- SEXING FISH -Basic information about sexing some freshwater fish for beginners (not an article for experts.
- STARFISH; Chocolate Chip, Knobby and Fromia.
- Octopus as Aquarium Pets
- Cyclops, Are these freshwater copepods dangerous in an Aquarium- Information about Cyclops and also Predatory Damselfly larvae that occasionally find their way into aquariums and especially ponds.
GENERAL AQUARIUM/ POND CARE INFORMATION
- AQUARIUM SILICONE APPLICATION; Aquarium Repair, Construction- What Silicone to use and what not to use; Also DIY Aquarium Glass Thickness recommendations, repair video, and more.
- Aquarium Gravel/Substrate; including pictures - Aquatic substrate recommendations/basics.
As I also note at Aquarium & Pond Information although some of these articles/posts are more basic in nature, many are more in depth and require a thorough reading to fully understand and picking out snips without reading the full article may yield incomplete information.
A little background; when I first started writing these articles for the internet (something many of my clients asked for years), I made them VERY basic.
My early feedback was rather harsh as many said it was "nothing special", then some who knew me better said that although they were still better than many in content due to less anecdotal information, they did not come close to the delivering the information they knew I could and that my constant research should be reflected.
Many experts in SEO told me similar as well. So now, although some of the articles are still more basic and not all that unique, most however will have well researched information you will not find elsewhere in one location and this information is only best understood when read in full.
I will make my point as to why I feel it is so important that these articles be read in full and not in snips which can result in anecdotal or poor information dissemination;
"In the 1980s I was mentored by an Endocrinologist (MD) whom was also an avid fish keeper (mostly marine). He helped me much understand the ins and outs of medications and one time gave me an in depth medical article that he though had useful information that could be applied to fish as well. Much of the information was not readily easy to understand for me, so I skipped over many sections and gleaned the points I wanted.
Later I was making some points to the Dr. and he stopped me and said I was incorrect and if I had read the article in full, to which I replied, 'no'. He then said that there is no way I could understand this article without reading it in full and applying ALL the information contained there in".
My point is, often it is easy and unfortunately ALL too common in this hobby to read just what we want, and many web sites (such as about.com) are good at satisfying this basically lazy desire (of which I too have been guilty of), however this often leads to poor understandings of the subject or worse.
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Other Recommended Reference/Product Sites
The article below is a MUST READ for anyone interested in moving from basic aquarium keeping to more advanced aquarium keeping, including better improved Redox Balance:
Aquarium & Pond 'TRUE' UV Sterilizer Use
Freshwater Aquarium Care
Aquarium Light Information
This is THE article for in-depth, researched, and regularly updated information on the subject of aquarium lighting; a MUST READ!
POND CARE INFORMATION; for a "Clear Pond"
FISH AS PETS AQUATIC NEWS
Fish as Pets with articles & commentary of Interest to the Aquarium Hobby
Including these MUST READ articles:
*PUR or RQE, YouTube Video Fail- Guide to lighting a planted tank
*Common Aquarium Keeping Myths
*EcoTech Radion Versus TMC Aqua Ray HO LED Aquarium Lights
*Reef Central; Aquarium UV Sterilizer Hall of Shame