Thought 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.
Goldfish 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.
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.
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.
When 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.
You have to understand that life is filled with obstacles, but you just have to push for it and never give up.
There are a lot of times in your life when you feel like throwing the white towel. You just can’t take the problems anymore. Of course, when you give up, that’s it for you. It will be a life filled with regrets. You won’t know what could have happened if you have gone for it. Therefore, no matter what happens, you should not say it’s over. However, if you feel like giving up, then you have to push more.
When you feel like there is no hope anymore, then change the way you think. The main reason why you feel hopeless is because you think that way. If you change your mentality and hold on to that spark of hope, then your outlook towards things will drastically change. Don’t worry about failures or not achieving your goal. The point is that you enjoy the journey and along the way, you fill your mind with positive thoughts.
Think of your inspirations
It also helps that you think of the people that motivate you. Make sure that you keep in mind what they told you and what they have showed you. If you feel like you can’t take it anymore, just imagine them smiling at you and congratulating you for your success. Think about your parents or your role models. When you succeed in this endeavor, they will definitely be proud of you.
Enjoy the process
The reason why you are no longer enjoying your journey is because you are so consumed with the idea of achieving something in the end. However, it does not work this way. You have to make sure that you enjoy the entire process. Whether you achieve something or not, it does not matter. As long as you have enjoyed the journey and you learn a lot along the way, it is good enough.
Hold on to your dreams
Finally, you need to understand that the main fuel that drives us and gives us hope in life is our dream. Without your dreams, nothing will push you to do better. You have to make sure that you hold on to it since it is what keeps you alive. The moment you throw that dream away, then it is the end of the road for you. No matter what happens, hold on to that remaining spark of hope in your hands. To top it all, you have to be happy that you still have something to hold on to. Imagine all those people who have just given up the fight. You don’t want to be like them. You wanted to have something to remember by when you already reach the end of the road.
If you think that you still need more inspiration right now, then you might have to read more inspirational quotes. If so, check out Short Quotes on hope and determination at Flokka. Read them every once in a while and remind yourself why you keep on fighting and pushing in life.
Whatever your interests are in life, you have to make sure that you pursue them.
When we want something in life, we will do everything we can to pursue it. Sadly, it comes with certain sacrifices. For instance, if you really want to study in a prestigious university away from home, you might have to leave your family behind. The same thing is true if you want to pursue a good career overseas. However, this is totally understandable. There are things though that other people find hard to understand. No matter how you explain to them that you love something and you wanted to pursue it, they stop you.
This is true especially if your passion eats up your time and even let you spend a lot of money. For instance, I am passionate about aquariums and marine life. I always go to the beach and even travel in various places around the world just to see more of the waters. Along the way, I have to sacrifice a lot of things like my time for work, family and of course, money. This is something that people around me don’t understand. They keep on getting angry at me for pursuing these “nonsense activities”. They think that I am crazy for pursuing something irrelevant. However, I always remain calm. I never argue with them. I just remind them that there are things in life that we just can’t let go of. I also make them feel that I will never sacrifice them for anything else in the world.
Follow your heart
You may not be interested in the waters like me, but you might be interested in something else. For instance, you might be a huge fan of jewelry. If you love jewelry collection and you can’t help it, then go for it. As long as you can afford the jewelry and you don’t end up with tons of debts just to buy one, then nothing should stop you from collecting them.
If you stop this hobby, your personality will surely change. You will feel like something is missing and you won’t be happy anymore. It will affect everything else. You don’t want to be the person whom you are not just because you sacrificed something that really defines you. Your family might not understand you for now, but they will soon. Again, just don’t make them feel that you sacrifice a lot in pursuit of this dream.
In fact, if you have the urge to add something to your jewelry collection now, go ahead and do it. For more information about Semi Precious Stones, you can check out this Semi Precious Stones Guide. You don’t have to buy the same type of jewelry all the time. Diversify your collection to make it exciting. This store will surely help you achieve your desired results.
You only live once. You don’t want to live this life with regrets. You wanted to make the most out of it. Therefore, nothing or no one should stop you from achieving what you want or from doing what you always wanted to do.
If you are someone looking to start a good hobby, marine aquarium is something that you might be interested in. Unknown to many people, aquariums at home do not only add beauty but they have multiple benefits such as also lowers blood pressure as well as relaxes the mind of the hobbyist. Children also benefit from aquariums as these will help them feel secure and thus help them relax and sleep better. The only problem you may ever encounter with this hobby is starting it.
Starting an aquarium hobby, especially a marine aquarium, can be difficult since you have a lot of things to consider. You need to decide the size of the tank, the species of fish to put in, and many other things. When deciding the size of the tank, it is best to look at how best it would complement the room you will be putting the tank in. If you want it placed in the living room where the place is wide, then a bigger tank would be a perfect fit. Make sure that the size of the tank complements the room well.
Perhaps the most difficult decision to make with regards to starting a marine aquarium is the kind of fish to put in the aquarium because the list of fishes to choose from is just endless. Here are some of the best saltwater fishes to choose from when starting a marine aquarium:
One of the best reasons why marine aquarium is better than fresh water is because saltwater fishes are usually more colorful. Coral Beauties come with very beautiful colors. Its name truly speaks about what this fish is all about. Be sure to feed it with quality meaty foods such as Spirulina and marine algae. Aldo, do not forget to put stones in the aquarium which would serve as shelter for this fish.
Another fish that is worth your consideration is the Talbot’s Damsel. This beautiful fish is famous for its exciting colors. It is also a great fish for beginners as it is known to be a hardy fish which can live for a long time without really growing too huge as it age. Perhaps the biggest letdown for this fish is that as they grow old, they get aggressive towards other fishes. This is something that you should bear in mind if you opt to have this fish in your tank.
The firefish gets along pretty well with their neighbors so you won’t have any problem with them. Most importantly, the firefish is a very colorful one. They love to dart through small spaces allowing them to escape from other fishes that tend to be aggressive against them. They diet includes plankton and algae that can be found in the tank as well as prepared foods.
When setting up your own marine aquarium, be sure that the tank is clean and free from any unnecessary objects before putting the corals and water. You can use a cordless vacuum cleaner to achieve this. Vacuum cleaners are perfect because you can really clean the tank completely. You can learn more about vacuum cleaners here. Completely cleaning the tank before setting up can ensure that the fish is free from any harm that foreign objects bring.
Having a pet is one of the most rewarding things you can invest on. Pets have various benefits. They can help you deal with stress and help lower blood pressure. There was even a study that claims that homes with pets like dogs and cats will have kids that are less susceptible to acquiring allergies. Let’s face it; pets are essential for our existence.
Among the best pets you can have are fishes. Having an aquarium in your home not only boosts the aesthetic appeal of your living room; it can also provide you a hobby that would greatly benefit you. If you are starting on your journey of having an aquarium for a hobby, the most challenging part would be picking the right fish.
When choosing the right fish for your aquarium, it is best to begin by making up your mind whether to have a marine aquarium or a fresh water aquarium. As a beginner, it would be advisable to have fresh water aquarium as it a lot easier to maintain. However, you also need to consider whether you will have a heated or a cold water aquarium.
Here are some very good fish options for both types of fresh water aquariums:
Cold Water Aquarium
- Gold fish. Gold fishes are probably the most famous aquarium fish out there. This is because these fishes are just beautiful to behold. They come in various sizes and looks. They are also excellent fishes for beginners. If you are opting for this fish, it would be helpful to treat the water with dechlorinator.
- White cloud. Another great fish for beginners is the white cloud. These fishes have a life span of up to five years, provided they are given the proper care. This means that a first time aquarium hobbyist can have a very rewarding experience with them.
- Bloodfin tetras. These fishes are so named because of their striking red fins. These fishes also live long. There are aquariums with bloodfin tetras that have lived up to 10 years. Like the white clouds, these fishes also prefer to live in groups. It is therefore advisable to purchase a number of them if you are considering having them in your tank.
- Swordtails. These fishes are great especially if you want to add variation in your tank especially on colors. That is because swordtails come in varying colors. They are long lasting fishes that loves to live in groups.
- Black skirt tetras. These fishes are among the best to begin with. They are excellent eaters. They will eat just about anything you prepare for them. This is what makes them an ideal choice for beginners. They should be kept in pairs or in a larger group.
- Betta fishes. Betta fishes are sought after because of their amazing beauty. They are flashy and colorful especially the male ones. It should be remembered that the other name for this fish is Siamese fighting fish. They love to fight against other betta fishes. It is therefore advisable to have only one betta in your tank.
Fresh water aquarium is definitely a very rewarding investment and hobby. Since it is your first time, be sure to pick fishes that are hardy, easy to take care of, and most especially those that prefer to live with other fishes.
You also need to know how to maintain the aquarium itself. One of the most important aquarium maintenance skills that you need to develop is cleaning. When cleaning your aquarium, be sure to remove all stubborn residues from the glass. Instead of a brush, use a razor blade to scrape those off. If you do not have one, you can use a knife. Just make sure the knife is sharp enough to avoid scratches on the glass. You can sharpen it using the best knife sharpeners available in http://www.knifesharpenerhq.net/. It is also useful to read about knife sharpening system that may be found in this site.
A day in Bermuda is like a day in Paradise – endless clear blue skies, pink sandy beaches kissed by the cerulean waters of the vast ocean, breath taking sights, nice temperate climate with lots of sun(except of course during hurricane season), good food, great shops and more. This popular tourist haven lies in the northernmost point of the famed Bermuda Triangle, that mysterious region in the Atlantic where, according to legend, many aircrafts and sea vessels have disappeared under puzzling circumstances. This does not however keep tourists from visiting this 181-island archipelago, which is bursting with life and wonderful surprises.
Bermuda’s lovely beaches
A trip to Bermuda is never complete without taking a dip in their awesome beaches which are one of the world’s loveliest. Bermuda has 34 beaches, all of them beautiful and unique. You can just bask under the warm sun, swim for hours, or go kayaking in these fascinating beaches.
Offshore snorkling is also a must do when you are in Bermuda. You’d be awed by the colorful corals underneath and by the interesting and never before seen marine species that you get to see up close. There are amazing shipwrecks worth exploring too!
Exciting island tours and excursions
If you are the adventurous type you can go on a self-guided tour of this paradise. Buses, boats, taxis and vans are available to take you where you want to go. You can of course explore the islands on foot too if you want to get a closer feel of the Bermuda lifestyle and culture.
If snorkling is not your cup of tea there is still a way to watch Bermuda’s amazing coral reefs and marine life. Take a ride on one of the glass bottom boats on a sunny morning for a good view of the under world. Bermuda has other water sports to offer like sailing, kayaking, fishing, and diving. You can also go whale watching.
Sunsets in Bermuda are breathtaking and the best way to witness the beautiful end of a lovely day is by going on a relaxing sunset cruise where you can have a good view of Bermuda’s picture perfect seascape and landscape.
If hiking is your trip, Bermuda’s scenic trails and village paths are waiting for you. Walking through these trails will bring you in contact with the locals who live along the trails. Bermudians are a happy and caring people; you’ll find their warm smiles very infectious.
Dining and Shopping Galore
The great dining places in Bermuda offer just about anything your taste buds would crave for. There’s American cusine, Asian, Indian, Spanish, French, Italian, Continental and of course the best of Bermudian cuisine like their pawpaw casserole and wahoo steak.
Bermuda music and Gombey’s dance with rhythmic drumming are added treats when you visit some of Bermuda’s watering holes while enjoying your favorite ejuice.
No one ever leaves Bermuda without buying even a tiny souvenir from its gift shops which sell very interesting local products like jewelry, art and crafts item, perfume, make-up, clothes and even glassware. The choices are endless, in the same way that items at http://jokivape.com are wide and varied.
What you just read about this Paradise in the Atlantic is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of things to discover and enjoy in sunny Bermuda.
Going to the beach is always fun. However, it can also be very risky. Therefore, you need to know exactly what to do when you are out there.
There are a lot of things that you can do when you are out there in the waters. This is why a lot of people just can’t help it but go to the beach every now and then. From swimming to diving to scuba diving and a lot more, there are tons of things that you can do when you are out there. You can also collect some items you can found down there. As long as you are having fun and you are not doing anything illegal, hobbies that have something to do with the beach and open waters can be very exciting.
Though there are a lot of reasons to have fun while you are on the beach, you just need to keep safety as your priority. No one should stop you from having fun, but you also can’t blame anyone if something wrong happens just because you have not taken the right precautionary measures.
Enroll in some training sessions
The first thing that you have to do before going to the water is to train. You can enroll in training sessions where someone will be there to guide you and give you some tips. For instance, if you wish to go for scuba diving, you first have to know the right procedures. This begins with the right equipment to use as well as the right techniques while you are down there. Though scuba diving seems fun, it can also be very risky. Of course, training applies in any hobby that you wish to pursue.
Learn how to do distress call
Eventually, when you are out there in the waters by yourself, you will feel confident and proud of your accomplishment. However, you also have to realize that anything can happen. Thus, you need to know what to do during emergency cases. For instance, if you need to seek for help when you get stranded, you should know the standard operating procedures. You must also learn how to use the first aid kit.
Just have fun
Once you are already doing what you have always loved to do, then make the most out of it by having fun. No matter how good you are in what you are doing if you are not enjoying it, then it is pretty useless. You should also take pictures of every moment out there. If you can go out with a buddy, then it can be very fun. Most of all, if you can find exciting places where you can pursue your hobby, then it would be better.
Keep clean and safe drinking water with you
Even if you are facing the open waters, you can never drink them. Therefore, you need safe and clean drinking water with you at all times. You have to ensure that you have lots of reserves just in case something goes wrong. You might also want to invest on the best water ionizers to ensure that you keep clean and safe drinking water with you all the time. If you want to check the most trusted water ionizers, you can go here.
Have fun and enjoy the waters.
The Earth is in such a dismal state. Calls to stop its destruction echo in all the corners of the world. Pleas to protect the remaining members of endangered species flood television, the airwaves, and the Internet. Many have heeded the call to help protect Mother Earth from further desctruction and to save endangered species from heading towards total extinction. Efforts big and small have been and are still being initiated – some swiftly, some slowly. I am an optimist and I know these efforts will surely pay off. Recent efforts made by two countries fire up my optimism even more. I would like to share the news with you.
A great announcement from the British Prime Minister
In March this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the creation of the world’s largest ocean reserve around the South Pacific Islands of Pitcairn. This special no-take marine reserve that will be under special protection, is 322,000 square miles making it the largest single marine protected area in the world to date. It is 3 1/2 times larger than the United Kingdom and larger than the state of California.
The Pitcairn Islands marine reserve is home to a remarkable variety of fish, sharks, and other marine life. Pale blue corals that look like pretty giant roses are also found in the area and so are intact deep sea ecosystems never been touched by trawling and which are home to many marine species some not yet discovered by science. With the creation of this ocean reserve, illegal fishing by foreing fleets that poses a big threat to the marine species in this British territory might soon come to an end. And not only that, fishing and seafloor mining will also be strictly prohibited in the reserve and only traditional fishing around the island by the locals will be allowed. I, like all nature lovers, rejoice in this great effort.
Gabon takes the Cue
In was in November last year when I heard of this wonderful news. I, like my other marine life lovers rejoiced in the announcement of the Gabon government that approximately one-fourth of its territorial waters will be off-limits to commercial fishing. This step created the first of its kind network of marine protected areas in the continent.
This marine protected haven is the habitat of threatened marine species like the hammerhead sharks, manta rays and whale sharks. The 18,000 square mile marine reserve will give protection to some 20 different species of whales and dolphins, 4 species of marine turtles, the Atlantic Ocean’s largest breeding olive ridley turtle population and the world’s largest breeding leatherback turtle population. An existing protected system on land where gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants, hippos and other land creatures roam is complemented by the marine reserve. Isn’t that great? I can’t be happier.
As more nations, in their own way, contribute to protect endangered species and the environment I feel a sense of gratitude and hope. This world can be a better place for you and for me. Thanks to the many who relentlessly campaigned to create awareness and move people to act to care for Mother Earth. Thanks to people who advocate a healthy living. Thanks, too, to people who have found a solution for smokers to quit smoking and rely on http://jokivape.com for substitutes to nicotine.
Aquariums are attacked by several types of bugs. The following is an overview of common aquarium pests. However, this is far from a comprehensive list and if you want to keep a healthy aquarium you must be vigilant. Not only can aquatic pests take hold in the tank and filters, but even things like sugar ants can make a home in the base of the tank if you are unlucky. (reference: http://pestkilled.com/how-to-get-rid-of-sugar-ants/).
They are normally used as food for fish that eat from the surface such as labyrinth fishes and small Betta. Springtails are well known for jumping several centimeters far. They also appear on floating aquarium plants, but they are cute and harmless. These bugs spring to safety after releasing furcula, that is normally carried under their bodies.
These bugs are small in size and they appear funny with their one eyed look. Copepods move around surfaces such as tank glass. They are also cute and totally harmless. These bugs exist in various colors. The female species carry two eggs on their trial. The complete eradication of this trial is not possible and that is why proper filtration and maintenance keep the numbers of these bugs as low as possible. Copepods are generally harmless to all but apart from the tiniest fish. They are great food for the young fish that are able to catch and consume them.
They are individual creatures that look like coral. These bugs are a few millimeters long. They have a skeleton structure. Bryozoa eat small particles such as zooplankton or phytoplankton. They feed on these particles after finding them on the water surface before guiding them to their mouth openings. These creatures are apart of colonies and individuals stay within their small part of the colony. Byozoa are harmless and very interesting. When disturbed, individuals retract their tentacles inside the colony walls.
They are seed shaped and tiny in nature. These bugs are bigger than Copepods. It is normal to see them walking inside the substrate. Sometimes these creatures swim and start looking like drunken bees. Seed Shrimp move in a Copepod like fashion and they eat all kind of nice things from the plants or glass. It is often very difficult to fully eradicate Seed Shrimp apart from those of the fragile larger species. Proper filtration and proper maintenance are important aspects if you are to keep the level of these bugs at very low levels. These creatures are resilient against toxins because of their complex structure. It should also be noted that Seed Shrimp can survive extended amounts of time especially in the presence of pesticides and medications.
They are beautiful creatures but they can sometimes be annoying. These creatures usually spend their life attached to surfaces such as filters, glass, plants and decoration. They are capable of moving but they don’t have the need of doing it. These creatures retract their tentacles especially when they are disturbed. They also use their tentacles to catch small creatures such as Daphnia and Copepods, thus making it easier for them to haul their pray into their mouth opening.
However, apart from newborn fish and shrimp fry, Hydra bugs don’t pose any big threat to shrimp and adult fish.
One of my best friends, Maddie, just recently moved to Chicago for graduate studies. Since I had never been, I knew eventually I was going to have to pay her a visit since I had a free couch to crash on. Upon her first week there, she was told about this science center that housed an aquarium, planetarium and science museum all in one. The craziest part is that it is five stories high, can you imagine? You would think it would be called the nerd factory, but in actuality it’s known as the State of Illinois Center for Discovery and Sciences, about 2 hours outside of Chicago.
Of course, right after she shared the news of this magical science center we immediately came up with a game plan regarding when I was visiting so I could experience this museum. Obviously, I was most excited about the aquarium offerings, but after visiting, I have a new found appreciation for astronomy as well!
First off, the aquarium sections of the State of Illinois Center for Discovery and Sciences were extraordinary and the highlight was a traveling exhibit dedicated entirely to growing coral in small scale aquariums. Small scale aquariums can be found everywhere, including ones that people build in their personal homes, or the ones you’ll see showcased at fancy businesses or restaurants. It explored the marriage of pH levels, water temperature and introducing different species of algae to assist with coral growth. It was truly astounding and Maddie had to peel me away from the exhibit to get me to the planetarium.
Maddie was interested in seeing the constellation show at the planetarium and pre-booked tickets. She knew me well enough to know that if I hadn’t pre-paid for a planetarium show, I would have just spend the entirety of the day among the aquarium section. Going into the show, I had zero preconceived notions about what I was watching and am quite the novice when it comes to viewing constellations in the sky. I think I could probably only locate the North Star before this show.
At first we were able to look at different astronomy scopes used throughout history up until modern times (they even had some of the more affordable telescopes featured in their gift shop afterwards). The planetarium show took us to different countries around the world and we got a glimpse into how the night sky changes from different hemispheres as well as different seasons. I had no idea that the night sky looks completely different from summer to winter and that the fact that I live in the Northern Hemisphere means there are constellations I have never before laid my eyes upon!
I am now determined to travel to the Southern Hemisphere to see the Southern Cross, which is emblazoned on the Australian flag. The show took us to Ayers Rock in Australia and what the native people of Australia saw from their night skies. It gave me the idea that Australia might be the next best destination for me. The marine and aquarium life is completely different there, the Great Barrier Reef is in Australia and as I mentioned before, the Southern Cross constellation.
After the planetarium show, the two of us tried our best at being astronomers but as most people probably know, anywhere close to a city is terrible for viewing stars because there are just too many lights.
Regardless of not being able to see any starts myself outside of the planetarium show, the State of Illinois Center for Discovery and Sciences was definitely a must do in my opinion, for all astronomy and aquarium lovers alike.
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!