What’s the point of having cool and expensive if the food you’re feeding them is what fast food is to us today. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on fish and equipment just to shorten their lifespan by feeding them unhealthy food. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which food is the best because even though the ingredients are given to us, the process in which it’s made is unknown as well as some of the chemicals and bi-products that can sometimes look like a foreign language when trying to read them.
However, since we cannot distinguish which brands are healthiest we can discuss the top two most common types of fish food that are used today which is flakes and frozen. Both types of fish food have pros and cons with both the same objective which is to provide fish with nutrients, enhance their coloration and extend their lifespan.
If you are new to the fish hobby than most likely your local pet store has sent you home with flakes. The reason flake food is so popular is because it does not require any special environment to be housed in and it can be mixed with chemicals to prolong the expiration and to stay fresh out in the open. This makes flakes very cheap to purchase and more appealing to new hobbyists who want to keep it simple. The drawback is that since these chemicals are mixed with the ingredients it makes more of a chemically made food which will take away the natural factor of the food. Just because you use flake food does not mean your fish will perish but it can shorten the life of fish and other inhabitants.
If you have had your aquarium for quite some time and want to upgrade your food source or you simply want to jump straight to the more natural side of fish food, frozen fish food may just be for you. Frozen fish food is sold in very specific ingredient packaging. Once you find out what type of food your fish needs you can purchase it in a frozen form. For example, many stingrays like bloodworms so the package you purchase would be frozen bloodworms in a multiple-cube form or a large bag depending on the size you buy. Since there is no chemical enhancement, the food you are getting is pretty much as real as it gets but there are some precautions that must be taken. The food must be thawed out before feeding your fish which requires about thirty minutes or up to two hours of waiting for it to thaw out. The food cannot be fed frozen because it would be very hard for the fish to bite and could cause major digestion issues. Since it requires more “hands on” time than other foods, it could get a little messy depending on food portions which can be a bit of a pain. If this extra time does not bother you than you could expect much more happy and healthy livestock.
Both types of food will definitely keep your fish alive but make sure to choose the one that fits your needs most. If you don’t have the time or money or just simply not interested in taking the extra steps than flakes would be a more practical choice. If you keep expensive fish and don’t want to throw it away or don’t mind taking the time out to enhance those colors than frozen fish may be a better way to go!
In both Freshwater and Saltwater aquariums ammonia is a deadly threat that can potentially wipe livestock overnight if not treated properly. The correct term for a sudden appearance of high level ammonia is an “Ammonia Spike” which is a spike in the ammonia readings and is the first step to an absolute disaster. This can lead to what is known as ammonia burn which causes fish scales to slowly deteriorate and eventually expire.
There are many chemicals and retail products online and in your local pet stores that can possibly get treat ammonia spikes and attempt to lower the toxicity and save your aquarium. However, rather than spending the time treating a big problem using the extra time to prevent the problem would be more efficient.
1. The most efficient way to prevent ammonia spikes is to simply be careful about what you put into your aquarium. This means watch for over-feeding and get an idea of how much food your fish need based on how many fish you have. A general rule would be about a ½ pinch of dry flakes per fish frozen and freeze dried foods may vary.
2. The size of your aquarium and what you put in it is also very important because overstocking aquariums is something that is overlooked especially in newer aquariums as well as newer fish hobbyists. Just because the fish physically fits in the aquarium doesn’t mean it should be placed in there. This is also related to the amount and quality of your aquariums filtration. On average one inch of fish per gallon has been successful in fish keeping being more flexible with better filtration.
3. The last thing that should always be practiced in aquarium keeping is frequent water changes. Most fish keepers do not have the time to do weekly water changes so they resort to a larger water change monthly. This is effective but will not prevent ammonia spike’s as ammonia could build up before it’s too late to perform a cleaning. This is why smaller and more frequent water changes are effective because the problem will be suppressed rather than attacked when it’s too late. 5%-10% water changes once a week is a great way to adding clean and fresh water much like changing cat litter before it starts to develop a stench.
With these practices ammonia could be non-existent and increase the lifespan of your aquarium as well as decrease the chances of losing fish.
Planted Aquariums: Most planted aquariums focus on growing plants rather than keeping fish, however most planted aquariums should have fish as well. Lighting is key when keeping planted tanks as it is required for their growth and survival. Most fish that are kept in planted aquariums do not dig up substrate, eat plants or big enough that they cant move around the tank.
Peaceful Community: Tropical community aquariums are most common with people just getting into the hobby as they are relatively easy to maintain, have low requirements and cheap to maintain. Most peaceful fish are small and inexpensive to purchase thus making it easier to have in the average household/office because tank size can be flexible.
Brackish Tanks: Brackish fish meet in the middle of saltwater and freshwater combining the two. These tanks house fish that live in freshwater with a low level of salinity. These fish dwell where the ocean water and river water meet which causes a slight rise in salt levels. There are various types of brackish fish ranging from peaceful to aggressive.
Aggressive (Predator): Aggressive tanks pretty much speak for themselve’s. They house aggressive fish which mostly tend to grow much larger than other fish with some exceptions. These fish mostly prefer live food rather than flakes or pellets. You can house these fish in smaller tanks but as they grow bigger tanks will be required as some fish found in pet stores can get as large as four feet in length. Keeping aggressives is suprisngly easy because of the low requirements. Lighting is minimal , filtration should be relative for the tank size and quantity of fish.
Keeping up with your aquarium’s maintenance is essential to having a tank with healthy and happy fish. Yes it is true that good quality filtration will keep your aquarium clean but filters and other hardware must be serviced at minimum once a month as well as under-gravel cleaning. This may vary on different aquarium types, sizes and water quality. Having clean and top quality water will prolong the life span of your fish/corals but will have your aquarium looking amazing. Clear water is essential to showing off all those bright colors you want people to see when they stop to look at your tank. Keeping both the inside and outside of the glass or acrylic is also very important because if it’s left sitting dirt will build up over time. An easy wiping on the outside and scrubbing on the inside will increase the clarity of your tank tremendously.
This is a question that we get asked a lot because looking at an aquarium and all the work put into it can be extremely overwhelming. The truth of the matter is an aquarium can only be as complicated as you want it to be. Having an aquarium in your home or office is one of the most relaxing pieces you can have. Not only is it relaxing but it can also be an attention grabber for stores/ businesses, or a conversation piece to discuss with friends and family. You’re not just “buying a pet fish” as most would say but your replicating a piece of ocean right next to your desk or in your living room. Being able to sit down and observe what it’s like along a coral reef or how predators dwell in the Amazon River is remarkable. Let’s not forget the learning experience that comes along with owning your first aquarium. Even though you may not be the one servicing the aquarium you will still be learning about all the different types of creatures you are taking care of including corals and invertebrates. Not only will it give you a peace of mind but will also teach you about aquatic wildlife!