Friday, 21 December 2012

Controlling algae bloom in goldfish pond

Pond facing severe algae bloom
Mild greenish pond water with a little bit of algae is actually beneficial for your goldfish as it helps to provide some extra nutritious foods to enrich the diet of your goldfish and overall it also clean up the water. However, things may turn to worse when algae growth becomes uncontrollable and instead of bringing some positive effects, it will bring the negative harm instead. Algae bloom not only depletes oxygen content in the water when it rots but the slime layer that builds up on the surface of the pond will prevent oxygen will dissolving into the water. On worst case scenario, layers of slime actually get sucked into the filter intake and this jams the whole filtration system making the whole condition become anaerobic (lack of oxygen). Pond experiencing severe algae bloom if left unchecked will even kill your goldfish.

It is almost impossible to totally get rid of algae but however, controlling the algae quantity to low level should be your main agenda. Although many goldfish keepers that I’ve met lament on how hard it was to check the greenish slime buildup, but however, if you follow these few simple pointers, nothing should be difficult. But first, in order to deal with the issues, you must first understand what causes algae bloom in the first place. Most types of algae are unicellular microorganisms and because of their simple cellular structure, this allows them to grow and regenerate quickly to produce in numbers. Excessive growth of algae is actually driven by the presence of phosphate (imagine it functioning as fertilizer) which is derived from the breakdown of fish waste and because goldfish are heavy eaters and at the same time discharge a lot, it is not a surprise that phosphate is always readily available in the water. Apart from waste, sometimes, uneaten fish food will also contribute to the pond water phosphate content and therefore, these are something that you need to take note of.

These are certain things that you can do to help control and prevent algae bloom. First, regularly clean your fish pond and make it a habit to remove whatever waste you can see floating in the water. Dead plants and rotting leaves can accumulate and then contribute towards the phosphate content. Another effective way to reduce the phosphate content is by planting floating plants like lilies which will compete for the nutrient, and thus directly helps to control the algae. Usually a mature pond with healthy population of water plants will rarely encounter issue on algae bloom, thus this should be your direction if you prefer biological method to deal with it. However, a note of caution though, the plant itself will also eventually rot and die off and thus it still goes back to the cleaning regime that I’ve mentioned earlier.

Another possible approach but deemed costly is the installation of UV sterilizer. Although it is somehow effective but bear in mind that the lamp needs to be constantly changed and thus will contribute towards maintenance cost. Some people resort to hard fast approach using algaecides which is basically a mixture of chemical solution that works to kill the algae but claim that it will not harm your goldfish. Although that is what stated on the bottle, however always use it with caution. It might be poisonous to your goldfish if you accidentally overdose and thus; there is always a risk there. Some people will take the extra step to totally empty out the pond to do a thorough cleaning and applying the algaecides but this will take a lot of work and time. In the end, to avoid all these hassles, always remember to regular clean the pond, test the water and make it a point to control how much you feed to your goldfish. Avoid excessive leftover at all cost!
Posted on 06:05 | Categories:

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Caring of goldfish from young to full grown

Clean tank, top-notch water quality & best food
Most people love buying small pet goldfish. Taking of these young chumps require a lot of effort and most important things to do are fulfilling every one of their needs and requirements. Providing the best for their welfare not only ensure they survive the early baby stage but in long term, proper care will ensure they develop healthy body, display bright colors and stay active all the time. When taking care of young goldfish, these are some of the things you should always remember.

Never Overfeed
Goldfish whether they are small or big will always have huge appetite. There was never in any situation that they will reject food unless they are not feeling well.  A healthy goldfish will eat all they can and thus the owner has to control the foods given to them. Never provide more than what they can eat in 3 minutes time period and whatever balance still left remaining in the tank should be immediately discarded. Giving more than what they could eat not only waste the foods but doing so will also expose them to condition on what you call bloated. Goldfish are known to develop uneasiness to maintain proper floatation in the tank when they are full and thus avoid at all cost to ensure not to overfeed them. Young goldfish might be able to tolerate and take in more foods but as they grow older, the increase in amount of foods given should be controlled so that they don’t ended up in difficult situation.

Maintain excellent water quality
Goldfish just like any other aquatic pets require clean water. Goldfish are noted to discharge a lot of waste and it should be your top priority to conduct regular water change. Excellent water quality will not only promote growth and beautiful coloration but it also important to help them to stay healthy. A good water change schedule should be set to take out at least 25% of the tank water and refilled with fresh, treated water. Never add water directly from the tap because untreated water might contain residual chlorine and other minerals which might be harmful in the long run. Excellent water quality can also be achieved by having an advanced filter system to constantly clean the water and as the young goldfish grow older and bigger in size, you will also need to think about providing more living space for them. Avoid getting small tanks for young goldfish because you need to plan in advance for their future, rather than act according to needs.

Regularly test the water
Water should be checked to ensure that ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are low. In addition to that, temperature should also be controlled within 23 – 26 degree Celsius while pH if possible maintain close to the neutral region. Never neglect this important task and assume things will always turn out fine. Sometimes expected event may occur especially a shift in pH is will always bring disastrous effect. Always have the necessary test kit in hand to conduct the test and for those enthusiastic goldfish keeper, you could take the extra mile and learn up about some basic water chemistry. This will help on your understanding regarding the proper care of goldfish and prepare yourself to take the right actions to deal with the situation. For more information about goldfish water test, read more about goldfish water quality test

Proper diagnosis of goldfish disease
Diseases always come with early warning signs. Often the first symptom is loss of appetite or development of strange bodily growth/markings. Goldfish falling sick is something natural that you must always be prepared to handle and how you deal with it will determine whether your pet can survive through the ordeal. Most treatment often comes too late and sometimes wrong diagnosis will also lead to fatality because you fail to address the root cause of the problem. Just like understanding water chemistry, learning some of the basic and most common goldfish disease and how to treat them will ensure how successful everything turns out. Keep a close eye for anything abnormal and from there learn from experience. Also you might want to read up on underlying health problems affecting goldfish.
Posted on 23:37 | Categories:

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Frequency on Water Quality Test

Water in your goldfish tanks should be periodically checked at least once a week and the frequency can be increased if let’s say you are dealing with special situation like when your pets are sick. Goldfish just like any aquatic species require clean water condition to thrive and since they are in contact with the water all the time, it is important that the quality must be top-notch. Pet fish living in clean water will live a long healthy life with expectancy at least 10 years and you will rarely find sick fish in a well-maintained aquarium. To quote an example from an experienced goldfish keeper, he says, make sure the water is clean and your goldfish will do the rest to take care of themselves. Healthy living environment also promotes healing process and needless for me to say that this is the number one requirement if you intend to see your sick goldfish recover from its illness.

There are several criteria that you should take into account on how often you should carry out your water testing. If you have a newly set up fish tank which is at the initial stage of nitrogen cycle, then you need to increase your frequency so that any off spec parameter can be detected early. Since ammonia is very lethal and even at low concentration can threaten goldfish survival, the level should be constantly monitored at least once per day until the tank has matured. A fully-cycled goldfish tank will see ammonia at almost zero reading while nitrate at the level of almost 150ppm. Frequency on how often you should carry out testing also depends on the stocking level. Aquariums which are filled with higher number of fish will require much frequent testing as you should expected higher waste concentration in the form of ammonia will be present. Imagine if you have a 50gallon tank with 3 goldfish and the same aquarium housing only 1 tank, then most definitely, the one with 3 will require most frequent testing.

Water testing should also be carried out on number of occasions or when there is some unexpected event occurring. Sometimes, when you have baby fish dying en mass, then it would be important to first check on the water quality to find out if there’s high ammonia or nitrite fluctuation. Sometimes if you are suspecting on why the fish decides to stay on the top surface gasping for air, then make sure you do a quick check to find out if the water quality if fine. From here, you should either make decision on to conduct water change or jump to another fact finding hunt to determine the actual cause of the problem. Sometimes, the problem could lie on chocked and clogged filter cartridge so that is where you should start first. Remember, there is nothing more important than early detection to weed out the exact root cause than to let things getting out of hand. Read up also on how to care for your goldfish.
Posted on 05:23 | Categories:

Monday, 10 December 2012

Choosing between Real Plants and Plastic Plants

When a person gets started in aquarium goldfish rearing hobby, the first question that often comes in question is on whether it should be better adding real plants or artificial plastic plants. When it comes to the discussion on this topic, there is no telling on which camp is right or which opinion is wrong because generally there are pros and cons to each option. Buying live plants and putting it into your goldfish tank produces a lot of positive effect over having artificial ones. The green leaves natural plants not only look beautiful but the underlying fact is that it helps in the biological process of providing precious nutrients and oxygen for the survival of your pet goldfish. Although some people will argue that plastic plants will look almost the same and helps to beautify the tank, but however, there is no natural benefit whatsoever from putting these artificial setup.

Java Fern makes great addition
Live aquarium plants not only provide important nutrition but it also acts as a natural filter just like the plants in an ecosystem to help clean and filter the water. Upon maintaining a healthy plant setup, you will notice that nitrate and nitrite level will start to drop and basically how low these numbers go will depend on how many bunch of live plants you have in the tank. Some things you will need to know though, gold are notorious plant eaters! Thus, if you want to see your plant propagate, grow and produce fresh leaves, make sure that your pets are well fed or else, they will make these soft leaves become their meal. Presence of these aquatic species also helps to provide security for your fish especially those smaller size goldfish. Plants other than generating useful oxygen can sometimes become a place for growth of small live worms which in turn providing a valuable food source for your pets. Plants that absorb the nutrient from the water also make it difficult for algae to grow and therefore, indirectly help to clean the tank.

The bad points however about natural live plants is that, they will need strong lighting in wide spectrum range to survive and if you have a tank located at dark areas/corners of your home or having fluorescent lamp which doesn’t offer benefit to the plants, they will start to whittle and disintegrate. The leaves will die off and instead of providing oxygen; they will consume oxygen during the degradation process. Dying plants will also make the tank look ugly and unattractive and the worst thing that could happen is detached leaves getting stuck in the filter inlet and then jammed the whole filtration system. Beware, they look nice with all the benefits but without the proper care given, things could turn disastrous. Some plants bought from fish stores also carry with them parasites and larvae of unwanted aquatic organisms so it will be your duty to ensure they are properly cleaned before added to the goldfish tank. The last thing that you want is some diseases infecting all your goldfish community and killing your precious loved ones.

Because of these, some people instead opt for artificial plant to avoid all these hassles. First, they do not need maintenance to add fertilizer or trim the leaves, second, it can be practically safe to add it to the tank because you can be sure it won’t carry with it parasites. If you are beginner who only wants to concentrate on giving the best to your pet fish, then I would suggest getting the artificial aquatic addition and then only go for the actual ones once you are ready. Always remember, planning and gaining valuable experience are the key to success.
Posted on 20:26 | Categories:

Underlying Health Problems Affecting Goldfish

To make sure that goldfish stays healthy without any infection or disease, you need to understand the basic care and requirements of your pets. Just ask yourself, when was the last time that you have checked and confirmed that water quality is okay. How about water change and tank cleaning? Has the filter been properly maintained to ensure that it is not clogged? As a goldfish care owner, it is your duty to maintain the best water quality, maintain the right pH and getting ammonia, nitrite and nitrate reading to be as low as possible. Remember their life depends entirely on you.

Healthy goldfish with bright coloration
There are different root causes that can induce stress in goldfish. Most common occurrences are usually as a result of overcrowding tank and sudden change in water temperature. Another possible area, you should also look into is the rough handling especially when transferring the fish from one tank to another and sometimes injury can be self inflicted caused by aquarium ornaments with sharp edges. How well you control and lower the stress level basically determines how successful you are with the hobby. Sometimes there are things (underlying causes) that we may not realize whereby much too frequent water change can also have devastating effect because the fish cannot adjust so suddenly with the change in the environment to cope up with it. Sometimes goldfish living in pond will also be exposed to the potential hazards coming from herbicides applied to the lawn. This can cause acute or chronic poisoning and worst possible scenario is death. Algaecides is also one of the culprit used to deal with algae bloom, so beware of what you apply to the pond.

Goldfish diseases will often develop when the fish are stressed out because at this point their immune system is at its weakest point. Sometimes disease can spread and passed on from one goldfish to another. The most common example is when you are buying goldfish from the pet stores and then failed to properly perform quarantine procedure. If you suspect diseases are fast spreading (by observing the symptoms), make sure you have the proper goldfish medication at hand. Immediately remove the sick fish and isolate it to the other tanks and perform water changes in order to promote recovery. Often rescue efforts come just too late because the owner failed to take fast action. Problems can also arise from failure to conduct and properly identify the correct disease and apply the right medication to treat it.
Posted on 19:21 | Categories: