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Friday, October 24, 2008

Aquarium Filters - What Types Of Filters Can I Buy?

By Jamie Boyle

With any new aquarium set up, you going to need to have a good aquarium filter on your tank to help keep it clean. Aquarium filters not only keep your water clean but it keeps the water safe for fish to live. A good way to look at it is that your aquarium filter is the engine of your tank set up much like a car. Without an engine the car won't run. Well if the filter doesn't run everything else in your aquarium can fail and you could possibly lose your fish. Your filter is basically the heart of your aquarium and you need to make sure you have excellent filtration to make sure your fish have a healthy and safe home.

What Type Of Aquarium Filters Are There?

For aquariums there are basically 3 types of aquarium filters you can choose from:

1. Outside Power Filters
2. Undergravel Filters
3. Canister Filters

Each of these above mentioned aquarium filtration systems all work great and each has there own unique advantages.

Outside power filters are ones I like to use on my aquariums. They are easy access and works great at keeping my water crystal clear. Outside power filters are the ones that hang on the outside of your aquarium. How they work is that they have a motor in which it draws water from your aquarium through a tube to inside your filter which contain filter media. Here is where all the dirt, debris, fish feces are the trapped inside in which your beneficial bacteria will begin to grow and break down harmful ammonia and other dissolved gases. I have been using these types of aquarium filters for years and have had great results with fish keeping. A good one I recommend is AquaClear Filters by Hagen, they come in a variety of sizes suitable for all tank sizes and shapes.

Undergravel filters is another way that aquarium owners can lean towards. The term "undergravel filters" explains it all. Your aquarium gravel acts as your filtration system. These filtration systems are operated by an air pump that ends up drawing water through the gravel at the bottom of your tank. Unlike outside power filters which contain ammonia bags, carbon and sponges to trap solids and grow beneficial bacteria on the gravel is your filter media. In amongst the rocks is where fish waste will be trapped and begin to be broken down by beneficial bacteria colonies that are growing. The only thing that people need to remember just like cleaning aquarium filters like the filter media is you need to clean your aquarium gravel regularly. This is your filter media so make sure it is clean and working efficiently.

Canister filters is another choice that aquarium owners can buy for filtration. These aquarium filters work excellent but they cost more then other types of aquarium filters. The good thing with canister filters is that if you have a cabinet or tank stand with doors you can easily hide it tucked away from being seen. The cost of these filters may be more but if you want less maintenance it will be worth the investment. My brother has used these for years with his tropical fish including Oscars, Pacus and Jack Dempseys. This is one filter he highly recommended for people getting into the aquarium hobby.

All these above types of aquarium filters all work but with anything in life you need to decide what types of budget your allowing yourself for this hobby. Decide what you want to spend and buy the aquarium filter that best suits you and your tank. If your a beginner and not sure if your going to enjoy taking care of an aquarium then why go out and spend a lot of money on the top of the line filtration system. It could be a waste of money just to find out that it's not something you enjoy. If your serious about the aquarium hobby then I would suggest buying the canister aquarium filters. This aquarium filter would be your best option and will keep your aquarium looking great. Hope this information helps you and good luck at shopping for your new aquarium filter.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How To Set Up Your New Aquarium

By Jamie Boyle

Now that your done choosing your new aquarium you can now learn how to set up your aquarium. Here I will give you a complete guide on what you should do in step by step format in setting up your new fish tank.

Setting Up Your New Aquarium Fish Tank

1. Find the right spot for your aquarium which should try not to be right in front of windows which can cause algae problems to occur.

2. Place your aquarium stand in the spot where your fish tank will be. Check to see that your floor is level as you may need to make some adjustments so the water won't go to one side when filling your aquarium.

3. Now that you've found the right spot for you new aquarium, placed your aquarium stand in the right spot, now pick up and place your tank on the stand. Re-check to make sure level.

4. If your going to be putting up a background picture on the back of your aquarium now is the time to do it. The background pictures can be purchased at any local pet store and is usually sold by the foot. Attach the picture to your aquarium.

5. Clean the inside of your aquarium to make sure no harmful residue that could have gotten inside the tank while at the store. Give it a good rinse with cold water. Some people suggest using water and baking soda to clean your tank. Never use household chemicals on your aquarium ever, it can kill your fish.

6. Now your aquarium is all cleaned you will need to add aquarium gravel to your tank. Rinse the aquarium gravel.

7. Place the gravel inside your aquarium.

8. Now fill your your tank with freshwater almost to the top of the aquarium.

9. Install the aquarium filter. You can get a canister filter or you can use one that attaches to the back of your aquarium. The AquaClear filter systems work pretty good and easy to clean.

10. Now that your filter is hooked up and running you will need an aquarium pump to add oxygen to the water. Oxygen helps everything in an aquarium. You may want to get some extra airline tubing and a 3 or 4 way splitter or valves to have bubbles coming up in various places in your tank, especially if your going to add aquarium ornaments.

11. If your keeping tropical fish in your aquarium you will need to hook up your aquarium heater to your tank. Please adjust temperature to the proper temperature that the fish species prefer that you will be adding to your new tank.

12. Now that your equipment is hooked up now you can look at decorating your aquarium. Add some aquarium ornaments, rocks, lava stone and even add some artificial aquarium plants or some live aquarium plants as well. Live plants for an aquarium are the best as they help filter the water as well taken away harmful toxins from the water and making them grow. Place them where you want and consider adding some aquarium driftwood to give your aquarium a natural look.

13. Now that you have most everything complete add the aquarium light or canopy onto your tank. If you will have live plants in your aquarium you will need a grow bulb specifically for plants.

14. The last thing you will need to do is add the proper water treatments to the water to make it safe for your fish. Add some AquaPlus conditioner to the water to remove heavy metals and take away the chlorine from the water. Also add some beneficial bacteria to your tank. This will get the nitrogen cycle to begin working and help get some beneficial bacteria to start colonies on filter media and rocks.

15. Now that all is done you can begin adding fish to your aquarium. Start off small don't buy a ton of fish at once. You will need to buy one or two so that your aquarium cycle can slowly start to begin. Once your aquarium becomes established and the nitrogen cycle working effectively you can slowly add more fish to your aquarium.

Remember never over stock an aquarium! Overcrowding fish tanks causes stress in fish, bad water quality and fish diseases to occur. Low numbers, proper aquarium maintenance and properly working equipment will lead to a healthy aquarium and safe for fish. Now that your done setting up your aquarium, you can now enjoy the hobby!


Jamie Boyle
The Goldfish Guy

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Choosing An Aquarium For You

By Jamie Boyle

When getting into the aquarium hobby, you need to buy and choose the right aquarium for you. People need to think of their budget and what they can afford and also the size and space available for your new aquarium. The aquarium or fish tank is where your fish will be living. A good suggestion for new aquarium hobby seekers is to buy a small tank and see if you like it. Grow with your hobby and see if you like it then invest later on into a bigger aquarium.

Now when buying an aquarium you need to think ahead of yourself. You need to know where you will be placing your aquarium, you will need a stand strong enough to support the weight of the tank and the water in it. Water is really heavy, you need something to be able to support it. You will also need a light and other aquarium equipment such as filters and air pumps. The bigger the aquarium you choose the bigger aquarium filters and aquarium pumps you will need. Think of this before and don't be pushed into spending more then you can afford at pet stores, sometimes going smaller and seeing if you like it is the best thing you can do. Some aquarium packs that include all your accessories, pump, filter, hosing, aquarium gravel etc.. which also includes an aquarium stand can cost a $1000 or more. It would be a shame spending that much money and in turn not like it. Start off small first and grow with your hobby as you learn to enjoy it and you gain more knowledge and information in the hobby.

Once you've done choosing the right aquarium for you now you can learn how to set up your new aquarium. That's the fun part as you get everything all set up for you new goldfish or koi or tropical fish that you will be adding to it. Kids love fish and they will enjoy it too so make it a family event setting up your new tank they will love it.


Jamie Boyle
The Goldfish and Aquarium Guy