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Category Archives: Aquarium Equipment

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Includes articles on new aquarium product spotlights, guides, or detailed reports on product effectiveness in aquariums.

Extreme Makeover – That Fish Place Touch Tank Edition

ClosedHey readers, Dave here. It has been a busy couple of weeks here at TFP leading up to the holiday season.  It has been especially busy for me, as the top of my to-do list suddenly changed to repairing the touch tank.  Originally installed in 2002 (as somewhat of an experiment), the Marineland Touch Tank was in dire need of a makeover.

After many patches and repairs over the years, the old tank liner finally had so many holes in it that it could no longer hold water.  The liner needed to be replaced!  For anyone who has ever replaced the liner in their pond, Removing the wallyou know what an ordeal that can be.  We found a temporary home for our touch tank celebrities, and jumped into the physical mess of getting the old liner out, including removing the hundreds of pounds of rock and substrate. Luckily, we are out of pond season here in Lancaster, so we had the Sharks in holding systemadvantage of being able to convert one of our Koi holding systems to saltwater, as a temporary house for our touch tank buddies,  while their home is being renovated. Next we’ll be getting the newer, more flexible liner installed and getting all the animals back home! It’s a whole lot going on, in a short amount of time.

Many, many people (both local and distant) visit the store, in part to see the stingrays and other creatures in the display.  There has been a parade of sad faces come around the corner, expecting to see their touch tank friends, but finding destruction in stead.  Remodeled filtrationNever fear, the rebuild will only take a few more days, and the touch tank will be better than ever!  Along with the new liner, there are also some filter upgrades taking place behind the scenes.  We are truly sorry about the down time for the touch tank, this is the first time we have closed it since it opened seven years ago.

Stop in soon and see the stingrays in their newly renovated home.

Thanks,

Dave

Overfeeding and Water Quality

Please welcome Sam Yost as a blogger on That Fish Blog.  Sam has recently been promoted to Fish Room Supervisor and will be graduating from Millersville University in December with a degree in Marine Biology. 

Hello, My name is Sam Yost.  Being a hobbyist and working with other hobbyists in the trade, I have grown to understand that  keeping good water quality is one of the most important parts of aquarium keeping. If your aquarium water quality is bad, and a regular maintenance schedule is not kept, your fish will not be healthy, or will not live to their full potential.

There are many things that can happen in a tank to degrade the water quality. One of the major problems in maintaining water quality is overfeeding.  By overfeeding, a lot of unused food ends up breaking down in the tank.  It can be difficult to tell when fish have had enough, especially if there are a lot of fish in the tank, but it may be best to underfeed instead of dumping copious amounts of food. When uneaten food breaks down in the tank, it can cause a spike in ammonia, nitrites or nitrates. This spike, even if it is small, can be deadly to fish.  It may also settle into the substrate, where it can break down and cause chemistry problems, fish illness and other problems down the line.

There are several things you can do to help alleviate these overfeeding/water quality issues.

Consider what your fish need. Different fish can require different types and sizes of food, and some may require more frequent feedings than others. Generally, fish should be fed food that is about the size of their eye or smaller, or foods that can be broken easily, like flakes, that they can easily take in.

The amount of food administered should be what they can consume with in a minute or so. It is better to feed your fish several small meals than one large meal. Generally in a community, small feedings in the morning, evening and night will work great!  By doing three small feedings, there is a smaller amount of food being wasted.

Small, frequent feedings are also more healthy for the fish.  They are not eating so much that they look bloated, and the food can be used more efficiently.

You can also minimize the amount of waste that is put in to the tank by rinsing frozen food. This action gets rid of excess preservatives that are used to keep the food fresh so they go down the drain instead of breaking down in the tank.

Finally, small frequent water changes to reduce nitrates and gravel siphoning after several days can remove any waste and decaying food from the substrate.  A good, regular maintenance schedule will allow you to keep the water pristine and give your fish the best possible water quality for long, happy, healthy lives!

Thanks,

Sam

JBJ is Back At TFP!

Hi everyone, Dave here. It has been a few years since we last offered any products from JBJ USA, we are proud to once again offer products from this innovative manufacturer.  As one of the pioneers of the all in one Nano-Reef aquarium, JBJ’s Nano Cube allowed aquarist with limited space and/or budgets to enjoy the beauty of the natural reef aquarium.  Over the years, the JBJ Nano Cube has undergone quite a few changes, and we have brought the product line back to TFP with two of their most advanced models  ever, the 28 gallon HQI, and the 28 gallon power compact powered Nano Cubes.

The 28 gallon HQI Nano Cube features a single 150watt 14K metal halide bulb, as well as 4 LED Nite-Vu bulbs, which give a high power 24 hr lighting system for whatever your reef keeping desires may be.  Along with its powerful light source, the New Nano Cube has a wealth of other high tech features, like a built in Air powered protein skimmer, and a dual return pump system that incorporates a pair of JBJ’s Accela powerheads controlled by an adjustable JBJ Ocean Pulse wavemaker.  These features add up to give this new Nano Cube a lot of bang for the buck, and allow you to keep even the most light demanding species of coral happy and healthy.

The 28 gallon power compact version of the tank features much of the same technology as its HQI powered counterpart, including the integrated filtration system, dual pump wavemaker, and LED Nite-Vu systems.  The biggest difference between the two is obviously the light supply.   The power compact Nano Cube uses a high power (105 watt) quad tube power compact, that has a dual spectrum output of 10,000K on one side, and 7100K on the other.  With this set up you can use the system for freshwater or saltwater, and there is plenty of lighting power for keeping  live plants or many corals thriving in this cool little tank. The compact flourescent model does not have a protein skimmer like the HQI version, but does have another interesting option.  The filtration tray has a clear lid on it, so that the filtration compartment can easily be transformed into a built in refugium.  Simply remove the media and replace it with macroalgae, pretty cool.

If you are in the market for an all in one aquarium system, you should check out the latest offerings from JBJ here at TFP, they are very nicely designed little tanks.

Until next time,

Dave

Living On the Edge – New Fluval Edge Aquariums

Living in the Edge is actually more like it, with Hagen’s new aquarium the Fluval Edge.  Unlike many of the other new nano or desktop aquariums that have come out in the last few years, the Edge is something different.  Difficult to describe, and easy on the eyes, this cool little 6 gallon aquarium gives the small aquarium a twist in design.Fluval Edge

The tank is made of glass, and is filtered by Hagen’s proven Aquaclear filter technology.  The unique design of the aquarium has it “hanging”out in space around its base and top.  The top conceals an access opening for cleaning, feeding, and filter access.  It looks like it jumped out of a sketch book of Frank Lloyd Wright designs.  The Edge comes in 3 colors so that you can fit it in with whatever your décor or taste may be.  Check it out, I think you will find it really interesting.

We couldn’t resist setting one of these little wonders up on display, if you visit the store find the display on the info desk on the sales floor.

Thanks, Until the next blog,

Dave

“For the record…”: Keeping track of your aquarium

Eileen here. With all of the water changes, filter changes, feedings, testing, supplements and other changes and maintenance we do on our aquariums, it can be difficult to remember what was done and when. Some problems with aquarium systems as well as regular maintenance are dependent on what has been happening with the tanks over time, not just within the very recent past. This is just one of the reasons that make it important to keep a record of the every day maintenance of the system as well as any other events that may have an impact on the health of the fish.

Keeping records of any activity with an aquarium system is not a new idea. Almost every public aquarium keeps records of everything that goes into or out of their water – this is even required by some scientific organizations to keep the aquarium’s certification or grants. Their records and even the records kept by stores like That Fish Place/ That Pet Place are obviously going to be very detailed than the average home aquarist might need, but it is a good idea to take their lead and keep track of your aquarium. You can use a computer program like Excel or Word  if you’d like, or you can simply keep a notepad and pen with your aquarium supplies.

So what should you record? The types of events you should keep track of can be divided into a few main categories: Water Chemistry, Maintenance, and Livestock.

Water Chemistry recordings would be the results of any regular water tests done on your tank (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, temperature, etc) as well as the dosages of any supplements or medications you add to the aquarium.

Maintenance records keep track of regular maintenance (water changes, light bulb changes, filter pad changes or cleanings) as well as any out-of-the-ordinary events like a new heater or a malfunctioning piece of equipment.

Livestock records help you keep track of what live fish, plants or invertebrates you are adding to your aquarium and what you are removing from the tank or lose due to deaths or illness. You can also make observations about any unusual behavior you are noticing in the livestock, symptoms of illnesses, what the fish are (or are not) eating, even their sizes from time to time to see how quickly they are growing.

Other events: It is also a good idea to keep track of any other unusual events that may affect your aquarium. Power outages, heat waves, cold spells, and other events that may not have an immediate affect on the aquarium can cause changes in the aquarium a few days or weeks later that can be traced back through your records. Even a houseful of guests can be important to record if it changes the activity around the aquarium or the feeding schedule of the fish.

Getting into the habit of keeping a few notes on your aquarium can make difference in the long run. After all, some of us have a hard time remembering what we had for dinner last week, much less when we last changed that light bulb, when we added that new invert to the tank or how well a certain fish has been feeding! A running record of some of these details can help refresh your memories, as well as keep track of your progress in the aquarium hobby.

Along these same lines, Current-USA offers a free downloadable computer widget to keep track of aquarium maintanance schedules. Working in conjuction with your records, the two together can go a long way toward helping you maintain a healthy system.

Until next time,

Eileen