A simple Guide on How to Set Up a Salt Water Tank

salt wate tankThought it takes time, preparing a salt water tank is an exciting endeavor. The preparations are never hurriedly done. This helps reduce the chances of losing your new pets. Here are some steps that you should consider following when setting up your new reef tank.

I. The first step its identifying a location for the tank.
Pick the location where you feel will be an appropriate place to have the tank. Make sure it is has plenty of space for the exact size of tank you planning for. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight to reduce chances of algae growth in the tank.
The locations should be near a source of electric power for purposes of lighting the tanks and running the water filtration system. In addition, the location should had be of room temperature and well ventilated. You should also go for a location that will give you ample access for an easier maintenance of the reef tank.

II. The next step will be to get all the necessary supplies
You will need to a tank and a canopy (lid) for the tank. Get a stand on which to place the tank. The tank should have a natural aquatic look hence you will need some sand, plant, and rock and ensure you know the fish you wish to have in your tank. You also need a heater and thermometer.

You need to check for any leaks as you clean the tank, the rocks, and plastic plants using a teaspoon of pure bleach and 5 gallons of water and thoroughly rinse will clean water. Do not use any soap or detergents.

III. Proceed to install the filtration system, the lighting, and substrate
The best way of doing this is working with filtration system that comes with an installation manual. You need to make sure that you thoroughly clean the substrate before placing it into your salt water tank. Carefully add the sand or gravel then place the rocks and plastic plants and make sure they are properly secured at the bottom. Make sure you are working with 1lb of these installations per the gallon of water the tank will need.

Light is an important element need for a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Since you will have the tank in a place with limited sunlight, artificial lighting will be necessary. Install the heater and the thermometer and set the heater to about 78 degree.

IV. Add the salt water and run the entire set up
You need to make sure the whole set up is running without any glitch. Give it a test run of at least 3 – 4 days just to make sure the water is at the right temperature, the filtration system is working properly, and the tank have proper lighting.

V. The final step will be adding the livestock
Avoid rushing to add the fish in to a just completed salt water tank since it lacks the proper biological settings need to support an aquatic ecosystem. Hence, giving the system those few days to run creates those right conditions. Then and only then should you add the fish.

Help Choosing The Best Fish For Your Aquarium

fish for your aquqriumGoldfish aren’t the only fresh water fish that you’ll find in aquariums across the globe. There are actually several hundred species of fresh water fish regularly available to the public. You can find quite a few of those available at most local pet stores. With so many different options, it might seem difficult to choose the best fish for you and your aquarium.

If this is your first tank and first fish, then the decision is that much more difficult. Luckily, there is some helpful advice, guidelines, and suggestions provided throughout the article below.



1. Start With Research.

You never want to purchase a fish unless you know they are going to do well with your aquarium. If you’ve already got an aquarium, then you need to choose a suitable species of fish that has adapted to survive in that environment. If you haven’t chosen the aquarium and are choosing the fish first, then remember that you’ll have to find the appropriate aquarium.

Often times, first-time fish buyers will choose the fish they like the most without doing any real research. This means they won’t actually know what the fish eats, how big the fish will get, and what personal care requirements it might have. All fish are different in their own ways, which makes the research absolutely necessary if you want to give the fish a proper living environment.

2. Compatibility.

If this isn’t your first fish or if you’re planning on adding more in the future, then you need to make sure you buy fish that are compatible with one another. Many people buy various fish of different colors and sizes without thinking too much about how well they will live together.

When these fish originate from different parts of the world and are accustomed to different water conditions and temperatures it’s make it hard for them to coexist. It’s important to find fish that live in a similar environment and are not particularly hostile to other fish. There are some fish who simply won’t share a tank with others.

Fish that are constantly hostile towards one another are more likely to become sick and die. This is true even if the water conditions are set at ideal levels. Once again, the compatibility of the fish can be learned through some diligent research.

When considering compatibility, you’ll also need to think of the fish’s various behavior patterns. For example, there are some fish that swim very fast and quite often. Other fish are considered slow swimmers and might not move much in the water.

Not only could these two disturb one another, but fast fish are also believed to be more aggressive. There are also fish that are very territorial. These types of fish won’t do well in a tank with other fish. At best, having these fish together in a tank would limit their space to swim.

Choosing The Best.

There really is no “best” fish out there. It’s up to you to do the research and learn which fish would survive best in your aquarium and with the other fish that are already there.

Advice on Cleaning Your Aquarium

clean aquariumWhen you need to clean your aquarium there are a few supplies you will need before you begin. These items include a algae scraper, a large bowl or a clean bucket and a gravel vacuum and siphon.


The first step in cleaning your aquarium will be to prepare new and clean water that will replace the dirty water that is removed from the tank. This water will need to stand for at least 48 hours, alternatively you use a dechlorinization solution that will eliminate stress on your fish that can be caused from minerals present in tap water. Keep your clean water in a clean bucket or bowl. Make sure you unplug the electric components and filter before you begin.


1. Use Your Algae Scrapper

Purchase a fish-safe solution from your local pet store to clean the outside of the tank with a majority of the dirt and build-up. If the algae scraper is not working well enough, you can even try using a razor blade.

2. Siphon Out The Water

When you siphon out the water, be sure to leave some water for the fish to still feel comfortable. It is extremely important not to disturb the fish when you change the water conditions of the aquarium too much at once. Fish are sensitive and their environment needs to remain in balance. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on your siphon for desirable results and drain your siphoned water into a sink or down a drain.

3. Sort Through Your Gravel, Sand or Rocks On The Bottom Of Your Tank

The material that you use to line your aquarium requires cleaning to remove any waste, debris and food. Instead of taking the material out of the tank to clean them, use your gravel vacuum and your siphon to remove and suck up all the accumulated waste and debris from the bottom of the tank.

4. Clean Your Treasure Chests, Ships, Plants, etc.

In general you are able to clean nearly every type of aquarium accessory with the algae scrubber. However, if your accessories have become too dirty you will need to remove them from tank and wash them under a tap without using any detergents or cleaners. Allow these accessories to air dry before placing them back into your aquarium.


Once you have completed cleaning the inside of your aquarium you can begin to slowly introduce the new water. It is advisable to use your siphon to add the new water so that you don’t distress your fish in any way. Lastly, plug your lights, heater and any other devices back in and enjoy your easy to clean aquarium.
Maintaining Your Aquarium

To keep up the appearance of a clean fish tank, repeat this process at least once in a week. You can avoid algae build up by investing in algae eaters like the sucker mouth catfish. For any further advice on your type of aquarium, visit your closest pet or aquarium store.

Hawaiian Tropical Fish

It is no secret that I love marine life. A quick look at my blog and you can be sure of that. Hawaii has really good policy around the sustainable collecting of aquarium fish and sustainable fishing for food as well. I’m hoping to go there soon to experience some of my favourite fish “in the wild” so to speak. I’d really like to see a Flame Angelfish – see the picture above – and the Clown Anenomefish both of which can be seen in Hawaii. Others on my list of hope-to-sees are the Cleaner Common Wrasse (of which I have some), the Banggai Cardinalfish, the Blue-green Damselfish, and the Blue Tang. Of course I’m not limiting myself to those. Green Sea Turtles, honu in the Hawaiian language, are at the top of my non-aquarium marine life wish list.

I’ll probably have to do some snorkelling or scuba diving to see them properly – up close, but I have been toying with the idea of going out on a stand up paddle board or SUP — there’s a guide to the best SUPS here. The cool thing about a stand up paddle board is that you have a good overview of the water. Boards are quite narrow plus you are standing up so it is almost as if you are looking straight down into the water, something you have a hard time doing in a regular boat. I guess the closest thing would be a glass bottom boat, but I like the idea being on my own on the water and being able to go in when I wish and as often as I wish to get a closer view. Of course I’ll be tethered to the board and have my best hunting knife with me (check out some knife reviews) for emergency untethering. The only other thing I can think of needing for this adventure is good polarized sunglasses to cut down on water surface reflections so I can see past the waves, as well as snorkelling gear. Anyway I am pretty excited to enjoy some warm water and beautiful fish.

Hawaii is an awesome destination in other ways as well. I like the fact that it is part of the states and that you can buy almost everything you would want to get in mainland USA. The language barrier, too, is non-existent; everyone speaks English! There’s been a few times that things have gone wrong for me in other places, like Mexico, because I don’t know the country’s language. So Hawaii has got the best of other exotic destinations without the drawbacks. Well except for money: in Hawaii there’s no denying that prices are high, unlike other warm countries. I do plan to visit some fish sellers while there, though, just not buy anything; I’d really like to see the full range of what Hawaii has to offer for aquarium fish and the best way to do that is to make contact with those who catch them. Who knows they may even give me some tips on where to go looking for them in the great Pacific Ocean if I can convince them I’m not going to catch any. We’ll see!

Scuba Dive with the Locals

Have you ever gone scuba diving? I love to scuba dive. You get to see the underwater world. I love seeing the fish in their natural habitat. Scuba diving can be tricky, though. There are many things you need to know about diving. You do not want to go diving without knowing some things. I am here to give you a few hints today. These are things I think everyone should know about.

You should take an animal identification course. You want to be aware of the type of fish you will see. Many places offer classes before dives. It is very important to know the habits of a fish. This will help with unwanted surprises. Also it will be more exciting when you know what to expect.

When you arrive to your dive. You need to be patient. You need to take your time unloading your equipment. You want to make sure that you have all your equipment. You do not want to leave the boat forgetting something. Just take a few extra minutes. It will be worth it.

When you do finally make your dive, you always want to stay calm. Everyone is always excited on their first dive. I have seen many dives cut short because people get to excited. Their breathing increases. Which leads to depleting your air supply. Just be calm on the way down. Once you make it to the bottom check your gauges and signal to everyone. You should always want to stay in the group. It is easy to get separated from others.

Make sure you adjust all your equipment topside. You are going to have a lot of stuff on. You want to be as comfortable as possible. So taking a little more time will be beneficial. You do not want your mask to tight. That can cause a headache. Any little annoyance can end a dive early. You want this to last as long as possible.

You also will want to take a camera for pictures. A lot of people have never been scuba diving. The underwater world looks a lot different. They make so many affordable underwater cameras now. So you want to take as many pictures as you can to capture all the moments. When I was a kid in Alabama. My mother had a friend who scuba dived all the time. She lived at ALB LLC. She had a room full of pictures from her dives. I always loved going there to see them. I think that sparked my love for marine life.

It is always better to dive with locals. Having a local guide is a must for a dive. They will be able to show you better dive spots. Also they will know the marine life of that area. They will also know the conditions better too. You will have a better dive with a local around. Many local guides will take you places others may not know about. A lot of them have their favorites spots to go. Normally they are the best spots to be at for diving. I just think you dive will be a much better dive with a local.

How I Became a Vet Technician

Those who have been reading my blog for some time now probably know me as someone who has an extreme love for marine life. I know my blog is focused mainly on my aquariums hobby as well as my travel  experiences to see marine life in various parts of the world. However, I realized that I've never really talked about what I did for a living. I've decided it was time that I did just so I could give my readers a little bit of insight into my daily life.

I have always been very fond of animals ever since I was a little boy. Growing up, I dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian. Unfortunately, my parents couldn't afford to send me to veterinary school after I graduated from high school and I knew that I wouldn't be able to manage the expense on my own even if I worked 2 jobs while I studied. Not being one to give up on a dream, I settled for the next best thing – I studied to become a veterinary technician.

First however, I needed to save up some money before I could enroll myself in a vet tech course. So as soon as I graduated from high school, I got a job as an assistant at a veterinary clinic in our town. This was also when my fascination with aquariums started. There was a 300 gallon sea water aquarium in the lobby of the vet's clinic and it captivated me the moment I set my eyes on it.

It took a year before I was able to save enough to enroll in a vet tech course mainly because I was also indulging in my aquariums hobby. But as soon as I had enough saved up, I started researching for schools in my area that offered the program. There was one problem though, I couldn't afford to give up my job. The vet I worked for recommended that I visit a website called veterinarytechnicianguide.com to see if online vet tech programs would work for me.

After a few more days of researching on programs for veterinary technicians, I finally decided on which online course to take. The program I chose utilizes corporate training programs like the ones described on this site here to distribute modules and conduct activities. In my honest opinion, the program was great because I was able to "attend" classes despite having a full-time job.

For two years, I juggled working full-time as an assistant at a veterinary clinic and studying. I won't say that it was easy because it was very hard. You see, I didn't realize that online courses entailed a lot of self-studying. It's a good thing that I worked with a vet because without his help, I don't think I would have been able to complete the course on my own.

When I finally got certified as a veterinary technician, my boss gave me a promotion. Since then, I have always made it my goal to save enough money so I could travel around the world to see different kinds of marine life. I probably would be able to travel more if I didn't have such an expensive hobby but that's okay. I consider my travels as self-rewards for my hard work but my aquarium collection will always be my first love.

Common Problems from Having an Aquarium

There is something magical about having a small slice of an aquatic environment set up for easy viewing in the comfort of your own home. It can be relaxing, educational, and very entertaining to peer through the walls of a fish-filled aquarium. There are, however, a number of common problems that may develop from the presence of an aquarium in the home.

Water Spillage

As careful as we may be to keep the water all safely inside the tank, there are a number of ways that some of it may escape.

First, a leak could develop at the seams where the glass panels are caulked together. One should always check at the corners for holes and cracks in the caulk bead before filling the tank with water, but it is still possible for a problem to develop later on. Some fish-tank safe, clear silicone may be able to correct a slow leak from the outside if you plug the hole and tape it over until the caulk dries. Otherwise, you will need to temporarily empty out the tank to fix the leak.

Second, you may have an accidental spill while changing out some of the tank’s water supply. Drips from fish nets may also end up on the floor. This is why it is good to put a water resistant surface underneath your fish tank stand. After all, you don’t want to damage any carpet or valuable wood flooring.

Increased Humidity

A fish tank can double as a sort of “unintentional humidifier.” Water that evaporates from the tank has to go somewhere, and where it goes is into the air supply of the room and house in which the aquarium resides. The problem will be more acute if you house tropical fish in your tank and thus use a heater. Make sure you are not heating your tank water more than is necessary, and also make sure that a proper lid is over its top. Any gaps or holes that allow water vapor to seep out should be sealed off. There will still be a small route near the filter for new air to circulate in and out, so you need not worry that your fish will become oxygen deprived. Many local pet shops sell extremely tight-fitting lids. The other option is to get creative with some tape.

That Fishy Smell

While fish will always have a distinct odor, it is possible to minimize the degree to which it is noticeable. The cleaner you keep your tank, the less of a problem fish odor will be. A good carbon filter with a fresh cartridge and a fish tank floor free of excess food crumbs and other debris are your major weapons in winning the war against aquarium odors. Getting a good air purifier is also a great idea.

One important way to reduce the frequency at which you must clean out your tank is to only feed your fish just enough food. Turn off the filter temporarily so that the food will not fly all over the tank, and consider using a feeding ring. You can use strings or plants to hold the feeding ring in place (while it is in use) over a feeding rock. Immediately after the fish have eaten their fill, use a suction-powered tank cleaner to clean off the rock. Plants positioned all around the rock will catch any particles that escape so they can be eaten by fish later on or contribute to the plants’ growth. You will still need to clean the whole tank out periodically, but this technique will keep your tank very clean and cut down on any unpleasant fish tanks odors.

Swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines

A little over a year ago, I went on a little vacation to the Philippines. I was very excited about the trip because I heard of a place called Oslob in the island of Cebu. There, you can rent a boat and literally swim with whale sharks. Being the marine life enthusiast that I am, it's not surprising that such a place would immediately capture my fancy. Needless to say, Oslob made it to my bucket list.

 A couple of month after reading about the town, an opportunity to visit the Philippines presented itself. A friend of mine was getting married in the island of Boracay and he made me one of his groomsmen. I thought it was the perfect time to finally scratch Oslob from my list of places to visit.

After attending my friend's wedding and spending a couple of days in Boracay, I was finally on my way to Oslob. Upon arriving at Cebu airport, I was greeted by my tour guide, a guy named Raul, who would accompany me throughout my stay. We boarded a chartered van to Oslob to begin our 6-hour journey.

On the way, we stopped by a furniture shop just beside the street. Raul informed me that this stop was very popular among tourists because the small shop showcased impressive pieces of furniture. As I was looking around, I was very impressed with the amount of work and craftsmanship that was put into each piece. However, there was one piece of furniture that held my fancy. It was a high bar that looked like it was carved out of a tree. It was magnificent! I thought it would be perfect for the outdoor aquarium I was planning on building for my back patio at home. I immediately took pictures of it and made a mental note to either have one commissioned or build it myself.

Of course, I wanted to buy the piece right away. The problem was, it was very heavy and I wasn't sure about the rules on bringing wooden furniture to the US. So I did the next best thing, I talked to the shop owner about the piece and asked for some tips. He told me all about choosing the perfect chunk of wood as well as gave me DIY termite treatment tips to prevent termites from ruining wooden furniture.

We stayed at the shop longer than Raul anticipated so by the time we got to Oslob, I had already missed my chance to swim with the whales. I decided to just sit back and relax for the rest of the day so I would be ready for my adventure the following day. There were some other foreign tourists at the inn I was staying at and when I found out they would also be hiring a boat, I asked if I could tag along so I could save a little. Besides, it's always more fun to be with good company.

Raul and I were up before the crack of dawn the next day. I was very, very excited! The people I met the night before were also giddy with excitement for our adventure. After a very light breakfast, we were off to meet with the boatman at the shore.

During the ride, we were oriented about the do's and don'ts once we encounter the whales. We were also told about the other islands we would hopping. After about 15 minutes, the boatman killed the engine and threw down the anchor. We were to wait there and hope that the whales would make an appearance.

After a few minutes of waiting, I finally had my first glimpse of a whale shark up close in its natural environment. It was absolutely beautiful! As more and more whales started coming near us, our guide informed us that we could jump into the water one by one so we wouldn't startle them. I could barely contain myself! When it was finally time for me to jump in, I was almost in tears as I petted and put my arms around a baby whale shark.

After more than an hour of interacting with these gentle creatures, it was time to move on to our next destination. I was a little sad but I knew that it was definitely worth it. This trip to Oslob is definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life.

Kayaking Fishing at an Ireland Retreat

Every year my wife’s law firm provides an annual retreat for all the paralegals and legal assistants, even the ones that were recently hired and just became a certified paralegal. This year her law firm decided to make the trip in Ireland. I knew I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to enjoy the Irish marine life and maybe even add a few fishes to my aquarium at home.

Sea kayaking is a great activity that all people should think about getting into when they are in Ireland. It is fun for all sorts of amazing and unique reasons and not just to add fish to your collection. If you haven’t considered it yet here are a few reason why you should go to Ireland next time you decided on a kayaking trip. I had a real thrill.

Sea Kayak Fishing All Around Ireland

Ireland is a vast country that is filled with many beautiful bodies of water. The surroundings all over Ireland are especially attractive, which may distract you for a bit while you are fishing off your ‘yak. Which is why I brought my new inflatable fishing kayak with me (Its a Sea Eagle 370 Tandem Kayak) so that I could always pack it up and just take a hike with my wife.

You will be amazed at some of the many things that you can experience while in Ireland including the cities of Cork and Dublin, the coastlines of the southern end and some of the many famous castles that are scattered all around the countryside.

In fact, there are many kayaking spots to discover around the country:

  • The Feranagh’s Lough Erne is a site that offers many fine hidden spaces here and there for all to discover.
  • There are also many islands off of the mainland to paddle around. Some islands, like Devinish Island, are located right around the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • The Lakelands are filled with plenty of routes from the more traditional ones to some of the more advanced choices out there.

The Waters Are Always Fun

You can experience some fine waters when you are in Ireland as well. These waters around the country include many fine spaces that cover some of the most interesting places to paddle around in. The waters are rather calm and enjoyable to go around in.

The water is typically calm and warm on any given day in Ireland. This makes kayaking all the more fun to do because it certainly won’t be bothersome to anyone who comes out to the countryside. And the selection of fish species is absolutely amazing.

It Brings People Together

People can really have fun when they do things together. Sea kayaking and fishing from the ‘yak, is one such thing that you can do with other people. It is an event that allows you and your friends to bond and have some real fun as you head out on the water to different places.

This can be great for many occasions:

  • Tourists love to go sea kayaking to explore the many places of interest in the country.
  • Many locals like to do this in order to explore parts of the country that they have never been to.
  • Team-building and travel exercises can also be great times for sea kayaking.
  • You might be surprised at how many stag and hen parties in Ireland incorporate sea kayaking. Groups of ten or more friends can head out and enjoy a trip around the waters when going out for kayaking.

It is an activity that fits in well with all kinds of people who want to have a good time in the country. The thrills that come with going out into Ireland to do all sorts of things are great for all to explore and enjoy getting into for any special occasion.

It is an activity that is truly like nothing else in the world. It is an amazing activity that will be fun for all to explore. Be sure to consider some interesting places to visit in Ireland with regards to sea kayaking and you will have a wonderful time in the country.

Water Damage Company Reveals: The Top 5 Reasons for Aquarium Breakages

Being woken up by a large ‘boom’ or the sound of gushing water is an event that every aquarium owner dreads, and coming home to a flooded house with your dead fish scattered all over the floor is even worse!

As much as this may sound terrible, the truth is that it happens quite often to aquariums around the world. An aquarium break is a nuisance which can be prevented most of the time (unless it is caused by an accident). In order to be able to prevent your aquarium from breaking and causing destruction to your home, you first have to understand what causes a breakage –after all, if you were aware of the possible threats, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Here are the top five reasons contributing broken aquariums:

1. Poor Construction

  • Poor construction boils down to the type of material used in construction, and the person who constructs your aquarium (were they qualified?)
  • If the person building your aquarium does not know how glass reacts to pressure, this presents a huge problem: different glass thickness reacts differently to pressure and logically the larger the aquarium the thicker the glass should be.
  • Glass is a manufactured product; therefore the quality differs from one manufacturer to another. If the glass quality is low then the aquarium will most likely not be able to withstand the water pressure, depending on your setup.

2. The Height of The Aquarium

  • The taller the aquarium, the more pressure the water exerts and so the greater the risk of breaking.
  • A tall aquarium might look attractive but it faces more danger than the normal sized aquarium.
  • If you want to own a tall tank it’s vital that you ensure that the glass is also thick enough: an engineers opinion may be required!

3. The Quality of the Stand

  • No matter what quality of glass you use you cannot change the fact that glass is still fragile!
  • When your tank is filled with water, gravel and decorations, the aquarium becomes very heavy. The tank stand is what supports all of this weight and if it’s not strong enough then it will succumb to the weight and pressure. Chances of your aquarium not breaking when this happens are very slim, so make sure your aquarium stand is sold, and able to withstand the forces of your aquarium setup.

4. Removing the Cross Brace

  • The cross brace that covers you aquarium helps to hold the four walls tightly in place.
  • Some people don’t see the importance of the brace or somehow they find it unattractive, however even if you don’t like how it looks, removing it is a terrible idea that you will regret.
  • The brace may not be very appealing but the consequences of a shattered aquarium are far worse. According to the water damage restoration company ‘CS Water Pros’ (A water damage company from Melbourne) almost 20% of water damage callouts are the result of shattering aquariums! With that information in mind, think twice before getting rid of the brace.

5. Your Aquarium is Not Level

  • Before filling your aquarium with water, always make sure that it’s almost perfectly level.
  • If your aquarium is not level, most of the weight will fall to one side and this will exert stress and could possible lead to a blowout in the corner the tank.

To prevent the extensive damage that a broken aquarium tank can cause, ensure you consider the above points and ensure they are not present in within your setup. An aquarium is a very beautiful accessory in your house (not to mention an expensive project) so don’t let the risk of breakages worry your mind.

Learning about Marine Life and Life in Japan

Nature is beautiful and the creations of nature are matchless and unique. From large oceans to vast pastures every creation is a depiction of nature’s blessings and beauty. In my eyes, one of the greatest and most astonishing creations of nature is the marine life. The startling fish and the different other marine creatures are full of surprising and marvelous features and colors. It is not a surprise that as men started exploring different features of nature, they got extremely attracted to the beauties of underwater life. This in turn has given rise to aquarium hobby which I so much enjoy. Now people like me, who are fascinated by marine life, can start keeping these beautiful creatures in front of their eyes in beautiful aquariums.

As you may know, there are different types of aquariums and fish that you can keep depending on the type of water used. These main types are fresh water aquariums, saltwater aquariums and brackish water aquariums. One of the major challenges that I was struggling with was maintaining the ecosystem of a saltwater aquariums and I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about them. I was sure that there were a few things that I didn’t do right and I needed to improve on.

As chance would have it, one of my friends, who I have met through a forum about aquarium keeping, invited me to join him and his cousins to visit Japan to learn more about Japanese coastal marine life. I thought this was a perfect opportunity. Japan is a great place to visit if you are interested in extending your knowledge of aquarium keeping. There are many different institutes in Japan that provide detailed training and guidance about these small ecosystems that you can keep at home. I took the chance and visited one of these aquarium schools in Tokyo. At that school there were many different varieties of salt-water fish available for studying and I learned a lot about them and how best to treat them. As I suspected, there were a few things that I needed to change in keeping my own aquariums. I will definitely make a separate post on those.

I learned a lot about salt-water aquariums and Japanese coastal marine life, but I also learned a lot about Japan itself and Japanese cuisine during my trip. One of the most startling features I noticed about Japanese people is their love and respect for rice. Rice is used in Japanese cuisine both as a primary and a secondary ingredient and the Japanese use rice in a number of very different dishes. Being a very technologically creative nation, they also developed many different techniques and innovative machines to cook rice in minutes. They even used advanced computational algorithms to allow their electric rice cooking machines cook perfect rice every time. I was so inspired by these rice cookers that decided to buy one for myself. There are a lot of Japanese models available on the market, so I’ve read some internet reviews on this site and settled on one. Let’s just say I was not disappointed.

It is late night here and I am a bit tired after my trip. I will definitely write more about my learning on sea-water aquariums – stay tuned!

Should you use a water softener in your aquarium?

When setting up the at-home aquarium, there are a variety of choices in relation to preferred type of water to include. Common choices include tap water, bottled water, softened water, purified water, and collected water.

First and foremost you must answer this question: Do I need fresh or salt water? this will depend on the type of fish you plan to house in your tank.

Here is a general overview of the major options for filling the aquarium:

Tap Water

The most cost-effective, obvious, and easiest option is to rely on standard tap water. Free access to tap water is certain to be available to virtually anyone that has an aquarium set-up in the home. Also, this type of water is perfectly fine for the fish. Although, for those properties that receive cholorinated tap water it is usually necessary to use a chloramine remover or dechlorinator to make certain the water is fully safe for the fish and plant life in the aquarium.

Softened Water

For a more convenient approach, many aquarium owners want to use the water that is softened using a home water system. But, before using the home water softener on the water for the aquarium make sure to determine the softening media used is in fact safe for use in the aquarium.

A majority of the softeners are designed to remove the calcium content and replace with sodium. For a lot of freshwater fish this isn’t going to offer the desired environment. An alternative option is to use potassium chloride as an alternative to sodium chloride. This is a more expensive process but will provide the fish friendly water, while also being better for the live plants. When looking to purchase a water softener system, make sure you read some reviews on a water softener review site such as http://www.watersoftenercritic.com

Bottled Water

Filling the aquarium with bottled water is a further choice that is often considered. Although, for those with tap water that is deemed to be safe, it isn’t really necessary to invest in buying enough water bottles to fill the tank. Also, not all bottled water is tested or regulated, while certain brands include additives, colors, preservatives, flavors, and vitamins. Any of these additives can have a negative impact on the fish tank.

Rain Water

Many people have an interest in using naturally sourced water from rainfall. If planning on using this option for the aquarium, it is crucial to determine how the rain water is going to be collected. Rainwater has the potential to carry a variety of pollutants, while dirt can build up at the collection container. This type of water isn’t the best for maintaining the preferred chemical balance.

Water from another Aquarium

If planning to install a second fish tank in the home, there is the option to source a certain amount of water from the first tank. This can offer a variety of benefits when preparing an entirely new aquarium, but it can also have several negative points. Existing fish tank water has the potential to pose risks of chemical toxicity or disease, so it is necessary to be cautious with this approach.

So, usually the fish can have a more healthful living environment with the original tap water that is regularly cleaned.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you, depending on your choice of sea-life. No matter what you choose, make sure you treat your animals the right way, and clean the tank at least once a month!