Tag Archives: freshwater aquarium

Battling blue green algae in your aquarium

In July 2012 I noticed that something wasn’t right in my aquarium. I change the water in my freshwater aquarium regularly so it was a bit of a surprise to find algae in my tank as shown below.

The picture shows a bit of blue green algae or Cyanobacteria in my tank. I did regular water changes – a change between 2 to 3 weeks (which is plenty if you know my tank and if you live in Finland with good fresh water) so I knew it wasn’t because of that. It seems you can get blue green algae in your tank even if you change water regularly! I also hadn’t change the lighting conditions in the tank nor added new fish nor had I in my opinion changed my feeding habits either. Continue reading “Battling blue green algae in your aquarium” »

Pictures of the day, 30.7.2011

I haven’t had much to write about lately, all seems fine with out tank. So I add some pictures I took this morning for your enjoyment.

Rosy tetra

Rosy tetra (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus) is a pretty and calm fish that can live with almost all other fish. It likes to be in a swarm so you need to get six or more of these fellows. At least in Finland they are pretty expensive, but I have liked them very much so far. They like to take and play with the bottom food given to the Clown loaches, which is fun to watch at (although the loaches do not appreciate this :)).

Rosy Tetra

Rosy Tetra (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus)

Rosy Tetra
Rosy Tetra (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus)

Pristella Tetra and Harlequin fish

These are like your ordinary tetra fish, but I like them much more than neon tetras. They seems more lively and are really beautiful to look at when you have a swarm of ten or more of each. I think some underestimate these small fish, but they are easy to take care of and nice to watch at.

Pristella Tetra (Pristella maxillaris) and Harlequin fish (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Pristella Tetra and Harlequin fish

Our aquarium, 30.7.2011

Last but not least, yet another picture of our beautiful tank.

Our freshwater aquarium, 30.7.2011

Our freshwater aquarium, 30.7.2011

Freshwater aquarium plant growth tips

I believe strongly that a healthy aquarium with healthy fish requires healthy plants. Below are my tips on how I try to see to it that my freshwater aquarium plants grow as well as possible. I’d like to share these tips with anyone who is interested in them and of course get some feedback on what you think. I hope with the things below also your plants will grow well!

Even if I speak of some specific products in this article, I am sure there are many equally good or even better ones. It just very hard to compare the products on your own, so I am more than happy to receive feedback on some products that you have used and that you think work better than the ones here.

Continue reading “Freshwater aquarium plant growth tips” »

Our freshwater aquarium, 19.6.2011

Our Juwel RIO 180 tank is now 8 months old and has grown from what only had content from our old 100 liters aquarium such as one stump (or rhizome?) and just a few plants. Now the plants have grown so much and I need to cut them at every water change. I really try to take care of our Amazon sword plants (Echinodorus bleheri) which there are multiple of in our aquarium. As you can see from the picture, I have some Amazon sword plant sprouts growing which is an indication of healthy water. Plants are in general very important to me, so as you can see in the upper left corner of the picture, I also have a CO2 dispenser that makes the plants grow really well.

The aquarium in the pictures below has had water changes every three weeks and to me this is the perfect cycle. All the important metrics (NO2, NO3, pH) are still within good numbers and I can keep the bottom clean as well.

In case you have any questions related to the tank, what I do with it or what I have in it, just leave a comment and I will get back to you. You can also send me an email with your question. You’ll find the email in the About section above.

Water change obsession

Why do we change the water in our freshwater aquariums? Of course to keep the water clean from waste and ammonia derived toxics (NO2 and NO3). This is where hopefully all of us agree on when it comes to freshwater aquarium keeping. But the discussion starts when we talk about how often do we need to change the water in order to keep the readings low – and particularly with NO3, on what level.

On some forums, especially with visitors from North America, I hear a lot that I am crazy when I don’t change my water every week. I hear that I will get ammonia in my water, my nitrites levels will go sky high and all that. Well, my test kits don’t show me anything like that and I change my water every 4 weeks. Yes, not 1 but every 4 weeks. My test kits show me readings as follows: NO2 = 0, NO3 = 10-20, pH = 7.0. What would be the reasoning to change the water at this point?

I am not going to change the water, and by that affect the ecosystem, if I don’t get high nitrates or some nitrites levels. I don’t know if the water quality is just poor in North America (maybe not Canada, but how about California for example?) and because of that you have to change the water more frequently. But at least here in Finland we have very good tap water so this is not a reason to change the water.

Of course at some point you have to change the water even if the readings show normal numbers, since you want to gravel vacuum your tank. This would be the reason for me to change the water if the water value readings are ok. And for my tank the change frequency seems to be 4 weeks.

At this point it must always be said, that the water change frequency is always tank specific. Nobody can tell you how often you need to change the water in your tank. But please do that based on the water value readings and not based on some comment on some forum “Just because you should”.