Education

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Acclimating New Fish: When introducing a new fish into your home aquarium they are often very stressed. Here are a few pointers to help your new pets acclimation to it’s new home be as relaxing as possible. First make sure that you turn off all of your tank lights and that the room is as dark as possible. This will help your new fish feel more relaxed and will often make the fish already in your tank show less aggression. Place the bagged fish in your aquarium for 15 minutes so that the temperature equalizes. Then add a small amount of water from the aquarium into the bag, repeat every 10 to 15 minutes for 45 minutes to an hour. Your fish is now ready to be added to your aquarium. Remember to always use a net or your hand to add the new fish to your tank because you should never add any foreign water to your system because there is always the chance that it could contain diseases or be treated with copper. If you have an aggressive aquarium it is also suggested that you move your rocks so that the more settled fish are less territorial. Lastly enjoy your new pet!

Fighting Algae Growth: Algae is something that grows in every marine tank. It can be harmful to your corals and water quality and is also unsightly. Gerber’s offers several options to help you with the fight against algae. Many people don’t know that the numerous species of snails and hermit crabs all usually play different rolls in removing algae. For example many people believe that the large turbo snail is the best at eating algae because of it’s size, true it is a very efficient algae remover but it never completely removes the algae. That is why Gerber’s provides “Cleaner Kit’s.” They are an assortment of different snails and hermit crabs that work together to completely eliminate algae in your tank. The different species of snails remove the top of the algae and then the hermits will eat the roots and then keep it from coming back. Also if your having problems with red slime algae ask about our different tank treatment options.

Disease Control (ICK): Ick is something that is present in the majority of marine aquariums. It is an organism that causes whitish spots, called “cysts,” to appear on the bodies and fins of the infested fishes. The disease is most commonly cause by stress which can come from high ammonia/nitrites, moving a fish into a new tank, sudden drops in temperature and from fish showing aggression and chasing one another. To prevent this disease it is important to have good filtration and have little or no ammonia/nitrites. Also a U.V. sterilizer is a highly effective form of preventing ick. If your tank is already infected than there are several things you can do to help. A strong fish always does better fighting off ick so make sure that they are very well fed. Also you can gradually rase your temperature over several days. If you choose to medicate your tank (always ask which option is rite for your tank) it is best if a 20% water change is performed before. If the ick outbreak is very severe come into the store and ask us or email us about setting up a hospital tank.

Feeding: Many people don’t know that feeding is something that if done improperly can be very harmful to your tank. It is very common to overfeed and in some cases underfeed a tank. First of all you should always know what your fishes diet is. For example a tang needs a large amount of algae and greenery in it’s diet and angels need foods that contain sponge and also a balanced diet of meaty foods and algae; so always make sure that you ask or research about a new fish. Feeding technique varies very much from tank to tank. For example if it is a tank full of trigger fish and puffers you will have to feed much more heavily. Always make sure you are feeding slowly enough so that little or no food reaches your sand bed because this can cause nitrates to go up in your tank if the food goes uneaten. Thats why it is good to have at least one hermit crap per gallon because if you accidentally overfeed your tank they will eat much of the excess food.

Color Temperature: Before I begin to explain that, it will help to define a few of the terms associated with lighting. Watts are the electrical energy used to generate the light, and generally the more watts, the higher the light output. The output can also be measured in Lumens, but few manufacturers provide that information, and in the home aquarium, that part of the light spectrum we want is not necessarily what a Lumen Meter measures. (Most Lumen meters are bias to measure light in the output spectrum that is best seen by the human eye.) In the fish hobby we mostly rely on the watts and Color Temperature of the bulb. The Color Temperature is measured in Degrees Kelvin (K) and is a scale of what temperature it would take to heat up a black body to make it glow the same “color” as the bulb output. (Think about glowing charcoal briquettes, while cool they are black/gray, then heat up to an orange glow, and finally white hot.) Generally, the higher the K rating of the bulb, the more blue-white output is produced by the bulb. For a reference, sunlight at noon on a sunny day would be rated 6500K, and therefore, a “daylight” bulb would have a rating of 6500K. Bulbs with this rating are fine for most “Fish Only” and Planted aquariums. Because of the absorption characteristics of the algae in corals, it is better to use a bulb that has a higher output in the 420-460 nm range, also known as the “actinic blue” range. Do to the different energy associated with the different wavelengths of light, blue light has a higher energy and penetrates deeper into the water. For this reason, most algae at these depths adapted to utilize this wavelength of light for their energy source. True Actinic bulbs will emit this wavelength of light. Also, bulbs rated between 10K-20K, though mostly white to the human eye, will provide the needed output for mini-reef inhabitants. While you could use all Actinic lighting, this bluish light looks really dim to the human eye. Where multiple bulb systems are applied, we can use a mix of Actinic Bulbs and “Daylight” bulbs to get the desired look for us and the output for the reef. We can also use “mixed bulbs”, or “50:50” bulbs to provide both spectrums in one bulb.

 

 

Gerber’s reminds you that if you have any questions, concerns or are just looking for some advice we have a knowledgeable staff that has over 100 years of combined experience and can help you with any of your aquarium questions!
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