Donation Updates

I finally found a great way for my wonderful readers to help contribute to my fish keeping hobby on here!

I have recently teamed up with the site Razoo which enables you to donate money so that you can help me to provide new content for my fish keeping hobby on here as well as other social media sites. Although it is not required for you to donate, as I do create the content on here of my own free time and free will, it is always greatly appreciated, especially if you found this blog to be helpful to you. You can either click the link provided here, or the one in the sidebar.

For more ways to help contribute to this blog, you can also check out my Cafepress shop for some cool fishy goodies.

Thanks again!


Cloudy Aquarium Water - 8 Remedies

This is an updated post which I have chosen to revive again! I'm here to bring you yet another revamped version of what I feel are some of the best ways to help clear up cloudy aquarium water.
1. Don't overfeed fish. If you find your fish don't consume all the food you're feeding them then the food will dissolve into your aquarium water and cause it to get cloudy. Overfeeding may also cause the tanks inhabitants to excrete more waste as well. Keep in mind that having too many aquarium inhabitants can also lead to cloudy water. In this case having adequate aquarium filtration could help with cloudy water issues.

2. Clean decor: Thoroughly clean any decor in your aquarium. Often times if you don't rinse out new aquarium decor like substrate it can leach debris and such into your aquarium water and cause cloudiness from free floating particles. New driftwood can also leech into your aquarium water (some people actually want this for certain aquarium setups) and in this case, water will generally get a tea color tint to it. If your water gets this tint and it's unwanted then you can try adding in activated carbon to the filter system. A lot of people will soak or boil driftwood as this helps to cut down on the leaching effects it leaves in the aquarium, and it may take numerous attempts to get completely get rid of this tinted water issue.

3. Water changes: Depending on how quickly your aquarium gets dirty from its inhabitants, it may be time to start doing some partial water changes with clean water, this is often the best way to remove cloudiness or discoloring from aquarium water. Adding in some aquarium salt may help to clean 'established' aquarium water, which may help remove cloudiness. Therefore, I would suggest not using aquarium salt in an unestablished aquarium.

4. Plant waste: If you have live plants in your aquarium you may find they decompose a bit, especially if they don't have the proper habitat needed for proper growth. Decaying plant matter can also cause water to become dirty and cloud. Also be sure you don't leave your aquarium light/s on for extended periods of time as your cloudy water may be caused by algae bloom (which is often green in color).

5. Chemicals: Some water chemicals may cause water to get cloudy, be sure you're using the proper amounts and perhaps find different products to use if this is the issue. There are also some chemicals on the market that claim to help clarify aquarium water which could possibly help eliminate cloudy water (generally these products help the free floating particles cling together and get trapped in the filter media). Adding in additional active carbon into your filter may help remove discoloring and smell from the water, but it can also remove chemicals. Certain medications (such as Methylene Blue) can cause cloudy water because it killed off any beneficial bacteria the filter system may have had and now the tank is going through bacterial bloom because it needs to go through the water cycling process again.

6. Cycle: Sometimes in new aquarium setups where water hasn't gone through the cycling process it can cause the aquarium water to get cloudy from 'bacterial bloom'. Bacterial Bloom is generally cloudy white in color, compared to Algae Bloom that is generally cloudy green. Once the filter media gains enough beneficial bacteria it can help combat some possible cloudy water issues. Be sure to check your aquarium for nitrite and ammonia during this time as these can be deadly to your aquariums' inhabitants. To help speed up the process there are various water chemicals you can add, although I personally prefer using live bacteria balls in my canister filter. I have also had success using Tetra SafeStart which I find to be readily available in most stores with aquarium goods.

7. Oxygenate: If your aquarium water continues to be cloudy or has a very dense amount of cloudiness, then you may want to add in an air diffuser to ensure the fish are at least getting adequate amounts of oxygen in the water while you continue to remedy the cloudy water. Algae bloom or 'green water' can cause fish to suffocate and die without added oxygenation. You'll want an air diffuser that gives off fine air bubbles, as larger bubbles usually just agitate water at the surface. I suggest using a wooden air diffuser such as those made by Lee's. Also, if you can attach the air diffuser to the center (or a bit off center) base of the tank rather than the sides, it allows the air bubbles to fully disperse within the tank. If you have substrate than this will be harder for you to accomplish and instead just attach the diffuser to the widest wall of the tank while trying to center it close to the base of the aquarium. Doing this will help fan out the air bubbles while giving the bubbles more time burst before hitting the surface.

8. UV Filter: When all else fails in terms of combating a cloudy tank try using a UV filter system. A UV filter helps to sterilize tank water and is often used to remove algae bloom, although don't expect this to remove algae attached to surfaces in the aquarium. Generally, you don't run a UV filter all the time, just when it becomes necessary. A UV filter also won't kill your beneficial bacteria otherwise, you wouldn't be able to use these at all in a tank if that were the case. These units can also be pricey, along with bulb replacement maintenance that you'll probably be doing on them in the future. Another reason not to run a UV filter all the time is because depending on its housing unit it can melt the unit over time and thus leach harmful chemicals into your aquarium.


Meet Momo

I was not really planning on getting another betta after Neptune passed away, but while I was in PETCO browsing the leftover stock from all the holiday shoppers this little male koi betta fish just spoke to me, and I absolutely adore him. This tri-colored betta fish has quickly become my favorite of all with his vibrant red color, white underside, and black markings. To me he combines all the fish I have kept for the past several years now as he has the markings of a koi (relation to a goldfish), the personality of a guppy (with his fin movements), and he's a betta... so to me he's like 3 awesome fish in 1.
Momo the male koi betta
I decided to name my new betta Momo to not only mimic a past favorite betta of mine Mr. Moto, but also because he has spots like that of a cow (moo moo). Momo is pretty relaxed for a betta but definitely seems to get quick bursts of energy. He is also a huge pig as he just loves to eat, and thus far he seems to interact well with people around his tank. There's just something about Momo that really just makes me happy and puts a smile on my face... I already love him so much.


Cost Effective Media

Having used canister filters for awhile now and a bunch of different types of media I decided to share what I feel are some of the best and most cost-effective media items you can get.

Course Media
Typically I find most course media is some type of porous plastic material, similar to that of a shower pouf. That being said you probably could use a shower pouf, however like a lot of others out there you can step into your Dollar General Store and pick up a 6-pack of plastic scouring pads for $1. I honestly love using these scouring pads more so than course media made for an aquarium because they collect a lot of muck inside the pads. Most of this plastic media can be easily hosed out and reused numerous times before you find the need to possibly replace it, which makes it some of the most cost effective media you'll come across. Also, if your plastic media is like that of Easter grass you should probably just toss it because loose stuff like that doesn't hold together and won't do a good job at collecting big muck particles.

Medium Media
Foam Media is generally used as a medium grade media, and I have found this may be most similar to thin foam mattress toppers, and the one with crates in them will allow for a bigger surface area for bacteria and such to accumulate. Keep in mind if you try using a foam topper that it isn't treated with odd chemicals or something (or perhaps soaking/rinsing it well may help if you detect odd smells). Foam media tends to rinse out pretty well to be reused again but may require a bit more squeezing compared to the course media.

Fine Media
Some people like to buy polyester batting from a craft store because they find it to be more inexpensive. Keep in mind this material needs to be replaced more often than your other media because I have found it generally breaks down after 1-2 months and it becomes almost sludge-like and difficult to clean thoroughly. This is also one of the most important types of media to have in your filter as it keeps the finest muck particles out of your good biological media.

Special Media
There are tons of gimmick media type products on the market from media claiming to reduce nitrates to clarifying water. Take these types of products with a "grain of salt" (as the saying goes), and know that some of these things may not do much of anything and may just cost you more money in the long run. A lot of people love to use carbon based media and honestly I don't notice significant changes from using it whether it's in pad-form or a loose form that you place into a filter sock. Carbon can be good or bad as it can possibly remove any water treatments from your tank. There's also Seachem Purigen which is popular to some people and while I'm not sure what impurities this stuff removes it does change color over time (so maybe it does something), but don't expect miracles with any of this stuff. If you don't notice changes in your tank, water stats, or with your aquariums' inhabitants than I'd say it's probably just a waste of money in the long run. Also, if your media is decent, setup properly, and your filter has had time to cycle (at least a month) then you really shouldn't have a bunch of problems with your tank water (although some inhabitants do prefer certain types of water over others, in which case you may need something like an RO filter). More natural items people use to help with their water stats are things like seashells or driftwood, but these items may be unreliable or hard to adjust.

Biological Media
Decent biological media can be cost effective in the long run as a good rinse every so often with some added bacteria balls and you can reuse this for as long as you desire. I like to use Biohome Ultra Mini (you can buy this off eBay), but if you're looking for something a bit more natural or possibly a bit more cost effective you could try pumice or chunks of lava rock. Avoid buying ceramic rings as its smooth surface won't allow bacteria to build and accumulate, but rather its best use is redirecting water inside your filter.