Pictures some of the Most Beautiful Fish

most beautiful fish

Aquarium Cleaning

aquarium cleaningAquarium cleaning is a very important aspect to maintain perfect water condition and also to ensure that your fish stays healthy free of fish disease. The task should be carried out according to a defined routine checklist and this should never be neglected or ignored due to busy day-to-day working life schedule.

Depending on which types of fish, age of water and also the type of aquarium supplies that you have, generally a good rule of thumb is to carry out aquarium cleaning by performing partial water change (at least one-third of the water) every once a week. Certain fish such as discus will require more attention while other fish such as guppies will require less frequency of water change since they can tolerate wider range of water parameters. Age of aquarium is also another determining factor as older and more established aquarium will have a constant population of beneficial bacteria that naturally breaks down harmful chemical like ammonia and nitrite and thus it is less imperative to change the water that often. If you have high capacity aquarium filter which can take in higher volume of water then the frequency on aquarium cleaning can also be reduced because the filter media will take longer time to choke up and become concentrated.

During aquarium cleaning, it is not necessary to always remove the fish from the aquarium. This is important to reduce stress and to avoid subjecting the fish to injury during movement from one place to another. While performing your water change, make sure that the water is first siphoned out up to the desired level, then slowly remove some of the decorative items to take out and wash. If your aquarium is covered with gravel bed, then I would suggest getting an aquarium gravel cleaner (see attached pic) to simply the task. Don’t worry about the fish rushing around and finding a place to hide because once they become adjusted to the routine, it will become less stressful to them. Also make sure that each time you perform the cleaning, cycle time needed to complete the task should somehow be reduced as you become more well-versed with it.

Next, you should also take out the filter media and rinse it properly in a bucket of clean water. Do not add in any chemicals for the washing because there might be risk of the chemical carry over in case you do not rinse it properly and thus ended up poisoning your fish tank instead. Chemicals will also kill beneficial bacteria and therefore, it is not a good idea to use this at all. Once you have put back in every accessories that you have taken out, it’s time to fill the aquarium back to its original water level. After you have done with the aquarium cleaning, don’t forget to check the water quality especially on pH checking using water test kits.



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Custom Aquarium

Custom Aquarium is specially designed and built according to space requirement, individual preferences, and aesthetic purpose in mind. These types of aquariums were made specially for people who prefer to have something unique and different to grace their living room, at the same time become home for their lovely pet fish.

custom aquarium
Wave Front Aquarium and Bow Front Aquarium

Basically when looking for your perfect custom aquarium, first of all decide on which shape you want it to be. Nowadays a wide range and array of shapes and sizes can be custom-made from bow front, wave front, cylindrical, hexagonal even up to quarter cylinder (or better known as corner aquarium).

Usually when buying your choice of custom aquarium, be prepared to pay for premium price as sometimes the markup could be at least 2-3 times higher compared to standard home aquarium. Nowadays different online manufacturers can be found selling different types of these specially designed aquarium and even delivered straight to your doorstep. If you are not comfortable and would like to witness and examine more closely, you would suggest you head over to a aquarium fish store to have a first hand look.

Having a custom aquarium also has its advantages. One of the benefit is that, you could even request for special design with holes for the tubes from the air pump, extra metal fitting to accommodate your aquarium filter, a special latch to hold extra aquarium lighting or even an extra place for hanging fish food dispenser. Custom aquarium may be pricey but the good thing is that it is always money well spent.

Aquariums can also be further customized to have a back wall so that the fish will have more sense of security and this certainly helps to create a well-decorated fish tank. These backdrops in the form of underwater landscape actually hide away the glare and prevent reflective double images especially for those all glass customized tank. If you are not a person who fancies handicraft work, then I would suggest getting a prefab aquarium which already has the background attached to it. This will certainly saves time and therefore you could start away with your fledgling hobby.

Related: Showcase your underwater masterpiece using Show Tanks



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Home Aquarium Guide

Home AquariumThese days setting up your own Home Aquarium does not necessarily means you need to spend a lot of money. If you are interested to own your first aquarium while at the same time working on limited budget, you can always take some time to shop around and search carefully for all the necessary supplies and equipment before making up your mind.

Buying and then setting up a home aquarium is not a difficult task. The fact is, it doesn’t really cost a lot at all and with a budget allocation of let’s say $300, that should be more than enough for the whole complete home aquarium set. Let’s look at some of the basic items and estimated price for each of it.

Aquarium Fish Tank – Depending on whether it is glass or acrylic, the price can be as low as a hundred up to thousands of dollars. If you are a novice, I would suggest getting a standard size of 20-gallon which should be enough to house a small community aquarium and that should cost only $120 dollar with an acrylic type.

Aquarium Stand – An aquarium stand is needed to provide support for your fish tank. A simple stand which costs about $70 will be more than enough.

Aquarium Filter - Price range can be between $30 to $70 depending on the type and model that fits according to your aquarium size. A filter is needed to ensure that debris is filtered out and water stays clean and clear. The filter media is also a place for growth of beneficial bacteria. Let's allocate a budget of $50 here.

Air Pump - works to generate air bubbles and to agitate the water surface for exchange of gas. Should cost only about $10. Anything above that is not necessary.

Lighting – Is needed not only for your live aquarium plants but is also beneficial for the fish to bring out the colors. For a simple home aquarium with a barren tank setup without plants, a fluorescent type lighting, which cost only about $30 (for 14watts specification) should be more than sufficient.

Water Conditioners – For Chlorine removal and softeners. Expect to spend around $5 for this.

Test KitspH and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate testing. Everything should only cost about $5

Fish Food – $10 allocation should be more than enough.

Some additional items to consider:
UV Sterilizers, Aquarium Heater, Gravel, Aquarium Background



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Water Test Kit

water test kitWhether you are a serious or casual pet fish hobbyist, an ammonia, nitrate and nitrite water test kit is definitely a must-have item for your aquarium. Ammonia is generated from the fish waste and decomposing food while increase of nitrite and nitrate will follow suit after further breakdown by bacteria. Presence of these chemicals cannot be avoided and it is very important that you monitor the levels at all times so that you know what is going on. Read up about nitrogen cycle in order to get a better idea.

Generally an ammonia, nitrate and nitrite water test kit plays an important role when setting new tank when the beneficial bacteria has yet to develop. During that period, it is imperative to monitor closely on the level on daily basis so that any fluctuation can be easily detected. Once the tank has established, you can easily reduce the frequency to have it done at least once every two weeks.

When buying the test kit, make sure that the pack comes with all three indicators so that you can cover all parameters at once. Most aquarium stores will sell test kit either for ammonia, nitrite or nitrate but I would not recommend buying them individually. Usually the price for a complete set ranges from $5 to $20 depending on the quality and manufacturers. Using the test kit is very simple because all you need to do is to dip in the test strip and the resulting color can be compared with a a standard color scale. There is also another type which requires you to obtain a sample of aquarium water and then add in a few drops of test solution to get the color reading.

Finally, there are several actions which you can take if you find that the chemicals fluctuate above a certain level:
1) Perform water change
2) Rinse and check for clogged up aquarium filter



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Automatic Fish Feeder

aquarium automatic fish feederIt is always a good idea to get an Automatic Fish Feeder in case you are going on a long holiday. Unlike other pets, fish needs less attention or worry because they actually can last 3-4 days without food. Provided that your aquarium has a good filtration system, it’s not necessary to even change the water at all until you return. But make sure that the whole system is stable without ammonia or nitrite level fluctuation and conduct routine water change right before you leave.

An automatic fish feeder is basically a simple setup that includes a timer to start dropping the fish food at a preset interval. My visits to the aquarium stores show that the price for a unit usually range between $20 to $50 depending on the quality and mode of operation. So far, all the units that I’ve seen before are all battery operated with some having a digital display as well.

Most people going on a holiday prefer to have the chores of feeding the fish assigned to neighbors or even friends. For me, depending on the number of day that I will be gone, usually it’s either I leave it alone without any intervention (if it’s only 3-4 days) but for longer period, maybe up to a week, then I will get an automatic fish feeder to help with the task.

There are many reasons why I prefer not to have someone else feeding my pet. First of all, the person may not have experience with fish keeping and thus does not know how much to feed. In this case, there might be a risk of overfeeding and fouling the water. Second I prefer not to have strangers walking into my house and then leaving. That’s why for that reason an automatic fish feeder is good enough to take care of everything until I'm back from holiday.



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Christmas Gift for Pet Fish

Well, it may sounds odd to some but have you thought of getting Christmas present for your pet fish? I stumbled upon this idea few years back when my stock of neon tetra fish was still around. As usual, shopping for our Christmas gift to exchange with friends and relatives has been a normal routine in preparation for the big day. The list was long but nevertheless, we did our best going through the list careful so that we don’t miss out anything. That’s when something crossed my mind on why my pet fish has been left out all these years.

aquarium fish
So without much ado, I hurriedly rushed over to my favorite fish store and scout around for the perfect gift. Several items mainly related to aquarium supplies were short-listed like new aquarium filter, nutritious fish food or maybe a new fluorescent light for the aquarium, which I think serve more purpose more than anything else. In the end, we settled for a decorative cave. I can’t explain why, but I think if I were to get something for them, I would go for an item, which they would like to have, and could accompany them around. I knew I bought the perfect gift because when I put in the decorative cave into the aquarium, I could see that they enjoyed swimming around and hiding in their new found home.



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Fish Supplies: Aquarium pH Test Kit

There are different types of Aquarium pH Test Kit, which can be found in aquarium fish stores worldwide. Test kits nowadays are very simple to use and can provide fast and accurate results. Sometimes the usage is as simple as submerging a dipstick to get a reading while others need to compare color measurement with a standard color strip. Let’s look at some of the options available depending on your requirements and budget.

Reagent pH test kit

aquarium ph test kitRequires addition of a reagent to a measured amount of sample water taken from the tank and the color that appears can be measured and compared against a standard color chart. It is less expensive (in the range of $10 to $20) but it can be hard to read and get the measurement if let’s say the color contract is not clear when compared against the standard.


Digital pH reader

digital ph testerMore accurate because all one needs to do is to dip the tip of the reader in the aquarium water and instantaneously the results will appear. This type of reader needs calibration using standard solution and it can be quite expensive to purchase (usually between $70 to $100). However, it might be more economical in the long run because the reader can be reuse again and again for the measurement unlike solutions, which can be depleted.

Once you’ve obtained the pH test results, simply adjust accordingly by adding distilled water if the pH goes too high or the other way round, if the pH is too low, you can add in some crushed corals packed in a meshed bag and placed it under the gravel bed or inside aquarium filter media.



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Aquarium Fish Species: Goldfish

Goldfish is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species kept in home aquariums all over the world. They come is variety of shapes, colors and currently there are more than hundreds of goldfish varieties crossbred and produced as ornamental fish. Their graceful movements coupled with their bright coloration and fancy features, often makes them the first choice of fish among hobbyist.

Goldfish are not the type of fish suitable for beginners due to their nature of heavy waste generation that requires a lot of care and maintenance. If one is unable to commit their time and effort to look after this delicate aquarium fish, it will usually result in poor water quality that often leads to introduction of fish disease.

Most people always have the misconception that keeping goldfish is somehow relatively easy without needing much attention. Goldfish are often stuffed in bowls with poor water quality and most of the times, are often fed non-stop until they become bloated. This often led to introduction of disease, while others become stunted due to limited space and lack of proper nutrition and in worst case, death.

Goldfish generally thrive in water temperature ranging from 20 to 22degC with pH around 7.5. Some are slow swimmers while others are more agile. They are not aggressive and would not harm other fish that housed together with them in the same aquarium. However, due to their heavy waste generation and feeding frenzy, most people regard them as unsuitable for community aquarium. Goldfish are not fussy when it comes to diet and if well cared for, they can survive for long period of time up to 20 years.

Let’s look at different goldfish varieties below:

ranchu pearlscale comet black moor
RanchuPearlscaleCometMoor

This part is a contribution from one of All About Aquarium Fish fans.
Thanks Helen Howard for sharing such lovely article that details your past experience and wonderful thoughts with us here.

Why goldfish is the number 1 choice of pet fish
"Goldfish are mostly kept in large aquariums while there are some hobbyists who prefer to have them housed in an outdoor pond. Keeping and collecting various breeds of goldfish is an exciting past time because not only there are so many varieties with different colors to choose from but among the same breed, there can even be variations.

The Japanese in particular spent most of their time, watching their goldfish grow and through trials and errors plus experience, their aim is to produce a specimen unrivalled in perfection. The lionhead for example, has unique headgrowth that can be very unpredictable and varies between one individual goldfish to another and not single one goldfish that will actually look the same. Throughout the years, serious and committed hobbyist like myself, has placed an importance towards collecting the most beautiful and well-developed goldfish that could find.

Watching my pets go about with their daily activities can be very relaxing and fun to watch. If you have a bunch of new plants placed in the tank, and so happen that you just miss your normal feeding schedule, you will be shocked to come home and find all the leaves were shredded and torn to small pieces. Don’t worry so much because as you grow fond of them, eventually you will forgive for what they have done. :)

Collecting the young and breeding your fish is also another exciting thing to get involved in. I remember the first time when I found the eggs of my lionhead which I own few year backs and then seeing the baby goldfish that hatch from it. Of course back then I don’t have much experience or knowledge about keeping goldfish and ended losing all of them but through learning, finally I persevered.

ranchu goldfish collectionToday I’m a proud parent to 2 generations of 8 lionhead goldfish, 4 ranchus, 3 Jikin (which I specifically bought from Japan), a pair of pearlscale and 1 oranda. Even up to today, I could still relish those times which I enjoy every single moment of it. Thanks for producing so many articles about fishkeeping so that you can share with us here."



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Aquarium Fish Disease: Fungus Infection

aquarium fish fungusFungus Infection is very common aquarium fish disease affecting the exposed areas of skin tissues, usually a result of injury caused by rough handling, fighting, sometimes inflicted during spawning or open wounds brought about by fish lice or anchor worm attack. The fungal infection appears as a lump of cotton wool which, if left untreated might spread to the other areas of the skin as well. Under a microscope view (insert picture) it looks like strands of human hair combined together to form a large lump.

Fungus is commonly found in tropical warm waters whereby it will spread through spores. Under normal circumstances, it won’t be a threat to your aquarium fish, unless there are exposed areas, coupled with high nitrate levels usually a result of overcrowding in the fish tank. Infected fish will become inactive, easily frightened with loss of appetite and generally it will try to isolate itself.

Other than skin areas, sometimes you can also notice that the gills can also develop the same cottony material. This is usually another type of fungus, which is even more lethal than the one affecting the skin. The main reason is because the fungus will spread so fast that it will cause the gill tissues to die and the fish unable to breath properly. Fish will often start gasping for air on the aquarium surface and usually the infected fish will die in a matter of days.

There are several options when it comes to treating fish fungus. Of course, the first thing to do is to check your water quality especially nitrite and nitrate levels. Immediately perform water change. Use Malachite Green or Potassium Permanganate, which is available from aquarium fish stores, and follow the direction usage indicated on the bottle. On top of that, you can also combine treatment adding 0.5% aquarium salt to the water. Monitor the water temperature at all times to ensure that it doesn’t go above 25degC so that it will help in the recovery process.

Other posts covering similar topics:
» Tips to successful aquarium fish keeping
» Common mistakes made by aquarium owners
» Other fish disease - Ich or white spot



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Aquarium Gravel

aquarium gravelAquarium Gravel has three main functions for use in the aquarium fish tank. First, it can either act as a substrate for the growth of live aquarium plants, it can also be used as a filter media for undergravel filter and finally the presence of gravel as decoration will enhance the beauty of the aquarium.

Choosing the right aquarium gravel is actually very important because you have to take into consideration the particle size and type of material of the gravel. If the particle size is too big, pieces of uneaten food and solid waste will get trapped in between and thus will accumulate there. Soon, it will start to decompose and releases toxins that will cause changes in the aquarium water chemistry. Bigger sized aquarium gravel will also unable to provide good anchorage for the roots of live aquarium plants. On the other hand, if it is too fine, the gravel bed will become too compact and chokes off air and water circulation through the gravel. This will cause plant roots unable to perform respiration and debris that gets trapped among the tiny space will rot and accumulate noxious gas especially ammonia that is harmful to the fish. Depending on which types of aquarium fish, fine sands will also create problems for certain fish such as goldfish, which will accidentally swallow the sands when scouring for food in the gravel bed.

Usually particle size of around 3mm diameter is the perfect size for use in aquarium fish tank. If you are using the aquarium gravel as filter media, the gravel bed should be at least 5 to 8 cm layer of thickness. If it is only used as a substrate for plants, you just need the right amount to cover and provide anchorage for the roots.

Another important consideration is the type of material for the aquarium gravel. The best selection is to use either stones or granite because both materials will not dissolve in the water and alter pH and water hardness level. There is also another type called iron enriched gravel substrate, which is basically gravel that contains essential nutrient for growth of aquarium plants. Avoid using limestone, coral, cockleshell, fine sand, marble or colored pebbles with paints that will peel off over prolonged period in the water.

Having gravel does have its benefit but one must be prepared to commit more time for the aquarium maintenance aspect. It is important that the gravel must be cleaned at least once in a month by either digging into the gravel bed to siphon out the sediments or another simple approach is to use aquarium gravel cleaner. You have to ask yourself whether you are willing to commit your time doing that and if the answer is no, then you have to resort to having a barren aquarium surface setup with plastic plants or using an overhead filter instead.

Related topic: Learn about Setting up your own Aquarium



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Aquarium Supplies - Aquarium Stands

aquarium stands canopyAquarium stands are needed to support your aquarium fish tanks at certain viewing level. Whether it is an all glass or acrylic aquarium, the aquarium stand must be able to withstand the load and pressure so that it can hold together the aquarium structure to provide a strong support and most important, to prevent any damages to the tank. When shopping for your preferred choice of aquarium stands, always look for the size and material of construction whether it is made up of cast iron or using pressure treated wood.

Generally aquarium fish shoppers nowadays no longer prefer metal types and instead opt for the wooden aquarium stands as it provides a more contemporary look. Usually the Red Oak Aquarium Stands can easily fit into any home decoration and it is also designed with a cabinet to provide that extra storage space. However, if budget is your constraint, you can always opt for metal aquarium stands instead as it costs far less, usually about half the price you normally have to pay for wooden types.

Aquarium stands also come in different designs, styles and colors. Nowadays canopy is also considered as part of the aquarium stands buying options. At certain aquarium store, canopy is sold separately while others are provided as part of the deal. If you are not sure on which type you want to buy and whether the purchased item is the most suitable especially to complement the size of your aquarium, check carefully with the sales person on the specification load.



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

About Me

My Photo

My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

Have any comment, suggestion, picture or article about your pet fish experience you would like to share? Use the Contact Me Page.