Killing algae with a little bottle

Algae is such a major problem for hobbyists, it doesn’t surprise me that manufacturers are catering for this rather large issue. I also know a lot of you become despondent about algae but please try not to. Algae happens to professional scapers too – think of it like this. It’s like weeds growing in your garden, it does and always will happen, it’s just a case of what you need to do to stop the rot. So now you know they are part of life (and your aquarium) there are always solutions to everything. So let me introduce a short term fix:

Dupla algae killer

Dupla Algen Killer (which we are calling Algae Killer) is a simple remedy that kills all types of algae slowly. What’s more it also stops it from regenerating so this could be a real winner for a lot of people. Economical and very effective, this biocide kills off algae over a few days to avoid any O2 depletion. This seems sensible to me and I am glad they have looked into this and changed the concentration accordingly.

As a short term fix this 25ml bottle is good for a 250L tank, but if you’re adding it as a preventative measure (and I suspect this will be the main use after the first initial dose), one bottle is good for 2500L. You would dose 2ml per 100L every week.

So what do you think? Bit like liquid carbon I guess.

Don’t you just love plants on wood?

I do and for good reason too. The pieces add instant impact into your aquarium with little or no effort. In fact the hardest effort is parting with your hard earned cash ;)

So you’ve dipped into your savings and the piece arrives with you and BANG. Instant focal point with minimal effort. Don’t you just love that – not having to put any effort in and getting a great result immediately.

Now don’t go plonking it right in the middle of your tank, where you want it is slightly off to the left or the right – that’s where it will look best. And if it doesn’t look quite right there then don’t worry. That’s the beauty of these sort of pieces – they can be moved with minimal fuss.

microsorium-on-wood

But not only that but the require low lighting and minimal nutrition.You can find this piece by clicking on the picture or if you wanted to see our whole range, click on this link.

What more do you want :)

Aquascaping Glue from Dupla

So we’ve all got plants at home that we want to tie to wood or rock, but you might find it a bit fiddly or difficult. It’s also time consuming and doesn’t always look natural. Over time you might see the plant coming loose if you haven’t tied it properly – this is one of the main reasons more hobbyists don’t do it. But now there’s a solution.

Dupla have come up with a safe alternative that sets hard under water and is safe for use with plants. They’ve called it Dupla PlantFix.dupla-plant-fix

This is a really easy product to use and below are the 4 steps you need to take:

  1. Pat dry the surface you wish to attach the plant to with some kitchen roll
  2. Apply 1-2 drops of PlantFix to the plant and affix it to the desired spot on your wood or rock
  3. Apply pressure for 10 seconds
  4. You’re done!

It’s as simple as that! What do you think? Perfect for aquascapers or what :)

Super fast postage and free? Interested – read on…

We live in a world where everyone wants their stuff fast, and preferably free when it comes to postage. I’m no different and because of this I’ve created AE Gold which I think you, as a newsletter subscriber will be interested in.

It works like this:

It’s a  membership programme that gives you FREE EXPRESS delivery for a whole year. That’s right free for the next 365 days for an annual membership of £49.99. That means if you order with us more than 6 times in a year (and most of you do) you’ll make your money back + more :)

It’s a really simple set up. If you are interested in AE Gold and want FREE EXPRESS delivery for a whole year, click here.

More New LEDs hit the market

It’s always exciting for me when new LEDs appear – they get more powerful and generally cheaper which is a nice combo.

Introducing TMC AquaBar – super slimline and affordable lights that are designed to be placed inside hoods etc. If you are familiar with their MMS rails, well these lights are about the same in size. 2 sizes available, 50 and 100cm and they’re pretty nice. After opening the box and trying them out, there’s not as bright as their AquaGro range but you wouldn’t really expect that for the price. A lot more LEDs on these strips. But I do really like how slim they are.

So if you have a tank with a hood and you’re thinking that you want extra lighting, then this could be ideal for you. Affordable, and small – it’s going to tick a lot of boxes for hobbyists. Find the 50cm here and 100cm here

tmc-aquabar-500 tmc-aquabar-500

Surface Scum & how to get rid of it

That’s right – they do talk, or at least try to and it’s your job as a the owner and keeper of your beautiful plants to understand the ‘conversation’. Plants constantly communicate with their owners and relay messages according to their health. Sometimes you see this as algae, other times as poor plant growth etc. But occasionally they do something different and all of a sudden you see a nasty milky scum/film on the surface of your tank. Your natural reaction is try try and remove it right?

Sadly  many see scum or surface film as a pest (which it is) and simply try and remove it with paper towers or water changes etc Whilst this might get rid of it on a short term basis (12 hours) it will come back for sure. The question is WHY and HOW do you stop it from returning? First you need to understand why it’s happening. But lets see what it looks like first so we’re singing from the same hymn sheet.

Looks pretty oily heh? Sometimes it’s green too. Most people will have seen surface scum in their tank before – I have and I suspect you have too.

Cause – plant stress, too much light versus CO2 levels and nutrients. Mainly found in CO2 infused tanks but sometimes in non CO2 tanks with high lighting.

Remedy – reduce your lighting intensity and increase fertilisers and improve water movement. There’s been a lot of confusion over surface scum for quite some time, but it’s a fairly simple process over complicated on forums etc with hobbyists self diagnosing. The scum you see is fats and oils that are ejected from the plant whilst it photosynthesises and grows. The more CO2 pumped into the tank, the quicker plants grow and eject more waste. As you feed your plants more CO2, they need more nutrients, and therefore the balance between CO2 and nutrients must be on par with each other. If the lighting level is within the tolerance level for your plants, in some cases the plants adapt and no surface scum is seen. But if your CO2 levels are too low for the amount of lighting that you are pumping in, the plants will leach oils and fats into the water. Oil and water do not mix (we’ve all seen oil spills in the sea) and as it’s lighter than water it floats and this is the ‘scum’ you see. So in essence, your plants are giving you a very clear message as to what the scum is – you’re stressing them out so you need to either reduce the lighting so it’s more on par with your CO2 output or increase your fertilisers.

Do fish need sunglasses?

Just imagine life without sunglasses. That’s the reality for most fish these days kept in a tank – pretty harsh I think. With hobbyists continually adding more and more powerful lighting to their tanks, the fish sometimes get forgotten about. I suspect you’re thinking about this situation yourself now. Many long for a beautiful carpet plant which decorates the base of the aquarium because it has a big impact, just take a second out and think about your fish and what shelter you are offering for their eyes. Most tanks I see offer very little shelter but I’m here to solve this problem and have some great solutions.

Floating plants offer fantastic eye shelter for fish and what’s more we have some fantastic specimens on offer. These plants not only look good but also have roots which dangle down so fry and smaller shrimp can shelter in them should they wish. But more importantly they look awesome and offer fish that much needed shelter. Below are 4 types we have:

Eichornia crassipes – a lovely  floating plant that is ideal for medium to large sized aquariums. Grows quick and provides good cover. And if you’re lucky it will flower (so beautiful!)

Phyllantus fluitans – a smaller floating plant which is ideal for nano aquariums. Leaf size ranges up to 15mm and tends to grow slightly above the water so if you have an open top tank, looks rather special. Reproduces easily.


Pistia stratiotes – my favourite plant at the moment as it looks incredible. Opens up like a flower with good lighting. Super easy to grow and reproduces. Has a diameter of 15cm – might get slightly bigger. Sits slightly below the water surface and this is what makes it special for me.

Salvinia natans - another small floating plant that is great for all sizes of tanks. Grows quickly and easily so will put few demands on you.