Fluval 406 Canister Filter Buying Guide And Review

Venturing into the world of aquariums, fish, and plants can be hard work and pretty much time consuming for most people, even those who already have experience. The same has happened yet again to us as well, bought a brand new large aquarium but didn’t know how to properly maintain it.

Over time, ammonia started growing, other toxins started spreading as well at a similar speed and everything started getting worse and worse. But now it is time to change that, we can’t simply let everything die. The toxic elements could grow so fast in size and concentration that nothing would be left alive in our aquarium.

The thing that was lacking in the aquarium should have been obvious from the very start; the filter simply wasn’t good enough for our 100-gallon aquarium. But which one should we get? Which type is the perfect one? Could the Fluval 406 do the job properly? Let’s dig deeper and find out!

Things To Consider Before Buying A Filter

An aquarium filter is exactly what every aquarium owner needs, but depending on the size of it, you may need a higher quality filter. Simply put, sometimes a budget tier filter won’t do the job as it will not be able to keep up with the amount of water.

And if this happens, the water won’t get filtered out enough and it will end up with a lot of toxic elements like ammonia and nitrite hanging around. Even something as basic as fish food leftovers could cause damage to your aquarium!

So, in order to fix all of that, we need a filter. But which one exactly? Filter come in many types with each one serving a different purpose, some may be good for you while others won’t fit your requirements.

Some of them are called sponge filters, some power filters while others are called canister filters, but which one out of these three fit you the best? Let’s get a quick summary of them:

  • Power filters-Great performance at all filtration stages, they hang over the back or sides of the aquarium and they work with a syphon tube.
  • Canister filters-Good for people who want a filter that works for large aquariums, has the biggest main body out of all filter categories. Popular among enthusiasts and novices alike.
  • Sponge filters-Basic filter type which works in the most simplistic way possible, great for people who don’t have a large aquarium or don’t require the features offered in other types. When it comes to money, this one is the best budget friendly option possible.

But for all filters in general, you need to consider the following aspects:

Size Of Your Aquarium

Filters can’t work on all aquarium sizes as they all have a different motor. This motor might not be strong enough to clean the water fast enough in the time needed.

Water Flow

Again, different filters have different motors that can provide a certain range of gallons of water filtered per hour, usually marked as GPH. This is closely related with the size of your aquarium; the bigger it is the better the motor should be.

Consumption

If you want to have a large aquarium, a good enough filter for it and still spend a low amount of electricity, we are afraid that you can’t achieve that. Most filters have alright power consumption rate but you should still plan ahead when buying.

Fluval 406 Product Summary

The Fluval 406 is a canister type filter which promises support of aquariums up to 100 gallons with better performance and power consumption compared to previous generations. Besides that, it offers a multi-stage filtering system which could possibly help you in the long run when it comes to the filtering process.

The company also claims that with its unique design, you can get from 35 to 50% more water compared to other canister filters of similar shape and size. Compared to its younger brother, the Fluval 306, it offers far better performance in all aspects, flow rate, media capacity, and consumption.

For people who have large or medium size aquariums up to 100 gallons, and who like to customize their filtering media, this could be a great product for them. But on the other hand, people who don’t need this much power should look for something smaller.

PROS

  • It is very quiet for its size.
  • Some user-friendly features can help both experienced and inexperienced people.
  • Great improvement over previous generations.
  • Strong and durable build quality.

CONS

  • Some parts such as the impeller may break easily over time due to usage.
  • Some people reported leaking happening after only months.
  • The size of it might throw some people off.

Features & Benefits

Although the features didn’t advance far when it comes to the previous model, they are still worth mentioning and explaining. It may even not be such a downside considering that you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.

Multi Stage Filtration System

A great thing about this entire system is that the independence that it creates between all the media can be used to heavily customize this filter. Simply put, you can change every filter according to your own needs.

This can greatly improve the efficiency and performance of the filter itself, as different filtering stages won’t be damaged or affected by the other two. Simply pull out the filter media modules, add something different to each one and you’re set to go.

Quiet While Operating

For a filter that supports aquariums up to sizes of 100 gallons, you might be expecting something big, robust and noisy, but that isn’t really the case here. Even with a motor which is bigger and better than previous models, it still retains its quietness.

Perhaps it will get noisy when you first set it up, but people who even had this problem in the first place, had it solved within days.

User Friendly Features

The same parts and features are exactly the same as the ones shown in The Fluval 306 or 206, but let’s still mention and explain them.

  • Lift-lock clamps: These clamps are great for ensuring far better stability for the entire filter by allowing the motor housing to be locked into place.
  • AquaStop valve: If you ever end up in a situation where you personally have to clean the aquarium, you will find this feature very handy. Why? Because it can stop all the water from flowing so that you don’t get any possible leaks.
  • Instant prime: This feature is specially aimed towards beginners who may have a hard time setting up a filter. With this feature, you can set the filter up almost instantly since there is no need to use a syphon.

Improved Characteristics Over Older Models

We just have to mention this part over and over again, for a price that is only perhaps $20 higher than the previous models such as the 306, the 406 offers far better performances. This can be a great deal if you’re buying for the first time, but a bad one if upgrading from previous models.

Some of the first noticeable aspects that have improved are certainly the media storage, the higher size that it offers as well as a stronger motor. The size didn’t get any bigger but the motor still manages to provide a better water flow rate, with more than 383 GPH.

What Other People Thought About It

Fluval is a very popular brand between aquarium users, and as such it is very common to see their products being reviewed and talked about on the internet. This way we can be 100% that we will see a review from a 3rd person view that will stay objective.

There wasn’t much talk about the Fluval 406, the features were pretty much the same as the previous models. But people talked a lot about the noticeable improvements that have been made which will surely affect sales.

Pretty much everything improved in the new 406 version, people reported that everything that was described about the product was correct. Power consumption was lesser, water flow was greater and it could handle bigger aquariums.

Conclusion

Filters are a great product when it comes to aquariums for the sole reason of their cleaning purpose. There just isn’t anything else when it comes to aquariums that can perform the same task as efficiently as filters.

And in order to fix these problems, such as the rise of various toxins such as nitrite and ammonia in the water as well as some other parts such as food waste in the water, you need to get a quality filter. One that will fill all your needs.

For us, the Fluval 406 seems like a good pick for this problem because it:

  • Has improved characteristics when it comes to water filtering.
  • Power consumption allows you to care less about spending money on maintaining it.
  • The multistage system allows a far better control over the filtering part of the toxins.

If you’re interested in buying this product, click here to check it out.

Fluval 306 Canister Filter Review

In a sea of different filters, it can be difficult to select one that can get the job done at a reasonable price. After I set up my aquarium I didn’t really pay attention to the quality of my filter, which was definitely a big mistake.

Cleaning became a mess and needed to occur too frequently, the filter itself was getting noisy and the worse thing is that it didn’t even get rid of ammonia properly. I’ve finally decided to do something about it. After researching a bit, I have discovered the Fluval 306 filter and it seems that it hit all the criteria that I need.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Filter

The filter is one of the main components in your aquarium that ensures a clean and healthy environment for your fish. And whether you’ve just built an aquarium or you’re replacing your current one, getting a filter is a must.

Since there are filters of various categories, you might need to research which kind is the best for you. Here are some of the most common types.

  • Canister filter.
  • Power filter.
  • Sponge Filters.

Canister filters are great for medium to large sized aquariums, since the size of the filter itself is pretty big compared to the other types. It is popular among hobbyists and people mostly use it if they have a saltwater aquarium.

Power filters, on the other hand, are great if you want excellent filtration in terms of mechanical, biological and mechanical filtration. They’re usually hanging over on the sides or on the back of your aquarium, where they pull in water with a syphon tube.

On the other hand, sponge filters have a very basic system and they are recommended for small fish and aquariums. This kind of filter is usually the cheapest.

Before actually buying a filter, you might want to consider the following:

  • Aquarium size. Not every filter has a motor that can support a large aquarium, and if you have a small aquarium getting a filter with a powerful motor might be an overkill.
  • Power consumption. A filter is only going to be turned off when you clean it, so check out how much power the filter uses to save money on long-term periods.
  • Water flow rate. Different filters have different rates, if you have a large aquarium you might want to get a filter with a faster flow rate which is marked in GPH. This way you’re filtering more water faster.

Product Summary

Fluval 306 Canister Filter

Fluval 306 Canister Filter

The Fluval 306 is a canister type filter which introduces a multi-stage filtering system which provides you independent modules for chemical and biological stages. This system promises superior utilization of the entire canister which could in return increase water flow efficiency.

Within the package, you get the instant prime system, a clog-proof intake strainer, dual-layer foam screen, single-motion lift lock clamps and an instructional DVD that explains how to set it up.

It is the 3rd generation and in comparison to previous models, it offers better flow rate as well as media capacity. When compared to one of the most popular canister filters, the Pen Plax Cascade 700, it offers better flow rate and supports larger aquariums.

Fluval 306 is great for seasoned hobbyists who will be able to take advantage of its modular system and fully customize each filtration stage for maximum efficiency. It is also recommended for larger aquariums, up to 70 gallons, that have bigger fish and possibly contain saltwater. For beginners, it would simply be an overkill since they will end up paying more money for a filtering system which they can’t fully utilize.

PROS

  • Easy to set up and maintain.
  • Chemical and biological stages can be removed and customized independently, without changing the entire system.
  • New bearing system reduces vibration and noise.
  • It efficiently uses as much volume as possible of the canister itself.

CONS

  • Perhaps a bit too large.
  • Uses a lot of power.
  • Some parts of the impeller break easily during cleaning since they are made out of porcelain and plastic.

Features & Benefits

In the following section, we are going to mention some of the notable features which may or may not be useful, depending on what you need in a filter. But let’s still check them out in order to better understand this filter.

Stronger Motor

When compared to previous generation models, the Fluval 306 offers a stronger motor that increases the overall pumping power and supports larger aquariums. With this, you get a maximum flow rate of 303 GPH, while the 106 model offers 145 GPH at a maximum of 25 gallons and the 206 offers 206 GPH at a maximum of 40 gallons.

However, this increases power consumption placing it at an average consumption of 16W. The size of the filter gets larger as well due to the bigger motor, placing it at the dimensions of 9.5’’ x 7’’ x 14.4’’.

User-Friendly Features

There are a variety of different features in this filter that can offer you an easier setup as well as maintenance. Some of these features are patented by Fluval, such as the AquaStop Valves, Lift Lock Clamps, Quick-change mechanical media, and Instant prime.

AquaStop Valves could be useful for you since it is basically a system that can stop the flow of water without the need to remove the hoses. With this, you can freely remove the filter if you need to store it or place it on another aquarium. You also don’t need to worry about any leaks that could create a huge mess.

Lift Lock Clamps, on the other hand, provides you further stability by locking the motor housing into place in a secure and quick manner.

Instant Prime is a feature mainly centered at beginners who may have problems while setting up the filter for the first time. With this feature, you can instantly set the filter up without having to do any manual siphoning.

Quick-change mechanical media allows you, as the name implies, to quickly change any media needed for the filtration stages without somehow creating a chance for you to mess up. With this system, you can securely change it with filtration media of other material, types etc.

Multi-Stage Filtration

With this system, all filtration stages are separated and work independently. This way, you can make use of this system by customizing each stage without affecting the other modules. It is also easier to clean since you don’t need to worry about damaging or interrupting the bacterial environment in the biological stage.

Besides the reduced need for maintenance, this system utilizes the entirety of the canister volume in order to make the filtration process as efficient as possible. There are no significant drawbacks to this feature; the only “bad” thing about it is that you need to put in more effort for maintaining each stage.

Quite Operation

Even though you might expect a lot more noise, considering the previously mentioned motor which uses more power and is larger in size, the operation of the filter itself can’t really be considered noisy.

Users do mention that the filter might get noisy during the initial setup, but after it gets used to the aquarium and starts working in full force, it will get a lot quieter. This is thanks to the improved bearing, which will reduce the vibration and general noise caused by the impeller.

Efficient design

Besides the aesthetic design which can blend in with aquariums, the build itself is designed to be in an upright position in order to hold about 50% more media than other canister filters that a similar size.

Due to the user-friendly features, you also have more stability added to the filter since it is securely locked onto the aquarium thanks to the lift lock clamps. And when you take into consideration the other features, you also have a design which will reduce the number of leaks that occur between the hoses.

There are only some parts of the design that aren’t that good, but it isn’t any deal breaker. The thing that manages to turn some people off is that some parts that need to be cleaned are made out of plastic and may break if not taken care of safely.

Social Proof

Fluval is a well-known brand in the industry, and as such, it wasn’t really hard to find personal stories of how people dealt with the product in question. Generally, most customers praised the filter for how powerful it was compared to the earlier models and how it had a larger storage as well as capacity.

Some people who had this filter also mentioned that it was quite durable and that cleaning it posed no challenge. But we did notice some negative remarks about how bulky it was, some were even put off by the high-power consumption.

Alternatives

Fluval 406

If you really think that they are a reputable brand and really want to buy something from them, you might want to get the bigger brother of the Fluval 306. This might even be a good choice for upgrading, since it uses the same Fluval media as the 306 while giving you more power. Read our detail review about Fluval 406 Canister Filter.

It even works in a similar manner, the only bad thing about it is that it has even greater power consumption and that it is more expensive. But on the other hand, the similar design is a big plus since you might be familiar with it, something new would be that this version also includes a UV filter.

To summarize, keep in mind the following benefits:

  • Has a UV filter.
  • More power.
  • Similar in design and backwards-compatible.

Penn Plax Cascade 700

This filter is yet another canister type filter that offers you a similar multi-stage filtration system. In terms of power, it can provide up to 185 GPH of flow for aquariums up to 65 gallons. The build is also sturdier and smaller in size, but you have to consider that you’re saving a lot of money by buying this kind of filter.

At the time of writing this, the Penn Plax filter is up to $100 cheaper than the Fluval 306 while offering acceptable power in return. The only thing lacking is the significantly lower flow of water compared to the Fluval 306, so this filter might be for someone who doesn’t need that much power and might be low on cash.

To summarize, keep in mind the following benefits:

  • More budget-oriented.
  • Smaller power consumption.
  • Sturdier build quality.

SunSun HW303B

Sunsun provides you almost the same amount of power when compared to the Fluval 306, but with a cheaper price and smaller dimensions. The things that make this filter different is that it provides you UV light filters, support for up to 100-gallon aquariums as well as water flow of up to 370 GPH.

This budget-oriented filter also offers you three large media trays. The downside to this filter is that you will have a hard time figuring out how to set it up, as it is more difficult to use compared to the Fluval. The worst thing is that the instructions are almost non-existent, but hopefully, once you get it to work, everything will be way easier.

To summarize, keep in mind the following benefits:

  • Cheaper.
  • UV filter included.
  • Similar power.

Conclusion

Filters are very important when it comes to aquariums and not having one can be very dangerous. Fish just aren’t adapted to small areas where water isn’t changed frequently, and because of this you absolutely need to get yourself a filter.

The Fluval 306 could greatly help you when it comes to removing food excess and dangerous chemicals in the water due to being a canister type filter. This way you’re not just helping the inhabitants of the aquarium by filtering a greater amount of water, you are also providing an easier way for yourself to maintain the aquarium.

If you’re interested in buying one, click here to check out the Fluval 306.

Seachem Stability Review

Simple as maintaining an aquarium may seem, it really isn’t the case. Some of these problems range from taking care of PH levels to keeping track of toxic elements and chemicals in the water and both beginners and hobbyist will encounter them.

The main problem that I had with my own aquarium is that the amount of ammonia was too high, and when that happens, both fish and plants are most likely going to die. The only thing left to do was get a water conditioner like Seachem stability that could bring in bacteria that control toxin levels.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Water Conditioner

PH levels, toxic elements and chlorine, these are some of the problems that a water conditioner could fix. Some may be able to fix problems for both, let’s say, PH levels and toxic elements, but some may only be good for one thing.

The moment you encounter any of the previously noted problems is when you should seek for a conditioner immediately in order to keep your aquarium’s environment healthy. But if you clean your aquarium frequently and correctly, you may never encounter these problems and never have a need to get a conditioner.

But as much as a conditioner can help in your situation, the incorrect use of it can result in a far worse damage, so before buying, consider the following:

  • Why do you need it?
  • What is the size of your aquarium?
  • Which one should you get?

When it comes to why you need a conditioner, you need to properly identify the problem you’re facing . Do you need to bring back good bacteria to remove dangerous ammonia? Do you need it to remove chlorine? Or do you need it to balance out PH levels?

The size of your aquarium is also a factor on how much conditioner you should use. Some conditioners, although not recommended, can be used as much as you like without hurting anyone, but that isn’t the case for each one on the market.

And when it comes to which one exactly, you need to keep in mind to select a reputable brand which will give you clarifications on how to use the conditioner. You also need to keep in mind again which purpose the conditioner serves.

Product Review

Seachem stability is a conditioner product that mainly focuses on delivering and bringing back healthy bacteria that are important for the lives of both fish and plants. One of the key features that this conditioner offers is a healthy and diverse biofilter which is adequate for all aquariums.

Besides that, it claims that it contains bacteria that can survive a vast range of PH levels, temperatures, organic loads etc. The company also says that there is no need to worry about the overuse of this product since it contains bacteria that won’t produce toxic hydrogen sulfide.

It comes in a single bottle of 500 ml and between the other models made by Seachem, it is made especially for the preservation of bacteria.

To make a summary, this product is only to be bought when you have a severe lack of bacteria, like when you don’t wash the filter correctly and ruin the bacterial ecosystem. If you need a conditioner for other problems you need to find one that is specialized for that.

Pros

  • Great for removing ammonia and nitrite.
  • Can be overused without damaging the aquarium.
  • Can be used for both saltwater and freshwater systems.

Cons

  • Some customers report no changes of toxic levels even after months.
  • Bacteria might die out because of extreme temperatures during shipping.
  • You need to use it frequently to keep the toxic levels low.

Features & Benefits

In the following section, we’ll show you one of the most important aspects of this product that you should keep in mind.

Great For New Tank Syndrome

Most beginners that have only started exploring the requirements and technicalities of aquariums will most often not realize how important it is to keep toxic levels in order. The most dangerous thing that can happen is to have high levels of toxic elements such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

But Seachem stability offers you the ability to combat those toxic elements by bringing in bacteria that will remove them after establishing an ecosystem. And since Seachem claims that the formula is specially designed for this problem, the actual breakdown will happen faster.

It Can Be Overused

Most conditioners have a problem where you have to carefully analyze your aquarium and with the help of the manual, determine how much of it you actually need to use. This goes for most conditioners and it is a problem that can be counter-productive in the end.

But the bacteria that are used in this type of conditioner are said to not contain any type that can produce toxic hydrogen sulfide. This way you’re not creating any additional imbalance in the aquarium system and you’re free to use as much as you want. But we don’t really recommend that you do that since it is impractical and uneconomical.

You Don’t Need To Worry About Any Requirements

Seachem claims that competing products on the market contain bacteria that are really unstable when it comes to different environments, in the sense that they have a lot of detailed perquisites in order to work.

So, if you were to use another product, you would possibly need to keep the PH levels, temperatures and organic load compatible with the new bacteria you’re placing.

But this isn’t the case with this product, as it does not contain any of the bacteria that can crash quickly and die if not given the strict ranges of the aforementioned requirements.

Compatible With Both Marine And Freshwater

We have mentioned above that some of the other products may contain bacteria that aren’t necessarily compatible with the temperatures or PH levels in your aquarium. The same should go for the type of water you have as well.

Some conditioner types rely too much on the type of water you have while others have no problem with this and are completely compatible. Seachem stability offers that to you, so there is no need to worry about you not being able to use this product. This might be a relief to most people out there since you don’t need to immediately filter out this product just because it doesn’t support fresh or salty water.

Responsive To Threats

A great benefit which you will surely encounter in this product is the timeframe in which the creation of a bacterial colony takes place. Compared to other products it is relatively short, as it only takes about 7 days to repair your current bacteria or bring in new ones.

After the colony is established, the levels of ammonia, nitrate and natrium will slowly begin to reduce as much as possible to the point where the levels can be considered safe. This will again all depend on how large your aquarium is, but for medium sized aquariums it won’t take that much time.

Doesn’t Need To Be Used Regularly

As long as you are aware of how to properly cycle your aquarium and as long as you do it frequently, you won’t have any need to use this product frequently. The most common thing that disrupts bacterial life in your aquarium is the change or cleaning of the filtering system.

Since it contains most of the bacteria which are taken most care of by the biological stage , you will heavily disrupt the system by not cleaning it properly. But with Seachem Stability, you won’t need to place it in the aquarium too frequently since it will do the job within the first couple of tries. It will also, in most cases, last for quite some time and maintain stable levels before another injection of a conditioner.

What Others Thought

Seachem is a widely popular brand on the market that offers a variety of different items that are essential for the average aquarium enthusiast. And as such, it wasn’t really that hard to find out what other people think about this product specifically.

Most people, if not all, had really positive things to say about Seachem stability. One of the main points that attracted them was how simple it was to use it and how quick it was to get the bacteria up and running. People were really surprised how only a week after they used the product, toxic levels already started decreasing.

Alternatives

If you’re not really sure about buying the product that we are currently reviewing, you can always opt out for another one which is either different or similar. In the following section we have listed three products that you might want to consider instead.

Seachem Prime

If you’re interested in getting a product specifically from Seachem, you might have found the right deal. Seachem primer offers you not just the same features as Seachem stability, but other benefits as well.

It has some features that stay the same, it can introduce healthy bacteria that can reduce ammonia and other toxic elements, but the novelty here is that you can also remove chlorine as well.

You can also further detoxify nitrite and nitrates in order to allow the biofilter to remove it easily.So, if you want a 2-in-1 kind of product that can help you with multiple problems, consider buying this. If interested, check this product out, but to summarize, these are the benefits:

  • Can be used for both chlorine and ammonia,
  • Can produce and increase regeneration of the natural slime coat,
  • Perfect for both salt and freshwater,

Nutrafin Cycle Biological Filter Supplement

On the other hand, you also have another popular product by Nutrafin that can help you with bacterial problems as well. It comes in a larger size with a lower price as well and it offers similar features.

They claim that all pollutants in the water will be quickly removed by the bacteria or converted into compounds that aren’t harmful to the environment. This is a popular process within conditioners, where ammonia isn’t completely removed but made into a similar compound that can be removed by the filter later on.

If interested, check this alternative out, but to summarize, these are the benefits:

  • Cheaper.
  • Larger package size.
  • Compatible with both salt and freshwater.
  • Converts toxic elements into non-harmful ones.

Hagen Fluval Biological Enhancer For Aquariums

Hagen Fluval’s conditioner offers you efficient removal of all toxic elements by introducing healthy bacteria into your aquarium. The features remain relatively the same just like in the previous products, but the price may be a bit higher compared to the previous ones.

The unique thing that it does claim is that it offers you to get the fish and plants back into the system faster than other products, which means that the cycling probably lasts shorter and that the bacteria establish themselves faster.

If interested, be sure to check this alternative out. When compared to the original product we noticed some differences and similarities:

  • Aquatic life can be brought back faster.
  • Can be used for both fresh and saltwater.
  • Responsive and powerful elimination of toxins such as ammonia and nitrite.

Conclusion

Many of us who own aquariums, both beginners and seasoned hobbyists, will at some point experience a disbalance in the ecosystems of our aquariums. This can not only damage both plants and fish for a short time, it can also have long-term effects, to the point where they can die.

By buying a product like the Seachem stability, you’re creating or repairing your bacterial ecosystem which will take care of any dangerous toxic elements that can potentially damage your plants and fish. And by buying exactly this product you can

  • Use it as much as you want.
  • Use it without caring about combability.
  • Rapidly decrease negative elements of your aquarium.

All that is left is to buy it if interested, so click here to check this product out.

The Best Pond Vacuum Review

Owning a pond vacuum cleaner is a necessity in case you own a pond at home. There are some pond vacuum models that have been designed in such a way that you can multitask, using them for household tasks, the pond, and even the swimming pool.

In case you need to sustainably keep a clean pond, you must own a pond vacuum cleaner. There are a lot of debris, dirt, leaves and sludge gathering near your pond that finds their way inside. The light ones float over the pond but the heavy ones will settle to the bottom.

Whether your pond is in use or not, this is a natural process, and you will need to get a good quality pond vacuum to help you keep the pond clean and the life in it sustainable for your plants and animals.There are pond vacuums for different types of ponds, from fishponds to green ponds, small and large ponds as well .

What To Consider When You Are Looking For A Pond Vacuum

How do you choose between two pond vacuums and make sure you are taking the best of them home? This is an issue that most people struggle with. It gets worse when you have not just two, but a choice to make between so many models available in the market.

Not all the vacuums that you come across will offer you the best performance, even for the money you are paying. You, therefore, need to think about this from the perspective of taking the best care of your pond. The following are some of the factors that you have to look at:

Vacuum Brand

It is important to choose a reputable brand for your pond vacuum cleaner, and for a good reason. Most of the popular brands offer you better performance and quality when compared with the substandard models available at a cheaper price. While shopping around for a pond vacuum, make sure you know whether you need a wet or dry cleaner. Choosing a device that offers both performance capabilities is better, even though it might cost you more.

Energy Consumption

This is not something that most people think about often, but in light of your energy bills, it is worth looking into. How much energy the pond vacuum consumes should give you an idea of how much more it will cost you to run, on a daily basis, monthly or annually. You should know not just how much the pond vacuum costs, but also how much it will cost you to run and maintain.

The Size Of Particles And Debris

Debris in the pond is available in different sizes. In case you have trees close to your pond and leaves falling in from time to time, you will need a different type of pond vacuum as compared to someone whose main problem is a muck layer in their pond. This also depends on the location of your pond, helping you understand what the common type of debris you deal with is.

Water Return Valves

This is another important but not so common feature that most people look at. Most of the vacuums you come across usually discharge the water into your yard instead of returning it back into the pond. See how this comes in handy here? If you have a pond vacuum that has a water return valve, it will clean and filter the water then pumps it out into your pond.

The Depth Of Cleaning

There are limits to the depth at which each pond vacuum can efficiently perform. The length of the hose will offer additional support, but even with the additional length, the power of the pond vacuum might not offer the suction power you need. The deeper the vacuum is in the water, the stronger the suction power should be.

To be on the safe side, buy a pond vacuum that can reach the bottom of your pond. Assuming your pond is 7 feet deep, buying a vacuum that can reach 4 feet would be a waste of money.

The Size Of Your Pond

The good thing about variety in the market for pond vacuums is that the wide selection is available. Vacuums are generally made to work within a given pond size range. It is physically impossible for your vacuum to clean every other pond. For a large pond, you would need a powerful vacuum than someone with a smaller pond. If you have a small pond, a powerful vacuum might be more than effective, but it might also give you a hard time with control.

Type Of Vacuum

The suction can be strong or weak depending on the type of vacuum you are buying. Single chamber suctions are generally weaker than dual chamber vacuums, though this is not always the case across the board. When choosing the type of vacuum, remember that what you choose will affect how you clean the pond.

Benefits Of Choosing The Best Pond Vacuum

Why is it important that you do not just choose the first pond vacuum you come across, but spend time looking for one that is unique to your requirements? An ideal pond vacuum will not only help you clean the pond, but will also make your work easier over the long term. The following are some of the benefits that you stand to enjoy when you purchase the best pond vacuum:

Reduced Interference

With a pond vacuum, you do not have to remove your plants and/or fish from the pond. Most of the vacuums can actually be used without disturbing your plants or animals. There will, of course, be a little interference, given the physical impact of the vacuum in the water, but in the long run, your work is done faster, with less effort.

More Efficient Cleaning

Compared to cleaning the pond by hand, honestly, it will be better to clean your pond with a vacuum. It is faster and will do a better job than cleaning by hand . A pond vacuum also makes your work easier when you need to remove the muck from the pond than using your hands.

Cost-Effective

Picture a situation where you are unable to clean the pond on your own because maybe you do not know how. You have to pay someone to come in and clean it by hand. However, when you purchase a pond vacuum, you will no longer have to do this. You will save a lot of money because you can now clean the pond on your own.
Time Conscious
One of the main reasons why most people choose to upgrade from cleaning their ponds by hand to using a pond vacuum cleaner is to reduce the tedious and long process of pond cleaning. It becomes one of the easiest and fastest ways for you to clean the pond. Depending on the capacity of the vacuum’s strength, you can get this done in a matter of minutes.

Better Waste Removal
To clean your pond, using pond filters is an excellent way of removing debris from the water column, especially those that are suspended over the water column. However, not all the filters can remove the debris the way you need. Some of the debris will accumulate at the bottom of the pond, and interfere with the quality of water and the pond aesthetics. A pond vacuum will, therefore, help you solve it by removing the waste that filtration was not able to.

Pond Vacuum Reviews

Aura 6250 Paradise Power Spa Vacuum

Aura 6250 Paradise Power Spa Vacuum

It is an affordable handheld water vacuum, which is ideal for someone who is on a budget. One of the benefits of using it is that it is lightweight and you do not have to worry about water hook-up. Though small, it picks up debris, marbles from the pond properly.

PROS

  • Very easy to use.
  • Does not need electricity to power.
  • Quite affordable.

CONS

  • Only works well with solid bottom ponds.
  • Not ideal for a pond with fish.
  • Discharge chamber fills up very fast.

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System

Matala Power Cyclone Pond Vacuum with Dual Pump System

In case money is not a factor in your decision-making process, this is perfect for your pond. It is also ideal for huge ponds, removing all kinds of dirt and debris from the pond.

PROS

  • Being a dual-pump system, it can work for longer hours.
  • Comfortably stores 13 gallons of water.
  • Ergonomic design.

CONS

  • Very expensive.
  • Quite huge; you will need a good storage facility for it.

Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac

Matala Pond Vacuum II Muck Vac

This pond vacuum is widely referred to as the Muck Buster. It is designed to help you efficiently get rid of algae, sludge, dead plants, leaves and pebbles from the pond. It is very fast and will reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning the pond.

Features

  • Clean and easy to reuse filter bag.
  • Qualitative components for its powerful 2 HP motor.
  • An adjustable floor nozzle and a powerful suction horse.
  • Mesh bag to trap bigger debris.
  • An 8” drain hose.

PROS

  • Very easy to use.
  • Available within a reasonable price range.
  • Automatic draining reduces your work.
  • A powerful motor.
  • Strong, durable and efficient.

CONS

  • The drain hose keeps falling off.
  • You need additional pressure to open the check valve, which is only one-way.
  • Sluggish in picking up leaves off the pond.

OASE PondoVac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

OASE PondoVac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner

In case you have used the classic PondoVac cleaner, you will definitely want to try your hands on this one. It offers better performance, thanks to the 4 dual chamber suction. Its force is stronger and picks up more debris faster.

PROS

  • Impressive performance thanks to the 4 dual chamber design.
  • Lengthier drainage hose.
  • Automated suction and discharge.

CONS

  • Inefficient with general debris.
  • Quite expensive.
  • Most people have complained about the user manual being complex.

OASE PondoVac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

OASE PondoVac Classic Pond Vacuum Cleaner

This is an incredibly powerful pond vacuum that has been in the industry for years. It is your go-to pond vacuum cleaner in the event that you are looking for a pond cleaner that will remove significant sludge and debris deposits from your pond.

Features

  • Energy efficient, consuming minimum energy to deliver maximum power.
  • Noise reduction feature to keep the sound low.
  • Multipurpose cleaner, for the household, your swimming pool, and the pond.
  • Automatically shuts down the motor if the collection tank is filled up, and resumes work automatically when the tank has been emptied.
  • 4 nozzles for efficient suction performance.

PROS

  • Very easy to clean and install.
  • Durable.
  • Integrated handle for easy handling.
  • Compact design and portable.
  • A full year’s warranty.

CONS

  • Small filter bag, which might not be efficient for a lot of people.
  • Leakage in the discharge bags from repeat usage is common.
  • Automatically shuts down immediately the tank is filled, and you must empty the tank to reuse it. This can be a bother when your pond is so dirty.

Conclusion

In case you are unaware of what you are looking for, going through a review of some of the best pond vacuums can be a big problem for you. Hopefully, you found this review useful and helped you make a wise decision.

Before you choose any pond vacuum, make sure you understand the features you would need it to have. This comes down to what works well for you. It would be pointless buying one of the best vacuum ponds in the market, but not being able to maximize utmost utility from its use. You also have to consider the type of pond you have at home.

If you are looking to spend once on a vacuum cleaner that you can use for different purposes, OASE PondoVac is what you need. On the other hand, in case you need a powerful, strong and reliable vacuum without breaking the bank Matala Pond Vacuum would be ideal.

Finally, always ensure you work on your budget. Be on the lookout for incredible offers and discount stores too. You might come across a bargain that would be worth your attention.

The Best Reef Salt For Your Fish Tank: Top 5 Reviews

Having corals in your aquarium can be a pretty demanding job since they require more maintenance than fish and plants. This case is especially true if you’re only a beginner and you’re just entering the colorful world of reef tanks.

One of the main concerns for corals is that you need to regularly put salt in your reef tank. But it is not as simple as adding a few tablespoons of kitchen salt, you need commercial reef salt which provides a balanced amount of nutrients which ensure the survival of your corals.

What Are The Benefits Of Reef Salt?

Now we established that adding reef salt is very important, but why is that? Well, in short, you placed the corals in a closed water system, corals, just as any living being in the ocean requires nutrients. Most of those nutrients are located in the deepest parts of the ocean, but thanks to the water constantly moving, it is present in areas just below the surface.

The water that you’re currently using in your reef tank only has finite amounts of those deeply needed nutrients, and as a result, they are quickly depleted. But which nutrients are those and how do they benefit the corals? Let’s quickly find out in the following section:

Major Nutrients

Calcium

Calcium is in a concentration of about 0.04% in the ocean and it is a crucial element that can be found in liquid and powder form. Mainly clams and stony corals benefit from this nutrient. As they extract the nutrient from water, it provides them the growth they need for their skeleton. And as the corals grow in size, their need for calcium increases. This is an important aspect, so keep track of calcium rates.

Strontium

Strontium is another key element and its benefits are comparable to Calcium. Corals and coralline algae benefit the most, as their growth rates significantly increase with the abundance of strontium. This nutrient can be found in powder and liquid form as well.

Magnesium

Magnesium has a bit different benefits compared to previously mentioned nutrients, but it is important as well. It is a key factor for the regulation of PH level as well as the skeletons of various invertebrates. It is available in the same forms as the nutrients previously mentioned, in powder and liquid. This is generally consumed at a slower rate, but always add it if your PH level is getting low. You can choose a ph meter for your tank here.

Carbonate

Carbonate boosts the PH level as well as magnesium, but it is very important as a carbon source for many marine animals. Carbonate can be found in both powder and liquid form.

Minor Nutrients

Apart from the ones listed above, there are also some minor elements which can be found in sea water, but they aren’t that concentrated. But nevertheless, even though corals can survive without them, they are equally as important as major elements.

There are over 50 minor elements which can already be found in reef salt packages, but here are some of the important ones:

Molybdenum

Recent researching showed us that this element aids the biological processes of many significant bacteria. You can get it in liquid form and you should buy it at some point to avoid outbreaks of cyanobacteria.

Iron

Iron can contribute and improve the life of corals, plants, and invertebrates since it provides a source of secondary nourishment to the photosynthetic cells. With an abundance of iron, you’re going to improve the growth rate and introduce vibrant colors to these organisms. You can mostly get it in liquid form but it is mostly already added in most salt mixes.

Iodine

Iodine rapidly oxidizes in your reef tank and should be added almost daily in small quantities. If you own soft corals, you need to know that this element is essential for them.

Iodine can also have antibiotic properties which can provide a more vibrant color to your corals which will most definitely be an eye-candy. It is most commonly available in liquid form, we strongly suggest you that you avoid overdosing this element and in your reef environment.

Things To Look Out For

Reef salt products contain a great range of elements that can help you with the growth process of your corals and of course survival. But in some cases, where the brand is selling a cheap and low-quality product, you may encounter elements which are toxic to your coral’s environment.

In this list below, we will analyze these toxic elements and provide their ideal value.

Ammonia

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen that can contribute to the nutritional needs of organisms as a precursor to food and fertilizers. But in its concentrated form, it is extremely toxic and hazardous.

Ammonia is a dangerous element and toxic waste in your reef tank, it is commonly let out upon the death of marine life. If you want to ensure the survival of your corals, you’re going to need ammonia to be as close to 0 as possible.

Nitrate

Nitrate is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen which is a part of many important molecules.It is commonly used as fertilizer for plants as they need nitrate and potassium to live and grow. But it is to be avoided when it comes to marine life.

The same that goes for ammonia goes for Nitrate as well, you want it to be as low as possible, ideally 0 ppm. But in a properly cycled reef tank, the appearance of nitrate levels is going to confirm that your biological filter is doing its job.

Most corals tolerate levels ranging from 30-40 ppm.

Phosphate

Phosphate is an inorganic chemical and a salt. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus, which is generally used for agriculture and industry. But phosphate is nonetheless another dangerous element for your reef tank.

Be careful and research if the salt mix product contains any Phosphate. This element acts as a fertilizer for algae, so keep its levels down as low as possible, ideally under 0.2 ppm.

Nitrite

Nitrite and nitrite derivates should be avoided by all, it is classified to probably contain elements which are carcinogenic to humans.

Your bacterial filter will surely create nitrite, but things aren’t that grim. Your bacterial filter will sure produce it as a by-product, but it will also convert ammonia into nitrate, a less toxic form. Same values go for this element as well, keep it as low as possible, ideally at 0 ppm.

Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt

Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt

Reef salt from the brand Instant Ocean is very popular and it is used amongst hobbyist and beginners alike worldwide. It has the ideal balanced mix of nutrients that will ensure the survival of both soft and hard corals at an affordable price.

This package features a great concentration of calcium along with other extra trace elements. It has a rapid rate of dissolvability as well while being all-natural, this reef salt also doesn’t contain any heavy metals.

It comes in a 200-gallon box at an affordable price. It is a perfect mix for small polyp stony corals and coralline algae.

Features

  • Extra calcium for maximum growth rate.
  • Contains trace elements without any heavy metals.
  • High alkalinity.
  • Carbonates are at 11 dKH.
  • Calcium is at about 400 ppm.
  • Magnesium ranges at about 1350 ppm.

PROS

  • Affordable price even at 200 gallons.
  • Dissolves almost instantly.
  • Contains more nutrients than usually found in natural seawater.

CONS

  • Multiple users reported a brown residue.

Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt

Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt

Red Sea Coral Pro gives you the ideal balance of all major elements needed for a healthy environment for your corals. It doesn’t contain any heavy metals or organic binders due to its unique salt harvesting method.

This reef salt is available in a 55-gallon package and it is particularly recommended for growing SPS coral frags. Red Sea’s popular product contains over 57 trace elements paramount for the quick growth of your marine life.

Getting this coral salt mix will ensure the best possible coral growth, and even more vivid and brighter colors. Red Sea ensures its quality to its customers for over 20 years.

Features

  • Carbonates are at 12.2 dKH.
  • Calcium at 450 ppm.
  • Magnesium at 1340 ppm.
  • Over 70 chemical elements.

PROS

  • Takes only 30 minutes to clear up after mixing.
  • Good for PH levels.
  • Huge amount of elements.

CONS

  • Expensive compared to its counterparts.

Aquaforest Probiotic Reef Salt

Aquaforest Probiotic Reef Salt

This reef salt from Aquaforest is fully synthetic salt created especially for corals, it was specially designed to give the best conditions for your marine life. 380 grams of this salt is enough to salt 10 liters of water.

Depending on the types of corals you own, SPS and LPS corals might profit from the extra concentration of nutrients from this reef salt. Helpful bacteria are also included, you benefit from the reduction of both nitrates and phosphates, also inhibits pathogenic bacteria.

AquaForest is surprisingly a Polish brand, nevertheless, it is one of the most popular brands in Europe.

Features

  • Carbonate levels range from 6.5 to 8 dKH.
  • Calcium goes from 410 to 440 ppm.
  • Magnesium ranges from 1230 to 1320 ppm.

PROS

  • Phosphate free.
  • Nitrate free.
  • Adds a vibrant and bright color to your corals.
  • Dissolves really fast.

CONS

  • Expensive compared to other brands.
  • Buyers report that not enough salinity is provided.

Kent Marine Reef Salt Mix

Kent Marine Reef Salt Mix

Kent Marine’s reef salt mix provides you not only the nutrients needed for the survival of your marine life, it is also built to help them thrive in their artificial environment. With its Cora-Vite technology, it gives the corals a marine environment unmatched by any other product.

Kent Marine may be an underdog as a brand, but it is serving you the care and nurture that your corals need for over 15 years. It is sold in both bucket and box variations.

Features

  • Cora-Vite technology.
  • Carbonate levels at around 10.2 dKH.
  • Calcium at around 475 ppm.
  • Magnesium at around 1400 ppm.
  • Comes in 5.3-pound buckets and 58-pound box.
  • More calcium, strontium, iodine and vitamins than other brands.

PROS

  • Dissolves quickly.
  • High growth rate for corals.

CONS

  • Some buyers reported unbalanced amounts of nutrients.

Brightwell Aquatics Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium

Brightwell Aquatics Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium

This popular reef salt mix by Brightwell Aquatics is a United States product which is safe, effective and provides the best results. It is a precision-formulated and extensively researched and tested over many years, specifically designed to replicate natural ratios of every ocean’s major nutrient elements.

Every batch is carefully analyzed and sampled for quality control, made in a process that provides a dry blend. Saltwater conditioners made by Brightwell Aquatics are recommended to be bought with this product.

Features

  • Carbonate levels at 11 dKH.
  • Calcium ranges at about 420 ppm.
  • Magnesium ranges at about 1380 ppm.
  • Comes in a 150-gallon bucket.

PROS

  • All nutrients are quite balanced.
  • Great if you need to resolve pH issues.

CONS

  • Gives off a bad smell

The Final Verdict

To conclude this guide, reef salts are generally cheap and with the amounts it is sold at, it will probably last you a while before you use it all. The great characteristic of these reef salts is that they are not only essential for your Corals, they can also boost the growth of them.

We have named a few brands and almost all of them have a family-friendly budget, but which one should you really choose? All of these brands are equally good and all have some pros and cons of their own. But the most dominating product both in terms of popularity and quality is certainly Instant Ocean. It has extra calcium, a metal detoxifier and comes at a very affordable price. Brightwell Aquatics Neomarine is another product which has a great balance of nutrients like calcium, magnesium etc. It has good reviews and users have recommended it very highly.

But whichever product you buy out of this list, know that it don’t damage or ruin your corals. It is only no-brand and low-quality reef salt could potentially do that. Now go on and buy some, it is time to finally give your corals those long-needed nutrients!

How To Hatch Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are tiny aquatic crustaceans – you may also know of them as Sea Monkeys. These little creatures have been around since the Triassic period and they have come to be one of the most important food sources in the aquarium industry. While some people keep brine shrimp as pets, they are more commonly hatched as food for fish. The newly hatched brine shrimp (known as nauplii) make a wonderful food source for fry (baby fish) while brine fish adults are good for larger fish.

Another interesting fact about brine shrimp is that they produce dormant eggs called cysts. These eggs can be stored for long periods of time and they can be hatched on demand. This is important because there is a certain process you must follow in order to activate and hatch the eggs. In this tutorial, you will receive detailed instructions for every step of the process from preparing your brine shrimp eggs for hatching and actually hatching them. Keep reading to learn how to get started!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

In order to hatch brine shrimp, you don’t need a complicated setup or any expensive equipment. In fact, hatching brine shrimp is surprisingly simple when you have everything you need. First, you’ll need to purchase your brine shrimp eggs – you can find them in pet stores or purchase them online. Next, you’ll need to set up your hatchery. Finally, add your brine shrimp eggs and let the magic happen. Here is a detailed list of everything you are going to need to hatch your brine shrimp:

  • Brine shrimp eggs.
  • 3 half-liter plastic bottles.
  • 8-inch length of airline tubing.
  • Clear packing tape.
  • Scissors.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt.
  • ½ teaspoon Epsom salt.
  • Cold tap water.
  • Bleach.
  • Aquarium air pump.
  • Nightlight.

Step By Step Instructions

Now that you know what is required to hatch brine shrimp and you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to get started! Below you’ll find a step-by-step list of instructions to follow to take your dormant brine shrimp eggs and to hatch them in your very own home. Here is how to get started:

Purchase Your Brine Shrimp Eggs

You can purchase brine shrimp eggs in your local pet store or you can order then online. Make sure you purchase brine shrimp eggs that are harvested from a safe location so you don’t run the risk of contaminating your tank when you feed them to your fish.

Build Your Brine Shrimp Hatchery

You can find brine shrimp hatcheries online and in pet stores, but it is simple and cost-effective to make your own. All you need is three half-liter plastic bottles, an 8-inch piece of airline tubing, clear packing tape, and scissors. Here are the instructions for building your brine shrimp hatchery:

  1. Take one of the bottles and cut it about 3 inches from the bottom (this will be the base) – throw away the top piece.
  2. With the second bottle, cut the bottom off but leave just enough of it to create a lip (this will be the top). 
  3. Take the third bottle and cut the bottom off about one inch up from the base (this will be the cap).
  4. Seal the cap on the second bottle and invert it then place it inside the first bottle – trim as needed to make it fit.
  5. Use the clear packing tape to cover the seam, joining the bottles together.
  6. Cut two holes (1/4-inch diameter) in the plastic cap.
  7. Trim the end of the airline tubing at an angle then insert it into one of the holes.

Set Up Your Hatchery

Now that you’ve assembled your hatchery, you’re ready to get it set up and add your eggs. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Combine 1 ½ teaspoons table salt with a half teaspoon of Epsom salt in the bottom of your hatchery.
  2. Add a pinch of brine shrimp eggs then fill the hatchery with cold tap water.
  3. Before covering the hatchery, add a single drop of bleach then put the top on.
  4. Attach the aquarium air pump to the open end of the airline tubing – you may need a gang valve to make it fit.
  5. Set a small light next to the hatchery, positioning it so the light goes halfway up the water column – turn the light on.
  6. Turn on the air pump and let it run for 24 hours.

While the air pump is running, you should keep an eye on it to make sure that the airline tubing doesn’t become clogged with salt. If it does, use the end of a paper clip to remove the clog.

Wait For The Eggs To Hatch

Once you’ve let the aquarium air pump run for 24 hours, you can shut it off and let the water settle on its own for about 15 minutes. To gather your brine shrimp, use the airline tubing to create a siphon effect and drain the water from the hatchery into a paper coffee filter. The water will flow through the filter, leaving the hatched brine shrimp behind. Once you’ve rinsed and drained the brine shrimp, you can place them in a container of dechlorinated water and collect them for feeding using a pipette.

And there you have it! Now you know how to take brine shrimp eggs that have been dormant and how to hatch them. If you have any eggs that you don’t plan to use right away, be sure to store them properly in an airtight container in a cool environment.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial for how to hatch brine shrimp? Whether you are keeping brine shrimp as pets or feeding them to another pet, learning how to hatch them properly is important. Hopefully by now you have a thorough understanding of how the process works and you are ready to try it for yourself. We encourage you to like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience hatching brine shrimp. Good luck with your brine shrimp and thanks for reading!

How Long Do Brine Shrimp Live?

Brine shrimp are very small aquatic crustaceans that are commonly used as live food for aquarium fish. These little shrimps are also sold as pets under the name Sea Monkeys, so you may already be familiar with them without knowing it. Not only are brine shrimp a highly nutritious source of food for fish, but they are a type of live food that is very easy to produce and harvest at home. In fact, you can hatch hundreds or thousands of brine shrimp simply using a hatchery made from plastic bottles.

If you’re thinking about hatching your own brine shrimp to use as fish food, you may be wondering how long brine shrimp live. You can certainly feed newly hatched brine shrimp (known as nauplii) to your fish, but larger fish should be fed adult brine shrimp. Keep reading to learn more about what brine shrimp are, how long they life, and how to care for them.

What Are Brine Shrimp?

Knowing that brine shrimp are aquatic crustaceans may not be enough for you to truly understand what these little creatures are and how they are used in the aquarium industry. Brine shrimp belong to the genus Artemia and they are type of crustacean that has been around since the Triassic period. There are somewhere between 7 and 9 species of brine shrimp which are thought to have evolved from an ancient variety that lived as long as 5.5 million years ago. Though brine shrimp are still around today, they remain largely unchanged from their ancient ancestors.

Brine shrimp are arthropods with segmented bodies and broad, leaf-like appendages. A brine shrimp’s body consists of 19 individual segments. The first 11 segments each have a pair of appendages while the next two are fused to house the reproductive organs and the final segments lead down to a tail. These creatures are very small, growing to a total length between 8 and 10 millimeters for adult males and about 10 to 12 millimeters for adult females. Both sexes usually measure about 4 millimeters in width, which includes the length of their legs.

How Long Do Brine Shrimp Live?

Brine shrimp begin as dormant cysts, or eggs, and they go through a series of 14 to 17 different stages throughout their life cycle. Each of these stages is separated by a molt in which the brine shrimp grows a larger exoskeleton and sheds the old one. In the right conditions, brine shrimp can reach full adulthood in as little as 8 days, though it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks in sub-prime conditions. Another interesting fact about brine shrimp is that when conditions are ideal, the females will release free-swimming naupiii or partially developed embryos into the water during reproduction. If the conditions are not ideal, she will release dormant cysts (or eggs) which will remain dormant until conditions improve. These dormant cysts can remain viable for as long as 25 years and adult brine shrimp can live for as long as three months.

How Do You Care For Brine Shrimp?

If you want to feed your aquarium fish adult brine shrimp, you are going to have to hatch them from eggs and then raise them until they are large enough to be used as food. In order to keep your brine shrimp, you’ll need to set up a tank to house them after they have hatched – this is called a culture tank.

Your culture tank doesn’t need to be anything fancy – a 5-gallon bucket or a 10-gallon aquarium will do. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to control certain elements like temperature, aeration, and filtration in order to keep your brine shrimp alive. Here are the steps for creating a culture tank using a 10-gallon glass aquarium:

  1. Cut a thin sheet of acrylic to slightly larger than the tank dimensions.
  2. Force the sheet of acrylic into the bottom of the tank and seal it at the edges so it forms a concave surface – this will allow spent shells and waste to collect at the bottom for easy cleaning.
  3. Outfit your tank with an air pump attached to an air stone to provide constant circulation – you’ll need good circulation all over the tank.
  4. Install a low-level lighting system – a 60-watt to 100-watt bulb will be fine.
  5. If needed, install an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature between 77°F and 86°F.
  6. Fill the aquarium with warm saltwater, aiming for a salinity between 30 and 35ppt.

Once you have set up your culture tank, simply add your hatched brine shrimp and do the necessary maintenance to keep them alive. You’ll want to perform a 20% water change every few days, focusing on siphoning the waste from the bottom of the tank. To avoid sucking up your brine shrimp, shine a light at the top of the tank so they will gather there, allowing you to vacuum the bottom of the tank. Feed your brine shrimp foods like egg yolk, whey, wheat flour, or soybean powder in small amounts as needed. If you can, set up a drip feeding system for continuous feeding or do several small feedings per day as an alternative.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this article about how long brine shrimp live? Please like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with raising brine shrimp. Good luck and thanks for reading!

How To Care For A Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs are a type of crustacean that live in shells. There are actually more than a thousand different species of hermit crabs and, when properly cared for, they can grow up to 6 inches in length and can live for 10 years or more. These creatures make good low-maintenance pets and they can be handled, though you should be mindful of the fact that they have claws that can pinch if they feel threatened. Another interesting fact is that hermit crabs will change shells as they grow.

Though hermit crabs can be very interesting and entertaining pets, they are sometimes challenging to keep unless you have a good understanding of their needs. This is very important because if you don’t provide for your hermit crab’s needs, he isn’t going to thrive. He needs a certain type of habitat as well as a specific diet in order to be healthy. That is where this tutorial comes in. In this tutorial, you will receive detailed instructions for creating the ideal hermit crab environment and for taking care of your new pet. Keep reading to learn how to get started!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

Before you decide whether a hermit crab might be the right pet for you, you need to make sure you have a thorough understanding of what a hermit crab needs. Hermit crabs require a tank or cage that is designed to certain specifications and maintained in a certain way – you’ll also have to provide a diet that meets your crab’s nutritional needs. Here is a detailed list of everything you are going to need in order to set up and maintain your hermit crab cage:

  • Glass or plastic aquarium.
  • Aquarium gravel.
  • Tank decorations.
  • Hiding places.
  • Empty shells.
  • Shallow dish.
  • Sea sponge.
  • Under-tank heater.
  • LED light fixture.
  • Hermit crab food.

Step By Step Instructions

Now that you know what you need to keep your hermit crab, you’re ready to learn how to set up and maintain his cage. Once you do the work to set up your hermit crab’s environment, maintaining it is generally pretty easy. Here is a step-by-step plan to guide you through the process:

Choosing Your Hermit Crab Tank

Hermit crabs are fairly small so you won’t need a giant aquarium. You do, however, need to make sure that they have adequate space to move around – especially if you plan to keep more than one hermit crab. Ideally, you should provide at least 5 gallons of space per hermit crab, though 10 gallons is the minimum you should consider in general. You can purchase an inexpensive glass aquarium or find a large plastic terrarium to use for your hermit crab.

Picking Decorations And Equipment

Once you’ve selected your hermit crab tank, the next step is to decorate it and to add the necessary equipment.

a, For tank decoration.

  • Choose to line the bottom of your tank with aquarium gravel or you can use the kind of bark bedding pet stores sell for reptiles. Reptile bark will help to retain some of the humidity in your tank better than gravel, but it will be more expensive.
  • Add some novelty decorations as well as hiding places for your hermit crabs – make sure the hiding places are actually big enough for your crab to fit into with his shell.
  • Add some empty shells to the tank. Your hermit crab will need to move to a larger shell as he grows, so make sure to provide a variety of different sizes. Never force your hermit crab to leave his shell and don’t touch him if you see him outside the shell – hermit crabs are delicate and they use the shell for protection.
  • Add a shallow dish to the tank and fill it with dechlorinated water for your crab to soak in. If you are worried that your crab might not be able to climb out of the dish, add a sea sponge to give him something to climb on.

b, For tank equipment, you really only need something to keep the tank warm and something to keep it lit.

  • An under-tank heater is usually the simplest option for a hermit crab tank, though you do need to make sure you cover it with at least an inch of bedding so it doesn’t get too hot for your hermit crabs. You can monitor the temperature in your tank with a thermometer and you might want to get a hygrometer to keep an eye on the humidity.
  • For lighting, a simple LED fixture will be adequate.

Maintaining Your Hermit Crab Tank

Once you’ve set up your hermit crab tank and added your hermit crab, all you have to do is maintain the right conditions. Keep an eye on the temperature in your tank and try to keep it between 70°F and 75°F because hermit crabs are tropical creatures. You’ll also want to mist the tank with dechlorinated water once a day or so to keep the humidity level between 50% and 80%. If you are using a light fixture in your tank, keep the lights on for 8 to 12 hours a day then turn them off at night.

To clean your tank, replace the water in the water dish once a day and remove waste and debris as needed. You should also change the substrate once a month or clean it, depending on the type you’re using. At the same time, clean all the decorations in your hermit crab tank as well.

Feeding Your Hermit Crab

The final step in caring for your hermit crab is feeding him. Hermit crabs are scavengers in the wild so they will eat a large variety of different foods. Your pet hermit crab will eat a variety of foods as well, but there are certain things you should make sure to offer him. Most important, offer your hermit crab some high-quality hermit crab pellets to make sure he gets the nutrients he needs. You can also offer him some chopped veggies or fruits as a snack. Your hermit crab will even eat pieces of meat if you offer it, just don’t let it sit in the tank too long.

Conclusion

How did you like this tutorial for caring for a hermit crab? After reading this tutorial you should have a better idea what it takes to keep a hermit crab as a pet and you may be ready to decide whether this is the perfect pet for you. If so, take what you’ve learned here and get to work setting up the perfect habitat for your new hermit crab. We encourage you to like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with hermit crabs. Good luck and thanks for reading!

How Big Can Goldfish Get?

When you pay a visit to your local pet store and spend some time in the aquarium fish section, you may notice that there are a variety of different types of goldfish. There are the small goldfish that are usually used as feeder fish for larger carnivorous species and there are the bigger goldfish that are sold as pets. Each species of goldfish is different and therefore has a different maximum size.

So how big can a goldfish get? This is an important question to answer if you plan to keep goldfish as a pet because it will help you to determine the right size for your tank. It is a myth that goldfish only grow as big as their tank will let them. If you care for your goldfish properly, it could actually outgrow a small tank and that would be bad for the fish. Keep reading to learn more about how big different species of goldfish get and to receive tips for maximizing your goldfish’s growth.

Understanding Different Goldfish Species

The common goldfish is actually a domesticated version of the wild carp and it is closely related to the koi you often see in outdoor ponds. Though the common goldfish is a single species, Carassius auratus, there are many different varieties that have been bred for certain characteristics. Goldfish come in a wide range of colors including gold, red, yellow, orange, white, and black – there are also different patterns. Here are some of the most popular species of goldfish:

  • Black Moor.
  • Bubble Eye.
  • Celestial Eye.
  • Comet.
  • Common.
  • Fantail.
  • Lionhead.
  • Oranda.
  • Ranchu.
  • Redcap Oranda.
  • Ryukin.
  • Shubunkin.
  • Telescope.
  • Veiltail.

Though there are many different types of goldfish, they all come from the same species which means that they have similar tank requirements. Goldfish are cold water fish so they can actually be kept in a tank without a heater, as long as the water temperature remains somewhere in the range of 65°F to 72°F. Some goldfish species can actually tolerate temperatures just slightly above freezing – examples include Comet Goldfish, Black Moors, and Shubunkins. Though goldfish don’t always require heating in their tank, they do require adequate filtration to keep the water quality in the tank high.

How Big Do Goldfish Get?

Because there are many different species of goldfish, it is not always easy to answer the question, “How big do goldfish get.” The first thing you need to think about is the fact that goldfish are bred from carp. Carp are actually a family of freshwater fishes and some of the more common species can grow anywhere from 16 to 30 inches in length and can weigh upwards of 25 pounds. In fact, carp can grow indefinitely as long as their basic needs are met and they are kept healthy.

Though carp can grow indefinitely, most goldfish top out somewhere around 10 inches in length. Again, the size of a goldfish will be determined by a number of factors. For one thing, some species of goldfish tend to be smaller than others while some can grow fairly large. You also have to make sure that your goldfish is kept in the proper tank conditions to support his health and wellbeing. If you don’t meet your goldfish’s basic tank requirements he may grow slowly or he could die before he reaches his maximum potential for size. A healthy diet is also very important for supporting your goldfish’s growth.

Tips For Maximizing Goldfish Growth

If you want to maximize your goldfish’s growth, you need to provide him with the ideal tank environment and a healthy diet.

  • It all starts with choosing the right tank. A 20-gallon tank is usually the minimum recommendation for any fish, just to ensure that it has space to swim and that the water volume of the tank is high enough to make maintenance easy. While a 20-gallon tank might be okay for one goldfish, you should consider a much larger tank if you want to keep multiple goldfish – something closer to 60 gallons if probably a better choice.

    In addition to choosing the right tank for your goldfish, you also need to equip it and decorate it properly. Goldfish aren’t picky when it comes to tank decorations but natural décor items like rocks and driftwood tend to look very attractive against the bright color of these fish. Just be mindful of using live plants in your goldfish tank because these fish will feed on vegetation. In terms of tank equipment, you may not need a heater if you can keep the tank water in the 65°F to 72°F range but you should have a high-quality filtration system. Goldfish tend to produce a lot of waste so filtration is essential for keeping the water quality in your tank high.
  • Finally, one of the most important aspects in maintaining your goldfish’s health and maximizing his growth is a healthy diet. Goldfish are omnivorous which means they will eat both plant foods and animal foods. Feed your goldfish a varied diet that includes a high-quality goldfish flake or pellet then supplement it with fresh foods, frozen foods, freeze-dried foods, and vegetables. Just remember that goldfish do not need to eat a lot at one time – it is better to feed them very small amounts several times a day to make sure they eat it all. Any uneaten food will simply sink to the bottom of the tank where it will decompose and could have a negative impact on your water quality.

Conclusion

Did this article answer your question about how big goldfish can get? To summarize, goldfish are related to carp – a type of fish that can grow indefinitely with the proper conditions. Though you aren’t likely to see a goldfish grow larger than 10 to 12 inches, these fish also have the potential to grow very large with proper care and keeping.

Like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with goldfish. Good luck caring for your goldfish and thanks for reading!

How To Grow Aquarium Plants – Your Ultimate Guide To Aquatic Plants

When it comes to decorating your home aquarium, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. The easiest option is to pick out some synthetic plants and other novelty décor items. Though this may be the easiest option available, it isn’t necessarily the best – especially if you want your aquarium to be impressive. To make your aquarium something to behold, and to make it an environment worthy of your fish, you should think about filling it with aquarium plants. Nothing is more beautiful than a lushly planted aquarium filled to the brim with thriving aquatic plants.

Growing an aquarium fill of live plants does take some planning and a little bit of work, but it is well worth the effort. If you’ve never grown aquarium plants before, don’t worry – it isn’t too difficult for a beginner! Your key to success lies in educating yourself about the process before you begin and in planning it all out from the start - that is where this tutorial comes into play. In this tutorial, you will receive detailed instructions for every step of the process from choosing your substrate and picking out your plants to setting up the tank. Keep reading to learn how to get started!

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

You can probably already guess some of the things you are going to need in order to follow this tutorial. First and foremost, you’ll need an aquarium – the size and shape is up to you, but make sure you have plenty of room for plants. Next, you’ll have to pick out the right substrate for your tank as well as the live plants you want to cultivate. Last but not least, you’ll need to equip your tank with a heater, filter, and lighting system to support the growth of all those live plants. Here is a detailed list of everything you are going to need:

  • Aquarium.
  • Planted tank substrate.
  • Aquarium gravel.
  • Foreground plants.
  • Midground plants.
  • Background plants.
  • Aquarium heater.
  • Aquarium filter.
  • Aquarium lighting system.

Step By Step Instructions

Now that you have a better understanding of exactly what you’ll need to cultivate a planted tank, you are ready to get started! Don’t worry – we’ll take you through the process step by step to make sure everything goes according to plan. Here is how to get started:

Selecting Your Substrate

There are a number of different planted tank substrates out there, but your best option is to choose a product like EcoComplete that contains all of the nutrients your plants will need to grow. You’ll need enough substrate to put down a 4- to 6-inch layer along the bottom of your tank. You may also want to put down a layer of fine aquarium gravel on top of the substrate to keep your plants in place.

Picking Out Your Plants

The best part about cultivating a planted tank is picking out your plants! There are many different aquatic plants out there and some of them are easier to grow than others. If you have a betta tank, you can learn more about best plant for betta here. Your best bet is to start out with some hardy plants that tend to grow quickly so they will spread and fill in the space in your tank without you having to buy too many. Be sure to choose an assortment of foreground, mid-ground, and background plants. Foreground plants include things like carpet moss and other plants that grow no more than 1 to 3 inches tall. Mid-ground plants can be a few inches taller but your background plants should be the tallest. While shopping for your plants, make sure to buy species that have similar tank requirements in terms of water chemistry and lighting. Buy enough to decorate your tank but not to fill it completely – your fish need room too!

Setting Up Your Tank

Part of setting up your tank involves choosing and installing your tank equipment. The three most important pieces of aquarium equipment you’ll need to cultivate a planted tank are an aquarium heater, a filter, and a lighting system.

Choosing Your Heater

Aquarium heaters are easy to come by and easy to use – just find one that is rated for the size of your tank and follow the instructions to set it up. You should be able to set the thermostat on the heater to keep the water in your tank within the proper range for both your fish and your plants.

Picking A Tank Filter After

choosing your tank heater you’ll want to pick out a tank filter. The easiest option for beginning aquarium hobbyists is a hang-on filter, also known as a power filter. These filters come in a variety of sizes for different tanks and they usually offer three-stage filtration – mechanical, chemical, and biological. Follow the instructions to set up your tank filter and make sure it is working properly.

Shopping For Aquarium Lighting

Perhaps the most important piece of equipment for a planted tank is your aquarium lighting system. Aquarium plants are photosynthetic so they need 8 to 12 hours of light each day to provide them with the energy they need to sustain their growth. Choose a lighting system that is the appropriate size for your tank – compact fluorescent lights are usually the most cost-effective option.

Putting It All Together

After choosing and installing your tank equipment, all that is left is to add your substrate and your plants! Follow these steps to plant your tank:

  1. Rinse your substrate well until the water runs clear.
  2. Line the bottom of your tank with 4 to 6 inches of the rinsed substrate.
  3. Fill your aquarium with lukewarm water and use a water conditioner to remove the chlorine.
  4. Set up your tank heater, filter, and lighting system and make sure they are all running properly.
  5. Start with your foreground plants, burying the roots in the substrate along the front wall of the tank.
  6. Add your mid-ground plants around the sides of the tank behind the foreground plants.
  7. Plant your background plants along the back wall of the tank.
  8. Add any other decorations you like in the middle of the tank – just be sure to leave enough open space for your fish to swim.
  9. Let your tank run for 2 to 3 weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle before adding your fish.
  10. Acclimate your fish to the tank and resume normal care.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this tutorial for growing aquarium plants? Hopefully after reading this guide you see just how easy it is to grow aquatic plants in your very own aquarium. A lushly planted tank can turn a boring aquarium into a beautiful aquatic environment for your fish and it will be something you can be proud of! Like and share this article with your friends and leave us some comments about your experience with growing aquarium plants. Good luck and have fun!