3649 Fishinger Blvd. Hilliard, OH 43026
The basic components of most flaked fish food include the following: fish meal, squid meal, shrimp meal, earthworms, spirulina, and vitamins and minerals. There probably aren’t many surprises in that ingredient list, given the commonality of most fish food combinations. However, the ingredients can vary from source to source. Here are some things to look out for when examining fish food ingredient lists and options.
Different Types of Diets
It’s important to note that fish fall into three dietary categories: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. The feeding instructions for meeting their dietary needs can vary and offer options beyond typical flaked food. Below is a breakdown of the different types of fish food and the diets that they support.
- Freeze Dried: This variety of food is generally for any carnivorous fish that lives in captivity. The ingredients typically include bloodworms and krill.
- Frozen: Usually very high quality, frozen food’s biggest perk is the simplicity of ingredients, which can vary depending on the type and age of the fish. If a pet owner wants an all-natural approach to fish care, this is a step in the right direction. Ingredients can include clams, krill, shrimp, plankton, and more. The food should be prepared by partially defrosting before adding it to the aquarium. Additionally, it can be portioned to the owner’s liking, which is beneficial for both budget and overall fish health.
- Fresh: Many are unaware that some species of fish can be fed fresh food like peas, zucchini, and shrimp. It’s true and a very nutritious option. If one chooses this dietary route, make sure to only partially cook the desired fish food and only give the smallest of morsels. Overfeeding can be even more dangerous with fresh food.
- Live: Due to the nature of their predation, certain species of fish will only eat live food. Marine life experts at Aquarium Adventure Columbus can be a great resource for figuring out the best live food diet for a particular fish.
Whether you’re thinking of starting a new tank or trying to find new companions for your current home aquarium, let our team at Aquarium Adventure Columbus guide you on your aquatic journey. Stop by and view our 12,000 sq. ft. showroom in Hilliard, OH or give us a call at (614) 792-0884 today.
Preparing Your Pond for Fall & Winter by Laguna
The fall brings about a change in weather that signals the need for winter preparation in colder climate zones. Skim your pond at least once a week, removing any leaves or plant matter. Ponds should be covered with netting in order to catch the leaves and make them easier to remove. Leaves or plant matter left in the pond will deteriorate over the winter producing organic waste. Small, partial water changes are a good idea to help dilute any problem that may exist.
Depending on the climate zone you live in, late fall is when you will start to see the water temperature of your pond drop below 43*F. When the water reaches this temperature, submersible pumps should be removed, cleaned and stored for the winter. Completely take apart and clean your pump, especially the impeller. Storing your equipment without cleaning it could result in damaged equipment or a broken impeller shaft when you restart in the spring.
If you are using a secondary smaller water pump ensure that it has been thoroughly cleaned before use. Your pump should be installed close to the surface of your pond or on bricks to prevent cooling of the lower water levels. This should be done even in climates where the pond freezing over is not an issue. It is important not to leave the pump in the deep area of the pond where fish will be hibernating for the winter. You will also need to disconnect, clean and store pond equipment such as UV sterilizers and external filters. If you have a waterfall you will have to disconnect it for the winter months.
In colder climate zones a deicer and/or aeration kit should be added to keep a hole open to allow water circulation and oxygenation throughout the winter and allow for proper oxygen/carbon dioxide gas exchange for fish to survive the winter.
As the temperature of the water drops, your fish will require less food. Watch their intake and adjust your feeding. Stop feeding your fish completely when the water temperature of your pond reaches an average of 45 degrees. At 47-50 degrees the fish will begin to hibernate at the bottom of the pond. Regardless of the outside temperature or if your fish come to the surface during the winter do not feed them. They might be surfacing for oxygen not food. If you feed them during this period, the food will not be digested.
In most regions your fish are capable of wintering-over right in the pond, provided it is large enough, deep enough and not over-populated.
Tropical plants will not survive the winter if left in the pond (in zones 1 to 6a). As soon as the water temperature drops below 60 degrees, they should be removed. Some types can thrive indoors during the winter. Hardy should be cut down to about an inch above the root stem and sunk to the bottom most level. However don’t let them cramp the entire floor bottom as the fish will need room too. While cutting back the plants remove the buildup of debris and string algae which may have accumulated on the pots and stems.
Fish generally thrive when given a lot of space, but some fish are better suited to smaller tanks, or “nano aquariums.” For those who want to enjoy aquariums on a smaller scale, these fish are great for a nano aquarium.
The Scarlet Badis, also known as the Dario Dario, is a nano aquarium fish that resembles the dwarf cichlid. The peaceful but timid nature of the Scarlet Badis can make it tricky to feed, as it often hides from the aquarist. But these fish will happily coexist with other nano fish and feed off of live brine shrimp, daphnia, and banana worms.
Betta fish are commonly sold in small containers, and while it’s true they can live in small spaces for a short period of time, they generally want at least five gallons of water to feel happiest. Although Bettas are easy to care for, they don’t play nice with other fish as the Scarlet Badis does, so it’s best to keep them alone.
Apart from their unique bumblebee-like coloring, Gobies are also an attractive pick for nano tanks because they can exist in both freshwater and brackish tanks. Because they only grow to about 1.5 inches in size, they may seem innocuous, but these Gobies can be somewhat aggressive and should only be paired with more peaceful fish.
The smallest member of the Gourami family, the Sparkling, or “Pygmy” Gourami thrive best in tanks with a lot of foliage. These fish are peaceful, and when fed a mixture of plant- and meat-based flakes, will develop beautiful “sparkling” colors. Sparkling Gourami are social fish, so it’s best to purchase three or more for a nano tank.
Pros and Cons of Nano Tanks
Because nano tanks are smaller in size, they can be easier for new fish owners to manage and maintain. However, because of their size, they may also require more frequent maintenance, such as water changes, balancing pH, and cleaning. Additionally, owners should regularly test their water for toxins, as problems can become quickly fatal due to the relatively condensed nature of the environment. Nano tanks are a great introduction to aquarium ownership, and there are numerous beautiful fish that do well in small spaces. Browse our inventory of fish at Aquarium Adventure Columbus to help get your nano tank started. We offer over 1,000 diverse species, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit!
To ensure the health and longevity of aquarium fish, there are a number of factors that must be kept in a state of homeostasis. In some cases, including an algae eater can help protect against scum or buildup. Here’s how to know which aquariums need one.
What Is Aquarium Algae?
Algae are simple aquatic plants that thrive in water with higher levels of food or waste. Algae comes in a number of different varieties, with some forming a layer on the top of aquarium water and others building up on the sides of the tank. Although algae is natural and fish can coexist with it to some extent, large amounts of it can be problematic for fish, aquarium plants, and general aesthetic.
What Are Algae Eaters?
Although the term “algae eater” may summon to mind a small machine or cleaner, it actually refers to a specific type of fish. Some algae eaters such as plecos, otos, and the Siamese algae eater prefer to live off of algae, while others, such as molly, guppies, or rosy barbs, will only snack on it occasionally.
How to Determine If an Algae Eater Is Necessary
When considering adding an algae eater to a home aquarium, it’s important to remember that it involves adding an additional fish that requires its own care. Therefore, an algae eater should only be added if completely necessary. Before adding an algae eater, consider choosing other algae-busting tactics first. This includes ensuring the tank is properly maintained, switching to a higher quality filter, adding more live plants that will compete with algae growth, or scheduling fish feeding to minimize the amounts of uneaten food in the tank. If none of these methods work, an algae eater may be a necessary and helpful addition.
Choosing the Right Algae Eater
Before adding an algae eater, the first step is to consider the needs of the potential addition. For example, some algae eaters will only thrive if there is enough algae being produced regularly, as algae is their main source of nutrition. Additionally, the algae eater must be compatible with the other fish in the tank so that territoriality or aggression doesn’t become a problem. Finally, it’s important to ensure that the algae eater will survive in the temperature, pH, and water already in the tank. Because there is such a wide variety of algae eaters and algae, consult with an expert before purchasing an algae eater. To discuss and resolve your tank’s needs, come into Aquarium Adventure Columbus today and speak with one of our experts.
ALGAE IN THE POND
By Bill Wymard, Marine Biologist, www.aquariumadventurecolumbus.com
The number one question or challenge pond gardeners run into is algae. All types of algae grow in response to added nutrients and increasing length of daylight. Ponds go through excessive algae proliferation phases throughout the pond season. In the spring, algae blooms will be the primary form of algae. For the rest of the year, various types of algae will compete for control in the pond. This is a normal and natural process of the pond water reaching a balanced condition. Despite this, most pond gardeners want to get rid of it, and there are ways to safely inhibit excess growth of algae. Generally, there are two types: green, soupy water (algae blooms) and long, stringy hair grass (macro algae growing on rocks and sides of the pond).
As previously stated, pea soup-like water is often normal in the early stages of a pond’s season. There are a few ways of managing this unsightly phenomenon.
Natural Method: Using a natural process to control algae is a relatively easy, inexpensive and long-lasting solution. The main drawback is the time needed for this method to make an impact on the green water. Essentially, the process calls for the addition of plants to out-compete the algae for light and nutrients.
Oxygenating plants such as hornwort, foxtail and parrot’s feather grow very rapidly to use up nutrients. When they spread out, they also absorb much of the light coming into the pond. Oxygenators are so called because they photosynthesize very rapidly and release a large amount of oxygen into the pond, adding to the overall health, and preventing stagnation.
Floating plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth will also perform the same benefits as oxygenators in that they grow very rapidly and block a great deal of the light coming into the pond. For effective results with this approach, roughly 2/3 of the pond should be covered with plants. Bear in mind that since they grow and spread very rapidly, only a few need to be purchased to establish a base in the pond.
Chemical Method: Another way of controlling algae is with chemical pond shades and algaecides. The shades are dyes or tints that are added to the water, and minimize the light being transmitted into the pond. Chemical algaecides work for a short period, but eventually the algae will return unless the chemicals are dosed on a regular basis. Additionally, algaecides can be harmful to various aquatic lives, especially invertebrates, like snails.
Mechanical Method: An alternative method of controlling green water is to use a piece of equipment called an Ultra Violet Sterilizer (UV). This device uses an ultraviolet bulb to create rays that sterilize and kill algae cells that are free floating in the water column that causes “green water”.
Keep in mind that while these units are extremely effective at controlling green water (results within a few days to a week); they will not have any effect on stringy macro algae.
Stringy Macro Algae
Methods involving competitive plants will also work well against the stringy type of algae. However, even using these methods, hair algae can still get a foothold. As with green water algae problems, chemical algaecides can be used, but they have their downsides. The chemical action and rapid killing of macro algae can rapidly deplete the oxygen levels in the pond and thus effect the fish, so care must be used. Physical removal will help, but this requires constant maintenance.
Our European counterparts have provided us with another way of algae control that is catching on in a big way in the U.S. Barley straw, when placed in a pond has the effect of inhibiting the growth of stringy hair algae. When it decomposes, peroxides and other chemicals are produced, and these attack the algae. Various products exist, from miniature bales of the straw to pellets and liquid extract of the straw. Whatever the source of barley straw that is used, they should be used early in the spring and late in the year, before closing the pond. This keeps a constant supply of the chemicals in the pond to keep working against algae all year long.