Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hydrocotyle leucocephala

     Height: 10 - 20 cm
     Width: 5 - 15 cm
     Temperature: 20°C -27°C (68°F -82°F) 
     Growth Rate: Fast
     Placement: Mid to Background
     Light: Low to high lighting

     Also called Pennywort, this is one of my favorite aquarium plants, it grows extremely fast. This is often confused with Cardamine lyrata, but the leaves of Cardamine are much smaller and more delicate than pennywort.
     It needs bright light, but it grows just fine in a low-light tank. Under every circular leaf, there is a tiny root system. Overall it is an easy plant to take care, fast grower and adapts easily. It does not need to be rooted, but can be used as a floating plant which provides a hiding-place for young fish. 
     Planted as a stem plant in the substrate, the shoots will have already reached the water surface within a few days, where they will continue to grow floating, will branch out strongly and develop a dense blanket of floating plants. To prevent other plants from loosing light, be sure to prune pennywort regularly.
     This plant, believe it or not, is used to make asiatic salads or drinks. If you smell it, you'll notice that it has a very nice herby smell. That's why, herbivore fish like molly, will be all over this plant.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My 126L Tank

     This is my 126 liters (33 gallons) tank.
     Plants: Bacopa monnieri
                Echinodorus 'Ozelot'
                Echinodorus tenellus,
                Egeria densa
                Hydrocotyle leucocephala
                Hygrophila difformis 
                Hygrophila polysperma
                Ludwigia repens
                Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'
                Marsilea hirsuta
                Riccia fluitans
                Sagittaria platyphylla
                Vallisneria americana
                Vallisneria spiralis

     Fishes: corydoras albino, danio rerio, neon tetra, molly, platy, SAE, xipho.

     Lightning:  3 x 18 W, 9 hours/day.

     Co2: DIY, 30 ppm, 1 bubble/sec.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Update Aqua Bulb

     I'm back with an update to the previous post, see here, about aqua bulbs. Kin, the person whose picture belonged, has made an upgrade to a 200 ml bulb. I let the pictures to speak for themselves.

Friday, August 27, 2010

DIY fish trap

   How many times did it happened to not be able to catch a certain fish in your tank ? I suppose many times ... Sure there are fish traps in stores but they cost lots of money. Below is a DIY method and if you add some food in there it works perfectly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top 10 tips for a beauty Nano Aquarium

     Although you might think that a small aquarium, a nano, is much easy to care, that's not true. A nano aquarium require much more attention than a big one, because changes in water quality, temperature, and fish stress levels become more pronounced in a nano aquarium. Here are top 10 tips by Drs. Foster & Smith  to have a beautiful and healthy nano system.

     1. Pick a kit. Get a foolproof aquarium kit with integrated filtration and lighting built-in. That way, every component is a perfect fit, and you'll just need to decide on an appropriate heater.

     2. Place wisely. Though you may be tempted to position your compact aquarium on a desktop or office cabinet, remember that even a 12-gallon aquarium weighs over 120 lbs when filled! Invest in an appropriate aquarium stand that's built to bear the load and humidity.

     3. Choose a theme. Focus your aquascaping and stocking plans around a specific region, species, or community grouping. This will make it easier to keep your water parameters on target for all inhabitants at once, and the familiar surroundings you provide - including shelter and breeding structures - will keep stress levels to a minimum.

     4. Stock small & sparse.  Avoid overpopulating your aquarium or you'll find water quality very difficult to keep viable. Also, when establishing a new system, introduce only a few fish at a time over several weeks - if not months. Select the smallest fish possible, building your community around a small school, one or two showcase fish, and a modest group of bottom cleaners.

     5. Go live for natural filtration. Let nature work for your aquarium's health. For best results with minimum external filtration, avoid artificial plants and structures. Instead, consider live plants and eco-complete gravel for freshwater aquariums, and live rock or sand for your nano reef.

     6. Brighten your eclipse.  Many Eclipse System Twelve hobbyists who want to see even better results in plant or reef growth choose to upgrade the wattage of their hood lighting. Fortunately, retrofit kits built specifically for the task are easy to find and install.

     7. Test/Observe daily. Small volume aquariums experience accelerated cycles in water quality, making daily testing and observation an absolute necessity. Fish behavior - gasping, hiding, drifting, or darting - is your best indicator of other "invisible" health dangers to be concerned about. Also, keep some 5-in-1 Quick Dip Strips near your aquarium for "ballpark" parameter checks. If some nitrate, nitrite, or pH levels concern you, zero-in on the problem with more accurate, pro-grade test kits.

     8. Frequent partial water changes. In nature, rain and water currents refresh water conditions by diluting and carrying away toxins before they can build up to excessive levels. The best thing you can do for your inhabitants' health is to change their water 10-20% as often as twice a week. This is especially important if you're pushing the population limit, or are keeping fish with larger bio-loads.

     9. Change media often. To avoid the scourge of algae and to keep your fish healthy and stress free, change your filter media according to the manufacturer's guidelines. If you're inattentive to regular filter maintenance, some chemical media, as it becomes exhausted and saturated, may begin seeping the excess toxins back into your aquarium!

     10. Act fast when problems arise. In small enclosed ecosystems, little problems become big problems fast. The bio-wheel you noticed has stopped turning, that little white spot on your Gourami, the Nitrite level which tested high . . . waiting even a day to take action could lead to your entire system crashing. Observe daily, test often, and always remedy the problems you discover within the same day. The health of your aquatic life depends on it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Treat Fish Infected With Fin Rot

     Fin Rot is a symptom of disease caused by Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria. It is not a difficult disease as long as is treated and the fish have a good chance to be healed completely. But in lack of treatment, this can lead to a painful death.
     Symptoms: ragged and frayed fins, bleeding occurs on some body parts, which may extend. Because of the bleeding caused by fin rot, the fish may have simultaneously other bacterial infections, so it is good that the fish to be treated quickly. Often, this infection has a fluffy appearance and the fish will have fungus too. These two infections are often encountered together.
     Infection with fin rot can occur due to poor water quality, especially if is excess of ammonia and nitrite, dirty water, collisions, poor quality diet or inadequate temperatures.
     Fin rot starts at the edge of the tail and is extending to head, destroying more and more tissue. If most of the body is affected by fin rot, the wounds can't be healed and the fish is condemned to a great suffering and ultimately death, infection directly attacking the fish body.
     If water is very dirty, the fish can die from poisoning and the treatment will not have effect, so before treatment application is recommended to make some water tests. If there is something wrong with the water, try to find the cause.
     Treatment: JBL Ektol Fluid, Sera Baktopur. Read instructions carefully before using. During the treatment is recommended to make water tests and if problems occur, do besides treatment, small and frequent water exchanges. It is advisable to put non-iodized salt in the water and feed the fish with food rich in vitamins.
     Keep your fish healthy !

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fish Food Recommendation Chart

     Because of the variety of fish food that is on market, it is good to know what type of food is best for your fishes. There are three categories of fish: herbivore, carnivore and omnivore, consuming both plants and meaty food.  Drs. Foster & Smith created a table for helping us to determine what is best food choice.

African Cichlids
H / O
  • O.N. Omni Cichlid Formula Flakes
  • Aquarian Cichlid Pellets
  • Hikari Cichlid Gold
  • Hikari Sinking Cichlid Gold
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Blood Worms
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Barbs    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Bettas    C
  • Hikari Betta Bio-Gold
  • Freeze-Dried Blood
  • Atison's Betta PRO
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Catfish (Juvenile)
 H / O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • Hikari Sinking Wafers
  • Freeze-Dried Brine
Danios /
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Discus    C
  • Azoo Discus Food
  • Jack Wattley Discus
    Formula Frozen
  • Freeze-Dried Blood Worms
  • TetraColor Flakes
Fancy Goldfish    O
  • Hikari Goldfish Pellet Diets
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Goldfish Frozen Diet
Gouramis    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Hatchets    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Livebearers    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
C / O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • Hikari Sinking Wafers
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Freeze-Dried Brine
Plecos (Juvenile)
H / O
  • Hikari Sinking Wafers
  • Frozen Food
  • Hikari Algae Wafers
  • TetraMin Tablets
Rainbowfish    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Rasboras    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes
Sharks (Juvenile)    O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Frozen Brine Shrimp Plus
New World
Cichlids (Juvenile)
C / O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Freeze-Dried Plankton
C / O
  • Aquarian Tropical Flakes
  • Frozen Food
  • TetraColor Flakes
  • Brine Shrimp Plus Flakes

Thursday, August 19, 2010


     Yesterday, while I was looking on a Romanian aquarium forum, I discovered some colleagues who seem to be bored to create aquascapes in normal tanks and they tried something new, a challenge I would say, considering the size of so called "aquarium", an aquarium in a light bulb. Yes, you understood  good. They say they were inspired by a stranger who planted an anubias in a bulb, in a spoon of sand.

     The bulbs are relatively easy to cut, see here how to cut a light bulb. For the light use a led from a lighter. Don't forget to change the water every day, with a syringe :)), and an advice, don't push fish in there because it would be like torture for them, only plants inserted with tweezers. Patience is the golden rule.
     It is hard to believe, but they thinking at a contest, called AquaBulb. You realize that the risk to be filled with algae is very high, due to lighting, temperature and what to say about other variables. It must be fulfilled the condition of 0.5W - 1W / liter. Calculate what led you should use depending on how big is the bulb.
     Let your imagination work and have fun on creating aqua bulbs !

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Acuavida Aquascaping Contest 2010 Results

     Mini Tanks:
     1. Siak Wee Yeo (Malaysia)

Layout Title: Towards Immortality
Tank Volume (liters): 54
Tank Age: 3/4
Tank size (Length x width x height): 60cm x 30cm x 30cm
Plants: fissiden nobillis, fissiden fontanus, taxiphyllum sp (flame moss),   hairgrass(japan), Hemianthus callitrichoides.
Lightning: T5HO 24 watt x 3 / 10 hours daily.
Fish & Invertebrates: kubotai tetra, Crossocheilus Siamensis, Otocinclus affinis, Caridina japonica, cystal red shrimps.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: ADA Brightly K, step 1 & 2, cylinder co2 with 1 min per 4 bubbles, ADA amazonia 2 , ADA powersand special.

     2. Jordi Pelegri (Spain)

Layout Title: Mont-Ral
Tank Volume (liters): 38
Tank Age: 1 year
Tank size (Length x width x height): 45x28x30
Plants: Glossostigma elatinoides, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Staurogyne sp., Rotala rotundifolia, Eleocharis vivipara, Taxiphyllum alternans (taiwan moss), Riccardia Chamedryfolia.
Lightning: 1 pll 36w 865.
Fish & Invertebrates: Neocaridina heteropoda var "yellow", Planorbis corneus.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: KNO3 1 mg/l everyday, K2PO4 0,2 mg/l everyday, KSO4 1,5 mg/l everyday, 2b/s difusor pollen glass.

     3. Wolinski Grégoire (France)

Layout Title: Forest stream
Tank Volume (liters): 31.5
Tank Age: 6 months
Tank size (Length x width x height): 30x30x35
Plants: hemianthus micranthemoides, christmas-moos, fissidens moos,         x-moss, java moos, eleocharis parvula,cryptocoryne “petchii”var mini, microsorum pteropus “narrow”, bolbitis heudelotii, riccardia graeffe.
Lightning: DIY, bulb eco 20w - 6500K, 8H/24H.
Fish & Invertebrates: boraras urophthalmoides, red cherry shrimp, amano shrimp.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: DIY+BrightyK, Step2 Soil Amazonia II 3l, Volcanic rock, black volcanic sand.

     Medium Tanks:
     1. Siak Wee Yeo (Malaysia)

Layout Title: Beyond Horizon
Tank Volume (liters): 182
Tank Age: 1/2
Tank size (Length x width x height): 90cm x 45cm x 45cm
Plants: Taxiphyllum sp(spilky moss), fissiden fontanus, anubias nana var “petite”, taxiphyllum sp (flame moss),
echindorus tenullus, uticularia graminifolia, Rotala nanjenshan, blyxa japonica “red”, rotala macandra  “narrow”, starogyne sp., bolbitis heudelotii.
Lightning: T5HO 39 watt x 3 / 10 hours daily.
Fish & Invertebrates: Hyphessobrycon Amandae, Crossocheilus Siamensis, Otocinclus affinis, Caridina japonica.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: ADA Brightly K, step 1 &2, cylinder co2 with 1 min per 4 bubbles, ADA Sarawak sand , ADA amazonia 2 , ADA powersand special.

     2.Fabiano Marcos Gobbo (Brazil)

Layout Title: Paracheirodon´s garden
Tank Volume (liters): 180
Tank Age: 1 year
Tank size (Length x width x height): 100 x 40 x 45
Plants: Anubia barteri var. nana, Blyxa aubertii, Didiplis diandra, Eleocharis minima,  Hemianthus callitrichoides, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Heteranthera zosterifolia, Ludwigia arcuata, Ludwigia inclinata,
Micranthemum umbrosum, Microsorium pteropus "Windelow", Nymphaea lotus ”Zenkeri”, Rotala sp. green, Rotala sp. "vietnã", Sagittaria subulata, Vesicularia dubyana, Vesicularia montagnei.
Lightning: 4 x 55w 7200k
Fish & Invertebrates: Neritina natalensis, Paracheirodon axelrodi.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: CO2 pressurizado, 2b/s, Tropica Plant Substrate, Prodac FertilPlant.

     3. Riccardo Gallego Garcia (Italy)

Layout Title: Green
Tank Volume (liters): 240
Tank Age: 1 year
Tank size (Length x width x height): 120x50x40
Plants: Eleocaris acicularis, Staurogyne repens, Riccia fluitans, Hemianthus callitrichoides"cuba", Hydrocotyle Sp.
Lightning: 6x54 watt T5Askoll Life-glo2
Fish & Invertebrates: Cheirodon axelrodi, Otocinclus affinis, Caridina japonica, Clithon Sp.
Fertilization: ADA line
Co2: Home made
Substrate: power sand special, Tourmaline BC, Aquasoil Amazoni2.

     Large Tanks:
     1. Pasquale Buonpane (Italy)

Layout Title: The world before Columbus
Tank Volume (liters): 400
Tank Age: 6 months
Tank size (Length x width x height): 160x52x60cm
Plants: Hemianthus callitrichoides, Vesicularia ferrieri, Fissidens fontanus, Riccia fluitans "dwarf".
Lightning: 4x58w T8(6.500°K)
Fish & Invertebrates: Paracheirodon innesi, Crossocheilus siamensis, Caridina japonica, Neocaridina "red cherry", Neritina turrita.
Substrate: akadama+ sand
Co2: 20mg/l

     2. Gary Jose Chagas (Brazil)

Layout Title: Fluxo na floresta
Tank Volume (liters): 324
Tank Age: 1 year
Tank size (Length x width x height): 120x60x45
Plants: Rotala sp. Green, Rotala sp ceylon, Vesicularia montagnei, Glossostiga elatinoides, Mayaca sp., Tonina sp., Hygrophila polysperma, Limnophila aquatica, Cyperus helferi, Euteralis stelata.
Lightning: 2x luminária boyu (8x55w total)
Fish & Invertebrates: Paracheirodon axelrodi, Otocinclus affinis.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: CO2 pressurizado 4 bolhas/s, Amazônia MBreda.

     3. Massimo Faberi (Italy)

Layout Title: Wild Cube
Tank Volume (liters): 860
Tank Age: 2 years
Tank size (Length x width x height): 120x120x60
Plants: Alternanthera rosaefolia, Anubias barteri var. nana 'Gold', Aponogeton crispus, Blyxa japonica, Cyperus papyrus, Cladophora aegagrophila, Cryptocoryne parva, Cryptocoryne undulata, Cryptocoryne lucens, Echinodorus osiris, Eleocharis parvula, Eleocharis vivipara, Eusteralis stellata, Flower moss,
Hemianthus callitrichoides, Litorella uniflora, Ludwigia glandulosa, Microsorum pteropus, Ophiopogon Japonicus var. Kyoto, Pogostemon helferi, Riccia fluitans, Rotala rotundifolia, Sagittaria subulata, Vesicularia dubyana.
Lightning: Aquaristica AQ Liton Skyline with 12 lamps AQ HI-LITE T5 54W.
Fish & Invertebrates: Ancistrus gold, Caridina japonica, Crossocheilus siamensis, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, Nerita picea (lumaca), Otocinclus affinis, Puntius conchonius, Pterophyllum scalare gold.
Fertilization, CO2, Substrate: ADA Power Sand Special L, ADA Aqua Soil-Amazonia, CO2.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is my goldfish male or female?

    There are a few ways to sex goldfish. This is best done after the fish has reached sexual maturity, which may occur anywhere from 9 months to 2 years after hatching. This is easiest to accomplish during breeding, when males chase and nip at females. The males also develop “breeding tubercles”, which look like small white spots or pimples on their gill covers and this should not be confused with the parasite, Ich, which would also be on other areas of the body. It is possible for females to develop tubercles, but this is rare and they develop fewer than the males do. During breeding, the female goldfish's body may become larger, indicating that she is carrying eggs.

     The most reliable method of determining your goldfish’s gender is by examining the fish's vent (anal opening), which is located under its’ underside between the tail and anal fins. If the vent sticks out a bit, you have a female. A male’s vent does not stick out, but instead goes inward.

     In general, females are usually larger in body and have larger anal fins than males. Males usually have thicker and longer pectoral fins than females. Another sexing technique, which is not very reliable, looks at symmetry of the goldfish’s body. With this technique, when viewing the goldfish from the top down, the sides of the male’s body are more narrow and symmetrical, while the female's sides are more broad and asymmetric.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart

     Given the frequent questions on forums about compatibility between different fish species, I will post a chart, very easy to understand, to see if your fishes are compatible or not.
     Remember, no guarantees can be made about the compatibility or incompatibility of any particular species of fish. Also, particular species within a group of fish vary in temperament and may not correspond with the guidelines below.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 Unique Aquariums

     1. Duplex. So named because of its dual aquarium/bird cage function, Duplex is thermo–formed in order to accommodate a simulated interaction between winged and finned pets. A bowl-shaped aquarium placed atop a tall glass bird cage, this innovative creation gives the owner unique access to the world of fish and fowl and provides ample scope for the imagination.

     2. Local River. Created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, Local River blows the idea of a unique domestic “refrigerator-aquarium” that breeds freshwater fish for eating and grows vegetables at the same time. 

     3. Aquarium washbasin. Bored with your daily bathroom routine? Italbrass’s Moody” guarantees an end to the tedium. In addition to its primary function, this aquarium washbasin has a soothing Zen garden feel which provides a gentle platform to let the mind unwind. Completely watertight with a sand bed and necessary lighting, the aquarium is also fitted with a power head to facilitate water circulation, oxygenation and filtration. Soap dishes on each side cover access points for cleaning or changing the environment.
     4. Aquarium Desk. The forbidden Apple in the Garden of Delights has nothing on this new creation, which will give your stylish Mac something to compete with. Designed to match Apple’s stylish products with its slick white exterior, the Milk Desk has taken the working environment to a new level with the addition of an integrated aquarium. Besides adding a refreshing splash of life to your work, the attractive, height-adjusting table, designed by Soren Kjaer, comes with productivity enhancers like an iPod storage box, pen holder and waste basket.

     5. Wall-mounted Aquarium. Designed to enhance the natural look of your home or office, this wall-mounted aquarium makes a picture or plasma TV look dull in comparison. Mounted on the wall at a height to suit you, the eye-catching aquarium simultaneously offers a point of distraction and focus and adds depth of dimension to any room. Various sizes and colours are available in glass and acrylic, with cleaning and operating equipment integrated neatly behind the frame.

    6. Infinity Aquarium. Posing as a complex maze of solitude, this infinite hand-crafted tunnel of water and glass provides endless fuel for the imagination of both fish and owner. Enigmatically dubbed “Swimming around in circles” by design studio Forever, it could, however, pose a real problem for the creative whose mental convolutions would face a daunting challenge in the cleaning department.

     7. Labyrinth Aquarium. A fishy take on extra-terrestrial abodes, this Labyrinth Aquarium features multiple connected tanks for underwater exploration and viewer stimulation. While the globes provide for endless rearranging and interactivity, the unsightly filters, lights, pumps and cleaning equipment are all cleverly concealed in the cabinet below.

     8. Spacearium. This enormous elliptical suspended Space Aquarium is slick, angle-free and large enough to act as a room divider or natural move screen. The 360-degree visibility enables you to enjoy the aquatic life from all vantage points and create the illusion of space for both you and the inhabitants. A high-performance organic filtration system maintains the environment with minimal upkeep.

     9. Fish Pod. Created by Benjamin Graindorge for the design PARADE festival and competition in France, the Fish Pod replaces rocks on the tank bed with plastic moulding which can be shaped into the shape of ridges and mountains. Besides providing a unique external appearance, the fish also get to indulge in aesthetic eye candy.

     10. Aquariass Fish Tank Toilet. It sounds too bizarre to imagine, but this real-life aquarium really is part of the toilet. If the idea appeals, check it out on Oliver Beckert’s home page. The gentle background gurgle serves as a subtle subterfuge for unpleasant bathroom sounds and doubles as a soothing environment for reading the newspaper. The bonus is the aquarium doesn’t actually share a tank with the toilet, so there’s no danger of flushing the fish away.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stress reduction factors at fish

     Stress is caused by bad manipulation or brutal treatment applied to fish. Regarding this issue, it is important to learn to behave carefully with the fish. The procedure to move them from one tank to another or on long distances is very important.
     A fish that bear much stress is more vulnerable to disease than the one treated with care. Another stress source is to tap the tank's glass, this should be positioned in a place that is harder to be hit accidentally and discourage the  children who love to do this thing. Some fish can get used with this knock-knock but only with a conditioned reflex, and that is to be followed by feeding.
    Any violent vibrations created by closing the doors strongly should be avoided, as well as positioning the tv or the speakers near the aquarium. If the lights are on during the night it leads to a "chronic" stress. I wonder why some beginner aquarists think that the light must be lit at night?
     However, the most important stress reasons are:
  • Fish incompatibility, by size and behavior.
  • Sudden changes in pH - keep the pH as stable as possible.
  • Poor water quality - check the water quality regularly and make sure the water is fresh and well oxygenated.
  • Poor diet - make sure you know what the right food is for your kind of fish and that you don't over or underfeed.
  • Toxic substances in the water - tap water is often unsuitable for fish and causes them to experience health stress, watch out for fertilisers and pesticides getting into the water.
  • Lack of hiding places - fish can get very stressed if they have no-where to hide, or they are being forced to live with other types of fish they are afraid of. Make sure there are places for fish to hide, and seek advice which species you can combine safely.
  • Overcrowding - give your fish room to move, to swim and breathe!
  • Illness and poor health - keep an eye on the health of your fish and start any treatment as soon as possible.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Diagnosing Problems at Aquatic Plants

                 Symptom                  Treatment
Insufficient lightPlants weak and frail, leaves pale, stem plants have few leaves, or more leaves on tops. Stems rot, weak stalks on rosette plants.More light! Correct light intervals (10 to 12 hours).
Substrate problemsGas bubbles come out from the substrate when you poke it, burrowing snails aren't burrowing, poor root systems, roots turn black and rot.Substrate is too compact, loosen and vacuum. Can be caused by heavy amounts of decaying organics deep in the substrate.
Oxygen deficiencyFish are prone to disease, stressed, gulping for air at the surface. After long periods of this plants become stunted.Cause: insufficient light or nutrients, which slows down plant growth and production of O2, breakdown of nitrogen ceases. Over fertilization of CO2. Treatment: check lights, filter, CO2 system, increase circulation, fertilize if needed.
Potassium deficiencyYellowing of the margins of young leaves, iron chlorides, yellowing and curling of older leaves.Add more potassium!
Iron chloridesYellow leaves that become brittle: too little iron, too little potassium, also caused by very hard water. Add more iron!
Phosphorus deficiencyPremature fall off of older leaves.Add an NPK fertilizer containing phosphate.
Excess phosphorusAlgae blooms, dirty water.More frequent water changes, substrate cleaning, no overfeeding the fish, no over fertilization.
Calcium deficiencyNew leaves appear damaged and die off, yellow leaf edges.Add more calcium!
Magnesium deficiencyYellow spots on old leaves.
Symptoms do not appear until the deficiency is well established. The plant will be stunted. Leaf veins will stay green while the remainder of the leaf turns yellow. Brown spots will appear and the plant will dry out. Flowers will be slow to develop, if at all. Flowers that do grow will be lackluster.
Add more magnesium!
Nitrogen deficiencyOld Leaves turn yellowish. Small stunted plants with very large root systems; leaves smaller and lighter in color than normal; slow growth. Paleness will start at the tips of the lower leaves. If this deficiency continues, the foliage will continue to develop, but stems will be spindly, sappy and soft, flowering will be delayed, small fruit will grow and the plant will be more susceptible to disease.Add more nitrate!
Cryp rotA disease affecting cryptocorynes. Starts with small holes in leaves then disintegrating, and the whole plant above the root system melts away.Thought to be triggered by high nitrate levels, sudden drop in temperature, or sudden environmental changes, and frequent transplants. Do regular water changes and keep environmental stable. If left alone, plant will grow back after melt down.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hygrophila polysperma

     Hygrophila polysperma, a beautiful aquarium plant that originates in India, is a really popular plant among aquarium hobbyists. It is extremely easy to grow but to have great success, you need adequate lighting and nutrients. The addition of homemade CO2 is going to insure that this plant thrives in your aquarium. This is one of the main plants in my tank and probably the fastest grower. If you're looking for a plant that will add a thick bushy garden look to your aquarium this is the plant for you.
     It's really easy to grow and it will multiply just by putting the clippings back into the gravel, even a free floating leaf of this plant will make an entire new plant. If you want it to branch intensely it's best to let it float for a while, in straight horizontal growth it branches and roots at almost every leaf point. This plant needs to be pruned regularly to maintain its health. It reproduces from both cuttings and side shoots. The cuttings can even be as small as a single leaf in nutrient-rich environments.
     Hygrophila polysperma tolerates temperatures between 70 - 80°F   (21 - 26°C), and a wide variety of water conditions, but the best temperature has proven to be 78°F (25°C). Prefers fresh water with a pH between 7.0 -7.4. The only thing I have found that can damage this plant is when it ends up in a tank infested with snails.
     There are several man-made varieties of this plant. The wild variety has light green leaves that can acquire a reddish tinge and more compact form as the plant pushes toward the surface. It can also flower if allowed to grow past the water's surface.

Aquatic Scapers Europe - International Aquascaping Contest 2010 Results

     Nano Category:

    1st Place - Manuel Recarey González (Spain) - Bosco

Tank size / Volume: 48 x 28 x 28 cm / 38L
Fertilization: KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4
CO2 / Bubbles per second / CO2-System: Yes / 2 / Reactor external
Lightning: 2 pll 24w and 36 w
Substrate: aqualit, arena

Plants: Proserpinaca palustris, Taxiphyllum sp., Riccardia chamedryfolia,
           Cryptocoryne sp.
Fish & Invertebrates: Microrasbora erythromicron, Red cherrys
Hardscape: Wood

     2nd Place - Bonetti Pascal (France) - Rainy season

Tank size / Volume: 20 x 20 x 25 cm / 10L
Fertilization: Dennerle A1 daily NPK
CO2 / Bubbles per second / CO2-System: Yes / 0.5 / Pressurized
Lightning: 1 x dennerle,11W - 9 hours per day
Substrate: Dennerle, deponitmix
Plants: Bolbitis heudelotii, Fissidens fontanus, Riccardia graeffei
Fish & Invertebrates: Boraras brigittae, Neocaridina heteropoda var.red
Hardscape: Redmoor wood, stones, white sand

     3rd Place - William Ng (Singapore) -Tunnel of light

Tank size / Volume: 45 x 27 x 25 cm / 30L
Fertilization: ADA Brighty K, ADA Green Brighty Step 1, ADA green gain,
                  ADA ECA, ADA Green Brighty Special LIGHTS
CO2 / Bubbles per second / CO2-System: Yes / 1 / Pressurized cylinder with
                                                          inline diffuser
Lightning: 4 x 16W T5HO - 8 hours per day
Substrate: ADA Aqua Soil-Amazonia II
Plants: Hemianthus callitrichoides, Glossostigma elatinoides, Eleocharis
           parvula, Eleocharis Sp "Japan", Elatine Triandra
Fish & Invertebrates: Paracheirodon axelrodi, Caridina sp., Caridina cf.
Hardscape: Seriyu stones

     Standard Category:

     1st Place - Marcel Dykierek (Germany) - Anyplace ... Anytime

Tank size / Volume: 120 x 50 x 50 cm / 300L
Fertilization: AquaRebell Mikro Spezial - Flowgrow, Seachem Flourish Iron,
                  Seachem Flourish Trace, "Own" Macro-Mix
CO2 / CO2-System / CO2-Extras: Yes / 2kg Bottle with Glass Diffuser /
                                              pH controlled (Dennerle)
Lightning: 2x 54W T5 HO - Narva BioVital, 2x 28W T5 HE - Narva BioVital
Substrate: Natural Gravel, 1-2mm
Plants: Anubias barteri var. nana, Echinodorus tenellus var. parvulus,
          Echinodorus latifolius, Fissidens fontanus, Glossostigma elatinoides,
          Isoetes velata, Juncus repens, Lagenandra meeboldii 'rot',
          Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow', Microsorum pteropus 'Taiwan' 
          Microsorum pteropus 'Short Narrow Leaf',
          Microsorum pteropus 'Trident'
          Vallisneria nana
Fish & Invertebrates: Paracheirodon axelrodi, Carinotetraodon travancoricus,
                              Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var. white,
                              Caridina multidentata
Hardscape: "Red" driftwood

     2nd Place - Piotr Beczynski (Poland) - Spring is coming

Tank size / Volume: 90 x 45 x 45 cm / 182L
Fertilization: KNO3, ADA step 2, Brighty K, ECA, Green Bacter
CO2 / Bubbles per second / CO2-System: Yes / 2 / 0,5kg CO2 cylinder
Lightning: 4x39W T5 , 10 hours per day
Substrate: power sand, Amazonia I, Amazonia II, tourmaline
Plants: echinodorus anqustifolius, monosolenium tenerum, staurogyne sp.
           ludwigia arcuata, microsorium sp., fissidens fontanus, fontinalis
           antipyretica, vesicularia dubyana, echinodorus tenellus, hemianthus
           callitrichoides, bolbitis heudelotii, cryptocoryne
Fish & Invertebrates: rasbora heteromorpha, rasbora espei, caridinia
                              japonica, crossocheilus siamensis
Hardscape: manten stone, forest's wood

     3rd Place - Siak Wee Yeo (Malaysia) - Mountain Banshee - IKRAN

Tank size / Volume: 60 x 30 x 30 cm / 54L
Fertilization: ADA step 1, ADA brighty K
CO2 / Bubbles per second: Yes / 3
Lightning: T5HO 24 watt x 2
Substrate: ADA Amazonia 2, ADA Power sand Special
Plants: Fissiden nobillis, Fissiden fontanus, Japan hairgrass, Flame moss, 
          Hemianthus Callitrichoides
Fish & Invertebrates: Microrasbora kubotai, Crossocheilus siamensis, 
                              Otocinclus affinis, Caridina japonica, Cherry shrimps
Hardscape: Wild collected stone