Choosing the Right Freshwater Aquarium Filter for Your Tank

Along with other equipment you need to consider finding the best fish tank filter for your freshwater aquarium, you want to pick the correct filter to help keep the aquarium clean.  What kind of freshwater aquarium filter should you choose?

First of all, you’ll need to make sure that you clean your aquarium manually at least once a month.  Even with a high quality filter, you’ll need to clear algae off the sides of the tank, and perhaps vacuum the substrate to pick up excess waste, leftover food, etc.

Be sure to do this regularly.  The cleaner your tank is kept, the better it will be for the health of your fish.  It will also keep the nitrate and ammonia levels more normal, also the pH levels.

There are different types of filtration methods for your aquarium.  There are usually three main types, which include mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filters are the type of filters that you normally see in aquariums.  They are a separate filter that you need to change on a regular basis.  They filter out particles in the water, and there are many, many types of them.

These types of filters are readily available and usually quite inexpensive.  The secret here is to clean and replace them regularly.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration and mechanical filtration usually go hand in hand.  Quite often chemical materials like carbon are added to the mechanical filtration system to aid in clearing the water.

Biological Filtration

This is a more natural way of filtering the tank water.  It is usually sponge-like substances that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.  This filtration system helps convert toxins and produce less toxic conditions in the tank.  These systems do not involve adding chemicals and are very simple to operate.

There are different kinds of filtration systems to add to your aquarium.  Here is a list of the main types of filters:

Sponge Filters

This is a very simple cellulose sponge filter that is operated by an air or water pump.  It’s inexpensive to operate, easy to find, and does the job quite effectively.  It will cultivate beneficial bacteria to help break down wastes.  Sponge filters are great for smaller tanks or breeding tanks.

Under Gravel Filters

undergravel-aquarium-filterThe first true and basic type of filter invented for aquariums, and easy to set up and use.  They are still used widely and can solve all sorts of problems in the tank.  A raised plate in the bottom allows waste and debris to flow through the substrate under the raised plate.  Air tubes run from the bottom to the top of the aquarium allowing aeration from under the plate.

Power Filters

Usually a small motor-driven filter found mainly in use today in smaller aquariums.  They have small cartridges and foam pads that filter the water, often not too well.  They can be found everywhere and rather inexpensively, too.  They are easy to install and use.

Canister Filters

Canisters are mainly a mechanical and chemical filtration system but one that works well for larger aquariums.  It uses more force, thus forcing the wastes through faster.  They’re more expensive, but work quite well to filter the water.


There are many other kinds of filters in use, including the wet/dry filters, and bed filters.  It’s best to go to your local fish store and see what they would recommend for your type of tank.  But these listed are the main types in use.

The big secret is to buy the right type of filter for your size and type of aquarium.  Sometimes you’ll need to combine a couple of systems like the under gravel filter and the power filter.  You’ll know what you need as you gain experience with your tank.


Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance: Keep Your Freshwater Aquarium Clean!

Freshwater aquarium maintenance seems to be a real challenge for many tank owners. Especially when you don’t know where to start when it comes to maintenance issues that may come up unexpectedly!

How to Keep That Water Clean

You know you’re tired of looking at dirty water. Well, so are your fish!

The best thing that you can do to get clean aquarium water is to get a power filter. This type of filter will literally self-clean your tank for you. The power filter uses a chemical system to filter out discolored water, odor, dirt and waste matter, besides impurities, for you.

With a power filter, it needs to be changed every three to four weeks. But that’s so much easier than to keep taking the filter to the sink and cleaning it out by hand. The filter’s easy to replace and dispose of.

How to Deal with Algae

Yes, algae. Considered one of the worst things to look at that can ruin the appearance of your beautiful freshwater tank. Fortunately, getting rid of algae can be relatively easy and natural!

It can be done with a special kind of fish called an otocinclus! Its’ nickname is the algae eater, and he does the job. He may not be the best looking fish on the block, but it doesn’t matter. He will keep your aquarium clean! And he has a neat little personality to boot.

If you can’t find these “Algae Eaters”, or you don’t want to get one, the only other answer is to get rid of the algae by hand. There are all sorts of tools and algae scrapers on the internet and in specialty fish stores.

Another thing to know is that algae loves the sun. So if your aquarium is in the sunlight for even an hour or two every day, the algae will love it and treat you to lots of it. The moral of the story is to keep your aquarium in the shade.

How Does Your Tank Smell?

If your aquarium does have a strong smell, that’s bad. Be sure to change your filter more often to make sure this doesn’t happen. A strong odor means something’s wrong, and this can hurt your fish, your tank, and even kill the fish if the problem is left untreated. Healthy fish won’t live in a toxic environment like this.

The Water’s Not Clear!

A sure sign of overfeeding! Freshwater fish only need to be fed 2 – 3 times a day. And don’t feed them more than they can eat in 3 – 5 minutes each time. The cloudy water issue should clear up shortly.

If this doesn’t solve the cloudy water problem, them buy distilled water at your grocery store. It’s really cheap and available almost anywhere.

How Often to Change the Water?

At the most, change the water every other week. Every week is even better. But–you only need to replace about 20% of the tank water. It’s easiest to use a siphon to remove the water from the tank. Put one end of the siphon/hose into the aquarium, and such the air out of the hose on the other end.

Have a pail ready when the water starts flowing for it to drain into. Then add your new water to the tank. In addition to this, once a month, you’ll want to clean your aquarium.

How Do I Clean My Aquarium?

Use an extra-clean sponge, one only used to clean your aquarium, to scrub the insides of the aquarium walls. Gently rub to get scum off the sides. An aquarium or algae scraper can be used, too, but be careful about using this on acrylic aquariums, as it can scratch.

Also take out any decorations. Clean these up with the sponge, with hot water and a little salt. But don’t use any soap! Soap can kill your fish, so make sure that no residue of any cleaning agents gets on your decorations.

You can even use a gravel vacuum to suck out the waste and old food from the bottom of the tank. These are pretty nifty and come in all sorts of sizes for different size tanks. The vacuum will come with instructions, and they all operate a little differently, but they’re easy to use.

Last But Not Least…

One big secret you’ll need to know is to keep the temperature of the new water that you’re adding at the same temperature as the water already in the tank. Fish don’t like temperature fluctuations.

Something else to consider is your tap water. Fish don’t like it. You can heat a five to ten gallon pan of distilled water to the right temperature. Or visit your local fish store for additives to your tap water to take out the chlorine and other chemicals.

how to care for guppies

How To Care For Guppy Fishes

Guppies are one of the most widely available popular fish breed that people prefer to keep in the aquarium or the first tanks. You can easily get one from any of the Pet stores or online as per your requirement and convenience. After you get the guppies for your aquarium it is extremely important for you to take care of them properly and in a manner to cause no harm to their happiness or health. Taking care of guppies was quite an easy job to get accomplished with but there are some of the points that need your attention as well. In this article, we are going to talk about the points that can easily help you out for properly taking care of the guppies.

Guppy Diet: Feed Them Regularly

Most of the people feed fishes according to their convenience or on the time that suits them. The timings for them change regularly and this is one of the major factor practices that should be stopped immediately. Like the human-being, guppies require being fed properly and at a particular time daily. This is the main reason that you need to set up a particular time that you will be feeding them at for their better health. You can easily choose the time according to your convenience and changes can be made in it according to the weather or season.

Changing Water Regularly

You are required to change the water in the tank on regular basis as Keeping It same for longer times can end up in the formation of algae are the harmful substances in that water. You should consistently keep on changing the water in the fish tank for the aquarium at least every month to keep guppies in their best health.

Also to get to know about the proper procedure and steps that we followed to keep water clean and healthy for the guppies to live in you can consider contacting either the internet instead of a pet shop as well. You can install some of the filters and heaters to create a perfect Habitat for the guppies to live in.

Guppy Tank Setup

If you want your guppies to live in there happily and healthily it is excessively important for you to try to create the environment they would prefer or will love to be in. You can easily get to know about the natural habitat of the companies with the help of the Internet and can make the changes accordingly. You can adjust the level of salt they will prefer in the water as well as the lighting that is according to nature and requirements.


This article was all about the tips that can easily help you out to properly take care of the guppies and we hope that it must have been able to provide you the valid answers to that question. If still, you have some of the doubts regarding this you can contact a local pet shop or can also consider taking help from the internet. As there are a huge number of sites available that can easily help you out in this matter.


Setting Up an Aquarium for a Classroom

An aquarium provides a useful and interesting teaching aid for the classroom. Students observe growth and development of plant and animal life, community relationships, feeding habits, and predator-prey relationships. The design should be a biosphere in which plants and animals survive and grow with little care.

Each classroom is different; therefore, the following requirements need to be considered before finding a permanent location for the aquarium. Avoid wide-range fluctuations in light and temperature. Natural light may be controlled by blinds or shades at the windows. To reduce the rate of evaporation and sudden temperature changes, do not place the aquarium in a direct airflow from a heater or air conditioning duct. Artificial light may be used. In the interest of safety, consider the traffic pattern in the classroom.

The aquarium needs to be thoroughly rinsed with water. NEVER USE SOAP in an aquarium. Soap is difficult to rinse out, and any residue can kill the organisms. To remove water marks or mineral deposits on the glass, apply towels soaked in vinegar. Rinse with water afterwards. Fill the aquarium with water and check for leaks. A small leak may seal itself by the weight of the water pressing on the glass. If a leak persists, the aquarium must be emptied, dried, and sealed with silicon. After the water is added to the aquarium, it must be cycled for at least a week. The ideal water temperature is between 65 to 75°F. The aquarium may be covered by a piece of glass, Plexiglass, or plastic wrap to reduce evaporation or airborne contamination. Care must be taken not to seal tightly and restrict the air exchange.

The aquarium may be layered with a 2-inch layer of small gravel. Any gravel or rocks must be thoroughly washed prior to adding them to the aquarium.

Aquarium Plants

aquarium-plantsPlants provide a cover for small fish, remove nitrogenous waste released by animals, and absorb carbon dioxide. The primary considerations in the choice of plants are based on the light conditions and the size of the aquarium. Elodea, duckweed, and Vallisneria require high light conditions. Chara (a stonewort) and Vesicularia (an aquatic moss) do well in low light. Duckweed and Vallisneria are best suited to aquariums 10 gallons or larger. Elodea, Chara, and Vesicularia may be floated on the surface or rooted in the gravel. Vallisneria needs to be rooted in the gravel. Duckweed is a floating plant that multiples rapidly. Harvest (remove) some of the duckweed whenever it covers the surface of the water so that it will not restrict light and gas exchange.

Fishes & Other Aquatic Creatures

Aquarium_plants_and_fishAfter a week or so, your aquatic friends may be added to the aquarium. Allow 3 inches of fish (vertebrates) body-length per each one gallon of water. Float the bag of fish in the water of the aquarium for 20 minutes before adding the fish to the aquarium to reduce stress on the fish. Snails (invertebrates) add interest to the aquarium. In the spring frog eggs, tadpoles, or salamanders may be found in nature. Unless you are able to classify these organisms to determine their dietary requirements, practice sound environmental procedures and leave them undisturbed. Hydra and daphnia may be added to demonstrate specific food chains or predator-prey relationships.

Check the aquarium daily for dead animals or plants. Remove accumulated waste from the bottom once a week. Replace one-third of the water each month with aged water. Feed animals at regular intervals, never feeding more food than can be consumed in 30 minutes. Remove the remaining food to reduce a build-up of organic wastes, which clouds the water and lowers oxygen concentration. Flake food available at pet centers is a good basic diet. Brine shrimp eggs may be hatched, rinsed in fresh water, and fed to fish and invertebrates.