Uncle Ned's Fish Factory
|1590 Main St (Rte. 109), Millis MA 02054, USA, (508) 533 5969|
Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. Add the weight of the glass and the gravel and I usually figure 10 pounds per gallon. So, if you are setting up a 10 gallon tank you want to place it somewhere sturdy, flat & level and safe to hold 100 pounds. We sell metal stands and wood stands or you can use your own desk or platform. A bigger tank is actually easier to maintain than a tiny tank. A large volume of water heats up and cools down more slowly than a small volume. Also, if you get a problem such as a drop of a bad chemical or just the ordinary ammonia that fish produce that problem is diluted by more water.
The glass top slows the water evaporating, protects the light, and keeps the fish from jumping out. Depending on which heater and filter you choose, the back of the glass top is made of flexible plastic, which can be cut to fit your accesories. The light sits on the glass top. We sell many types of aquarium lights. The most popular is a single bulb florescent. Some types of live plants like brighter light. Usually you want to leave your light on a maximum of 12 hours. (The fewer hours it is on, the less algae will grow.)
All models of filters work on the same principle: Fish produce tiny ammounts of ammonia as they breathe and urinate. Beneficial bacteria, which break down the ammonia, live in the filter foam media. The tank water passes through the filter foam. The most popular brand of filter is called Aquaclear. The Aquaclear filter hangs on the back of the tank, you fill it with water and plug it in. All filters should run all the time. To maintain the filter, you should rinse the filter foam lightly in cool water aprox. once a month. (Do not sterilize the good bacteria.) Using carbon in your filter is optional, but if you decide to use carbon, you should get new carbon every 6 weeks. Once a year, you should disassemble the impellar in the filter motor, and clean the muck out (we can show you how to do this at the store).
Most of the fish we keep prefer water warmer than room temperature. A few fish we sell, like Goldfish & White Clouds, do not need a heater. The safe range for most tropical fish is 67 - 85 degrees. I like to set the heater for 77 degrees F. Our most popular Heaters (Ebo & Sera) are pre-set & submersible. Just dial to the temp you want, suction cup it to the inside back glass under the water, and plug it in. When draining the tank, un-plug the heater first ... remember to plug it back in when your tank is re-filled. Although they are pre-set, the heaters still need to be checked against a thermometer. Place the thermometer where it is visible, glance at it daily to double check you are in the safe zone.
Many fish like to dig around in gravel. Also you can use gravel to hold your plants in place. Beneficial bacteria will live in the gravel as well as in the filter foam. When doing your periodic water change, it is a good idea to lightly vacuum the gravel with a gravel Vac siphon tube. This is very easy, we can show you at the store. All aquatic systems need regular partial water changes. In a typical 10 gallon tank, you want to drain off 30% of the water once or twice a month, and refill with dechlorinated water same temperature as the tank.
Bear in mind, most fish are very small, and cannot eat much at a time. A fish's stomach is about the size of its eye. It's best to feed your fish only as much as they can finish in about a half minute. Catfish and other bottom feeders need food too... so let a little bit of food go to the bottom. If you want your fish to grow very fast, you can feed them several times a day (as long as they finish the food quickly eah feeding.) Don't worry about skipping a day or two once in a while. If you're going on a long trip, we sell vacation food blocks & automatic power feeders. Or you could have someone stop in every 3 days or so to feed them for you (if someone is feeding your fish for you, pre-measure the food so they can't put too much food in ...which will ruin the water quality.)
Every body needs a house, even fish. Some fish we sell are midwater swimmers, but they like to know there is some cover near by. If you are using real plants, you want to leave your light on a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 12 hours. Some species of plants need extra light, we can show you at the store which species will go best with your light conditions. Some fish eat live plants (Silver Dollar Tetras) so we also sell a wide variety of plastic plants.