Fluval CO2 Bubble Counter

Since Fluval finally embraced the world of CO2, things are definitely looking up and customers have never had such a wide range of products to choose from. Sometimes too much maybe!! Either way, it is great to have choice but at the same time with such selection you can miss products so thought I should mention one you may be interested in called the Fluval CO2 Bubble Counter.

This counter is neatly designed, made of solid plastic and like all the latest Fluval products comes in delightful packaging that is very eye catching. It’s very easy to use and by filling your bubble counter with ordinary tap water you can soon check and easily read how many bubbles per minute your CO2 is flowing at.

The connection pieces are at the top of the bubble counter which are easily secured on which means that even under high pressure, your CO2 tubing won’t pop off. You can use this bubble counter with any type of CO2 system which makes it rather versatile and the added benefit is that being made of durable plastic, you won’t break it.

If you are interested in other types of CO2 bubble counters please see here.

Giesemann T5 Powerchrome

If you’re a serious hobbyist who appreciates quality products for your planted aquarium then the Giesemann T5 Powerchrome range of lamps are just the ticket for you. Giesemann, for those of you not familiar with the brand are German with a phenomenal reputation for quality and these lights will not disappoint. We supply two different types which emit different lights colours – this is the primary difference between the two.

Aquaflora – a perfect lamp for increasing plant growth in your aquarium. These lamps emit colours which not only highlight the colours of your fish but also the plants. The brightness of these lamps is incredible and as soon as you place them in your aquarium, you will notice a big difference immediately. Plants which haven’t pearled before may suddenly pearl if you are using CO2.

Midday – A stunning 6000k lamp which produces a very natural light. Easy on the eye, this lamp is specifically designed for plant growth and similar to the Aquaflora, once installed you will be amazed at how bright the lamp in.

Should I mix the lamps? We recommend if you have 2 T5s lamps you should use 1 x Midday and 1 x Aquaflora for the best effect in bringing out colours of your fish and plants, along with incredible plant growth.

How often should I replace them? Like all lamps their output decreases from the minute you turn them on. A typical life span of a T5 lamp for a planted aquarium is 12 months – you may think that there is no difference in the output but there is. Without a light meter you would never know this. To the naked eye, you wouldn’t notice any difference either particularly as you look at your aquarium every day so any light decrease happens very gradually and is subtle. The difference is your plants will notice a big difference and if you looked at a new tube compared to one which is 12 months old, then you would see how one has aged. So if you change every 12 months, your plants remain happy and continue to grow as expected. Slow plant growth can be attributed to limited light output.

I’ve heard I shouldn’t change all my lamps together – is this true? Absolutely, and for the reasons mentioned above, lights deteriorate over time. If you replace all your lamps together the new lamps will be much brighter than the old one’s and this can stimulate algae growth as your plants will have adjusted to the old light levels over time. So when it comes to changing them, replace them one month apart to avoid mjaor disruption and algae outbreaks.

Can I use these T5s on my set up? Providing you are already using T5s then yes. Make sure you use lamps of the same length and you’ll be fine.

The best T5s on the market...

Shrimp Shelters

We’re a big fan of shrimp at Aqua Essentials and we’re now stocking some of the smallest and neatest shrimp shelters ever. These will keep your shrimp happy and safe too.

We often hear people who have purchased shrimp from us that they can’t seem to see where their shrimp go and wonder if they have just ‘disappeared’. The fact is shrimp will hide if they feel insecure and stocking shrimp with fish can make them feel very insecure – after all they are part of the food chain. However if you invest in a shrimp shelter, for very little cost you can protect your shrimp and ensure they are happy as soon as they land in your aquarium.

Not only that but these neat shrimp shelters look even better if you tie some moss around them and before you know it, you will have created their own little home :)

Pagoda Rock – great for planted aquariums

Pagoda Rock can be summed up in one word – excellent. It’s a highly unusual but very attractive rock which in my opinion is particularly suited for planted aquariums. The texture is unusual with the layering which takes place within it making it look like over the years, day by day, a thin layer has been added leaving you with a rock which looks…old.

One of the biggest difficulties when choosing decor for a planted aquarium is to select rocks which give the aquarium maturity. Choose rocks which aren’t aged, and it can throw the whole scape off immediately. Want to know what they look like in a planted aquarium? This is how Mark Evans uses it…

Look closely at it and you can see the detail – this is a fantastic feature. Pagoda Rock is versatile, easy to scape and looks terrific in a planted aquarium as I am sure you will agree. One question I am regularly asked is rock and pH, and my answer is nearly always the same. It may effect your water parameters a little but certainly nothing to be worried about, especially if you are using CO2.

So why not treat yourself today with this terrific rock. If you’re wondering what 10kgs of rock looks like…

And to top it all off, if you invest in 10kgs, you also qualify for the cheaper price of £30. The other benefit of investing in 10kgs or more of rock is choice – you literally have so much more to play with and the end result always means a better looking aquascape.

Reducing Nitrite in Freshwater Shrimp Tank

Nitrite in a freshwater shrimp tank only equals one thing – problem. Shrimp are almost intolerant of any nitrite and if your levels do suddenly rise you can tell by observing them – shrimp tend to sit still and stop feeding when unhappy – some may die within 24 hours.  When shrimp stop feeding you know they’re in trouble and this is their ‘alarm bell’ ringing. To make matters worse, large water changes are not an option as shrimp cannot tolerate that either so it would appear there are not many choices left! Until now…

Genchem Biozyme is a brilliant product that reduces ammonia and nitrite instantly without the need of any water change. But like most Genchem products they have a two fold effect. The other added benefit is Biozyme will improve the metebolic digestive system of your shrimp and baby shrimp can also consume it!

It doesn’t get better than that :)

See our the Genchem range here.