Meet Meko

Sadly while I had taken an unexpected week long trip my fish sitter had informed me that Ebo was not looking so good, a few days later he passed on to the big fish bowl in the sky. However, I now have a very awesome new veil-tail betta I got from PetSmart this past weekend and his name is Meko. I picked that name because my betta's seem to follow a pattern of their names ending in 'o', the 'k' is his own unique letter, the 'e' is to carry on Ebo's memory, and the 'm' is to carry on the beloved Mr. Moto's memory. While Ebo was a green-blue color, and Moto was a blue-black color, Meko is a blue-red color... I wish I could have found a betta that wasn't so blue but ultimately I picked him over the rest regardless. Meko does seem to have one flaw currently... his right fin-side gill seems to always be flared out slightly so I am currently trying to treat him to see if it changes.
Unlike my past betta's Meko seems to be a picky eater as he does not care for the usual Aqueon floating pellets. I had yet to find a betta that didn't like bloodworms, that did seem to catch his interest and get him eating. BTW I don't recommend the Aqueon Betta Treat Bloodworms, they're a bit too big for betta's in comparison to the Hikari brand which has smaller and redder colored bloodworms (I do recommend those ones as they seem better quality in my opinion). I even tried to pass the Aqueon pellets onto my hungry mollies but they too didn't care for them.

It was by chance that I tried out some new goldfish pellets which I just bought for my expecting ranchu, the New Life Spectrum 1mm goldfish pellets. Not only were the NLS pellets about half the size (probably a bit more than that even) of Aqueons but they were actually a better size for the small mouth of my betta. Shockingly, Meko LOVES them (his gills even flare open at times and he quickly gobbles them up, two at a time if he can)... although he refuses to eat the ones that sink to the bottom, fair enough. He even prefers the NLS pellets over the Aqueon bloodworms, he just goes crazy for the NLS pellets, it's awesome to see (I kind of feel bad for my past betta's seeing how happy Meko is with this new food). I had never seen a betta fish eat so much, so now I'm buying Meko the NLS for betta's (the cheapest I found for this food was on eBay for $8.99), and while this may be a bit pricey for betta food it will last a very long time as betta fish do not eat that much (eh, normally).
I also did some research on NLS for betta's online and was surprised to find that so many people and betta breeders were highly recommending it. I also found it interesting that people were mentioning that it may not have the highest amount of protein compared to other betta foods, but they were saying that it's actually a higher quality of protein and food that the betta is getting that matters more, which ultimately seems to make this NLS great for betta's.

*I will try to update this post later down the road when my NLS betta food arrives and let you know what Meko thinks of that. In the mean time here's a good video I found on the NLS food.
R.I.P. Ebo


Airline Tubing

This week I wanted to blog a bit about aquarium airline tubing (something I haven't really seen anyone mention much online). Airline tubing is fairly inexpensive, and while you may not have put much thought into what you're really purchasing I'm posting this to give my personal opinions on choosing the right tubing for you.

Size and Length
Most standard aquarium airline tubing is all the same width (standard airline tubing for most all air pumps is 3/16" diameter). When it comes to length, I would probably buy the longest length available in the desired type. Airline tubing can be easily cut at any length you need using a pair of scissors, and a year or so from now you'll possibly be wanting/needing to replace your old tubing. If you want an approximate length then I'd suggest doing the measurements, but I'd tack on an extra 2 feet to that length as the ends of tubing tend to discolor a bit over time (I like to trim mine off when it does that), more so if you're buying clear tubing.

Texture/Type and Color
The typical colors for most airline tubing sold at local petstores is typically clear, blue, or black (although you can probably find a variety of other colors available online).

Most flexible airline tubing is either a smooth matte silicone type or a slippery shiny rubber type, and their is also a hard plastic pipe type, often refered to as "rigid" (similar to the shiny rubber type but not flexible). The silicone type is a bit more soft, flexible, and easier to work with but it can harbor a bit more buildup and bacteria since it has a slight texture to it. The rubber type is slightly less flexible than the silicone type, and can be a little harder to work with but its slick shiny surface is less likely to harbor buildup and bacteria. Less buildup in your airline tubing will also allow air to flow through the tubing at its optimal performance.

The silicone type is generally matte in texture, not shiny like the rubber type so, if you don't want any glare while possibly doing some flash photography then this one may be the way to go... although the shiny rubber type in my opinion looks classier and cleaner when viewing an aquarium in general. Often times I have noticed silicone airline tubing making claims that the tubing does not harden over time, I find that to be very false... unless of course you are changing your silicone tubing every so often. Both types of tubing can become hard over time and it doesn't matter if you have very hard water or very soft water.
Clear rubber air line tubing comparison
Other Things to Consider
Not all brands of airline tubing are created equal. If you found two different brands of clear shiny rubber airline tubing (as seen in the above image) you may notice they both have a different amount of clarity (meaning one brand of tubing looks more clear, or even better quality than the other) as the PETCO brand is more clear than the TopFin brand, although the PETCO one is about twice the cost (although still relatively cheap in my opinion). You can also use all these different types of tubing together (such as silicone with non-silicone) and attach them with things like air check valves, connectors, gang valves, etc.

You should replace airline tubing if it gets damaged, discolored, dirty inside tubing, etc.

If you have solid colored airline tubing it may be hard to visually tell what's going on inside your tubing. For solid colored silicone tubing you may be able to tell when it needs replaced or trimmed by examining the cut ends of the tubing by squeezing these ends to see if it feels harder than the center areas of the tubing, if so then it's probably time to replace or trim off the hard areas of tubing as these areas could have bacterial growth and/or some type of debris blockage, etc. It could also mean that you've had or have some water or condensation built up or accumulating in the tube over a period time, so be sure you have an air check valve and that it's working properly, as doing so will help protect your air pump from weakening or breaking overtime due to water damage.

My Current Top Pick and Advice
I really do like and currently use this clear rubber type PETCO tubing on all my tanks and I highly recommended it in generally, especially if you have no background or a background other than black on your aquarium, and this particular PETCO tubing is also kink resistant (which is beyond great to find for this type of tubing). If you do have a black background than I recommend trying a black silicone type of airline tubing for the tubing going inside of your tank (if you want it looking less noticeable against a black background anyway) and then use the PETCO clear rubber type airline for outside the tank. The other great thing about clear airline tubing is that you can better view when your tubing needs to be replaced and to insure your air check valve is working properly and not allowing water to travel down into your air pump (which could ultimately slow and/or damage your air pump).


My Ranchu - Coming Soon!

Recently I got to talk with the wonderfully kind Cynthia from East Coast Ranchu online about getting my first ever ranchu goldfish! I have been wanting a ranchu for like 13423534 years now (okay, that was a slight exaggeration) and I have done much research over the years on them (you should never get a new pet without having done some research BTW).

Cynthia was kind enough to make me a video of some fish she thought I'd be interested in per what I was looking for in a ranchu... now the only problem I faced was picking just 1 of these cute side-view sakura ranchu (so hard to choose when they're all super adorable). Can you guess which one I ended up picking?

One ranchu cost me $53.40 (included 2-day shipping to my location, etc), whoever thought freshwater fish were cheap was sadly mistaken. Mean while I have already been working on getting my ranchu aquarium setup, Cynthia also sent me a list of my fishes needs/requirements/etc so that definitely gave me a bit more helpful incite. Having had a few comets many years ago also helped remind me of what a goldfish's needs are and the things I know now which can better prepare me for my ranchu. I will also be doing a fairly elaborate post of my ranchu aquarium setup very soon.


How to Clean Aquarium Nets

I am sure their are many different methods and techniques for cleaning aquarium nets however, I have found this way to be the quickest, easiest and safest bet for myself. I am sure some may have tried things like bleach, and I would advise against using it since bleach is very hard to rinse off, is very toxic, and it can weaken fabric aquarium netting. So, for my following how-to tutorial you'll only be needing a few things to clean your aquarium nets...

You'll need...
-Water, boiling
-Hydrogen Peroxide, in a spray bottle
-Net Soak
-Unscented Antibacterial Foaming Soap

How to...
If by some chance your aquarium net happens to be covered in filth (for whatever reason) than you may want to try washing the net first with an unscented antibacterial foaming soap before attempting the below method, otherwise skip this step.

Start by liberally spraying your entire aquarium net (handle and all) with hydrogen peroxide. Let the peroxide work its cleansing magic for around 15-30 minutes (you may see the peroxide turn white on the net as it kills off any bacteria). Rinse off the entire aquarium net by carefully pouring on the boiling water. Shake off excess water from the aquarium net. Allow the net to air-dry overnight.

If your net is looking dry or you have numerous aquariums you're dealing with then you'll want to use a Net Soak solution as to avoid cross contamination between tanks and/or to keep your net conditioned so that the netting doesn't scratch/harm the fish. Net Soak will also clean your net, the one I use does not require rinsing and claims to not harm fish.