Archive for the Equipment Category

What Is A Hydrometer?

Aquarists use all sorts of equipment to maintain the water quality of their aquariums, and very important water quality is! One piece of equipment every aquarist should have without exception is a hydrometer.

The word hydrometer conjures up a vision of a highly sophisticated, scientific and technical item. Well, it isn’t. There are hydrometer types that are suited to the vast majority of aquarists, and more advanced and very accurate types that would be suitable to the super keen, super dedicated and “nothing is too good” aquarist. We’ll look at the common hydrometers.

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How Long Will My Aquarium Lights Last?

The aquarium is beautiful. That’s good, because a lot of effort, both research and money, has gone into it. Sitting back and viewing the result is a great pleasure.

The aquarist has realised that he/she has to do maintenance. If maintenance isn’t done, there’ll be changes in the aquarium – deterioration will set in. That would be a shame and there is no need for it. Just a few simple guide lines and all should be well. Testing the water for example. There is one other that sometimes is missed, and that is lighting.

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Setting up a nano reef tank

Poking around on You Tube (what a great site that is) I found a video which I believe will be useful for people thinking about starting a nano reef aquarium (sometimes also know as a mini reef tank or a micro reef aquarium).

This is a video which has been created by Practical FIshkeeping which is an aquarium magazine from the UK and actually is quite good.

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Water flow in the seawater aquarium

Whether the aquarist owns a salt water fish only or reef aquarium, water movement is of very great importance.

Seawater quality is measured by test kits, such as Ph, alkalinity, nitrate etc. It could be argued that another part of seawater quality is its movement. Sluggish movement, or movement of the incorrect type, can have very detrimental consequences.

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How to ‘plumb’ in your aquarium

If you have an aquarium where it is all self contained ie. all the equipment is installed in the main display aquarium then you wont have to worry about any plumbing – with the exception of course of external protein skimmers, canister filters, denitrators etc.

If, however you have decided or are in the process of deciding whether to have an external sump, refugium etc then you are going to need to get the water down and back up again – this is where plumbing comes in.

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Sumps – what are they and should you use one

A lot of aquarists nowadays use a sump on their aquariums. I know I do – every single salt water aquarium I have ever run has had a sump attached with the exception of one which even to this day I wish I had done so.

So what is a sump and how can you benefit from having one.

A sump is basically another aquarium (or something else which is saltwater safe) which is housed underneath or near to the main display aquarium. The sump is a location where you can install various pieces of equipment such as but not limited to protein skimmers, heaters, auto water top up device, calcium reactors etc.

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My Aquarium’s Too Warm!

In some areas of the world, including mine, it isn’t often that the words “isn’t it warm” can be heard. Often it is the pitter-patter of rain, or in the winter the howl of winds and the formation of snow drifts.

There are places in the world where it is always or mostly warm (coral reef areas are an obvious example). In the summer the weather can be warm and very pleasant where I live. Well, no problem with that says I! It can be a problem, though, if you keep a salt water aquarium.

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Heating a salt water aquarium – how safe is yours?

We marine aquarists are very keen (or certainly should be) to ensure that the environment in which we keep our reefs and/or fish is as good as it can be.

As well as maintaining high quality water etc, part of our concern should be the safety of the support equipment. We need to ensure that the equipment maintaining the environment does just that, and doesn’t endanger it.

So let’s look at heating. This is very simple nowadays, as there are various power (W) heater/thermostats available, and it is these items that are mostly used. All that is needed is to look up on the internet or in a book the power (W) requirement according to the net seawater content of our aquarium. Obtain a heater/thermostat in accordance with these recommendations and the job is done. However, is it really safe?

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In this hobby you’re going to need an aquarium

Of course if you want to keep salt water life then you are going to need something to keep them in – something for them to call home.

There are things, however which you need to consider – don’t just rush out and purchase the first one you see. The first thing to consider is cost and the second is size.

As I said in a previous post there is a belief that this hobby is expensive, it can be – if you let it. I spent an absolute fortune on my first aquarium, purchasing everything I thought I needed then finding out later as I learnt more that I actually did not need them.

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Thinking about a nano reef tank

I was sat in my home office today doing some work and I thought to myself ‘you know what, a nano reef tank would look really nice in here’

I can’t have been enjoying the work I was doing as I started to plan out in my mind exactly what I would need, what I could keep in it etc.

I think that this could be a great little project for me and my son to do together. We don’t see a great deal of each other so it could be a source of some really valuable father and son time.

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