Aquarium Temperature Regulation

Unlike human beings and other mammals, fish do not create their own internal heat. They do not regulate their own body temperature, but depend upon their environment to do that for them. This is why regulating the temperature of a tank is so important.

Most fish have a relatively small range of temperatures they can thrive in. While room temperature may, at times, be the perfect temperature, at other times it may be just a little too cool or slightly to warm for less hardy fish.

Start with learning about the temperature range recommended for your type of fish. This will help you identify what kind of tank heater you should get. Heaters can be set to different levels, to help you get the temperature right.

Some heaters are submersible and others hang on the side of the tank. Perhaps the most efficient solution is a heater filter, which actually heats the water as it passes through the filter, helping to keep the temperature constant throughout the water of the tank.

In order to measure the heat on a daily basis, you can purchase an inexpensive tank thermometer that has a range guide for basic types of fish. For example, tropical fish are the most common fish purchased for in-home aquariums. These fish tolerate only temperate waters of 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit. And a good tank thermometer will indicate that acceptable range by a shade of green.

If the water is getting too hot or too cold, the thermometer will indicate that with first a yellow warning range and then a red range, showing that the fish are in peril if the tank water is not brought back to proper temperature in time.

If you are still unsure about regulating the temperature of your tank, speak to a knowledgeable salesperson in the fish department at the pet store. They should be able to point out to you which heaters would work for your tank and help you find a thermometer that fits your needs.

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Aquarium Filtration

Aquariums need daily filtration. Fish create waste that gets distributed throughout the tank. Excessive feeding also leaves food deposits around the inside of the tank. Without filtration, these deposits of waste and excess food would raise the ammonia content to a toxic level.  The biorb service kit helps to keep ammonia levels under control

Furthermore, algae buildup is a problem for maintaining a healthy aquarium system. Much of the algae produced in fish tanks is eliminated through filtration, before it can attach to the surfaces inside the aquarium.

The most effective filtration system involves more than one type of filtration in one aquarium. For example, bio filtration is the use of live plants and/or rocks to help filter the water naturally. As long as proper current is maintained around live rock, it can be a helpful means of purifying the water.

To provide the extra current, another aid for filtration is an air pump, one that releases air at the bottom of the tank, causing bubbles to rise continually to the surface. This helps move the water for filtration systems and re-oxygenates the water because of the gas exchange that occurs at the surface.

Finally, the last and most important type of filtration is mechanical filtration, involving the use of an actual plug-in filter, attached to the side of the tank. It is best to change the filter cartridge every month or more, depending on recommendations for the type and size of tank. An additional consideration is to look for one with battery backup, in case of a power failure.

Combining two or more of these forms of filtration is not only beneficial for the fish, but is also very helpful for the owner of the aquarium. This is because the better the filtration is, the less frequently the tank will require manual cleaning.

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What is a Biorb Fish Bowl?

The first Biorb Fish Bowl was invented by Reef One in 1998. Since then, the suddenly very popular fishbowl has drawn many fish owners and copycats alike. The original designer bowl has been imitated in many variations over the last several years. Several famous individuals have purchased the original Biorb fish bowl, such as Mariah Carey and Ryan Seacrest.

A design meant for beauty and function, the Biorb fish bowl helps clean itself. Sophisticated and technically superior to a standard bowl or aquarium, the original Biorb is shaped like a large, clear Christmas ball ornament.

Round with a flat bottom and a circular lid on top, the Biorb contains a clear central tube that continually passes water through it, a filtration process that gives Biorb owners more time between cleanings. Since the original round bowl, rectangular and other shaped Biorb bowls have become popular as well.

4-60 gallons of water are held in the bowl, allowing for a variety of fish to live in the Biorb environment. The Biorb has a filter that needs to be changed every 4-6 weeks. And a third of the water needs to be changed out every few weeks. This involves siphoning out 30% of the water and replacing it with new treated water.

The Biorb fish bowl is considered very Feng Shui, as the smooth rounded shape, the flowing water, and the beautiful fish create peace in the home or office environment. While it may not be a good choice for bottom-dwelling fish, surface-feeder fish in many varieties would be quite content in a Biorb environment. A Biorb bowl can add interest and beauty to almost any space.

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The Advantages of the Biorb Fish Bowl

The Biorb fish bowl, created by Reef One in 1998, has fast become a sensation. Finally, something unique and different in fish aquariums has arrived and would-be fish owners have responded. The Biorb bowl has many advantages.

First of all, the bowl was designed for beauty. The original, shaped like a Christmas ball ornament, is round and clear with a small lid for access on the top. But, now Biorb fish bowls also come in square and rectangular shapes with rounded edges. The designer look has helped make them as popular as they are today.

But looks are only skin deep, and discriminating fish owners want more than just an eye-pleasing container. The Biorb offers a superior system that actually partially self-cleans. The environment for the fish is generally healthier and cleaner for the fish that live in it.

A clear tube, located in the center of the tank, continually cycles the water, helping the filter to catch debris that might otherwise just sit on the bottom and increasing oxygenation of the water, for the fish. This feature may be the best feature of the Biorb bowl, because it makes it easier for owners, with more time between cleanings and a simplified cleaning process.

The Biorb bowl uses mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration, in concert with water treatment, to maintain water optimization and healthy oxygen levels for the fish. This also keeps the water clearer longer, making the Biorb fish bowl more attractive than aquariums that quickly buildup algae and debris. The Biorb fish bowl is an obvious choice for owners who want the most attractive look, the healthiest water environment, and the easiest maintenance.

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Cleaning a Biorb Fish Tank

Reef One, the inventor of the Biorb fish tank, manufactures a service kit specifically for the maintenance of the unique Biorb fish bowl. While the bowl is partially self-cleaning, it still needs filter changes and water treatment like other aquariums.

The service kit comes with a replacement filter cartridge (the original filter is purchased with the bowl) and cleaning supplies. A special algae cleaning cloth is included in the kit to wipe away algae buildup. A sachet of “stress coat” and “stress zyme” are also included.

While regular cleaning is important, just like other aquariums the Biorb needs to maintain a balance in the water chemicals. Thus, one should only replace up to 30% of the water supply at a time. When cleaning, live plants may deposit some dead leaves and debris, which is important to remove the best you can, since they will quickly turn to waste in the bowl.

Replacing the 30% of water is done by using a special water pump, a kind of siphon that pulls water out of the bowl into something like a bucket placed beside the tank. Replacement water needs to be pre-treated with the water treatment packet included in the service kit.

As with regular aquariums, the Biorb will not stay clean or balanced in-between cleanings if the fish are overfed, there are too many fish in the bowl, or there are messy fish in the bowl (like goldfish, which create a lot of waste). It is thus important to follow feeding instructions and the advice of someone who knows fish well, to determine the right number and type of fish for the Biorb bowl.

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Biorb Accessories

Biorb fish bowls are special bowls that are usually round shaped or rectangular with rounded edges. Mostly enclosed, except for a small lid on top, the Biorb fish bowl helps clean itself with a clear tube inside the bowl that continually moves the water, helping to filter it naturally.

However, the Biorb bowl cannot fully clean itself, and thus requires a Biorb service kit to keep it in top form. Starting with the Biorb filter, the cartridges need to be replaced every 4-6 weeks. If the Biorb bowl is keeping clean enough, one could wait up to 2 months to change the filter.

Also in the service kit, and something that can be purchased separately, is a water treatment packet. It is important to maintain proper levels of chemicals like nitrates and phosphates that can become imbalanced, threatening the fish in the bowl. There are also test strips to help monitor these levels.

Biorb intelligent heaters are available that use the iHeat intelligent heating system. They are not large and unseemly, like many other aquarium heaters. These intelligent heaters sense the temperature and adjust it accordingly. As aesthetic beauty is a primary function of the Biorb bowl, it is important that the heater does not detract from the look of the bowl.

Biorb lights are available in regular and in moonlight varieties, for different affects. The baby Biorb has its own versions of these light bulbs, requiring a smaller size. To add to the mood, Biorb plants and substrates are available to decorate and beautify the Biorb fish bowl to the unique tastes of its owner.

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Ten Popular Saltwater Fish

1)    Seahorses may not be the same as other fish, but that is what makes them so popular. Seahorses are one of the most desired and most enjoyed types of saltwater fish, because they are unique and fun to watch.

2)    Surgeons are called that because their tail spines are “scalpel-sharp.” These tail spines are used to defend and protect territory. They are also very colorful and can have beautiful patterns.

3)    Angels have always been popular because of their beauty, although they are delicate and will fight other angelfish.

4)    Boxfish and trunkfish are challenging to keep. They look box-shaped and can release toxins when upset.

5)    Basselets are another colorful fish that comes in red, purple, yellow or orange. They can live in smaller reef tanks.

6)    Lionfish are some of the most impressive saltwater fish, with surprising colors and long elegant fins. However, they are aggressive, so live food is required to keep them happy. Their long spines are also poisonous and can be dangerous.

7)    Mandarins are incredibly beautiful with swirling patterns of blue, orange, and purple. They are non-aggressive and get along well with other fish.

8)    Butterflyfish get along well with each other, but eat coral, anemones, and invertebrates in the wild. So, if you have these things in your tank, this is not the fish for you.

9)    Triggerfish are called that because they have a dorsal fin they can lock into position to keep from being pulled out of a hiding place. They have sharp teeth that point out, for eating sea urchins and invertebrates.

10)    Clownfish were popular before “Finding Nemo” came out, but now they are even more popular as every parent and grandparent is begged for a little Nemo for the tank.

All of these fish can be beautiful and exciting additions to a saltwater tank, as long as you are careful to select those that will get along well with each other and not eat the live plants you have chosen.

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Ten Popular Freshwater Fish

1)    Beta fish stem from Southeast Asia and are one of the most popular freshwater fish, because the males have beautiful and colorful fins.

2)    Tetras come in neon colors and are probably the most popular freshwater fish. They are easy to care for and get along well with other fish.

3)    Angelfish are enjoyed for their beautiful and graceful bodies, narrow, round, and decorated with bold stripes.

4)    Kissing Gourami fish end up in most freshwater tanks, eventually. They are very peaceful and come in soft colors. The males lock lips in territorial disputes, giving them the “kissing” name.

5)    Fantail Guppies are cute little rounded fish. The females are rather dull and brown in coloring, but the males come in a variety of flashy colors.

6)    Oscar fish are usually peaceful, but have been known to gobble up a smaller tank-mate, now and then. They enjoy rock ledges in the tank and like to dig.

7)    Mollies are fish that come in a variety of colors, including dalmation coloring (black with white spots and white with black spots). Mollies will eat some of the algae that forms in the tank and like a little salt in the water.

8)    Swordtail Platies are a favorite from Mexico and Guatemala, known for their bright red coloring. Males have the extended “sword” tail, but the females do not.

9)    Jack Dempsey Fish, in spite of their Americanized name, come from Guatemala and Honduras. They are aggressive and destructive, so should be kept separate from non-compatible fish.

10)    Zebra Danios are native to Eastern India and can be aggressive. The males come in pretty blue and silver stripes. They are also easy to keep.

All of these fish are freshwater fish that are kept in numerous homes across the nation. However, it is important to not only choose the fish that you like best but to research enough to make sure the different types you choose will be compatible.

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Salt Water vs. Fresh Water Fish

Deciding whether to purchase a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium has a lot to do with how you feel about the fish. The fish from the ocean are generally more exotic and beautiful, but also much more expensive, than freshwater fish. They also have other differences that can help with the decision between the two types.

Freshwater fish use gills that filter water as they breathe. The bodily fluids remain inside the fish. Saltwater fish, on the other hand, lose a good deal of body fluids into the water through osmosis. Thus the saltwater fish has to consume large amounts of salt water to maintain homeostasis.

Freshwater fish can live in a variety of habitats, depending on the type of fish. Some can dwell in comfortably cool water while others can thrive in cold water. This is because there are fish that come from tropical areas and those that stem from the Antarctic and Arctic.

For many saltwater fish, coral reefs, seagrass beds, salt ponds and mangroves are the natural habitats. In fish tanks, saltwater fish do well with some life plants like coral, anemones, and seaweed varieties. Live rock helps to keep the water clean.

Freshwater fish include such varieties as cichlids, catfish, platies, salmon, whitefish, mooneye, and char. Some of the better known saltwater fish include cod, marlin, snapper, sharks, bluefish, eels, and flounder. While cost is definitely a factor, it is usually preference that wins out, when someone purchases a saltwater aquarium. A saltwater tank can be a beautiful focal point in any room.

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Salt Water vs. Fresh Water Fish Tanks; Cost and Maintenance

Fish aquariums are a great addition to any home or office. They provide a feeling of peace and tranquility that studies indicate can benefit emotional well-being and even cardiovascular health. For example, small fish tanks with goldfish, which were placed in rest homes, helped increase the appetite of poor eaters and improve the morale of the remaining residents.

But, when it comes down to it, the choice between fresh water and salt water tanks leaves many people wondering which is best for their purposes. It is well known that salt water fish are more exotic and beautiful, in general, than freshwater fish.

It is also well known that saltwater tanks take a special kind of maintenance and can be more costly to set up. But looking at the facts can help someone sitting on the fence to make an educated decision about whether or not to invest in the saltwater tank, vs. the fresh water tank.

Initial set up costs for the fresh water aquarium, starting with a $50 tank, will average about $270 total. For a saltwater tank, that includes live rock and a protein skimmer, the cost will go up to about $635 after everything but the fish. Reef tanks cost even more, averaging, with all needed accessories like a reverse osmosis filter, around $1,270.

Then there are the fish. Saltwater fish usually cost a good deal more than freshwater fish. And, because many are fresh caught from the wild, getting them to eat is a challenge. They may even be on special diets for awhile.

On the other hand, once the tank is set up, the fish are done with quarantine, and they have begun eating aquarium food appropriate to their type, saltwater tanks can actually be lower maintenance, in the long run, as the live rock helps keep it clean and the protein skimmer takes out what the rock leaves behind.

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