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Freshwater Fish Tank Design Concept

Being a fanatic who spends almost every hour of the day checking out and toying with the ideas and possibilities about creating the perfect freshwater aquarium, sometimes you will always be left wondering, which of the design concept is the best for your tank. Always, this is one of the most challenging parts of fish keeping because after all, that is the whole purpose of having an aquarium in the first place. In fact it is the dream of every single hobbyist out there to set up the best fish tank and I’m not talking about getting the most modern equipment like a filter, lighting or having the largest aquarium size but what is more important, is creating the stunning looking view that would be the envy all your friends.

Usually after having gone to the pet shops, you start to develop interests and the ideas will come along but before we go about putting things together, let us consider some of the options that we have and how do we want to go about achieving this? Most people get disappointed on not seeing the results that they desire but basically, all these happen because they fail to understand the requirements and also due to lack of ideas to visualize their perfect type of aquariums that they want. The articles here is meant to give a general guideline so that you can picture what you want in your mind and the rest is to leave it to your imagination and creativity to come up with your perfect theme design.

freshwater aquarium design conceptWhich type of aquarium themes that suit you?

Some people do not realize that there are actually different kinds of setup which you can adopt as Design Concept for decorating your fish tank. Whether it is a small, medium sized or large enclosure for your pets, basically you can create all types of environment to resemble the natural look in the wild and it’s amazing what you can do when you can turn a barren tank to become a masterpiece work of art to grace your home. If you look around carefully and checking out public aquariums, there are various themes constructed to resemble different biotopes (plant and fish originating from the same geographical locations) such as the Asian tropical region, the colorful and heavily planted Amazonian style aquariums or you could even try to go for the Rocky African setup with caves coupled with strong backdrop. Being presented with so many choices, basically which type of these options should be best for you? The answer to this lies not only on what you like or want but it all depends on the type of freshwater fish that you want to keep. The Amazonian theme for example, comprises fish that share the same requirements like the discus, angelfish, all interacting harmoniously with one another or you can combine neon tetras and hatchet fish in another smaller biotope.

There are exceptions however, as there are certain people who have specific preferences regarding their choice of fish (not from the same biotope) and in this case, the only option is to go for community aquarium which can be made up of different species of fish originating from different locality. But before you go about mixing different types of fish together, first check out the compatibility aspect whether all the selection that you intend to add to the tank, can they live and co-exist with one another and whether they all share similar living conditions like hardness level, pH and temperature? For instance, if you want to keep African cichlids mixed with Discus, I can tell you that this combination will never work out because discus requires fairly soft water while the African fish needs the opposite meaning that the water must be rich in mineral content to bring up the hardness level. On the other hand, there are some exceptions if let’s say you want to raise discus fish, you can actually have them together with catfishes. There are other factors as well because some freshwater aquarium species in generally can be very easy to take care but there are some which are extremely fussy, so all these have to be taken into considerations.

There are other setups like for example the Dutch Aquariums which are quite rare these days and you can hardly find people showing interest in it except those in the Europe region. In this type of design, more importance is placed towards the natural beauty of the aquatic plants particularly on how they are arranged and displayed. Most of these tanks avoid putting any colorful fish and although this seems to project the kind of boring and dull impression, but however, the idea is that people will put more focus on the plants itself as the center of attention rather than the fish swimming in the tank. Some people add other aquatic living creatures like shrimps but mostly you will find colorless tetras especially those which belong to the tiny freshwater species gracing the Dutch aquariums. There are other professionally-created design concepts as well to admire and described as the perfect living underwater world. One particular example is the Japanese aquascaping developed by Takashi Amano who introduces the idea of modern aquatic garden.

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

Advice Upgrading New Fish Tank

So you have finally made it to the elite aquarium club and decided to switch to a larger and more advanced tank system. Well, I can understand the feeling and excitement and obviously you would want the best for your new pet fish. First of all, compared to starting an aquarium right from scratch when you are just a pure novice, the upgrading process is much easier since you already have all the fundamental knowledge and “know-how” about tank setup so there won’t be much problem. Furthermore the most important asset that you have is the established population of beneficial bacteria and live plants in your current tank and thus, this only involves migrating and reseeding the bacteria to your new larger home.

fish tank upgradeBut first, the starting point will be selecting the best complete aquarium system which will be suited for your new project. Whether it is a marine tank or a freshwater aquarium setup obviously you would want something much bigger now with higher capacity compared to your old aquarium. There are quite a number of selections to go around like Juwel which I think the 450 model will definitely make an awesome show tank display and become the envy of your friends. And then you also have the Oceanic Biocube if you are planning on upgrading from a freshwater to a marine aquarium. Apart from that, what I’ve heard also is that the Marineland and Tetra starter systems will be fine, offering a hassle-free, easy to set up kits plus accessories, so basically the choice is yours to make as you are presented with so many options. The best way to go about is heading to the aquarium store and have a first hand view and look on the items before deciding which one you like best that will suit the type of fish that you will be migrating to your bigger home aquarium.

After everything is ready, do not rush into things and immediately transfer your pets. Remember, you would want your new tank to be fully cycled so that your fish will not be exposed and subjected to the stress of moving to a different place. Normally as I’ve mentioned earlier, this should be an easy process because in order to accelerate the cycling step, just take some of the gravel from your old tank together with all the plants and then put it in your new setup. Depending on temperature and other tank conditions, normally it will take about a week or less, thus make sure that you periodically check for nitrite and nitrate levels to confirm on the actual reading. Another option you can also consider is that if you decided to leave everything intact in your old system, you can also take the filter media such as your sponge pad from the old unit and put it in to your new aquarium filter. As far as I know, this is the best method because most of the bacteria actually reside in the filter compartment and thus your aquarium will be up and running in no time. For marine aquariums, the whole process will take slightly longer because you have to ensure that the water condition is already okay before you proceed to move the live sands. Leave this for at least a day before you work on the live rocks and corals while extreme care has to be applied without damaging any of those. Again retest your water quality before you go on to the next step of actually moving your pets.

Catching your fish can be quite tricky especially if you have not done this before taking them out from their home. For some people, they actually don’t have the nerve to really get it done as they scared this will hurt their pets. One thing to always remember is that in order reduce the stress level, try to siphon at least a quarter of the water from your old tank to the new one. Don’t worry about the water being dirty because that is what your fish want it to be anyway as the aged water contains some fluids and slime from their own body. Other aspect that you might want to watch out for is the size. Maybe when you first bought your pets couple of years ago, they were just a small tiny fry but now you are dealing with much larger fish size and sometimes that alone will give you the chill and left you wondering whether you are doing the right thing. Another fact that you will need to acknowledge is that certain fish species will find it easier adjusting to the different water condition and living environment without giving much problem but there are some which will take slightly longer time period. Hardy fish like platy, cichlids and to certain extent goldfish will not have much problem as they can quickly forget about what is happening around. There are some species like the discus and arowana which can be more sensitive so it might take a while to get everything back to normal. After you have completed the move, continue to monitor their behavior and find out whether they have adjusted to the tank environment. Chances are most likely there won’t be much problem after all if you plan your tasks carefully.

Based on my own experience when buying a totally new aquarium set, best option is to get a whole complete system that comes in a single package. A few reputable suppliers like Juwel, Marineland, JBJ and Oceanic have their own range of products and pre-assembled setups like lighting, aquarium filter which all come together specially made to complement their fish tanks. In short, this will take away all the hassles of figuring out what type of accessories and items to match the other and whether everything will fit in. The same principle can also be applied if you are setting up an ideal fish system for whole family.

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

About Me

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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."

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