The Best Barbs for a Large Home Aquarium
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated July 13, 2016
There are many different species of barbs but some of them are better than others for the larger home aquarium.
 One of the benefits of keeping a large aquarium over a small aquarium is, of course, the fact that you can stock your tank with more and bigger fish. Many aquarium hobbyists ascribe to the “one inch of fish per gallon” rule which, though it is a little outdated and oversimplified, is a good rule of thumb to start with. Larger aquariums can accommodate larger fish and, for tanks 30 gallons and larger, barbs are a great group of fish to choose from when stocking your tank.

What Kind of Fish Are Barbs?

The fish known as barbs belong to the family Cyprinidae which they share with a number of other popular aquarium fish including rasboras, danios, and certain species of shark. Barbs are largely divided over two genera – Barbus and Puntius – though there are some exceptions. These are a type of ray-finned fish, so named because their fins consist of bony spines (called rays) which a fine webbing of skin stretched over them. Barbs come in a wide variety of different shapes and colors including the bright red Cherry Barb, the striped Tiger Barb, and the spotted Panda Barb. Each species of barb is unique in terms of its color and pattern, though all barbs share some common traits.

For the most part, barbs are fairly small, colorful, and active fish. Most barbs grow to a full size of 2 to 3 inches in length which means that they should be kept in an...


The Top Choices for Stocking a 10-Gallon Tank
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated July 13, 2016
Maintaining a thriving 10-gallon tank can be a challenge but it will help if you are careful about how you stock it.
If you are new to the aquarium hobby you might assume that a smaller aquarium is easier to maintain than a larger one. Truth be told, however, smaller tanks are generally more of a challenge because even a slight change in water chemistry can be devastating. Still, if you have limited room for an aquarium or you don’t want to spend a small fortune to set up and stock a larger tank, you may be able to make a 10-gallon tank work if you are careful.
Tips for Stocking a Small Home Aquarium

When it comes to stocking a smaller aquarium you need to be very careful about which fish you choose and how many you purchase. Unless you have your heart set on cultivating a single fish or a pair of fish (many cichlids prefer to be kept individually), your best bet is to go with some passive community species. Passive fish tend to fare better in smaller tanks where swimming space is limited and schooling fish can make your small tank appear full without overstocking it. A school of small, peaceful fish should make up the majority of your community but you can add one or two accent fish – fish that are brightly colored and active so they stand out. These are often called “showcase fish”.

In addition to stocking your small aquarium with small schooling fish and one or two showcase fish, you should also consider including some kind of algae eater or scavenger. One of the main...


Can a Routine Water Change Kill Your Fish?
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated June 02, 2016
We've all seen it - fish die unexpectedly after a water change. But what is the reason and how do you prevent it from happening?
If you have been an aquarium hobbyist for an extended period of time, you’ve probably had it happen – one or more of your fish die seemingly without reason following a routine water change. The routine water change is one of the most simple but also one of the most important maintenance tasks for your aquarium, but what should you do if it starts to kill your fish? In this article you will learn about the importance of water changes including what they are, when and how to do them, and some insight into some underlying problems that could be the real reason why your fish are dying off.

Why Are Water Changes Important?

If you read the feeding instructions on a container of aquarium fish food they will probably tell you to feed your fish only as much as they will consume in about 2 to 3 minutes. There are several reasons why this is a good idea. For one thing, fish food only floats for so long – if your fish don’t get around to eating it right away then it will sink to the bottom of the tank where it will join with the other accumulated detritus and debris. Second, the more you feed your fish, the more waste they will secrete and that too will add to the accumulation on the bottom of your tank.

All of that waste that collects in the substrate of your aquarium starts to break down at a...

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