Aquarium Fish Forum; Everything Aquatic

The original "Everything Aquatic". Based on the vast library of fish/aquarium keeping guru Carl Strohmeyer.

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fresh/saltwater, ponds

We are the ORIGINAL/TRUE “Everything Aquatic” blog & forum board created in 2005 and sponsored by Fish Keeping Guru Carl Strohmeyer based on his decades of experience and research (do not be fooled by the copycat forum board created around 2012)

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Problems with Aquarium Water - and How to Solve Them


All aquarium keepers experience fish health problems from time to time, however well maintained the tank.
Looking at some of the most common fish health problems and the remedies involved can take some of the guesswork out of fish-keeping.

Ways to avoid health problems…

When adding new fish, aquatics experts advise quarantine for a week in a separate chamber.

Maintenance is key - perform regular water changes of 15-20% and employ an adequate filter to cope with waste levels.

Use a good test kit - regular testing will make sure that you can monitor the elements in the tank before problems start. A master test kit contains tests for a multitude of problems and is great value. Swell UK have a wide range of test kits and aquarium treatments to keep your aquarium in great shape.

Even a slight water problem can cause stress to fish, which makes them more susceptible to infections and diseases. Getting the water quality just right can mean healthier fish for longer.

Common problems


Fish waste is high in ammonia which can have a devastating effect on your fish. It is very common in new aquariums as New Tank Syndrome when the filtration system is not mature enough to cope with the level of waste.

  • Fish may gasp at the surface
  • White, cloudy water
  • Gills can turn red or purple
  • Dead or dying fish

Treat with a good ammonia remover at the first sign of symptoms. Follow up with regular water testing to monitor levels before a problem occurs.


Murky green water is often a sign of an abundance of algae. Cells of this natural, hardy plant can quickly spread and reduce visibility, light and oxygen levels in your aquarium.

Algae uses three things to thrive; water, light and nutrients. Of course the water must stay, but reducing the amount of light in the tank can help. Move the aquarium out of direct light and reduce the amount of artificial light to no more than 10 hours per day.

Good maintenance also helps - clean the tank walls and décor regularly to avoid a build-up.

Further Reading/References:
Freshwater Aquarium Basics; Green Water
Aquarium Algae Control

Calcium deficiency

If you have corals, the level of calcium must be monitored to ensure that they have sufficient levels to thrive. Using the relevant test kit will ensure that you can top up as needed so that corals can take what they need from the water. Most reef aquariums aim for a level of 380-420ppm calcium. Corals and invertebrates can quickly deplete levels from the water, so testing is a must for healthy growth.

  • Slow growth
  • Some corals will appear to shrink back
  • Discolouration of both corals and invertebrates

Use a good calcium supplement along with regular testing to keep levels well maintained. A calcium rich substrate is also a good idea.

Further Information, including importance of calcium for freshwater aquariums: Aquarium Chemistry; Calcium, GH, KH, pH, more


Chlorine is used to make tap water safe for us to drink, however it is not so good for fish. It can cause burns and damage to the fish's delicate gills and mucus membrane which can be fatal.

  • Gills can develop a white tinge
  • Fish can appear distressed with quick, jerky movements

The best treatment is to add a dechlorinator to tap water during water changes. This not only removes the element but conditions the water too, often incorporating aloe to aid healing. Many dechlorinators are also ideal to use when moving or transporting fish, to lower stress levels. Test for chlorine levels with the relevant test following water changes to ensure a level of 0.

Further Information:
Tap water for my Aquarium or Pond? From Chlorine and Chloramines to Phosphates, Sodium, & TDS

PH level

The pH level is imperative to ensure good water conditions. In all tanks, the pH level is important (although KH/Alkalinity is more important). Marine tanks especially need regular testing to ensure that the pH level is correct. The level indicates how acidic or alkaline the water is. In saltwater aquariums, it's generally more acidic which is beneficial to both reef and marine life.
A pH level of 7 is neutral but if the pH of the water is higher than around 7, it's more alkaline than necessary. Add a suitable buffer to restore the balance and support a healthy tank.

As always good maintenance is key to avoiding a multitude of problems, but regular testing can ensure you are well prepared to meet any issues that may arise. Keeping a good kit of remedies and test kits to hand can help you to tackle problems as they arise!

Further Information: Aquarium Chemistry; pH
Aquarium Chemistry; KH

Further References:

Aquarium Answers; Algae Control

Premium ATI/AAP Sponge Filters

For Aquarium Sponge Filters which are excellent for use in to improve filtration in high bio load and planted aquarium, which in turn lowers nutrients available to algae.

Sponge Filter Use Information
Sponge Filtration; Complete Sponge Filter Use Information

Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilization

True Level One Sterilization can be effective for control or part of a control plan of many types of aquarium algae.

Aquarium Lighting, Information

Aquarium Lighting is a major factor in control of many different algaes including BBA and brown diatom algae

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?


By Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Pea Flour for Fish Food, better than too much starchI recently attended a seminar on bariatric surgery with a friend. During this time I learned that after the surgery you are strictly forbidden from eating any form of cooked dough including most bread, pizza crust etc.
I have been told by those that have had the surgery and forgot the rule that you immediately regurgitate the dough. At this point I began thinking about how this might apply to starch bound fish food.

Most of the starch in our foods is from whole ground green pea flour. Dried egg whites are also used to bind our food. Green pea flour contains roughly 21% starch. The use of green pea flour allows us to cut protein and fat without adding excessive starch energy. Our Herbivore food contains roughly 11% starch which is the highest amount of starch found in our line of foods. Green pea flour contains roughly 34% fiber which aids in digestion.
This is very important for herbivores that have a very long digestive tract. After mixing Herbivore is a very thin paste that can literally be poured onto the trays to be dehydrated. The other foods have more body but can easily be spread over the trays to be dehydrated. Once dehydrated the food can be broken into pieces and with a little practice crumbled into smaller pieces for feeding. I can't prove it but it stands to reason that once fed the reverts back to the form it took before dehydration. This is a light paste that can easily be digested.

Fish Foods bound entirely with starch need a minimum of 15% starch to hold the food together but most contain much more.
See How to Read a Fish Food Label for more information.

Increased starch use produces a very thick paste or more than likely a dough. The dough is then extruded at 350 degrees F. to produce a pellet type feed. It stands to reason that once these pellets are fed that they revert back to dough. I have read many comments about filler (excessive use of starch) causing digestion problems in fish. To make this problem worse is the fact that these foods contain very little fiber to aid in passing the doughy mess. Its no wonder fish often suffer from intestinal blockages which causes stress which manifests itself in any number of other different problems.
To answer my question, No there there is nothing wrong with making a little dough. Just don't feed it to your fish!


*Fish Nutrition 101
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition

Common Aquarium Keeping Myths

Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)

Aquarium Lighting, Information about T5, Metal Halide, CFL, SHO, PUR, PAR
Aquarium Lighting; Information about T5, Metal Halide, CFL, SHO, PUR, PAR, more

This is THE article for in-depth, researched, and regularly updated information on the subject of aquarium lighting; a MUST READ!

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