Basic Aquarium Facts

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,467
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas discusses how to keep your fish happy and healthy in their aquarium.

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    ""e5$#hJXXXXXXX1/4cX05XZXXXB5Hi, Jim Karanikas here, back again to talk to you about some important facts for keeping your fish happy and healthy, because an aquarium is a lot of fun but it is not fun when the fish are not happy. Your aquarium is going to weigh 11 pounds per ounce, so a 20 ounce aquarium like this is going to weigh about 220 pounds and that is pretty heavy. Years ago, my sister when she was little put her feet up on the side of an aquarium and fell over it and it made a loud boom in our house. Woke us all up, they thought it was an atomic bomb going off. So, you want to make sure that when you put your aquarium somewhere that is going to be set on something that is solid surface because you do not want it to be falling over. Most aquarium manufacturers make really nice stands and today they make really nice cabinets that will match just about any dcor in your house. So, you want to make sure that it is on a solid surface. You also want to place your aquarium in your house in an appropriate place. You do not want to have it next to a window or a door where it maybe drafty and you may have temperature fluctuations. The fish do not like temperature fluctuations. Then also, we want to make sure that it is not really close to a vent because if it is near a heating vent or an air conditioning vent, that too can cause the temperature to fluctuate in the aquarium. Alright, one of the most common mistakes I see people make when they set up their aquarium is that they do not drip loop the chords that are coming off of the equipment on the aquarium. You want to make sure they all have a loop in them before they go into either a power strip or to the socket in the wall. You do not want to place the power strip right below the aquariums and plug the plug directly in here because if any water with a drip out of here, it is going to follow the chord down and drip on to socket and possibly cause a fire. So, you want to take it the power strip, mount it up on the wall so that the chord has a loop on it, so when, if any water drips out of the filter or off the aquarium, it will follow the chord to the lowest point, go in the floor and not back uphill, into the socket. Now, we spoke earlier about live bacteria. Live bacteria are really what allow us to keep the fish alive in our aquarium. They live in components of your filter and they also live in the gravel in your fish tank. So, we want to make sure that whatever we do to the aquarium, we do not destroy this good bacteria. They eat the fish waste that the fish are producing and break it down into non-toxic byproducts. Without the bacteria, the waste products from the fish are going to build up and possibly, kill your fish and it will make also for cloudy water and there may even be a little bit of a smell to it. So, you want to make sure that whatever we do to the aquarium, we do not kill the good bacteria. Now, things that will kill the good bacteria would be any types of soaps that you would use around the house and even tap water can kill the good bacteria. So, you do not want to take all the water out of your aquarium and the gravel and rinse it out with tap water because that will kill the good bacteria. You want to make sure that whatever you do to the aquarium, you are just doing little things, small water changes. You do not want to do a full household springtime cleaning to your aquarium. You want to just maintain a monthly maintenance that takes you 20 or 30 minutes. Alright, let us talk about feeding the fish. You could feed fish a variety of foods that is probably the best and a flake food is your staple food that you are going to feed the fish. There are many brands out there. You are going to want to feed the fish the flake food usually, in the morning or whenever you are in a rush. You are just going to take a small pinch and you are going to put it in the aquarium and it is going to be about as much as they can eat in 30 seconds or so. You will see they will come up here, these guys are a little bit shy but once they start seeing the food, they will come right up and start eating it. We want to make sure that they eat all of the food that you put in and not a lot of it is going down on the bottom of the tank where it can decay and cause problems with your water conditions. See now, they still look hungry and that is normal for fish. They are always going to look hungry, but try not to over feed them so that actually, that food gets on the bottom. Now, we also have frozen foods. There are many types; brown shrimp is probably the most popular. There is also blood worms and beef heart. This size fish here, it will be less appropriate to feed them frozen brown shrimp. I am going to take the package out of the freezer, we are going to pop out one of these little cubes here and then we are going to dip it in the tank and let it to frost a little bit and you will see the little shrimp come off. This is a food that you want to feed when you have some time to actually sit down and watch the fish. It is a good time to see it if they are all feeling well, they have any spots on their body and make sure everybody is eating. What I recommend to you is just putting a little bit in, let them eat it all and you can see it takes them a little bit of time to swallow it and get it down in their mouth and then I could put a little bit more in and we want to make sure everybody gets a little bit of this because some of the faster fish, the bigger fish, the ones that eat may eat crabs, a little bit more of a bully, they are going to get the food faster than the other fish. So, you want to make sure that everybody gets a little bit and you can actually see their bellies getting a little bit more rounded as they fill up with the food. Now, you can see with the frozen food, I am feeding a little bit more than the flake food. Now, the way that they will chew is that they will put the food in their mouth and they will spit it out. Often, it looks like maybe they don't like how it tastes, but it is how they chew those. They will put it in their mouth then they will spit it out, they will put it back in their mouth and then they will spit it out. They also sometimes have to align the food properly so that the right end is going in first. Now, bottom fish stay close again to the bottom and will not feed at the top. You see these guys are sitting and waiting for food to drop and if all the top feeders, the middle feeders get the all the food, the guys in the bottom are not going to get any. So, because we have two guys sitting down there, waiting, I want to make sure that I get enough food in the tank so it can get pat these Cardinal Tetras and down to the bottom. So, if you do feed your fish properly two to three times a day, if you go away for the weekend or a long weekend so, say three days, you can go ahead and leave the fish and not worry about them. If it is going to be longer than just a couple of days, there are feeding blocks and automatic feeders that you can put on your aquarium that will either dissolve and release food into their tank or spin around as most of them are battery operated and they will spin around and they will dump a small portion of food in the tank once or twice a day. DHg}28^stKMnq'"|F(c)(c)(c)(c)''.

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