Fish Tank Secrets

I’ve always had a fish tank, I’ve always loved fish. Over the years there are some things I’ve learned that seldom ever get talked about, so I thought I’d share some secretes.

1. Fish can learn

Contrary to popular belief fish are very intelligent, particularly Angel fish and Goldfish. I have trained Goldfish to jump through hoops and I’ve also trained angel fish to kiss me on the lips 😀 surprisingly it only takes a couple days and a little patience but it can be done. It begins by gaining the fishes trust by feeding it with your hand. Once the fish knows your not a treat to it, slowly try petting it.. like you would a cat or dog. Once the fish trusts you, you can teach it to do anything.

2. Fish can be disciplined

In every fish tank there is always 1 fish attacking all the other fish. It is because fish can learn, they can also be disciplined not to attack needlessly. In most cases wait for the fish to attack then tap on the glass. He should stop the attack immediately. However if he ignores the tap don’t be shy to stick your hand in and chase him. After awhile the fish will learn not to keep attacking others. Soon you will have a tank where everyone gets along.

3. Malaysian Trumpet Snails

No one likes snails but everyone hates algae, yet algae is inevitable. There are 2 types of common place snails, mainly there is the rounded shell snail. What you want is the pointed cone shape shell. Malaysian trumpet snails don’t take over the tank, they don’t eat plants, and they tend to stay out of view. Generally these only come out at night, during the daytime they find some place to hide. They make great bottom feeders, especially if you don’t really like most bottom feeders. For a planted tank these snails are particularly ideal. They will not eat plants, they only eat fish poop and algae.

4. Most problems are solved with table salt… No really

Salt is the main ingredient for all aquarium medications for the simple reason salt cures pretty much everything. You can pay $40 for fish medicine at the pet store, or you can pay 75 cents at the grocery store, the choice is yours – the results are the same. Additionally, salt keeps algae in the tank under control because the salt traps oxygen in the water. It doesn’t kill algae, it just keeps it “tamed”. Ideally in a fresh water tank use about 1/4 cup per gallon.

5. Bubbles

Some people don’t like air stones in their tank, to me it’s absolutely strange this is the case. You can run a fish tank entirely without a filter simply by having lots and lots of bubbles… if you have enough substrate. Truthfully the reason you have a filter in the tank is to build up bacteria, it has nothing to do with traping gunk in the filter. The bacteria is what breaks all the junk down. The bacteria that does this lives in the gravel of the tank and in dark places. More gravel = more bacteria. In a bubble run tank you want about 3 to 4 inches of gravel.
Air stones can be hidden behind backgrounds, which is where most of my air stones are in my 75 gallon tank. You don’t have to look at them if your creative enough. All in all a filter isn’t enough by itself, and of a truth it’s fully expendable.

6. Clean water has no life

If you afraid of a little gunk in your fish tank, then a fish tank is not for you. The water should be clear but still your going to have slime here and there. You could clean the slime or just leave it there it makes no real difference. In nature when ever you see perfectly clear water, you will not see any fish in it for the reason the water hasn’t any oxygen or other chemicals that support bacteria. This is true for salt water as well as fresh water. If all it takes is a bit of slime to disgust you from your tank, do yourself a favor and get a cat or maybe a lizard. Just remember, your not drinking the fish tank water, all you want is the water to be clear.

7. DIY background and DIY decorations are awesome

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This is my 75 gallon tank, I named it Blueberry Bay. The background  is made entirely from foam board and epoxy. I made this about 5 years ago  and over the years, it’s held up very nicely. It cost about $40 to make, and took about a week to do. Though how to do it really is another article altogether. I highly recommend doing your own background, the possibilities for your tank are virtually endless. Don’t buy fish tank decor, your just throwing your money away. You will love something you made yourself a whole lot better anyway.

8. Keep the temperature in the lower 70s.

The thing about most breads of fish is they are easy to breed. The problem with that is when they do they become aggressive and highly territorial. You may want to breed fish, if so put them in a separate tank. If not then keep the water at a luke warm temperature around 70 degrees.

9. Bigger is better

In small tanks the likely hood of your fish dieing are very high, because there is wild chemical fluctuations. In a bigger tank (40 gallons +) the chemical fluctuations become more balanced. There is alot going on in your tank, mainly it’s a war zone between bacteria. There’s ammonia producing bacteria and nitrogen producing bacteria. These 2 are in constant competition for dominance yet they both kinda work together….
In a smaller tank the ammonia bacteria gain dominance one day, the next it’s the nitrogen bacteria. In a large tank it could take a month for the ammonia bacteria to take dominance, and another month for nitrogen to rebound….  Yes this is a complicated subject matter. The summary of which, is get a bigger tank then 40 gallons for less mysterious fish deaths.

10. Beta fish CAN be put in a fish tank with other fish

I don’t really understand where this fiction beta fish are inheritantly aggressive came from. You simply can’t put 2 betas together, they do fine with other fish. You can expect the beta fish to pretty much keep to himself with tank mates. You might even find he gets scared of the other fish and often hides. This fiction betas are violent simply is not true.

11. Fish are the best pet you can ever have. 🙂

Some people like cats, others it’s dogs, but fish are Awesome! They have personalities and I myself could sit in front of my tank for hours just watching them or petting them. If I could be anything other then human I would certainly be a mermaid, just so I could live in my fish tank and ever be with my fish.

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