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The most popular aquarium species for saltwater aquariums come from tropical habitats. Even though there’s a segment of the aquarium hobby dedicated to keeping cold water marine species, it’s not as popular as tropical saltwater ecosystems such as reef tanks. Moreover, cold saltwater tanks are more challenging to maintain, which is why you mostly see them at theme parks such as the San Diego SeaWorld. Assuming you want to keep a saltwater tank stocked with tropical species, the ideal temperature should be between 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which works out to about 24 to 26 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is narrower for tanks intended to mimic a coastal …

According to estimates by marine biologists at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there were more than 30,000 fish species classified as of 2006, and approximately half of them live in freshwater habitats. Tropical fish are the most popular in the freshwater and saltwater aquarium hobbies, although cold water species such as koi can thrive in ponds located in regions with tropical climates. Within this great diversity of fish, a few species stand out for their resilience, hardiness, and adaptability. These are the kinds of traits rookie fish keepers should look for when they stock their first aquariums. Let’s look at a few species seasoned aquarists often recommend to …

According to estimates made by the Journal of Conservation Letters, more than 2 million aquarists around the world care for saltwater and reef tanks. The global marine aquarium trade accounts for 50 million transactions of live species each year. We’re talking about fish, plants, invertebrates such as shrimp, and live rock. Most saltwater aquarium enthusiasts are based in the United States, Japan, and Europe, although the hobby has been on the rise in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. A survey conducted in 2019 by graduate students at the University of Rhode Island estimated that approximately 25 percent of aquarium tanks in the U.S. are dedicated to saltwater species. …

Here’s something that often happens to fish keepers whose foray into the aquarium hobby involves a starter tank purchased from a local shop. These packaged deals often include a couple of aquatic plants that may or may not be of the rooting kind. If the kit comes with bottled bacteria for the purpose of establishing the tank, you’ll be able to begin stocking it with a few fish within 24 hours of filling the aquarium, but this quick start may not provide sufficient time for plants to take hold and get used to the habitat. When this is the case, many plants start to wilt in less than two months, …

The use of carbon in the fish keeping hobby is relatively new. While many bodies of water are exposed to carbon in the form of bituminous coal, which is a form of organic rock, the biochemical processes that carbon deposits generate in natural habitats aren’t necessary in fish tanks. They’re complementary, but they can also provide benefits that make fish keeping more efficient. Unlike other important fish tank supplies, carbon isn’t something you’ll normally find as part of an aquarium starter kit. Incorporating it into your tank maintenance routines is a personal choice. A healthy aquatic ecosystem doesn’t hinge upon using carbon, but some of its properties make it ideal …

Fish tanks come in many shapes and sizes, but not all of them can be described as being the most adequate for either aquatic species or their human keepers. The main goal of the aquarium hobby is to replicate natural ecosystem conditions in an enclosed artificial environment. With such a goal in mind, the best habitat size and shape for freshwater species wouldn’t be a tank at all. A very large garden pond that can hold about 50,000 gallons of water would be perfect for tropical fish. In the case of saltwater species, an artificial lagoon with 100,000 gallons would do the trick. Naturally, very few aquarists have the space …

The art of making aquariums look their best through caring for plant species is called aquascaping, and it adheres to four vital elements of an ideal ecosystem: lighting, substrate, carbon dioxide management, and the proper use of fertilizers. At the very least, aquatic plants should be provided with lighting to stimulate photosynthesis. Only rooted plants need specific substrate, and the management of CO2 can best be enabled by the addition of “carbon source” like SeaChem Excel or gas CO2 or even fractionally through fish waste, invertebrates, and microorganisms. With regard to fertilizers, not all fish keepers use them, but those who do enjoy the advantage of healthy plants that live …

Many koi pond keepers strive to keep their water looking crystal-clear at all times, but this isn’t always possible for various reasons. Any garden pond that gets at least a couple of hours of sunlight each day is bound to go through periods when algae will bloom. Depending on the algae species, this natural process can give the water an unsightly brown or green color. Terrestrial plant debris that decomposes at the bottom of the pond can result in tea-colored water. Then you have the issue of excessive foaming on the surface, which can be explained by other reasons and is generally easy to take care of. Spawning Koi and …

Koi ponds have become synonymous with garden ponds even though they can be established to keep many other aquatic species. For example, in Bermuda and the Florida Keys, some aquarists are known to set up saltwater ponds in their backyards as a means to simulate the natural marine and brackish ponds that form near Caribbean lagoons. With this in mind, keeping a pond in your backyard doesn’t force you to stock it with koi. Some pond keepers prefer to forego koi and look to other species such as crawfish, Chinese algae eaters, fancy goldfish, and Shubunkin, which are often confused with some koi varieties. Some pond keepers prefer Shubunkin over …

There’s an entire subset of the aquarium hobby specifically dedicated to aquatic plants. It’s known as aquascaping, and it involves caring for some of the most gorgeous tanks you’ll ever see. Aquascaping enthusiasts know there’s a lot more to caring for plants than just clean water and a reliable source of light. Freshwater planted aquariums not only look better. They also provide a more natural and healthier ecosystem, which is why seasoned fish keepers always recommend caring for planted tanks. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 50-60 percent plant coverage in a tank. The plants you choose will dictate the type of substrate that will work …

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