Tag Archives: glass

Importance of Maintenance guide

Importance of Maintenance guide.

So, with only about three weeks ago until the big day it’s that time of year again where you will be inundated with those Christmas visitors bearing gifts & the one thing always grabs peoples attention is your aquarium. So you’ll want to impress your visitors for sure! The Importance of Maintenance guide is here to help as usual and have put together a simple step-by-step guide to get that aquarium in tip top shape.

Is your water quality good enough?

Firstly Importance of Maintenance guide would start here and I would be firstly testing the water with a test kit. It’s always a good idea to routinely test your water especially if some of your fish have been poorly or new fish have been recently added to your aquarium.  So a simple test kit which tests pH, water hardness, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia will do the trick.

Is it due a water change?

Importance of Maintenance guide would recommend water changes on a weekly basis and consider this to be an important part of maintaining good quality water. We say about 30% and that can easily be done with a syphon set which sucks water up and out.  This can also be used to plunge into the gravel too for cleaning up any unwanted food waste and debris from the aquarium bed.  We also have a selection of gravel cleaners that are great for this too.  Remember that tropical fish naturally live in environments where they have running water from a current or rainfall so it’s important to stimulate this natural environment.

Could your filters do with a good cleaning?

Filters are designed to clean and purify your water however if it is clogged with waste it can not do its job properly and the water quality will not be as good.  So get cleaning the sponges (of course using about two cups of the aquarium water) and give the tubes and filter casing a good old clean and scrub. These filter brushes are very useful for this too. By following the Importance of Maintenance guide your sure to have the cleanest of filters.

Are your plants in need of a good trim?

This is a simple process which if done correctly and regularly can really pay off so follow the Importance of Maintenance guide. Not only does this improve the growth of your plants but it will also improve the overall health of your plants. We would never recommend household scissors as they can easily damage the stem structure so I would always recommend a good pair of Aquascaping scissors such as these.

Could you do with more plants?

Depending on the type of Aquascape you’re looking to achieve depends on how many plants you will need. Many people are hesitant adding more plants to their aquarium because they fear they will die, are too fragile to keep or too difficult. However this is not the case at all and most plants are actually very hardy and if kept in the right conditions will flourish in your aquarium.  The two main reasons for loss of plants is due to 1) incompatible plants that need different water parameters 2) incorrect lighting.  Don’t fear adding more plants to your aquarium as long as they’re compatible with your existing ones.

Could your rocks, wood or decor need a good old clean or need replacing?

The Importance of Maintenance guide would recommend a good old scrub of your aquarium decor which can be done under fresh water. It is surprising how much they can gather green algae and the difference a good old scrubbing can do. However after a while some wood, rocks and aquarium decor can look tired and no matter how much you try scrubbing away at that green algae build up, the staining can be stubborn. Sometimes you just want to try something a bit different, try out a different aquascape. Here we have a selection of great quality aquarium decor.

Can you see your reflection through the glass?

And now the finishing touches, get yourself some glass cleaning wipes and give your glass a good wiping over until you get a sparkle! Also a glass scaper is very good for getting to those hard to reach dirty spots as the long rod enables you to reach a little further. Its also a good idea to invest a magni-cleaner too as they cleaner both sides of the glass for you…meaning less work for you!planted-aquarium-lighting

Following our guide you too could have an aquarium as perfect as these .

pagoda-rock-in-aquarium

Don’t break your Lily Pipes when fitting filter tubing!

I know this can be tricky and sometimes, yes sometimes they break and this is a painful lesson to learn I am sure you will agree. It’s frustrating and expensive and rather inconvenient too…

But it’s actually quite easy to fit filter tubing onto glass pipes, and you just need a top tip and that is:

hot water

by dipping your tubing into just water that has recently boiled, it makes the filter tubing very supple. But watch my YouTube clip below and it should all make sense.

You can see how easy it is now and the tubing slips on very easily. Similarly when removing them, once again the tubing can be quite stiff and the secret to that is to twist the tubing off and not pull. Pulling tends to create a pressure point on the glass and invariably you angle it a little too much which can break the glass.

Does this help?

Clean your substrate and glass at the same time!

This is the sort of tool that we like to see here at Aqua Essentials, something that does more than one job at a time. With planted aquariums, water changes are an absolute must and they need to be done in reasonably large volume too (especially if you are running CO2 where weekly 50% water changes are not unusual). Most of you will be using all sorts of devices to remove water from your tank but have you seen one that cleans glass at the same time?

Introducing you the Superfish Gravel and Glass Cleaner. So how does it work? The gravel cleaner itself is no different from the standard type but it’s the fitting on the end which is unique. It has a flat edge to it which means that you can scrape any algae off your glass at the same time as performing a water change. This will really save you time as you will be doing 2 jobs at the same time. Not only that but the sieve on the cleaner means that if you do suck any gravel or substrate up by mistake, it won’t go very far. Soon as the water pressure if released, so will be the gravel.

This piece of equipment can be used on any sized aquarium from 50L and up and once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why it hadn’t been invented before!

CO2 Bubble Counter

Bubble counters play an important role when you’re running a CO2 infused planted aquarium and for good reason too. It’s a great way of knowing how much CO2 you are pumping into your aquarium.Of course we still suggested drop checkers with bromo blue are the ultimate solution for understanding CO2 levels, but bubble counters still play an important role.

But like so many things these days you have lots of choice so which is the best?

The answer really depends on what you are running – are you pressurised or are you using yeast to produce your CO2? If you’re using the latter then you can probably stick with the bubble counter that came with your CO2 set but if you’re running pressurised then consider the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve. Pressurised systems which operate with 2 bar pressure place a lot of strain on equipment which is manufactured to lower quality levels. Non return valves for example will easily pop off their CO2 tubing or just not functions as they should and can leak (normally when you’re not at home…). At the opposite end of the spectrum with quality equipment you know it will do the job which it should. The Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve falls into the category of quality. It allows CO2 tubing to be attached securely to the bubble counter and the screw ends make sure that there is no way that the tubing will pop off. So it offers piece of mind more than anything else. In addition, because the non return valve is immediately below the bubble counter there is less water lost over time. It’s common for water to migrate south with bubble counters but this isn’t possible with the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve.

How to fill it up?

Filling this unit is simple and we recommend using normal tap water. All you need to do is undo the top piece and hold it under your tap until the clear section fills up (fill it all the way up). Once you’re done, keep it upright then attach your CO2 tubing onto the unit, then onto your CO2 diffuser.

Final Perk

The final benefit of the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve is that you can attach CO2 tubing onto it without the risk of damage. Glass units can break easily especially under pressure but you won’t have this concern here. For the above reasons we have great confidence in recommending the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve and it can be used in any pressurised CO2 system without any problems.

If you find this blog post, why not post a link on Twitter or your Facebook page?

Which CO2 Diffuser?

There are so many diffusers on the market these days it’s probably a hard decision as to which one you should use. The problem is there’s not a great deal between them so this makes your decision even harder. So I’ve decided to focus on just one – it looks great and functions well too and it’s called the AE Design 150L Spiral Glass CO2 Diffuser.

What’s special about this product?

Delightfully manufactured it looks super in the flesh. The ceramic plate is about 2cm wide and made of sufficient quality to allow for small CO2 bubbles to pass through and then circulate around the aquarium. The overall height is about 10cm. What really works well for this product is the spiral which always captures hobbyists eyes. The CO2 bubbles pass from your regulator into the diffuser and then pass up through the glass spiral and this in itself becomes mesmerizing.  It’s hard to take your eyes off it…

As you can see, because of the spiral, it doubles up as a bubble counter which means you need one less piece of equipment. This glass diffuser is suitable for aquariums up to 150L but if your tank was a little larger, I don’t think it would cause a problem. Similarly if you have a smaller aquarium and are particularly fond of the spiral (it is nice isn’t it) then you could still use this diffuser. Remember the lower the pressure on your regulator, the less bubbles come out of a ceramic plate. The higher the pressure and bubbles come out of them everywhere.

Keeping diffusers clean:

Cleaning glass diffusers is easy – algae builds up on the plate every couple of weeks so to keep them fresh, soak them in a neat bleach solution over night, and then in the morning give them a thorough rinse under tap water for about a minute making sure it’s nice and clean (and bleach free).

For our range of diffusers, follow this link.

Tools For Planted Aquariums

Everyone who has a planted aquarium has to use tools to keep the tank in good order. Whether this is for picking up dead leaves/debris, cleaning the glass or raking the substrate – it all has to be done. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one tool that did it all…

Introducing Superfish 4 in 1 Nano Tools – a tool so useful you’ll wonder how you survived without it. It’s a simple yet effective device that can be used on any aquarium. Although it’s called a Nano Tool, any smallish aquarium can be cleaned with it. The tool itself comprises of a long handle and on the end of it you can attach 1 of 4 tools and the consist of:

  • Fish Net – for catching your fish before you clean.
  • Gravel Rake – for maintaining the gravel and keeping it tidy.
  • Plant Fork – for attending to your plants.
  • Cleaning Sponge – for cleaning the glass of the aquarium.

Each tool detaches easily which means you can swap over in seconds which makes it quick to clean your entire aquarium and make it look pristine again!

For more maintenance tools please visit this link.