Choosing Suitable Aquarium Decor For Little Girls

Not many would care to admit it but the world of aquarium decorations tends to be a little male oriented. Looking at all the different tank ornaments from a distance you can see that they make up such themes as Pirates, Sunken Shipwreck, Greek Ruins, Skulls and more. This is not to mean that those themes are not stuff that girls would not be interested in. My own daughter is crazy about pirates, especially since Captain Jack Sparrow made it on the movies. But younger girls might not yet be into things that portray thrilling adventure or hulking ancient creatures. They may be looking for softer, more colorful alternatives and you might feel a little hard pressed searching for ornaments that would get them interested in fish keeping.

There still are some really cool options if you want a lively, colorful theme for your little girl. We’ll look at some of the best options that would guarantee your little daughter loves the aquarium you got for her and stays interested in it for a long time.

The first option would be castles. Which little girl does not dream of becoming a princess when she grows up. My tween daughter may be a tough tomboy right now but as a little child, she used to dress up in her prettiest princess outfit with her little tiara prancing around the house everyday. With the castle theme, what you would want to look for are ones that are more colorful and fun. There are numerous realistic castle decor on sale, but these tend to look gloomy and most in ruins. They make awesome looking decor in the eyes of an adult but may be a little too morbid for a little girl. Try to get colorful ones that allow the fish to enter inside as the cave would be a great benefit to the fish.

Another really cool suggestion would be the Dora the Explorer collection. Dora has numerous fish tank decor pieces that you could use in the aquarium, showing her in various poses and outfits. You can even get the other characters from the show such as Boots her monkey friend as well as her cousin Diego. Match these up, place them with some rocks and aquatic plants and they would look exactly like a scene from one of the cartoon shows.

Next we have the Atlantis theme. Ignore the ruins and temples for this one. You should focus more on getting a mermaid or two. Then add on one of the colorful caves that you could get, with tiny corals and anemone painted on them which will look really eye catching. To complement the theme, if there is some space to spare, you could add a couple of sea creatures. Get the fun looking cartoonish ones, such as sea horses and starfishes to create a really fun theme.

The final option would be fairies. Honestly, there are very few fairy tank ornaments on sale. But if you wish, you could get some resin home ornaments that can be placed inside the aquarium. Just ensure that there are not metal parts and that the ornaments are not hand painted without a layer of protection that prevents the paint from wearing out and leaking into the water. You may want to check out the Faerie Glen Bubble collection, which in my opinion are some of the most gorgeous fairy ornaments on sale today.

10 Things to Consider When Shopping for Betta Fish Tanks

Bettas are among the most interesting and low-maintenance fish you can keep. And their ability to breathe atmospheric oxygen and live in very small volumes of water allows them to be housed in a variety of small aquaria that can complement any home or office. However, there are some important considerations to bear in mind when shopping around for the perfect tank for your pet betta. Please read on as we discuss these issues and our own opinions on what to look for in a small betta tank.

Characteristics of The Best Betta Fish Tanks

1) Adequate Size

Yes, it’s true that a betta can live in a small bowl, if it had to. But this is not the most fulfilling life for such a regal fish. In addition, very small bowls are prone to heating and cooling extremely rapidly, as well as suffering quickly from pollution that can easily occur from even slight overfeeding. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest a minimum tank size of one gallon to keep one adult betta. Of course, your betta would be happy if you provided a larger aquarium, but a gallon container is generally sufficient so long as it is diligently maintained. Bettas can also be housed in community tanks, but take care not to keep them with fish that tend to nip fins. For example, tiger barbs are notorious for fin nipping, and will shred a betta’s fins very quickly. Shredded fins are not just a cosmetic issue, unfortunately, and a betta with badly torn fins can easily die from stress and/or secondary infections like ick/fungus.

2) A Good, Tight Fitting Cover

Bettas are not what I’d consider big time “jumpers,” but they can and will jump when given half a chance. Sometimes osmotic or other stress will cause them to jump, and sometimes they will leap simply because the can. To minimize any risk of such escape, for whatever reason, do yourself a favor and put a lid on the tank. Be careful though to leave some air space between the surface of the water and the cover as they are air breathers and need to gulp air occasionally.

3) No Strong Currents or Water Movement

This is a consideration that I often see overlooked, especially in some of the smaller betta tanks. Bettas have evolved to thrive in still or stagnant waters where this no little or no current. And, as a consequence of this design, they are unhappy when subjected to currents typically generated by hang on back filters or powerful aeration. Bettas require water that is either still, or very placid. They do not require aeration of any kind, especially when properly maintained and in a tank by themselves. If you do use a filter at all, make sure that the tank is large enough (e.g., 3 gallons or more) or the filter can be dialed down (e.g., an air release valve on an aquarium pump) such that the betta does not need to exert effort to maintain its position in the water column. If your betta is getting pushed around or fighting to stay still, it will put constant stain on the fish that can eventually lead to disease or death.

4) Bare Floor or Fine Substrates

Bettas don’t need or want any substrate in their tanks. In fact, bare bottom tanks are best for you and the betta since they facilitate easy clean up. If you do want to add some colorful gravel, however, keep it sparse and opt for relatively small grained types, rather than the large, marble-sized gravel that is often sold for small decorative bowls/tanks. Very course gravel makes a great trap for uneaten food, which then decays and causes potentially lethal ammonia spikes. Finer gravel (pea-sized or smaller) allows the fish to get at food that lands on the bottom, and still allows you to see when food is left uneaten and needs removal – both of which is better for your fish.

5) Regular Light Cycles

Fish, like most vertebrates, react profoundly to light cycles. As a species that lives close to the equator, your betta will expect a photoperiod of roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. If you don’t use artificial lighting, you don’t need to provide any, but avoid turning the lights on late at night when your fish is preparing to “sleep.” Also, try to purchase a tank that uses LED lighting. LED lights are by far the most efficient and long-lasting type you can buy, and also generate the least amount of unwanted heat.

6) Warm Temperatures

Unlike goldfish, for example, which can thrive in very cold water, betta are a very tropical fish. In their native waters of Southeast Asia, they rarely experience temperatures below 76 F. Consequently, you should always aim to keep your bettas at a minimum temperature of 72F, with a temperature of 78F being ideal. Bettas can certainly withstand cooler temps for short durations, but extended exposure to water temperatures below 72F make them lethargic and highly vulnerable to infections and diseases, particularly fin rot, ick, and fungus.

7) Individual Housing

Although female bettas can be kept together, males cannot be kept with other males or females. The only exception to this rule is if you are attempting to breed bettas, in which case the male will tolerate the female (grudgingly) only until the eggs are laid, after which time he will attack and kill her if the tank is not large enough for her to escape his line of sight.

8) Good Water Quality

Whatever you do, you must keep a betta’s water clean. This means that periodic water changes should be conducted, which involve removing any debris from the bottom of the tank. A good rule of thumb is to change between 30-50% of the water per week. This keeps the water fresh without changing things too drastically. Make sure to use dechlorinated water and try to match the temperature of the new water to the old water.

9) Placement in a Calm Area, Away From Direct Light

You wouldn’t want to live next to a 6-lane highway, and neither would your betta, so keep the tank somewhere away from heavy foot traffic. It’s difficult enough living your life in a small transparent container, don’t make matters more stressful by locating the tank where your betta will be subject to constant movement and/or vibrations. Also, locate the tank away from direct sunlight, which can cause rapid temperature spikes and encourage algae growth.

10) Simplicity!

If you’ve chosen a tank of sufficient size, keep the betta by itself, maintain proper temperatures and keep up with regular water changes, there’s not much else you need. Be wary of vendors that try to sell lots of accessories for beta-only tanks, like sophisticated filters, lighting, etc. These things are usually unnecessary.

Cool Aquarium Decor For Under $10

Almost anyone can keep a fish tank. What could be so difficult about filling a tank with water and dropping some fish inside? Well, there is actually more to it than that. You will have to replicate the environment from where the fish came from as best as you can. This would mean proper water filtration, the right temperature for your fish as well as the perfect water chemical balance.

But this alone would not ensure that your fish will be healthy and happy. Another important thing which a lot of new as well as experienced hobbyists fail to consider is tank decoration. If you think about it, the fish would probably never know that the lump of resin you dumped in with it is meant to represent a mermaid but aquarium decor do benefit the fish in a number of other ways. The decor create a boundary of sorts within the confines of the tank and this becomes especially important to the territorial fish. Also, the holes and gaps in the tank decor act as little caves for the fish to hide away in when they feel a need.

However, tank ornaments, especially the really cool intricate ones, can be expensive. All is not lost. There are still loads of other tank ornaments that we can get which will not burn a hole in your pocket. In this lens, we’ll look at some of the ornaments that are really cool which you can get for under $10.

Artificial Corals

Artificial corals are a good place to look for inexpensive yet beautiful tank decor. It is fairly easy to find corals and artificial anemone online and in the pet stores. The cool thing about it is that you do not have to worry about what items to match with what. This is because even in nature, there really is no proper matching. You will see corals and anemone of all shapes and colors side by side. You don’t even have to worry about positioning or proper arrangements. Just place them however you like.

A cool thing to do is to have a background of an underwater scene or a coral reef scene. By placing your artificial corals in front of it, it does create a 3D like effect in the tank, making it look like a vast ocean.

Plain Rocks And Aquatic Plants

This is another relatively cheap but excellent alternative when decorating your aquarium. And it really does not take much effort or creativity. All you need to do is arrange some rocks into a formation and place aquatic plants around it. A good idea is to arrange the rocks such that it provides the fish with at least a small cave. As for the plants, try arranging them in a cascading effect, with the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in the front. And avoid blocking the rocks too much cos they are part of your decor.

For the background, you could use the same ones that I recommended for the Artificial Corals decor just now.

Do It Yourself Decor

One last suggestion is to just find stuff from around your house that you could use as tank ornaments. This can be almost anything such as unwanted china, old pottery and trinkets. But not everything can be put in the tank with fish. Avoid anything metal. They will oxidize and pollute the water. Also don’t have anything that is hand painted without a coat of varnish. The paint will leak into the water and poison it.

What Size Fish Tank Should You Get?

What size tank?

Choosing the right size tank is the first decision you will come up against in this hobby; what tank you choose is all down to personal preference. The tank you choose will be the foundation of your very own Marine Aquarium. It’s good to get this right the first time. If you do, it will save you a lot of time and money. The reason I say this is because people buy a tank and then later on realize that they want a bigger one, so if you know what type of setup you want before you buy your tank you have more of a chance of making the right decision on the size. In a previous article we spoke about the different types of Marine setups, now you know what setup you are going to have you need to decide what size aquarium you want, now comes the part where you have to ask yourself questions, Where is it going to go? How much space do I have? Of course you are limited to what size house you have, and by space, also how much do you want to spend? Fish tanks can range from ?100 to over ?1000, how much you spend is down to you. Before you start it’s good for you to know owning your own Marine Aquarium is no cheap hobby.

Hopefully After reading this article you will come to the conclusion on what size marine tank you want.

What shape?
Depending on what type of setup you are having different shaped tanks will have their own effects.

Tall tanks
Tall tanks have the effect of height; this is nice on a reef tank because it allows you to create different shelf levels to place corals with different lighting needs. The Lighting needs to penetrate through to the bottom, so strong lighting is recommended.

Bow fronted tanks
These tanks give a lovely magnifying effect and the illusion that the tank is bigger than what it is.

Cube tanks
Cube tanks are great for compact spaces; they also provide a 360 degree view of everything in the tank, not great for big fish as swimming space is limited.

Standard Rectangle tanks
These tanks are the best choice for reef aquariums as they have space for everything, you can have big reef fish and there is plenty of room to aqua scape the tank the way you want it.

Corner tanks
These tanks are great space savers. They have a very modern feel and make great show tanks due to their shape because they have a custom made look to them. These tanks are surprisingly spacious.

Setting Up Lighting For Your Aquarium

These days almost any aquarium sets that you get as a package comes with some form of lighting. But if you do have or buy an aquarium that did not come as a set you would then have to get all the different equipment and accessories separately. In this case, you may be wondering what kind of aquarium lightning to get and how to properly install them.

The real question is whether lighting for a fish tank really is that necessary or is it merely a decorative element that you could do away with.

The first factor that determines the necessity of aquarium lighting is whether you have real plants in your tank or not. If yours is a planted tank, the aquatic plants in the water will require light to perform photosynthesis. Without proper lighting at least for a couple of hours of each day, your live plants will begin to wither and die. If your aquarium is positioned in a place that receives some sunlight daily, even if it is not direct sunlight, then fish tank lights aren’t really that crucial.

Even if you do not have live aquatic plants, having a tank that sits in a dark corner of an ill lighted room is not healthy to your fish. Fish like all living creatures live in a cycle of light and dark. Without a distinct difference between the two, they would eventually have deteriorating health and other issues.

In general there are three types of aquarium lights that you could get: normal fluorescent, compact fluorescent and metal halides.

Normal Fluorescent Lights

These are the common types of lighting you can get for a very cheap price in any pet shop. The normal fluorescent lights do provide the basic function of lighting up your fish tank and they do help with providing your aquatic plants the light it needs. The issue about these lights though is that they can be a little bulky. If you do get shorter tubes, the strength of the light might not be sufficient. The same goes if you have a fairly large tank, where you will need to get a couple of tubes together in order to provide suitable illumination.

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These are just like the normal fluorescent ones with the exception that they are much smaller. But don’t let the size full you, they do provide sufficient illumination as much as a longer normal one would. So the benefit here is that you would be able to have more tubes in a smaller space, giving your plants and fish all the light they need.

Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting

These are the latest addition to the aquarium lighting scene. Metal halide lights are able to provide illumination that is stronger and more concentrated. This allows the light to penetrate far deeper into the tank than Fluorescent lights can, making metal halides perfect for really large tanks. The light spectrum that they provide is also ideal for plants and can be selected based on the type of aquatic plants that you have.

The only drawback here is that it is for advanced aquarium enthusiast because it needs proper installation and maintenance. So if you are a new hobbyist and do not want to go through the hassle, this may not be the one for you.

So your task now is to evaluate the size of your fish tank and see which of the three options you would like to go with. They all have their pros and cons, so it is mainly a matter of preference.

Fish Tank Heater Guide

The temperature of the fish tank is absolutely critical for the well-being of the species of fish inhabiting it. Unlike human beings and warm-blooded pets, species of fish tend to not generate their unique physique heat. They must rely on the temperature of the water to regulate their internal temperature. The aquarium water heater information below covers everything you need to understand regarding heating units, and will cover types of fish tank heaters, sizes, and placement of the heater.

Deciding on the type of fish tank heater to use with your aquarium tank isn’t really difficult as long as you recognize the variances between a number of fish tank heaters. There are a number of basic aquarium tank heating units; immersible heating units, submersible heating units, substrate heating units, and filtration system heating units. Depending on the size of your tank and additional components such as a sump, you may have to decide what will work best for your aquarium.

Figuring out which kind of water heater to acquire for your aquarium tank is just the main picture. Heaters occur in several sizes and power ratings. Are you still undecided as to what exact size water heater you need for your aquarium tank? There exists a way to analyze the proper sizing water heater, using the size of your tank and desired temperature. Once you know what size heater you need and the type of heater, you are ready to select the brand. Please read reviews online or on the fish tank heater site at the end of the article to see what heaters are worth buying.

Numerous species of fish that want warmed-up water for ideal health and fitness (such as the Betta) are held in small tanks or containers. Regrettably, mini tanks and smaller types of fish tanks could be a difficult task to heat adequately. In past times, a couple of years maybe, a range of small heating units were introduced towards the aquarium tank market place. Have a look at these types heating units specifically made for mini aquariums if you own a tank less than 10 gallons in volume. They are typically marketed as “nano” or “pico” heaters, and get the job done fairly well without the risk of over-heating the tank with a full sized fish tank heater.

Once you purchase a fish tank heater, the next step is deciding where to place it in the tank. Should the item become located in the middle or off to a side? Can you route the current more efficiently? Will it possibly make a difference? There are many simple, although crucial, tips for proper water heater placement. A little trial and error also goes a long way. You may want to invest in a thermometer probe to accurately monitor the aquarium temperature.

Even under great conditions, issues can certainly occur. Essentially the most frequent undesired event is usually a water heater that decides to break without warning. In the event that you are worried about this happening, you must think of utilizing a water heater safeguard. You’ll want to have it when you need it. You might as well throw it in the cart when you buy the heater.

Another difficult fish tank heater task is usually through the summer time whenever aquarium tank water temperatures increase along with ambient temperature. At times, turning off the fish tank heater isn’t really ample to stop hazardously excessive water temperatures, and extra measures are needed and keep the species of fish cool. One can add cups of cold water, but that is quite time consuming. Chillers exist and are essentially the opposite of the heater. If you’re roughly in the middle hemisphere, you might as well throw a chiller in the cart with your fish tank heater and heater safeguard.

From the wintertime, the opposite issue can occur. This is especially true should your water heater not be able to provide enough heat during the winter time of the year, and measures should be taken in order to keep the species of fish warm. Either a stronger heater, or ideally a second heater should be considered as well. Two heaters will ensure the tank doesn’t get too out of line should one fail. Even if your 300-Watt heater is twice as strong as a 150-Watt heater, should it decide not to turn on then it becomes a 0-Watt heater. Might as well throw a second heater in the cart.

Hopefully after reading this you will have a better idea of what type of fish tank heater to purchase. Once you have an ideal system in place, you won’t have to worry because you know the aquarium temperature will be constant and if something were to fail there are safeguards in place to prevent disaster.