Which Aquarium Filter Is Best For You?
by Lee Dobbins
Having a good aquarium filter is vital for the health of your tropical fish and to have a crystal-clear tank that you enjoy looking at. Without filtration, your fish would quickly die as the water would build up with ammonia from their waste and uneaten food. This ammonia becomes toxic to your fish so you need to provide them with a healthy clean environment and ammonia free water which has been filtered properly.
There are basically three types of filters that one uses in a home aquarium, power filters, under gravel filters and canister filters. Some people even use more than one kind in a single aquarium. the type of filter that is best for you depends on the size of aquarium you have and whether it is saltwater or freshwater.
Under gravel aquarium filters are a great choice for tanks that are 40 gallons and under. These filters are nothing more than a plastic slotted piece that goes in the very bottom of your tank underneath the gravel or substrate and tubes that run up the side. The under gravel filter is a biological filter that pulls the water through the gravel and then returns it at the top of the tank. the problem with these is that the fish waste also tends to get sucked down into the gravel and you really need to vacuum it pretty frequently. They also can get clogged (although I had one for many years and it never did) and they are not recommended If you want to have aquarium plants. On the other hand, they are quite low-maintenance as they do not have any filters or cartridges to change and unless you have a problem they pretty much run unattended.
Power filters are the most common home aquarium filters and most people will recognize these as the ones that hang off the back of the tank. They are a great choice for mechanical filtration and tanks that are under 55 gallons. these filters usually hang on outside of the tank and have it to him that runs down into the water and a pump that sucks the water up into the unit filtering it through some kind of a cartridge. Most of them also have either a carbon cartridge to provide chemical filtration, or some kind of a by a wheel or sponge that provides biological filtration. Many aquarists combine the power filter with the under gravel filter to get the best of both worlds and crystal-clear aquarium water. More...
Brighten Your Fishes Day With The Right Aquarium Light
by Lee Dobbins
Having the right aquarium light in your fish tank is important not only to be able to look in and see beautiful tank but also for the well-being of your fish in any living plants that you have in the aquarium. Both your tropical fish and plants will benefit from an environment that this simulates their natural environment and will do best with 12 hours of flight a day. You might want to consider putting the tank lights on a timer so that the lighting can be as consistent as possible.
Chances are when you bought your aquarium it came with a hood and a light. While this lighting is probably adequate in the beginning, as your fish keeping skills progress you may want to consider other types of lighting especially if you want to have live plants in your tank. No matter what lighting you choose, you should easily be able to replace the bulb in your hood so that you do not have to buy a whole new hood unit should you decide to get a different kind of lighting or if you're aquarium light simply burns out.
There are three types of lighting generally used in freshwater aquariums - regular fluorescent, incandescent in full spectrum lighting. Saltwater fish tanks might require additional lighting considerations especially if you have live corals or live rocks in the tank as these do well with fluorescent lighting but need much more than regular freshwater aquariums so you may want to be sure you have room for two tubes in your hood if you are setting up a saltwater aquarium and plan to have rock or coral. More...
Getting The Right Aquarium Heater For Your Tropical Fish Tank
by Lee Dobbins
A key piece of equipment necessary in every tropical fish tank is the aquarium heater. Tropical fish are used to warm temperatures in many species will not survive unless a heater is president in the aquarium to warm the water up to their native temperatures.
When choosing a heater for your fish tank, it's important to get a good reliable unit since fluctuations in temperature can be fatal to fish. You'll need to about 5 Watts of heater or for each gallon of aquarium water so a 20 gallon aquarium would need a 100 Watt heater. for large aquariums it's better to divide up the load and have a heater on each side of the tank so that the water heats up evenly. If you keep your room really cold, you might want a higher wattage heater since it will have to do more work to keep the water temperature between the 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit that most tropical fish prefer.
There are two kinds of aquarium heaters to consider, the submersible heaters and the hang on heaters. to hang on heaters are named such because they hang on the side of the tank. The entire heating unit does not go underwater and the controls stick up with the glass part going under the water This is not as efficient or as precise as the fully submersible heater which can be fully submerged under the water. The submersible heater sticks to the side of the tank with section and gives you more precise heating and also the option of hiding it below plants or decorations. More...
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