Archive | August 2012

summer is almost over

…but the heat wave sure isn’t!

Here in Waterloo the temperatures soared to about 90F this weekend and I found myself in a bit of a predicament as the tank temperature slowly climbed from 70F to a whopping 78F in a couple days time. For those of you who own cold water fish you can surely understand my distress as the tank reached tropical fish temperatures that I was worried for Mango’s wellbeing.

Of course a week ago back when the temperatures outside were normal and cool I didn’t think anything of the fact that our air conditioner broke. It was the last week of summer after all and I thought the heat had finally left for the year. I was obviously wrong.

Goldfish can live in a wide range of temperatures from waters just above freezing to 85F tropical temperatures. That being said, I would always like to keep my tank’s temperature at an optimal level to make sure Mango is happy and healthy.

Since Mango has been my first cold water fish I was unsure of what to do to keep the tank cool and vented. I owned no fans and my window had been set wide open for any little amounts of air circulation I could get from outside. When problems like this arise I go back to Koko’s Goldfish Forum for help. I did get some excellent advice on how to combat heat waves from members who live in hotter climates than I do.

Here was the solution:

The tank lid was left open, the lights had been turned off and the curtains have been drawn. I was told and would like to pass on the good word on how you too can cool your tank down.

Firstly unless you have LED lights on your tank, turn them off. Light produces unnecessary heat that will only add to the problem in your tank.

Secondly open your tank lid. I was told open lids increase water evaporation (much like splashing filter outlets do) The more surface agitation the more evaporation and oxygenation you will have. This brings me to my third point below.

Because warmer water holds less oxygen than colder water does you want to maximise the amount of oxygen touching the surface area of your water. Make sure that you have an air stone attached to an air pump, set it on a high setting.

Hope this helps your goldfish stay cool for the summer!

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what’s in your cabinet?

Well this is my official first post in this blog! I’ll dive right into it!

There’s nothing better in whatever you are spending your time on than being prepared and having the right tools to deal with in any situation. This is how I have always felt in everything that I have gotten involved in. Even now as a new aquarist and goldfish owner I am learning this over and over again with every experience that I encounter. A couple months ago I had barely had Mango for a month. Unfortunately because of my inexperience and lack of knowledge in this hobby I had chosen the wrong decor for my tank.

Now aesthetically the piece was beautiful, a large bonsai tree (made of plastic of course) That took up quite a lot of room in the tank. It was actually meant for terrariums and I had purchased it and stuffed an air stone to keep the water circulating well. The problem was that this decor that I had seriously fallen in love with at the time had quite the texture on it. It was abrasive! Probably for the purpose of lizards to climb on!

Well, with Mango being quite the clumsy swimmer coupled with this horrible ornament in my tank he got injured and scraped his back on one side pretty badly. I felt terrible. He lost scales and although he was swimming like nothing ever happened I knew if I didn’t act fast he could potentially get an infection! Poor little guy! After consulting for some help at Koko’s Goldfish Forum I learned that I needed a few supplies. Going to the LFS (local fish store) I pretty much made it my interest to pick up some supplies so that if I ever got into this situation again with Mango I could be prepared! I picked up bottles of medications and found a great deal on aquarium salt over at Aquariums By Design. I felt great.

So what kind of supplies do I keep? Well, I’ve taken the liberty to photograph my aquarium cabinet! I admit my collection of items isn’t completed yet. I would like to get my hands on some metro meds and other medicated goodies, but it’s a good start for now!

In my plastic blue container:

• API Fresh Water Testing Kit
• Test Tubes
• Syringe (no needle)
• Tube Cleaner Wire Brush
• Extra Thermometre
• Activated Carbon (for the removal of medications)
• Mesh for the filter intake when feeding messy food

Inside my cabinet:

• Plastic Blue Container filled with top items
• Record book
• Pen
• Small Net
• API Aquarium Salt
• 2 Bottles of SeaChem’s Prime
• Mini Cup (for soaking pellets)
• Filter Extension Tube (for water changes only)
• ICHNOX (for treating ICH)
• Dr. Tim’s One and Only Bacteria
• Prazi Pro
• Maracyn
• Food Clip
• Hikari Lionhead Pellets (small sinking pellet)
• Omega One sinking goldfish food (small sinking pellet)
• Bottle of Ammonia GOLDEX Brand (to feed the tank when empty)
• Netted Gravel Vacuum
• Bag filled with extra air stones, air tubing, filter floss and cloths

I can’t stress enough to be prepared for anything that could happen because most problems happen suddenly and fast. The quicker you can react to these sorts of situations the better.