This "sister" website of American Aquarium and also mostly authored by Carl Strohmeyer. Is a great place to look for answers, which are not at all or completely answered at other aquarium or pond sites.
Aquarium Chemistry- Calcium, Electrolytes, KH, GH, pH, and Magnesium Many aquarists overlook the need for all aspects of aquarium chemistry with the effect of a proper KH (Carbonate hardness). This is especially important with livebearers, goldfish, African cichlids, brackish and many other freshwater fish. The production of Nitrates (nitric acid) will slowly reduce your pH, but a proper KH will keep a more stable pH.
As well, a correct understanding of what GH test does and does not show as to providing necessary positive mineral ions/electrolytes.
Finally, there is much misunderstanding of Calcium and its importance to ALL fish from Discus to marine. This article explains this and also provides outside references as well. Also, information about the set-up and maintenance of an Amazon River/SE Asia low pH aquarium.
How Sponge Filters Work and the Benefits Sponge Filtration- Sponge Filters for aquariums and ponds.
Sponge filtration is an often overlooked type of filtration for freshwater tanks, bowls, and even marine aquariums.
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Ultra-Violet Sterilization- How UVs Work explains the benefits and myths about aquarium & pond UV sterilization, including clarification. What is UVC and what is the proper UVC wave length?
For replacement UV Bulbs/ Lamps.
Aquarium Medications Treatment, How They Work, and Which Ones Not To Use Information about different aquarium (and pond) treatments. Gram negative or gram positive applications where they apply. Not all human medications (or veterinary medications meant for cat or dog disease treatment) are practical in most aquarium or pond applications. A good example is penicillin and ampicillin.
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Aquarium Filtration There are several different kinds of aquarium filters and methods. Most work best when used in combination to compliment each other, this redundancy is also important for peace of mind incase one filter fails, another will keep your aquarium filtering. This article includes DIY and trouble shooting as well.
Basic Freshwater Aquarium Principles A useful freshwater aquarium resource, which is a must read for those thinking of getting a freshwater tank or have been just given one as a gift. This article deals with these subjects:
• Aquarium • Substrate
• Filters • Heater
• Water Conditioning • Cycling
• Live Plants • Fish Acclimation
• Feeding • Cleaning
• Chemistry • Smelly Water
• Green Water • Cloudy Water
For freshwater filter suggestions based on tank size:
Freshwater Aquarium Filter Set-Up Suggestions
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Freshwater Fish Profiles
Aquarium Saltwater (Marine) Basics & Information
Nano, Advanced, & Reef Including these subjects:
• Nano Reefs • Filtration
• Live Rock • Lighting
• Test Kits • Water Chemistry
• Proper fish feeding • Species specific diets
• Poisonous Marine • Marine Ich Treatment
• UV Sterilization
For Saltwater set-up suggestions:
Saltwater Aquarium Set-Up/System Suggestions
For a article, which has more about different beginner saltwater fish (and more), along with pictures.
Basic to Advanced Marine Fish & Invertebrates- Suggestions, pictures & information for selection of saltwater fish and other aquarium inhabitants
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Aquarium Disease Prevention Proven steps for a healthy aquarium. With many aquarium over the years, steps have been found to help with sick fish before there's really a problem. Prevention has been the best remedy for aquarium health.
Aquarium Lighting- Kelvin, Nanometers, PAR, and More When choosing lighting for an aquarium, there's much more to consider than watts per gallon. The 2-4 watts per gallon for a Nano reef or freshwater plant aquarium, less for fish, more for hard coral. It's a start, but is very general. There are other factors effecting lighting for your aquarium than just watt output. For example: You cannot compare the output of a 150 watt Metal Halide to a 150 watt outdoor floodlight. Sometimes it comes down to comparing apples to oranges.
This article will explain i detail the important parameters and aspects of lighting. This is also my most updated article do to the amount of new information and research constantly available in this field, including the new SHO, T-2, LED lamps and more!
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Aquarium Plants- Substrate, Ferts, Co2, Lighting, and others Deals with several aspects of aquarium plant keeping, also aquarium plant information about Hornwort, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, and more.
Also information about algae control, algae eating fish (Oto Catfish) and Snails (nerite).
Goldfish Basics- Diseases Prevention & Treatment Important to successful goldfish keeping. Also breeding basics. Many goldfish are imported in very cold water, in crowded conditions, making them very susceptible to disease (especially Ich).
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Reasons and Methods for Aquarium Cleaning This article will help you keep fish happy and healthy and your tank a compliment to your home furnishings. Reasons included:
• Nitrate, Ph and KH control
• Removal of harmful elements
• Rinsing of bio-sponges, media, ect
• Removal of waste
• Control of algae growth
• DIY Python Style Super Gravel Vacuum
Also a cleaning video and methods explained.
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle and Cycling Freshwater and saltwater, including nitrification, de-nitrification, and methods for aquarium cycling.
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The Redox Potential A Redox Potential in the -200-400 mV range for human studies has been shown to have the same affect as anti-oxidant preparations such as Vitamin C (and many others). This article shows that the health of aquarium fish can be maintained proper electrolytes and by a UV Sterilizer, not just by the killing of potential disease pathogens, but by the maintenance of a proper Redox Potential.
This is an article every serious aquarist SHOULD READ!
Fish Nutrition There is a lot of confusion about what constitutes fish nutrition and what ingredients are needed for proper fish nutrition, growth and health. The aquarist needs to understand there are similarities and differences between fish and other animals. For example: Fish get most of their energy needs from fat, but in humans carbohydrates are a better source. Another point is amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Almost all animals have different amino acid needs. For example: Cats need Taurine in there diet or they can suffer heart problems
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Spirulina Algae The aquatic health benefits for Tropical, Marine and Goldfish- Spirulina a planktonic blue-green algae found in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes rich in raw protein and seven major vitamins: A1, B1, B2, B6, B12 (one of the best natural sources for B12), C and E. It naturally contains beta-carotene, color enhancing pigments, and whole range of minerals. In addition, Spirulina has a 62% amino acid content and contains all essential fatty acids and eight amino acids required for complete nutrition.
Aquarium Ich- Ichthyophthirius multifilis and Cryptocaryon irritans This article deals with a common disease (protozoan infection) in freshwater and saltwater. Also, the treatment, identification, and life cycle. The scientific name for freshwater ich is “Ichthyophthirius multifilis”. The marine protozoan causing Ich is “Cryptocaryon irritans”. Both organisms cause whitish spots, called “cysts”, to appear on the bodies and fins of the infested fishes.
Included in this article are: Identification, Life Cycle, Prevention, and Treatments.
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Marine Oodinium- Amyloodinium Ocellatum Also occasionally known as Coral Fish Disease or Saltwater Velvet.
Flexibacter- Columnaris Proper Treatment. Also Identification and Treatment of FUNGUS (Saprolegnia). Question and answer information about Flavobacterium columnare (Columnaris), which is often mistaken for true fungus.
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Vibrio, Aeromonas, & Furunculosis Vibrio a lactose-fermenting, gram-negative bacteria, opportunistic pathogen, is found in aquatic environments. Vibrio is more common in Saltwater.
One of the most common infections in freshwater fish is caused by the rod-shaped bacteria Aeromonas, which is also a gram negative, lactose-fermenting bacterium. Aeromonas is another common cause of hemorrhagic septicemia, especially in freshwater. Also information about Pop-Eye and the coldwater version of Aeromonas; Furunculosis.
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Proper Goldfish Feeding A quality Koi and goldfish food starts with quality aquatic based ingredients and proper feeding
For a guide to choosing the correct aquarium or pond water pump
Water Pump Specification, Recommendations
Limitations, and Suggestions
Aquarium Tubing Installation For help in connecting aquarium tubing to hose barbs or similar connection.
For Interesting Aquarium, Fish, & Pond Videos
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As noted near the beginning of this page, some of the articles both here and in Aquarium & Pond Answers are of a more basic nature (such as Goldfish Basics). However, others such as Aquarium Lighting are intentionally more in depth and need to be read in full (often multiple times) to fully understand rather than just snips.
A little background: Carl has come by his knowledge not because he was anyone special, but as others who have known him over his life pointed out that he had great management skills, which includes managing and dissemination of information.
More over, Carl has allowed many persons over the years to mentor him in many aspects of the aquarium keeping (or even aquarium building as he apprenticed for a year with Prestige Aquarium building aquariums). Mentoring in particular seems to be a lost art of late in this hobby & even industry. Carl has continued to allow this mentoring to further and constantly improve these articles.
Carl has hobby experience going back to 1968 and started in a Pet/Aquarium Store in 1977, however what has made the most difference in his knowledge/experience is the 1000s of aquariums he has had under his professional care (including a well known Polynesian restaurant with over 100 aquariums where he and staff were present 6 days a week with full control of every aspect of aquarium care).
While many can claim to work at an aquarium store, Carl has pointed out that this added little to what he already knew because the aquarium/pet store environment is NOT conducive to real information gathering with fish in and out and products being only used for short times with manufacturers sometimes providing less than honest product information (in other words, often what was done and sold was as per the distributor sales persons suggested).
When Carl first started writing these articles for the internet (something clients asked for years), Carl made them VERY basic. His early feedback was rather harsh as many said it was "nothing special". Then some who knew Carl better said, although they were still better than many in content due to less anecdotal information, they did not come close to the delivering the information they knew Carl could and his constant research should be reflected. Many experts in SEO told him similar as well.
So now, although some of the articles are still more basic and not all that unique, many however will have well researched information people will not find elsewhere in one location and this information is only best understood when read in full.
Carl will make his point as to why he feel it is so important these articles be read in full and not in snips which can result in anecdotal or poor information dissemination.
"In the 1980s Carl was mentored by an Endocrinologist (MD) whom was also an avid fish keeper (mostly marine). He helped Carl much understand the ins and outs of medications, and one time gave him an in-depth medical article, which he though had useful information, which could be applied to fish as well. Much of the information was not readily easy to understand for Carl, so he skipped over many sections and gleaned the points he wanted.
Later, Carl was making some points to the doctor and he stopped Carl and said he was incorrect and if he had read the article in full, to which he replied, 'no'. He then said there's no way Carl could understand this article without reading it in full and applying ALL the information contained there in".
The point is, often it is easy and unfortunately ALL too common in this hobby to read just what we want, and many web sites as well as social media are good at satisfying this basically lazy desire (of which we have all have been guilty of at some point), however this often leads to poor understandings of the subject or worse.
Another point is Carl does not like to make diagnostic charts or similar such as lighting charts for aquariums as there are too many variables making such charts or comparisons often inaccurate (as the mentor of his noted above also pointed out to him).
Finally, a point for those who stick to the closely held anecdotal beliefs, which so badly permeate the aquarium keeping hobby rather than read researched articles and CITED REFERENCES such as these here or at Aquarium/Pond Answers, is best summed up by another Mentor of Carl's, (Reggie) at an aquarium supply wholesaler, which finished his business career there (after most of his decades of business in different industries specializing in making poorly managed businesses successful again) told Carl this:
"I have never seen a more dishonest and back stabbing business than the Aquarium industry".
His point was about how often he found persons in this business/hobby would outright lie or simply ignore new/good science to either make a sale or not give up their tightly held anecdotal beliefs.
Often these persons will make personal attacks on people such as Carl when they cannot refute his research and experience. Or they will make "red herring" arguments that an article is not peer reviewed so therefore it is not credible.
Of course the peer reviewed argument is totally false when one considers how often Carl updates these articles over the years based on constructive criticism & research, far more than any other aquarium/pond keeping information articles or YouTube videos (some articles just over their Internet life such as Aquarium Lighting have had over 100 revisions based on peer critique so as to improve content).
As per those who would disagree and their critique based on a number of persons disagreeing does not get into a revision, here is an analogy:
If a half a dozen "peers" sit around a table giving a thumbs up, because when they look out over the ocean and see that there is a clear end, this proves the world flat. Unfortunately this does not make it true."
Case in point is Carl's Aquarium Redox Article, where it has gotten a lot of positive reviews from outside the aquarium industry, but not within as many from so-called peers (although this is rapidly changing as of 2016 with more and more research in water electromagnetism, and water rH).
Frankly those in research outside this sometimes closed minded hobby have much more funding and cannot earn a living if they were attempting to please the status quo in the aquarium hobby/industry. This same problem is common when it comes to aquarium lighting where many refuse to look at either the history of the hobby or outside the hobby into research and practical use and instead will make these same "red herring" arguments in a vain attempt to refute his information.
Fish nutrition is another aspect where anecdotal information is often repeated while science based research and long term experience gets shut out (which Carl has lot of long term experience).
The bottom line is the "red herring" argument used to sometimes attack Carl by closed minded persons (often with little practical long term experience themselves) is that the peer review process itself is extremely flawed as it allows for bias, clear mistakes and much more to get by.
Many have now called this process into question.
*Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
*The case against peer review
*The case against peer review, red herring argument
Carl Strohmeyer; Aquarium Keeping Bio
By Carl Strohmeyer, PAMR 35+ years (Professional Aquarium Maintenance & Research)
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