Vacation Aquarium Food

Worried about what to do with your aquarium when you go on vacation? Who will feed the fish? No need to worry, there are several products that are easy to use, that will feed your aquarium for you while you are away.

There are several options for feeding your aquarium while you are away from home. The first, and easiest, option is to use a vacation feeder block. Vacation feeder blocks, like the Pyramid Feeder from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, are a community fish food that is imbedded into a slowly dissolving binder that slowly releases food for your fish. These work great for small fish, and community fish, and are safe to use on most aquariums. These types of feeders are typically made with plaster and should not be used repeatedly without performing water changes in between usage; repeated use will affect your aquariums pH.

A new type of dissolving feeder is also available from Tetra. The TetraVacation Feeders use a Gel binder to hold the food which will not affect pH in repeated use, and are considered safer to use than the older plaster type feeders.

If you have finicky eaters, or you travel often, an Automatic electronic fish feeder is a better option for you. Electric feeders give you the ability to use your fish’s favorite pellet or flake food, so that you know your fish is getting food they will eat. Feeders like the Current AquaChef, are programmable and adjustable, so that you can feed as often as you like, and also control how much food is fed at each meal. Automatic feeders like the Rondomatic from Grasslin have individual compartments for each meal, so you can feed different foods at different times. Automatic feeders are great to use year round. Most feeders are battery operated.

Whichever vacation feeder you choose to use it is a very good idea to do a test feeding before you go on vacation. This way you can fine tune your electronic feeder so that you have the feeding volume correct. If you are using one of the dissolving feeders you can make sure that it is acting properly with your water chemistry, and that your fish are eating the type of food in the feeder. Testing the products first will make sure that you do not over or underfeed your fish.

hope that gives you one less thing to worry about when you are on vacation, until next blog.


Power Outages and The Home Aquarium

With all of the recent ice storms that many of us have had the fun of experiencing this winter, I thought it would be a good time to discuss what to do when the power goes out and shuts off your aquarium.
There are a couple things that are going to become of immediate concern during a power outage; oxygen in the water; and temperature control. For short power outages, of up to an hour, you probably have nothing to worry about in most home aquariums. For longer power outages, several hours or more, you will need to keep a close eye on your aquarium, and action may be required.

The best time to think about power outages is before they happen, supplies will be limited or unavailable during a prolonged power outage, and you will probably have more important issues to deal with other than your aquarium.

212719Especially in heavily stocked aquariums, oxygen levels in the water are going to be your primary concern. Fish, invertebrates, and bacteria all consume oxygen, and can quickly strip all available oxygen in your aquarium, especially at high temperatures. A Battery powered air pump is a relatively cheap insurance policy in the event of a prolonged power outage, air stones are the best way to provide oxygen and water movement. Basic units run on 2 “D” batteries and can power an air stone as long as you have batteries to put in it. There are a couple of more advanced battery backup pumps available also. The Penn Plax Silent Air B11 can detect power outages and come on automatically; it also runs on two “D” batteries. The OSI PAP 10C will operate as a normal air pump while the power is on, and then switch to its internal rechargeable battery when a power outage is detected. The units internal battery keeps itself charged under normal operation, then supplies up to 10 hours of battery life when the power goes out.

There are also a couple of products that can add oxygen to your aquarium chemically. Jungle Labs Bag Buddies and Tom Aquarium Products Oxygen stones are dissolving tablets that release oxygen into your aquarium. These products are designed for use in transporting livestock, but can also be used in emergency situations like power outages.

Temperature problems are more difficult to deal with, as without power you are at the mercy of the room temperature where the aquarium is located. Aquarium temperatures will not change rapidly, especially in large aquariums. If you are fortunate to live in a climate that does not have extreme heat or cold during the year then you are most likely going to be fine. If you live somewhere that extreme temperatures occur, then the next step is something that you may want to consider.

Using an electrical generator may be your best option if you live in a location that is prone to extended power outages, or extreme weather. You can get a small generator that can run your basic aquarium equipment, including your heater(S) for about $400 dollars at your local hardware store. The range of generators available can be mind boggling, you can get anything from a small portable unit, to a hardwired unit that can run your whole house indefinitely. Depending upon the investment that you have in your aquarium, a generator may or may not make sense. If you have a large reef tank, or exotic species of fish, the cost of a small generator may not be much when compared to the investment you have in your aquarium.

I hope this information has been helpful, and that the next ice storm is far away

Until next blog.


Merry Christmas From That Fish Place!

That Fish Place has a great selection of holiday gift ideas on sale now for Christmas. Click on the above ad for a complete list of all our holiday deals. There’s a little bit of everything for all of the aquarium hobbyists on your holiday gift list. Click here to view sale.



"Shocking" Christmas story

This week at the Aqua Toto Gifu aquarium in Japan, one of the coolest holiday Ideas I have ever seen was introduced to the public. The aquarium has on display, an electric eel in an aquarium that is actually powering lights on a near by christmas tree. In nature the eels have the ability to produce an electric current for the purpose of stunning near bye prey. The aquarium had the ingenious idea to use the eels natural electrical power for holiday cheer, and people are flocking to the aquarium to see this amazing display. The picture to the right was posted in the Mainichi Daily News in Japan.

The aquarium has a copper wire installed into it, so that when the eel rubs up against the wire and produces an electrical current, the electricity travels from the aquarium to the light bulbs. Pretty neat trick

Maybe someday we will be driving around electric eel powered hybrid cars. HMMMM.

Just wanted to share that holiday story with you, until next blog


Product Spotlight: Hydor Ario

The Hydor Ario is a new twist on aquarium aeration that combines LED lighting technology with a venturi powerhead, resulting in a product that is as fun as it is functional. The Ario provides oxygen for your aquarium in the form of a fine mist of bubbles that rises up through the water column. The LED lighting illuminates the bubbles from below, resulting in a column of colored bubbles.

The Ario is a really cool light show for your aquarium. The Ario comes in 4 colors; red, blue, green and the new Ario Moonlight which is bright white. You can use the Ario all the time, but it is especially cool at night. You can use it as a nightlight if you like. The Ario can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Check one out, the Ario is one of the most innovative new products in years.

Until next blog