That Fish Place – That Pet Place Featuring New Premium D-D H2Ocean Pro+ Salt

Galactic Purple DaniosThat Fish Place – That Pet Place is proud to introduce a new premium salt brand to our line of quality salt water products:  H2Ocean Pro+ Natural Reef Salt from D-D the Aquarium Solution.

Similar to brands like Red Sea Coral Pro, D-D H2Ocean Pro+  is harvested from sea water naturally evaporated with solar energy. What could be more natural than real salt water? After harvesting the salt, the natural product is tweaked a little to provide better results for use in our aquariums. For instance, the calcium and magnesium levels are slightly elevated above natural salt water levels. Why? Well, these two elements are quickly used up in reef aquariums, and because our reef tanks aren’t naturally replenished like the oceans, our inverts rely on us to keep these key elements in check. By slightly elevating the levels of calcium and magnesium, D-D H2Ocean Pro+ allows you to dose less, without getting too far out of sync chemically with their natural salt product. Furthermore, the chloride content is slightly reduced from what we see in natural saltwater. By slightly reducing the chloride content in the bucket, D-D H2Ocean has accounted for the extra chloride that usually comes along with dosing in reef tanks where most supplements utilize calcium and magnesium chloride. This helps make sure the chloride content doesn’t elevate too far beyond natural salt water levels in your reef tank. Just one other fine detail addressed by the chemists at D-D H2Ocean.

When this salt  is mixed to a S.G: of 1.025 @ 25°C = 35.5 ppt, your aquarium water parameters should look like this:

pH  level 8.3, range 8.2-8.4 
dKH level 9.3, range 8.7-9.8 
Calcium (Ca2+) level 440, range 430-460 mg/l
Magnesium (Mg2+) level 1340, range 1300-1380 mg/l
Chloride (Cl-) level 19550, range 19960-20130 mg/l
Potassium (K+) level 410, range 380-420 mg/l

So what makes this salt so good? Well, one thing we know about the ocean is that its parameters are pretty consistent. You’re not going to have one day on the reef where the calcium is 500ppm, and a week later be 400ppm. Its important that in our reef tanks we offer the same type of consistency. And, being that corals are from the ocean, doesn’t it make sense to stay as close to natural saltwater conditions as possible? D-D H2Ocean Pro+ mixes quickly, helping hobbyists get consistent results without having to wait 2-3 days for the salt to thoroughly dissolve. Those of us with sensitive stoney corals can attest to how finicky our corals can be over slight changes in parameters. Even hobbyists running Ultra Low Nutrient Systems have benefited from using D-D H2Ocean Pro+ because of its close-to-natural-saltwater levels. Regardless of what corals you keep, its vital to our reef systems to only deal with manufacturers with great quality control. 

Beyond the parameters, this salt is usually less clumpy, less dusty (not much worse than a salt cloud going right up your nose), and mixes up rather clear.  All and all, its this bloggers opinion that D-D H2Ocean Pro+ is one of the best salts offered at That Fish Place – That Pet Place. We currently offer the salt in the retail store, and it will soon be making it’s online debut.

Australian Rainbowfish – the Natural Diet of a Popular Freshwater Fish

Many years ago I established a school of 75 Boezeman’s Australian Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani) at the Bronx Zoo.  The exhibit, which they shared with mangrove snakes, land crabs and crayfishes, made for a stunning display.  And although the building also housed proboscis monkeys, marsh crocodiles, hornbills and other impressive beasts, the brilliantly-colored Rainbowfishes drew a great deal of attention from visitors.

But many keepers become disappointed when, after a time, their fishes’ fading colors do a disservice to the “rainbow” part of their name.  Based on experience with related species, I’ve always provided my Rainbowfishes with highly varied diets, in which insects were heavily featured.  Those under my care have usually retained their bright colors, and breeding has been consistent.  A recent study that examined the natural diet of wild Rainbowfishes seems to bear this out, and has important implications for the care of other species as well.

Duboublay's rainbowfish

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Roan Art

Terrestrial Insects: an Overlooked Food Item

My lifelong observations of captive and free-living fishes have led me to conclude that land-dwelling insects play an important role in the diets of many freshwater fishes.  As anyone with a pool or outdoor pond can imagine, untold numbers find their way into fresh and marine waters each day.  In 2009, the research of National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration biologists revealed that terrestrial insects comprise up to 100% of the diets of some US fish species. You can read more about this topic in the articles linked below. Read More »

Aquarium Salt Mixes – Choosing the Right Salt for Your Tank

Juvenile Queen AngelChoosing the right aquarium salt mix to add to your tank can be can be a confusing process, especially if you’re new to the hobby. But, it isn’t as complicated as it may seem, you just need a little background info to get you on the right path to choosing the salt that is appropriate for your set-up.  

Salt in Freshwater Aquariums

Adding salt to a freshwater aquarium is not a necessity, but it is used by many aquarists as a treatment to add electrolytes to the aquarium water, and as both a stress reducer and a parasite deterrent. Basic Aquarium Salt is not the same as the formulated mixes used to make a brackish or saltwater aquarium. Aquarium Salt is simply Sodium Chloride, and does not contain minerals and trace elements like calcium and iodine like sea water mixes. Adding small portions of this salt can help to treat osmoregulatory stress, an imbalance or disruption in the exchange of salts and minerals between the fish itself and its environment. Stressful situations such as transport, disease, or injury can cause osmoregulatory stress, but if used properly, aquarium salt can increase blood and oxygen flow through the gills, helping the fish relax and heal. When used in higher concentrations for short time periods as a dip or bath, salt can help to build a the protective slime coat on the body, preventing parasites from attaching and even killing one-celled parasites like Protozoa, that may already be on the fish. While aquarium salt does have some benefits, it is not a necessary additive. Once introduced to the tank, salt does not evaporate out of the tank. It can only be removed with water changes and plants, inverts and other sensitive species may be negatively impacted if the concentration is allowed to rise. Read More »

Best Aquarium Filter [Infographic]

Best Aquarium Filter InfographicThe results are in! We polled aquarium hobbyists like you to find out which style and brand of filter is most popular to maintain a home aquarium. Check out our infographic to see where your favorite filter fits. You can see the full-sized graphic here.

We created a survey a few weeks ago to gather input on what you see as the best aquarium filters are in the hobby today. We received responses to the survey from over 100 aquarists, from beginner level to professional keepers of various sizes and types of aquariums. With the data collected we created a colorful infographic to show you which filters came out on top! Marineland and Fluval Brand filters topped the chart with more than half of the respondents listing these manufacturerers. Canister filters are now the top type of filtration for any aquarium type, with power filters following closely behind.

We’d like to thank all of you who participated in the survey to give us these results. The infographic is also available for use in your own page, just copy and paste the code below:
Best Aquarium filterThat Fish Place – That Pet Place

GloFish – It’s All in the Genes

Electric Green Tiger BarbsGloFish are some of the most popular, colorful and controversial fish to enter the aquarium trade in a long time. Their easy care, small size, peaceful nature and neon bright colors make them appealing to aquarists of all ages, but the modifications that cause these bright colors cause some debate among aquarists, scientists and environmentalists alike.

The original “GloFish” were not created for the aquarium trade. They came from a popular fish used in many different fields of research, the Zebra Danio (Danio rerio). Zebra Danios have been used in research for environmental studies, cancer research, genetics, reproductive biology, neuroscience and applications to other fields as well. They even made the trip to space in 1975 on the Russian “Salyut 5” space station. So what makes them such good research subject? Zebra Danios are easy to breed and it only takes hours for the internal organs to develop after the eggs have been fertilized (about 24-36 hours, depending on temperatures and conditions). During this time, it is easy for researchers to monitor the development of the embryo since the “shell” around the eggs is a clear membrane. The eggs can hatch about 12-36 hours after that (again, depending on the conditions). These variable time frames also mean that, while the development is being studied, conditions can be adjusted to slow down or speed up the development, depending on what exactly the researchers are trying to determine. The genetic sequence involving the structure of the Zebra Danio’s DNA and RNA is very well-known at this point and is comparable enough to our own that, by understanding how changes in this structure affect the fish, researchers are gaining more understanding into how changes in our genetic structure can affect our own health.

Originally, GloFish were being developed for two major fields: cancer research and pollution detection. In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, researchers thought to develop a fish that would change colors when a certain pollutant was found in their water. The thought was to develop a fish that would appear normal in “ideal” conditions but when a specific chemical or type of chemical was present in the water, a “trigger” would be set off to cause the fish to “glow” with a fluorescent protein in their bodies. As a step in this direction, they began to develop a fish that would always have this flourescent “glow” in a reproducible and hereditary way that wouldn’t affect the ecosystem around them. To do this, scientists turned to a fluorescent protein naturally found in jellyfish, corals and anemones rather than potentially harmful chemical dyes. Around the same time, similar projects were using a fluorescent protein to “mark” specific genes that were thought to be a cause or sign of cancer. By pairing the fluorescent protein with the cancer-related gene, researchers could see the fluorescence increase or decrease along with the other gene and see if an increase or decrease in that gene was related to the cancer. Since the genes (and cancers) in these fish behave in much the same was as they do within ourselves, researchers are using this to develop a way to track, diagnose and treat cancer in people. Read More »