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  • How many fish can I fit in my fish tank?
    The rule for stocking tropical freshwater fish is 1 inch full grown per gallon. Meaning if the fsh you want gets 2 inches as an adult then you should have 2 gallons for that one fish. If you have a 10 gallon aquarium and all the fish you want to keep get 2 inches as an adult then you can fit a total of 5 fish in your aquarium. For saltwater we like to go off 1 inch full grown per 3 - 5 gallons. The rule for stocking goldfish is 10 gallons per adult goldfish as even a comet (feeder/ fair) goldfish can get upwards of 8 inches in size as an adult. Depending on living conditions and diet, I've seen a 1 inch feeder goldfish get to 6 inches in length in less then 8 months. Please note that things like live plants in a aquarium can increase the amount of fish you can have because these plants help keep the water quality more balanced for fish.
  • I just set up a brand new fish tank and my fish died right away. Why is this happening?
    Don't be discouraged, this happens pretty often as some times the fish store employee might not have the time or knowledge on what is involved to ensuring success with your first aquarium. Unfortunately some stores have no problem selling you a brand new aquarium and a bunch of fish for it at once which can lead to new fishkeepers getting discouraged, the truth is that every aquarium/ aquatic ecosystem needs to go through something called the Nitrogen Cycle. This is basically the processs every container with water that is intended on housing fish needs to go through in order to safely keep fish alive. The nitrogen cycle usually takes 4 - 6 weeks to complete and during that time, beneifical bacteria aka nitrifying bacteria builds up. The job of this beneifical bacteria is to convert toxic ammonia into something safer for your fish, which is nitrites, then nitrates. This Nitrogen cycle will only begin once we add a source of ammonia to an aquarium which could be sprinkling fish food into a tank the first couple days of setting up an aquarium. Or some people will add one hardy fish to their tank and testing the water daily. Plus adding starter bacteria they sell at fish stores now either in liquid bottles or little gel balls is a good requirement for new fish keepers. To summarize, if your tank is brand new, please be paitent and have an understanding of the nitrogen cycle before buying/adding fish to your brand new aquarium.
  • How long should the light be on?
    Generally you dont want the light on more then 6-8 hours a day. We should keep in mind that the fish tank recieves ambient lighting from the lights in the room and from the sun through the windows (it's not recommended to have your tank placed near a window as where the light hits the tank you will end up with algae on the glass). Also fish need their sleep/rest time just like humans so try to turn off your lights at night. I recommend a timer so it will turn off and on automatically everynight. Forgetting to turn off your light can lead to unslighty algae growth that needs to be manually cleaned.
  • Do I really need a filter/heater? Can't I just keep a fish in a bowl
    Filters provide filtration to your aquarium helping keep it cleaner longer. Which means the water in the fish tank won't need to be changed as often. Filters also agitate the surface of the water which puts oxygen into the aqurium so your fish can breath. The reason you see fish like bettas living in cups is because betta and a select few other fish like gouramis have whats call a labyrinth organs which allows fish to breathe air from the surface of the water. These fish require access to the surface of the water, are sometimes known to jump and can build bubble nests. As for heaters, check what the temperature requirements are for the type of fish you are keeping. Tropical fish do best between 75 and 80 degrees fahrenheit which unless you live in places light Southern Florida you will usually want a heater. Fish like goldfish or native fish would do fine at room temperature. Some cold water fish (goldfish are considered cold water) would require chillers to keep the tank at the proper temperature if you live somewhere where it's hot.
  • What do I need (need to know) to keep my fish alive?
    One should have a basic understanding of what the Nitrogen Cycle is. Water conditioners are required if your tap water has chlorine/ chloramines in it. Understand that not all fish get along with eachother. Understand that the 2 inch fish at the pet store might be 12 inches in less than a year so researching what fish you are getting is crucial. Beneficial bacteria is a must for a new tank if you are new to fishkeeping. Buy a water testing kit and test your water as often as you can when first setting up your first aquarium. Watch a video or ask someone to show you how to use a gravel vacuum/siphon. RESEARCH And most importantly, please don't buy a fish on the same day you buy your first aquarium as you are setting yourself up for a hard time. And if you are very in doubt if your fish are okay. Do a 25% water change with dechlorinated water that is close to the same temp.
  • How do I clean my fish tank?
    Watch a video on how to properly use a gravel vacuum / siphon. There are different techniques to getting a siphon started so find which works best for you. First get something to scrub the algae that is safe for either glass or acrylic depending on what your tank is made out of. Mr.Clean Magic Erasers are great for cleaning inside any fish tank as one eraser can be cut into 4 - 5 pieces and thrown away after each use. (note to only use the original magic erasers) Use the siphon to clean the substrate/gravel of your fish tank ideally once every 2 weeks. While you use the siphon have the dirty water siphon into a bucket. If you have plants in your gravel it is recommended to simply hover over the plant to suck up any fish poop without burrying the siphon into the gravel. It's not require to remove your hardscape (large decor/stones/wood) everytime you clean an aquarium but its good to try to clean what can settle under large decor pieces at least once every 2-3 months. You should see browish colored poop water getting siphoned out of your fish tank that turns pretty clear (not perfectly clear). Your goal is to remove about 25% of the water while using the siphon to remove the poop that has settled into the substrate/gravel (more or less is okay depending on your system and needs at that time) Some people will remove artifical decor each time they clean their aquarium to use a scrub brush to clean the algae off the decor in the sink. Replace with water of a similar, ideally the same temp. Add your water conditioner within 10 minutes of adding water into your fish tank (or you can dechlorinate your water before putting it in your fish tank) Replace the filter cartridge with activated carbon if its been over a month (some will rinse the cartridge if it looks really brown and dirty) Try not to rinise the cartridge in water with chloramines in it cause that can kill the beneifical bacteria on the cartridge. In filters with a double cartridge some will clean one one week then the other the following week. Biological media should never be cleaned / rinised in anything but fish tank water as you do not want to risk killing your fish (dunk your bag of biological media a few times in the bucket of dirty fish tank water after you siphon) Benefical bacteria lives in on the surface of everything inside your aquarium so if you clean everything but your gravel you will technically still have some good bacteria in the rocks of your fish tank which is what will ensure you don't accidently over clean your aquarium which can kill your fish. Realize that fish come from lakes, rivers, the ocean which we don't clean, specially not with harsh chemicals, so the same applys to cleaning your fish tank. I've seen to many people try to use bleach and windex to clean their fish tank and they end up killing all the benefical bacteria thats keeping the fish alive or chemicals get into the water that posion the fish. Dechlorinated water, a scrub brush that hasn't been used for anything but fish tanks stuff, something to clean the glass, a siphon/gravel vac and a bucket are all you need. Some people will use a thermometer to try to get the temperature of the water as close to tank temp as possible before pouring the water into the tank. (if you are doing less then a 25% water change it's okay if the water isn't perfectly the same temp but if you do a big water change like 75% then get it as close to temp as possible) Notice I did not say to remove the fish from your aquarium. In tanks over 5 gallons you really should leave the fish in the tank but it is normal to have a container / net to catch your fish out of your small aquarium to set the fish aside while simply using your hand to stir up the gravel then pour the water out or use a small siphon to change the water. Pro tip: use a turkey baster for removing uneatten food and touching up smaller aquariums in between cleanings.
  • My fish has ich / white spots on it! WHAT DO I DO?
    Do not fear! Ich is one of the most common illnesses our fish get and its one of the easiest to cure! A simple parasite medication like Ich-X or Microbe-Lift Herbtana is recommended. Be sure to follow the instructions of your medication when dosing. In general, the goal once you first notice these little white spots on your fish in your main system is remove any activated carbon from your filter and begin medicating your fish, followed by a a 50% water change every 5-7 days. Repeat until a week AFTER you see the last spots fall off of the fish. The reason for continuing to dose the medication after the fish no longer have spots on them is to ensure we kill and remove any potential baby parasites that may still be in the water but not on the fish. The medication is designed to make Ich fall off the fish, extra water changes ensure siphon them out of the aquarium so they can't reattach to another fish at a later time. If your aquarium does not have live plants or scaleless fish like catfish then aquarium salt can also be used. Also for those with an adjustable heater in their system it is recommended to turn the temperature up to 82 degrees fahrenheit and leave it at that them until a week after you stop seeing spots.
  • Fish seems to be stuck at the bottom or top of my aquarium. What wrong with it?
    When a fish is having trouble swimming normally its usually an indicator that something is wrong with its swim bladder. A swim bladder issue can either be genetic or sometimes if a fish over eats or maybe eats something its not suppose is can put pressure on the swim bladder which could cause the fish to seem stuck at the bottom or top of a fish tank. It is recommend to not feed the fish its regular fish food for 2-4 days then feeding some organic green peas that have been blanced from frozen to soften and remove the skin of the pea prior to feeding. Green peas have the ability to help resolve swim bladder issues but note that it is not a guaranteed solution as some fish begin to develop swim bladder issues as they age which can not be cured. Or sometimes a fish can injury itself in the aquarium causing irreversible damage to the swim bladder. In some cases, what you are seeing is actually something known as Dropsy, which is the buildup of fluid inside the body cavity or tissues of a fish. As a symptom rather than a disease, it can indicate a number of underlying diseases, including bacterial infections, parasitic infections or liver dysfunction. Goldfish in particular are extremely prone to developing a swim bladder issue if fed they are often fed flakes and pellets. Feeding frozen fish foods like bloodworms and even fresh veggies are a good way to prevent swim bladder issues in goldfish.
  • Theres little red worms coming out of my fish where it usually poops.
    Red worms are an internal parasite know as camallanus worms. They aren't very common but usually you will usually come across them in guppies at one point or another in this hobby. These parasites tend to make the fish look like its wasting away, there's a term called wasting diease that these camallanus worms cause. Sometimes this parasite can go unnoticed in fish that are considered "overly fed". They are thinner then the poop of the fish. Sometimes an early sign that your fish has camallanus worms is that their poop is very white and stringy. Treat with Lavemisole or Fenbendazole. Fritz Expel-P is a good option. The medications are light sensitive so read the label and follow the directions on the medication. Extra water changes is required and try to retreat 14 days after initial treatment as these red worms have a 14 day life cycle so we need to ensure we get rid of any newly hatched ones. Garlic in the fish food is also good additonal thing to do to help rid fish of internal parasites.
  • The fins on my fish are all torn and messed up. What do I do?
    Torn or messed up fins on a fish is known as fin rot. It can occur if a fish is living in poor water quality. Sometimes a fish will tear its fins on decor or get nipped and the open wound on the fins get infected which can cause the fin to continue to rot away until theres no fin left. Treat with bacterial/fungal treatment for two weeks and do a 50% water ideally once every 3-5 days. Then ensure the fish stays within its ideal water parameters so it can heal up. Be sure to remove activated carbon from the filter. Also note that it can sometimes take months for the fish to get back to normal.
  • Why do I need to remove the filter cartridge when putting fish medication in my aquarium?
    Filter cartridges are filter pads with activated carbon in them. This activated carbon removes fish medications from the system as well as helps with water clarity. Activated carbon lasts about a month before it gets "full" so its recommended to change them out once a month if you decide to always have activated carbon in your filter. If your cartridge is less then a month old you can put it aside in a ziplock bag and reuse it once you are done medicating your fish. (Pro tip: activated carbon is not required. biological media and or sponges and filter floss work as well)
  • What fish can I keep with my betta fish?
    Bettas can be kept with other tropical community fish in a properly sized aquarium. (1 inch full grown of fish per gallon of water) However there should only be one male betta per aquarium max. Multiple female bettas (known as a betta sorority) can be housed together if you have a minium of three females in a minium of a 10 gallon aquarium as long as you provide lots of hiding places and structure so every female betta can have her own territory in the aquarium. Bettas aren't a considered an aggressive fish, they are territorial though so you may notice them chasing the other fish. In the wild, male bettas have a 3 foot by 3 foot terratory and the females swim together around the body of water. So techanically, in a tank that was for example 3 foot by 6 foot, you should be able to house 2 male bettas with no problems. Please note that all bettas have different personalities, so sometimes you will have a female that will not do well with other females. And theres even been cases of males and females being housed in tanks between 40 - 125 gallons tanks succesfully because the tank was exetremely overly planted. So be sure to factor in your fishes personality. It's recommended to rearrange decor anytime you add a new fish that may compete for another fishes terratory so that all the territorial fish need to find a new spot. Female betta sororities can sometimes take a few weeks to develop their hierarchy so its common to see some fin nipping during this time.
  • How can I find out if a fish at the pet store will get along with my fish at home?
    Always ensure you get your information from a trusted source. Some times when we go to a local fish store or big box store we may come across an employee that is knowledgeable and passionate about fish and sometimes you may end up talking to someone that knows nothing about fish. The best thing to do is to do a quick google search of the fish you are interested in buying to first confirm if it will be okay in the size and temperature of your aquarium. (For example: That 2 inch oscar at the fish store might be okay in a 20 gallon with your buenos aires tetras for a little bit but when its a 12 inch fish in a year you will need to upgrade to a minium 75 gallon and your tetras will have disappeared one by one as the oscar got bigger) Then check if this potentail new pet is safe with the type of decor you have, for example goldfish and african cichlids are known to eat or uproot live plants so if you enjoy your planted aquarium then go with something else. Then lastly do a google search to check if your specific fish is compatible with the fish you want in the store. It's always recommend to quarantine any new fish for a few weeks to ensure your new fish are healthy before you put them in your display tank. It's also never recommended to bring home a fish before you research what type of fish it is.
  • What cichlids can I keep together/ What can I keep with cichlids?
    Cichlids are broken up by geographic location as well as temperment as they are usually semi aggressive/ aggressive. Some dwarf cichlids like ram cichlids or kirbenses cichlids are considered peaceful and can be kept with tetras/guppies/plants. Some are safe with plants and some with eat and uproot plants. In general, keep fish that are compatible in size and temperment that work in the type of aquarium you set up (planted or non planted). Most cichlid owners prefer to create aquascapes specific for the type of fish they planned to keep before they even purchased the fish tank for it. Cichlids can vary greatly in size with most getting 6-12 inches but note that whatever fits in a fishes mouth with probably end up in it. African cichlids are broken up by which lake they came from; Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. In general try to keep ones from the same lake together as these guys are aggressive. Pseudotropheus/ Mbuna cichlids for example can be kept with peacock cichlids which are from a different region IF the peacocks are significantly larger. All african cichlids tanks should be over stocked and preferably overly filtered. Some African cichlids do well will aggressive loaches and armored catfish/plecos. Increasingly popular are Central and South American cichlids within the hobby. Even some from Madagascar and Southern Asia. Most getting to around 12 inches in length. Non african cichlids can usually be kept with things like catfish, barbs, large tetras, loaches and plecos as long as they are comparable in size and temperment. Some fish like Flowerhorns, Wolf Cichlids are so aggressive that they will literally kill anything thats in its tank. They may even take a bite of you if you arent careful during feeding/cleaning time. The key is always to research the specific fish you want.
  • How hard is it to keep a saltwater aquarium?
    The beauty of saltwater ecosystems is that in the long run they can become easier to care for then freshwater. Heres what you need to know... There's a difference between a saltwater reef, a saltwater fish only system, nano reefs, nano saltwater tanks and macro algae tanks. And the amount of money versus time you want to invest into this hobby matters. Reefs mean theres live coral and usually a clean up crew of snails, shrimps and hermit crabs. Reef tanks require better lighting specific for growing coral. Some saltwater fish like puffers tend to eat coral, snails, shrimp, hermit crabs and anenomes so you wouldn't want to house them together. Some coral are harder to keep alive then others and require specific feeding or lighting par requirements so placement in the tank is important. Saltwater puffers for example would be better suited in a fish only system with some live rock that can range from white to purple or even artifical decor. Fish only systems don't have a specific lighting requirement meaning any light will work even if its for freshwater. Note that reds and blues in your lights will make your fish appear significantly more vibrant. Reefs in the long run can pretty easily become true ecosystems that require minimal maintenance (depending on the type of coral you decide to keep and the amount you want to invest in things like auto dosers/topoffs and even auto feeders) In reef or fish only systems the amount of maintenance can be lessened with things like protein skimmers, refugiums, algae turf scrubbers but in general with large (over 50 gallon) saltwater fish only systems you would want to do a water change every 2 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the stocking, etc. Which really is the same as keeping freshwater aquariums.The only extra step is mixing the ocean salt in dechlorinated tapwater or ideally RODI water (reverse osmosis deionized water). Some buy premade saltwater from their local store to save a step and time. It's recommended to invest in a RODI unit to make your own water for mixing with ocean salt specially if you are setting up a reef tank as tap water has other trace elements in it that can affect sensitive creatures like coral and anemones. Smaller nano tanks (tanks between 10 - 50 gallons) can seem harder to take care of then a larger saltwater tanks (over 50 gallons). Pico tanks (under 10 gallons) are even harder to take care of then nano saltwater tanks. This is due to the evaporation of FRESH water from the system. You see the salt in saltwater stays behind in an aquarium so the salinity will slowly rise over time. What this means is that one must be prepared to manually add/ top off your aquarium with dechlorinated freshwater or RODI water ususally once a week (sometimes more in pico tanks) to ensure the salinity level doesn't fluctuate a lot. Investing in an auto top off system will alow you to only have to refill the reservior once ina while. Clean up crews are a great asset to the saltwater ecosystem in that they can keep a tank pretty darn clean by turning over and sifting through the sand and eating algae off every nook and cranny of your live rock. So if you want the snails, hermit crabs and shrimp to help clean your tank so that you dont have to then again, you may not want that puffer fish. Pro tip: There are sand sifting gobies that can be kept with puffers to help keep your sand clean in a fish only system. Saltwater macro algaes are a becoming increasingly popular because of easy these types of systems are to maintain. Just note that macro algae does have specific lighting requirements and some fish will eat macro algae so if you have the algae in your display versus in your sump then be caution of what fish/inverts you keep with it. Also when it comes to filteration and budget. A lot of people don't realize that you can use the same filter from your old freshwater tank on a saltwater tank. Infact you can even use a sponge fitler. It all just depends on the type of tank you set up, what kind of fish you are trying to keep and what your budget it. On average you can expect to spend somewhere around $650 on something like a complete 30 gallon saltwater tank not including the cost of fish/coral/cleaners. So to answer the question of how hard is it to keep a saltwater aquarium. The answer is not much harder then freshwater as long as you know how much work/time you want to dedicate to maintenance and set up the type of system to match. Or hire Aquarium Pro and we can set up and maintain your system for you =)
  • Can I convert my freshwater tank to a saltwater aquarium?
    ABSOLUTELY! Clean everything well, usually with water and distilled vingar then rinse and let air dry. It's recommended to buy substrate/gravel specific for saltwater tanks as it contains crushed coral to help buffer the ph to the ideal 8.4.
  • Can I get a nemo in a fish bowl?
    NO. Clownfish like Nemo can get about 3 inches in length (some types even get as big as 6 inches). The minium size would be a 10 gallon for just one full grown adult clown fish and a couple cleaners/coral. Clown fish, like all saltwater fish need good filtration and aeration so filters are required. Maintenance is key in a small saltwater tank. The smaller the tank, the more often you have to do maintenance. Also, Dory (a blue tang) will require a large tank like 125 gallons minium once it reaches its adult size of around 12 inches. Also blue tangs are way more active swimmers than clownfish so they require more space.
  • How can I tell if my guppy, platy, molly or swordtail (livebearer) is a male or female?"
    Males anal fins are a little stick that usually point backwards but can do a full 360 when they are chasing/ trying to breed with a female. The female anal fin looks more like a v shaped fan of a fin by her stomach. In guppies and endlers, the males are the colorful ones that have color all over the body and tail. Females usually dont have color on their body. Female guppies will have color on their tail but female endlers are all grey and smaller. With swordtails, mollies and platies the males and females both have full body color so the only way to tell is via the anal fins. Please note that its common to think a male fish thats simply trying to breed is bullying your other fish but in reality they are doing what normal happy fish do....which is try to make babies.
  • Is my betta a boy or girl?
    Male bettas are known for having longer fins. Now a days female bettas come in pretty much the same colors as the males. 10 years ago the males were considered way prettier. The only sure way to tell if a betta is a male or female is to look for a little white dot by its stomach. The females will have an egg spot. The spot looks like a grain of salt, and is actually the ovipositor tube where the eggs will come out of. Put your betta in a clear cup and look from the bottom up to check if your betta is a male or female. Note that sometimes stores can mislabel bettas male or female so it often best to double check for yourself just to be safe.
  • Are there ways to tell if my cichlid is male or female?
    Some male cichlids will have whats known as a nuchal hump on their heads. But the best way to tell is by venting a fish though this process can sometimes be very stressful to the fish. Other times if you wait till the fish is mature then some females will show an egg spot when they are showing signs of breeding. Some african cichlids for example are color dimporhic so the male is one color and the female is another. With some fish like small tetras you really can't tell male/female.
  • Who can help me figure out what type of fish I have?
    Your best option is to post a photo to a facebook group specifically for fishkeepers. There are apps to help identify fish as well. And always double check on google images the name of the fish the store tells you they are selling you to make sure you are actually getting the fish you think you are being sold.
  • What kind of light should I use for growing aquarium plants?
    Look for either full spectrum or neutral white light around 6500 to 7000K. Blues are more for saltwater. Our goal is to try to replicate natural sunlight. Its also usually recommend to have mostly whites with some red and blue. LEDs are the standard now but traditional T8s do work. Careful with overly powerful full spectrum leds from hardware stores as you may have to set the light high above your tank verses right on top of the hood unless you want to be cleaning algae all the time. Lights like the fluval 3.0 are a great option for planted aquariums.
  • My water is green like pea soup. What do I do?
    Green water outbreaks or algae blooms are caused by a sudden population explosion of suspended algae known as phytoplankton. Unlike other algae species that grow on the glass. Green water usually is caused from being exposed to light to long or poor water quality. UV sterlizers are usually needed to properly kill this suspended algae to make your water crystal clear again as even extra water changes dont really ever get it all out of the system (UV sterlizers are also recommended for outdoor systems exposed to direct sunlight). Some people will also do a complete tank black out for a week by throwing a towel/blanket over the tank to prevent any light from enter the aquarium to help kill all the phytoplankton. No adding plants is not the reason your water turned green unless it came from a green body of water and wasnt properly rinsed before being put in your tank. Extra water changes and getting your water tested is always a good thing as well.
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