This week explains how to plant and fill an aquarium successfully. Topics included are: ensuring plants thrive in your aquarium, benefits of a planted aquarium, how to use your heater efficiently, and explaining 'new tank syndrome,' and fishless cycling.
What is the best gravel for my aquarium? On the face of it this is a simple subject but it does have some unforeseen effects. Starting with particle size, large grades of gravel have large void spaces that can trap a lot of solid waste. This means that they will need regular maintenance with a gravel-cleaning siphon to avoid problems such as a build-up of nitrates and phosphates. Are real plants better for my aquarium than plastic plants? From the point of view of the fish there’s very little difference in terms of shelter potential and for some species that eat live plants but appreciate hiding places they can be a massive help. They also serve to create a lush appearance where conditions may not favour the growth of real plants such as dimly-lit tanks or those with strong water-movement. Artificial plants can also be used alongside real plants to add a bit of variety. Why do I have to wait before I can put fish in my aquarium? There are many conflicting arguments regarding the maturing or establishing of a new tank, so this can cause some confusion when visiting different independent shops. However, your local Maidenhead Aquatics will provide the best advice regarding the setup of a new tank and this advice is consistent across our stores for the simple yet crucial reason that it is what is best for the welfare of the fish. Why do the new fish I buy for my aquarium die while my others are “ok”? Firstly, do ensure that the water conditions in your aquarium are safe and within acceptable levels for the new fish you’re adding. Test your water parameters and perform any maintenance needed to ensure that they’re all optimal. Remember that established fish may have adapted to conditions over time that can fatally stress newly-introduced individuals - even of the same species.