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Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums Adapted from Jenessa Gjeltema and Mr. Krutz.

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Presentation on theme: "Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums Adapted from Jenessa Gjeltema and Mr. Krutz."— Presentation transcript:

1 Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums Adapted from Jenessa Gjeltema and Mr. Krutz

2 Choose Your Aquarium Type The specific aquarium setup will depend upon the requirements of the species you choose.

3 Choose Your Aquarium Type


5 Factors to Consider Biotic (Living) Type of Fish, newt, turtle etc. Beneficial Bacteria Live Plants Harmful microorganisms and multicellular organisms Abiotic (Nonliving) Substrate (gravel, crushed coral) Plastic Plants Decorative rocks, caves, or toys Equipment (filters, lights, heaters, etc.) Wastes (EX.Ammonia)

6 Setting up your new Aquarium Freshwater Basics Choose the largest aquarium Choose gravel : just a ¼ for the bottom (Undergravel filters need about 2). A thick gravel bed will cause ammonia problems. Fill with water: tap water, well water or any other you still need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime or Stress Coat. Any water changes a dechlorinator must be used. Set up your filter and get it running. Set your heater to the desired temperature and place your heater in but dont plug it in for 30 minutes Add some good bacteria to help age the tank such as Bio Spira or Cycle Let tank run for 1 to 2 days and add in 2 or 3 starter fish. See how these do for a week and slowly add a couple more. 1/2 -1 pound of gravel per gallon of aquarium with outside or canister filter. These are two excellent dechlorinators. Make certain you have all the filter media you need to get it running! Let heater stay unplugged to 30 minutes anytime it has been removed from water and placed back in. Bio Spira and Cycle will help introduce new beneficial bacteria to a new tank. If no bacteria is used the new tank may become cloudy a few days after set up. A new aquarium needs patience and time to establish itself. A new freshwater tank takes days before it cycles through. A saltwater tank can tank up to 8 weeks.

7 Step 1 – Select Organism Select the Organism(s) Determine its needs It could should be a freshwater community fish (or aggressive if you can set up an aggressive tank with another student Number of organisms 1inch fish/gallon

8 Starter (Hardy) Fish: Freshwater Platy: Livebearers: little salt This salt is good for most freshwater fish Dwarf Gourami Zebra Danios Dalmatian Molly All these fish should be fed a variety of foods. Flake foods and frozen.

9 Coldwater \ Goldfish Coldwater ornamental fish requiring a little cooler environment if possible between degrees. These include all kinds of goldfish. Goldfish are messier than other fish and require more filtration and cleaning. Feeds on goldfish specific food Following are some examples:

10 Basic Needs Appropriate enclosure/housing Nutrition Hygiene Enrichment

11 Step 2 - Equipment Determine what equipment is needed –Size and shape of tank –Heater or Heat Lamp –Lighting –Filtration System –Stand –Substrate (gravel, crushed coral, sand, dolomite) –Plants, Rocks, Shells etc.

12 Enclosure Components: Tank


14 Step 4 – Tank Placement Select a location away from windows, radiators, and air conditioners. It should be placed in a manner that all equipment should be available for maintenance, cleaning and care of fish

15 Step 5 – Tank Placement Place tank on a steady surface that can support the weight. Fresh water ways approximately 8 lbs a gallon, saltwater ways more. FOR EXAMPLE A 10 GALLON WEIGHS OVER 80 LBS. The stand or support surface should be water resistant

16 Step 6 – Check for Leaks Place cardboard underneath tank to cushion it and make it easy to slide Half fill tank with water, wait 24 hours and observe for leaks

17 Step 7 – Check for Leaks Fill to within 1 inch of top, wait 24 hours and observe for leaks

18 Step 8 - Salt In a marine tank add marine salt to the water until a density between –1.017g/ml to 1.020g/ml is reached –Use a hydrometer to measure density In a fresh water tank add one tablespoon of non iodized salt to prevent fungal infections

19 Step 9- Substrate Add substrate to a depth of 1 inch Freshwater tanks gravel sand Marine crushed coral dolomite marine sand or living sand

20 Step 10 - Filtration Install a filtration system. To maintain optimal fish health, 3 types of filtration are necessary. –Physical –Biological –Chemical

21 Filtration Systems Filtration: PhysicalBiologicalChemical Types:Wool, spongeCeramics, sponges, rocks (SURFACE AREA!!) Charcoal, zeolite Purpose:Remove large particulate waste Removes fish waste products Removes odors, discoloration, toxins, and some waste products

22 Filtration Systems Considerations Tank size Stocking capacity Water flow Breeding Aeration

23 Filtration Systems


25 Step 11 - Heating Most fish can only survive within an environment with narrow range of temperature change, usually between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain optimal temperature, install a submersible heater

26 Step 11 - Heating You need 5 watts per gallon 10 gallon – 50 watts 12 gallon – 75 watts 20 gallon – 100 watts 25 gallon – 150 watts 30 gallon – 150 watts 55 gallon – 300 watts

27 Step 11 To install heater safely: Place unplugged in heater at bottom of tank horizontally for 15 minutes Then set temperature and plug in heater Wait 24 hours then measure temperature and adjust heater

28 Enclosure Components: Temperature Regulation How? Heaters Chillers Fans Ventilation

29 Step 12 - Decorations Organisms need to be in an environment as similar to their natural environment as possible. To accomplish this we put rocks, live plants, caves, shells plastic plants, plastic pipes etc.

30 Step 12 - Decorations Adding live plants provides food, 0xygen, a place to hide and lay eggs Plastic plants provide a place to hide and lay eggs Rocks, caves, coral, and tubes provide a place to hide Note: shells, coral and calcareous rocks can only be used in High pH aquariums, mostly marine

31 Enclosure Components: Environmental Enrichment Why? Evasion Breeding Quality of life Express Personality

32 Enclosure Components: Environmental Enrichment Types: Wood Rocks Substrate Plants

33 Enclosure Components: Plants Why? Oxygenation Waste removal Protection

34 Step 13 Cover and lighting A cover is needed to: –Prevent fish from jumping out of the tank –Slow evaporation –Keep dust out of the tank

35 Enclosure Components: Lid/Condenser Why? Keeps fish from jumping out Prevents evaporation Protects lights

36 Step 13 - Lighting Only reef tanks and tanks with live plants need daily lighting Reef tanks need actinic (bluish light) for live coral and anemones and full spectrum white light for plants and algae Tanks with live plants need 12 hours a day of full spectrum white light.

37 Enclosure Components: Lighting Why? Plant Growth Coral Growth Visualizing the Fish Fish health

38 Enclosure Components: Lighting Considerations: Fixtures Wavelength Light Intensity Reflectors Photoperiod (12 hours)

39 Step 14 - Selecting Fish Fish should: –Be active –Have regular breathing pattern –Have clear eyes –Have no torn fins or sores –No fuzzy stuff on body or fins

40 Step 15 – Catching Fish Fish should preferably be caught slowly using a container A net removes the protective slime coat and irritates skin Try not to stress fish, it suppresses immune system

41 Step 16 – Acclimating fish To minimize stress and protect fish –Float bag in new tank for 15 minutes adding small amounts of water to the bag to make the temperatures similar –After fifteen minutes turn open bag sideways and let fish swim out of bag –Observe behavior –May have to rearrange tank so all fish establish new territories

42 Step 18 - Care of Fish Feeding Determine best diet for organism Feed small amount – only as much food as fish can eat in 3 minutes then remove excess

43 Step 18 – Care of Fish Observe and record behavior Need to establish baseline for comparison –Observe fish for 20 minutes or more for several days –Determine its favorite spot in the tank –Draw a diagram of its body and fins noting markings and coloration –Observe its behavior toward tank mates and their behavior towards it and record

44 Step 18 – Care of Fish Observe and Record Behavior Observe its gill movements – count and record for 1 minute Observe its eating pattern and how it eats record in log

45 Step 19 Care of Fish Water Chemistry Test and Record –pH –Ammonia level –Nitrite level –Maintain ideal levels for optimal health

46 Water Composition: Water Testing

47 Water Composition: Testing Fresh Water: pH Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate Salt Water: Salinity Other: Phosphate Calcium Strontium

48 Step 20 – Care of Fish Maintenance In order to prevent disease, regular maintenance is critical The single most important maintenance procedure is a water change –Clean gravel at least once a month –Change 20% a month to remove harmful wastes and replace trace elements –Clean filter pad every month, replace every 3 months

49 Water Quality: Nitrogen Cycle (originally from

50 Water Quality: Nitrogen Cycle

51 Water Quality: Cycling A New Tank Purpose: grow bacteria for nitrogen cycle Takes 4-6 weeks Tips: Seed the tank Monitor values closely Avoid water changes Can achieve without fish

52 Water Changes Why? Dilutes waste products Corrects pH imbalances Can reduce algae growth

53 Performing Water Changes Regular water changes 2% every 2 days 4% every week 20% a month

54 Adding Fish: Acclimation Temperature Water composition Environmental factors How: min. for temperature 15 minutes for water composition

55 Nutrition Dry: Flakes Pellets Sticks Floating Sinking Wafers Seaweed Live/Frozen: Blood Worms Daphnia Brine Shrimp Feeder fish Plants

56 Nutrition Know your fish Observe mouth Use dry food as staple Supplement with fresh/frozen foods Do not overfeed Picture from Jeremy Gays The Perfect Aquarium

57 Maintenance Daily: Feed Monitor Lighting Weekly: Replace evaporation Water testing Clean algae Empty protein skimmer

58 Maintenance Monthly: Charcoal replacement Plant maintenance Electrical Inspection 6 mos. To Yearly: Change light bulbs

59 Common Questions Why is my tank cloudy? Answer: The aquarium is going thru a cycling process known as the Nitrogen Cycle. This occurs in new tanks and tanks that have recently had major water changes. Solution: Adding Bio Spira or Cycle will help. Do not overfeed or overpopulate a new tank.

60 More Common Questions: Why is my tank water green? Answer: Tank is getting too much or the wrong kind of light. Customer should make certain the tank is getting no sunlight. Also make sure the bulbs are correct for fish tanks. Any bulb older than 18 months probably needs replacing. Answer: Partial water change is needed and replace old filter media (charcoal).

61 What are the white or salt like spots on my fish? Answer: This is most likely a disease known as ick. Fast temperature change or stressful environment can bring this on. Solution: Ick medicine and making sure your tank water is good. Make certain heater is working and keeping the temperature stable. Ickey Fish

62 More Questions: My fish has big white patches on its body and fins, why? Answer: Commom on fish with injuries or poor water quality. Other fish picking on them is also a cause. Solution: Several products treat this: Fungus Cure, Mar Oxy or Triple Sulfa

63 Question: I have been treating with medicine but my fish dont seem to be getting any better, why? Answer: Medicines take several treatments and fish heal slowly. Also, make certain there is no charcoal (carbon filters). These will absorb the medication.

64 References Axelrod, Herbert. Handbook of Tropical Aquarium Fishes. Neptune City: TFH Publications Borneman, Eric. Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History. Neptune City: T.H.F. Publications Fenner, Robert M. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Neptune city: T.F.H Publications Gay, Jeremy. The Perfect Aquarium: The Complete Guide to Setting Up and Maintaining an Aquarium. New York: Reader s Digest Hawkins, A.D. Aquarium Systems. London: Academic Press. 1981

65 References Hemdal, Jay F. Aquarium Fish Breeding. New York: Barron s Hiscock, Peter. Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants. New York: Barron s Sandford, Gina. The Tropical Aquarium. New York: Barron s Stoskopf, Michael. Fish Medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Sauders Co Tullock, John. Water Chemistry for the Marine Aquarium. New York: Barron s

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