SPRING CLEANING: HOW TO CLEAN AND GIVE YOUR OLD TANK NEW LIFE

Spring Cleaning: How to Clean and Give Your Old Tank New Life
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated April 26, 2018
Keeping your tank clean is about more than just aesthetics - it also affects your fish. Keep reading to learn how to spring clean your aquarium.
Over the winter, it is easy to just hunker down and do everything you can to stay warm. While you can’t escape responsibilities like work or family obligations, certain things are likely to fall to the wayside – your fish tank included. With spring on the horizon, you are finally coming out of hibernation and it’s time to survey the damage.
 
While a properly equipped fish tank can do perfectly well with minimal maintenance, months of neglect will eventually take their toll. Your crystal-clear water will start to cloud, your tank decorations will begin to accumulate algae, and even your tank walls might develop a film. As you start spring-cleaning your home, make sure to add cleaning your fish tank to your to-do list.
 
As is true for most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to deep-clean your tank, so keep reading to learn how to do it properly. In this article, you’ll also receive some tips for updating your tank to give it new life in preparation for spring as well as some tips for long-term maintenance.
 
A Word of Precaution Before You Begin
 
If you need to deep-clean your fish tank, your first instinct might be to drain all the water and give everything a good rinse. While that is certainly one way to do it, it is also the wrong way. If you completely tear down your tank all at once and give everything a good scrub, you’ll be scrubbing away more than algae and grime...

TIPS FOR ROOTING, PRUNING, AND PROPAGATING LIVE AQUARIUM PLANTS

Tips for Rooting, Pruning, and Propagating Live Aquarium Plants
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated April 26, 2018
Live plants can completely transform the look of your aquarium. Keep reading to learn some simple tricks for rooting and anchoring live plants as well as some tips for pruning and propagation.
Live plants can completely transform the look of your aquarium. As realistic as some artificial plants may look, nothing compares to the real thing. Plus, live plants come with the added bonus of producing valuable oxygen for your fish.
 
A lushly planted tank is a sight to behold, but it does take a fair amount of work to get there. In addition to choosing the right kind of substrate for your planted tank, you also need to decide where you want to put your plants and how to keep them there. Some fish have a penchant for uprooting live plants and other factors such as strong current can make it a challenge to keep your plants where you want them.
 
Keep reading to learn some simple tricks for rooting and anchoring live plants as well as some tips for pruning and propagation.
 
Understanding the Different Types of Aquarium Plants
 
When you first start shopping around for live aquarium plants, you’ll find that they are sold in several different ways. Popular options like Amazon sword, crypts, crinums, and hair grass are typically sold in small pots. Rhizomatous plants like anubias and java fern are typically sold by the rhizome, also known as the rootstalk or subterranean stem from which roots and leaf nodes grow. Other plants like mosses and stem plants may be sold by the stem or in bunches.
 
Each of the different kinds of live aquarium plant needs to be treated differently when it comes to placing them in your tank. While floating...

TIPS FOR SPOTTING SIGNS OF DISTRESS IN YOUR FISH BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Tips for Spotting Signs of Distress in Your Fish Before It’s Too Late
Written by Katherine Barrington Updated February 02, 2018
When you see signs of stress in your fish, you can then take steps to identify the source of that stress and then to resolve it before it becomes a major issue. Keep reading to learn about what causes distress in aquarium fish, the signs of stress, and the proper ways to deal with it.
In your day to day life, stress is something you are used to – something you may have even come to expect. Between responsibilities at work, chores at home, and everything in between, stress is a constant for many people.

While you might be used to operating at a high stress level, your fish are not. Aquarium fish can become stressed by any number of things ranging from poor water quality to disease to changes in tank parameters. In some cases, mild stress is something your aquarium fish can recover from but, in many cases, it is an early sign of something that can become a major problem.

To maintain the health of your aquarium fish, you need to learn how to identify the signs of distress. When you see signs of stress in your fish, you can then take steps to identify the source of that stress and then to resolve it before it becomes a major issue.

Keep reading to learn about what causes distress in aquarium fish, the signs of stress, and the proper ways to deal with it.

What is Stress, Anyway?

In your own life, you may be familiar with stress as your body’s “fight or flight” response. When you encounter a stressful or dangerous situation, your body’s survival mechanisms kick into higher gear. Your body begins to produce certain hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that boost essential functions (like heart rate and respiration) while sending unessential functions to the background. As your heart beats faster and your breathing...
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