Fish

Fish:

Introduction

Are lovely to look at and water is always a calming source. A great number of paediatrics and psychologists have tanks in their rooms to settle and soothe children and patients suffering from anxiety. A fish tank has a calming and hypnotic influence.

It is also a great decorative piece in your home and a good way to teach young children about the sea, rivers and ecological disturbances as well as teaching them responsibility for animals and their care.

General TIPS on FISH CARE:

  • Always cycle your tank if it’s a NEW TANK for a min. of a week before introducing fish
  • Do not leave your fish tank lights on, they are for your benefit only unless you have live plants and your fish tank does not receive enough sunlight
  • Never place your tank in a completely sunny spot
  • Always check PH
  • Check Temperature
  • Make sure you have the appropriately sized FISH HEATER and wattage for the size of your tank.
    • NEED TO ADD gif ON WATTAGE/TANK RATIOS
  • Do NOT overcrowd you tank with plants and ornaments
  • Do NOT overfeed your fish
  • Follow advice on what fish can go together in a tank
    • Adhere to species AND
    • Size
    • Amount limited to TANK SIZE
  • Ensure your FISH PUMP is connected to an electrical socket that has a surge protector to ensure longevity of the pump
  • Have a back-up battery pump for load shedding /maintenance
    • Fish can survive for up to 4 hours without pumped water but thereafter we recommend a battery-operated pump for continued survival
  • When having bought new fish:
    • Do NOT keep your new fish in the water bag for longer than a max of 2 hours
    • Do NOT swing the bag vigorously
    • Do NOT place the bag upside down or allow water to leak out
    • Do NOT place the bag in direct sunlight
    • Allow the fish to get used to their new tank water by placing the plastic bag into the tank for a min of 30 minutes but preferably at least an hour. This improves chances of survival and lessens shock associated with a change of water environment.
    • Only feed the next day
  • Feed your fish their required diet
  • Feed enough BUT DO NOT overfeed
  • Feed once a day-preferably midday

TANK CLEANING:

Should occur at a minimum of every 2nd week.

YOU NEED:

  1. Gravel cleaner
  2. Buckets*2
  3. Anti-chlorine
  4. Toothbrush or soft bristled brush
  5. Time & patience
  • Mix tap water or preferably RO WATER with ANTI CHLORINE in a bucket and allow to stand for 20minutes while you are cleaning your tank.
  • Do NOT use any items for cleaning your tank that have been in contact with toxic cleaning agents, including Sunlight and Sanitizer
    • All items must be cleaned THOROUGHLY with warm water, including your arms and hands that will make contact with the fish tanks water
  • Do NOT remove your fish from the tank
  • Do NOT remove all the water
  • You can remove any ornaments or plastic plants
  • You can remove live plants if not planted in substrate and leave in some tank water in a separate container that was cleaned
  • Remove your pump AND
    • Clean the filter medium with warm water and a brush until clean
    • Clean your filter with a soft brush until free of algae and other glugginess
  • Use the toothbrush or appropriate brush to scrap any algae or dirt off the
    • Light fixtures
    • Glass
    • Any crevices inside the tank
    • All your ORNAMENTS and PLASTIC PLANTS
    • Clean your used brushes with hot water

Allow your fish tank to settle the algae residue for 10 minutes before proceeding with:

  • Use a GRAVEL CLEANER appropriate for the size of your tank to take out faeces, nitrates and general dirt and allow the dirty water to flow into an appropriately sized bucket
    • Do NOT empty out more than a third of your water
    • Clean your gravel cleaner after use with hot water
    • NOTE: Tank water is great for your indoor or exterior plants!
  • Return your plants and ornaments to your tank
  • Replace the pump and filter medium into your tank
  • Carefully pour your mixture of water and anti-chlorine into your tank from your bucket
  • Switch on the pump and check it is working and on the right speed

We offer FISH TANK CLEANING SERVICES

What reduces tank cleaning frequency and optimises water quality AND enhances fish thriving ?

  1. Less fiddling with the water overall
  2. Frequent testing of PH LEVEL AND ensuring PH is optimised-PH QUALITY and PH BUFFERS
  3. A larger /wider range of fish filtration mediums in combination AND variations including the more common ones:
      1. FILTER WOOL
      2. SPONGE FILTER MEDIUM
      3. LAVA ROCK
      4. FILTRATION PADS
      5. BIO BALLS
      6. ACTIVATED CARBON
      7. CERAMIC NOODLES
  4. A larger and deeper amount of gravel
  5. Differing gravel textures from fine to rough and fine sand
  6. An appropriate flow of water through the pump to maximise correct flow and not overflow
  7. The correct FISH RATIO of fish to tank size
  8. Live plants planted in the correct substrate
  9. Live snails
  10. Frequent addition of salt to your FISHTANK WATER

The more your fish tank environment mimics real water ecology; the better quality your FISH TANK water will be.

TANK SET UP REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Choose a FISH TANK that fits your budget and the intended use:
    1. If as a first-time fish tank owner, we never recommend fishbowls for any stage or any fish.
    2. Rather start with a smaller tank that includes most of the items you need. You will find these under FISH TANKS-STARTERS.
    3. If your intention is to have more fish over time, start with a larger tank size keeping FISH RATIO to tank size in mind.
  2. Gravel
    1. It’s always advisable to get a combination of fine and coarse gravel that will cover 4-5 cms depth at the bottom of your tank.
    2. Choose a colour or combination that you enjoy and reflects your personality.
    3. Also be aware that if using LED lights that are not white, for example blue or pink that the gravel will have a changed colouration effect.
  3. Fish Pump: All tanks require a pump to ensure air is circulated into the water, which is essential to fish survival. Please ensure that your tanks pump is not too powerful for the fish tank size and as an overactive flow can have negative consequences for your fish.
  4. Filter medium: There is a large variety of filter mediums, the basic being filter wool.
  5. Ornaments: not an essential but livens up the tank. To NOTE is:
    1. Ornaments act as hiding places for fish and are a requirement where one type of fish bullies another. Ornaments can be seen as territory and also a breeding ground.
    2. They should not be too large or overpowering for the tank.
    3. Also limit the amount of ornaments as fish still need to have a place tow swim.
  6. Lights: Not an essential but mostly come standard with new tanks
    1. Mostly LED lights
      1. We recommend white light for optimum health of the fish tank
      2. Blue lights have been noted to increase the growth of algae
  7. Food: Use appropriate food for your tropical fish and goldfish.
    1. We recommend bits rather than flakes, as flakes dissolve faster and add more to the general nitrate concentration harmful to the Water environment.
    2. Ensure that your Cichlids, parrot fish, bottom feeders and shrimp get their correct food-most pet stores should have in their fish section.
    3. Most tropical fish enjoy frozen food, including bloodworms, shrimp, fish eggs, viskuit (fishroe), krill, tropical quitet and marine mix.
    4. We also variations of frozen food in dried format and may be used as treats for your fish.
  8. Vacation blocks: Make sure that if you are planning to go away and you do not have a fish sitter to get the right amount of vacation blocks.
  9. Salt: is always required and a good addition if your fish are sluggish but display no outward signs of disease.
  10. Water: we recommend you use RO WATER, where using tap water ensure you add ABTICHLORINE and never take out more than a third of your tanks water even if the tank is extremely dirty.
  11. Water treatment methods are essential:
    1. SAFESTART by Tetra and PRIME
    2. ANTI CHLORINE
    3. A general FUNGAL AID medication
  12. Fish:
    1. Choose fish according to your likes but decide whether you will have tropical fish or cichlids. Unfortunately, you cannot have both as the cichlid family of fish will attack and eat most tropical fish over time.
    2. Remember the FISH RATIO to tank size
    3. Don’t decide all fish to be included at once but display patience in adding to your fish stock over time

NEW TANK STARTUP:

Where starting a completely new tank and therefore a new WATER ENVIRONMENT, we advise:

  1. Washing all items with ONLY hot water a few times including:
    1. The actual tank
    2. The lid
    3. The FISH PUMP and tubing
    4. Fish material sponges
    5. Any and all ornaments, including plastic plants
    6. GRAVEL-a few times in changed water as it can contain most toxins left over from the colouration process
  2. Adding RO WATER to the fish tank
  3. If you only access to tap water, inclusion of a water environment activator like:
    1. SAFESTART or PRIME
    2. Essential is ANTICHLORINE in the recommended dosage on the bottle
  4. Place the wate rand all ornaments into the tank and activate the pump
  5. Leave the fish pump running 24/7 and check your:
      1. PH LEVEL after a few days and ensure the PH LEVEL is correct
  6. We recommend that fish tanks circulate at least a week before introduction of fish, 2 weeks is ideal for water bacteria to start growing.
  7. Do NOT clean your tank more than every second week in the first 3 months as the establishment of a healthy WATER ENVIRONMENT is key to survival of your fish

FISH RATIO:

  • Your FISH TANK SIZE determines the amount of fish it can hold over time considering the growth of each fish.
  • Danios and Tetras are a school of fish and 4 of these are equal to 1 normal tropical fish.
    • That means if you can have 10 normal fish, but if you want to replace 2 of those with Tetras, you could have 16 fish (8 tetras) in total.
  • Inform yourself on actual tank litre capacity as this affects your FISH RATIO and your application of any FISH MEDICATION and FISH CHEMICALS.

TOXIC & dangerous FOR FISH ARE:

  1. Any toxins introduced to the water
  2. Any cleaning agents, especially sanitizer
  3. Any creams adhering to your hands
  4. Overdosage of any FISH MEDICATION
  5. Wrong FISH MEDICATION
  6. PH not in the range, particularly too acidic

PH RATIOS:

All fish do best in a water environment of a PH of 7.2 to a max of 7.8

  • PH can be tested with a PH TEST or
  • By using your pool PH testing kit or
  • Coming into our store with a fish tank water sample for accurate testing

Where your PH is either too acidic or alkaline please purchase the relevant buffer.

PH has the most singular most impact on your fish’s health, particularly if too acidic.

NOTE; in JHB when load shedding is common, tap water and distribution is slowed down and acidity levels rise for this reason. We have at times seen a PH of 3 frequently during continued lockdown.

PLEASE NOTE: a neutralising buffer does NOT change the PH but keeps it at the level it was when the neutralising buffer was added to the tank water, i.e. unaltered

TEMPERATURE:

Tropical fish enjoy warmer temperatures compared to their Goldfish family and your temperature should be:

  • Between 23degrees Celsius up to 29 degrees Celsius
  • Use a temperature gauge on your tank to determine the temperature. Gauges are available under FISH PRODUCTS.

Goldfish enjoy slightly colder temperatures and do well:

  • Between 19 degrees Celsius up to 26 degrees Celsius

FEEDING OF FISH:

  • Fish should be fed once a day, preferably at midday
  • Overfeeding can cause increased faecal and sludge deposits that leads to a number of FISH ISSUES
  • Fish can go without food for a few days
  • There is a variety of FISH FOOD available
  • Store your fish food in a watertight container to ensure freshness*
    • * as such fish food does not expire
    • Frozen fish food should be kept in the freezer but the piece to be fed defrosted beforehand.

COMMON FISH DISEASES/ISSUES:

  1. ICK
  2. SWIM BLADDER
  3. FUNGAL DISEASES
  4. High NITRATE concentration due to OVERFEEDING and faecal accumulation and/or lack of FISH TANK CLEANING routine
  5. Too COLD WATER in winter
  6. Too WARM WATER leading to lethargy and death
  7. OVERFEEDING

PONDS:

  • Make sure your POND PUMP has the right velocity and is not too strong, OTHERWISE
    • You may have green foam created with algae combination in your pond on an ongoing basis.
    • Fish that become exhausted swimming against a too strong current and MAY:
      • Die from exhaustion
      • Get Swim Bladder and eventually without treatment die
  • If your POND is in the full sun and not very deep, please ENSURE:
    • You have water circulating constantly and add cold water on an ongoing basis
    • You introduce a plant like Hornwort to give some shade and relief to the micro-organisms in the water
  • Where your POND is in the shade for most of the day you are likely to encounter:
    • Sludge from overhanging fallen leaves
    • A large amount of algae
    • Cold water
    • A high level of nitrates
    • Extensive snail population
  • Where you have a static pond, i.e. no pump, ensure there is some sort of water flow by a water hose a few times/week
    • Alternatively, it must be a rather deep pond with an active plant growth and fish population