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INTRODUCTION TO. FISH AND FISH CARE. SALTWATER FISH. Salt is needed for them to survive. Salt must be added to the aquarium when setting up or cleaning is done to the tank. Saltwater fish are more difficult to keep then freshwater but nowadays hobbyists are having great success.

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Introduction to l.jpg
INTRODUCTIONTO

FISH AND FISH CARE


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SALTWATER FISH

  • Salt is needed for them to survive. Salt must be added to the aquarium when setting up or cleaning is done to the tank.

Saltwater fish are more difficult to keep then freshwater but nowadays hobbyists are having great success.


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Saltwater Basics

  • Salt is measured in specific gravity with a hydrometer: 1.020 to 1.025 ppm is required for proper tank salt balance. Specific gravity over 1.025 is reduced by a partial water change. A gravity too low is raised by adding salt to the water.

  • PH or alkalinity of Saltwater is higher then freshwater and even more important : 8.1 – 8.4. Buffering chemicals are sometimes needed to adjust this.


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Saltwater Invertebrates

  • These saltwater animals have no spine and require particularly good water conditions and lighting.

  • Many of them filter feed which means they suck in the water around them and filter out the nutrients. They also use lighting to help digest and grow.

  • We have a wide selection of additives and foods for all invertebrates and corals.

  • Some fish eat corals so use extreme caution when recommending these items.

Supplements to help feed corals and other invertebrates


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Saltwater Fish Choices

  • Just as in freshwater some saltwater fish are aggressive and passive.

  • Do you know which are aggressive or passive?


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Aquarium Filter Basics

We sell mainly three kinds of filters:

Outside, Canister, and Undergravel filters

Following is a brief description of each and the importance of having them.


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Outside Filter

Comes complete and ready to fill and plug in.

Takes water out of tank and filters it thru cartridges and back into tank. These cartridges should be changed every 4-8 weeks.

Normal cleaning of plastic intake tubes and unit should be performed on a regular basis.

Operation and use will be given by instructor.

Cartridge should be replaced every 4-8 weeks. Rinsing can be done weekly.


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CANISTER FILTERS

  • Water flows into filter

  • Filter usually has 3 chambers

    sponge, chemical, ceramic chip

  • Chemical is usually charcoal or zeolite and should be replaced every 4-8 weeks

  • Filter sits under tank out of sight

  • Very quiet

Ceramic: biological,

Never change

Charcoal or zeolite removes color and odor

Change every 4-8 weeks


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UNDERGRAVEL FILTER

  • Plate sits under 2” of gravel

  • All debris is pulled under plate

  • Filter is run by power head or air pump


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Other Accessories

Extra filtration usually used in saltwater aquariums. Uses the force of tiny bubbles to take out unwanted nutrients and proteins. These items attach themselves to the bubbles and foam to the top of the filter into a cup.

  • Heaters and thermometer

  • Protein Skimmer

  • Airstones \ Decorations

Usually set to about 78 degrees

Different watts for larger tanks

Customers: Do not plug new heaters in for 30 minutes after you place them in water. Glass tube must have time to acclimate to tank temperature or it will crack.

Airstones add beauty and oxygen to lower levels of the aquarium. Recommend if customer has a deep tank.

Air Valve makes it easy to distribute air evenly to all tank asseccories.


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Pulling it all together-Freshwater Basics

  • Choose the largest aquarium

  • Choose gravel : just a ¼” for the bottom (Undergravel filters need about 2”). A thick gravel bed will cause ammonia problems.

  • Fill with water: tap water, well water or any other you still need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime or Stress Coat. Any water changes a dechlorinator must be used.

  • Set up your filter and get it running.

  • Set your heater to the desired temperature and place your heater in but don’t plug it in for 30 minutes

  • Add some good bacteria to help age the tank such as Bio Spira or Cycle

  • Let tank run for 1 to 2 days and add in 2 or 3 starter fish.

  • See how these do for a week and slowly add a couple more.

A new aquarium needs patience and time to establish itself. A new freshwater tank takes 45-60 days before it cycles through. A saltwater tank can tank up to 8 weeks.

Bio Spira and Cycle will help introduce new beneficial bacteria to a new tank. If no bacteria is used the new tank may become cloudy a few days after set up.

Make certain you have all the filter media you need to get it running!

1/2 -1 pound of gravel per gallon of aquarium with outside or canister filter.

Let heater stay unplugged to 30 minutes anytime it has been removed from water and placed back in.

These are two excellent dechlorinators.


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Saltwater Basic Setup

When adding water you must also add salt. Measure the specific gravity using a hydrometer: 1.020 -1.025

Now time and patience is needed. Tester fish can be added (about 3-5). We have no guarantee on saltwater fish.

  • All the same procedures can be used for a saltwater setup with these few exceptions.

Cylce and Saltwater Bio Spira can be used


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Common Questions

  • Why is my tank cloudy?

    Answer: The aquarium is going thru a cycling process known as the Nitrogen Cycle. This occurs in new tanks and tanks that have recently had major water changes.

Solution: Adding Bio Spira or Cycle will help. Do not overfeed or overpopulate a new tank.


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After a few weeks

Cloudy Aquarium


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Saltwater Starter Fish

  • There are very few

    fish that are recommended for starting a saltwater aquarium

    Here are a couple:

Live Rock: this helps cycle the tank faster and will assist in removing excess nitrates

Green Chromis

Damsel


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Feeding Saltwater Fish

  • Feed fish and invertebrates a wide variety of foods

  • Brine Shrimp, Plankton, Beef Heart

Flake Food


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Helping our customer

  • As our customer you may be asked these fish questions when you come in to purchase your fish:

    1. What kind of tank do you have?

Freshwater or Saltwater


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2.What size tank do you have?

This allows us to know how many

fish can be in the tank.

3.What other fish do you have?

This allows us to help you make good decisions

when buying fish. (Aggressive, Community, etc.)

4. What kind of filtration do you have?

This allows us to know if you have adequate filtration for your tank.


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5. How long has your tank been set up \ when was your last partial water change?

New tanks cannot handle many new fish. A freshwater tank is considered new for about the first 45-60 days. During this time the tank environment is changing rapidly and can stress fish. Many tanks will become cloudy during this time because of an rapid growth and dying of bacteria.

Saltwater tanks can take up to 8 weeks to age properly. During this time the tank can become murky and brown algae growth can be substantial.


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Quiz Time! partial water change?

  • How long does it take to cycle a freshwater aquarium? A saltwater?

  • Answer: FW – up to 45-60 days

    SW – up to 8 weeks


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Quiz Time! partial water change?

How long is our saltwater guarantee? Freshwater?

Answer: We have a very limited saltwater guarantee but talk to a supervisor to help with the situation.

Freshwater is a conditional 7 day guarantee.

Fish cannot be chewed, must have receipt.


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Quiz Time! partial water change?

Is this an aggressive, semi aggressive or community fish?

Gold Gourami – semi aggressive

Angelfish: semi-aggressive

Lobster: aggressive

African Clawed Frog: semi-aggressive

Convict Cichlid: Aggressive

Tiger Barbs: semi- aggressive

Dwarf Gourami: community

Jack Demsey: Aggressive


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Quiz Time! partial water change?

Brackish water fish are somewhere between fresh and salt. They come from rivers that have salt water in them and also freshwater. Which of these fish are brackish?

Knight Goby: brackish

Puffer: Brackish

Flounder: Brackish

Red Chromide: Brackish

Dalmatian Molly: sometimes

Mono Dact: Brackish


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Quiz Time: partial water change?

  • New tanks can be stressful for fish.

  • Which of these are good to start with?

Neons or Cardninals: bad

Zebra Danios: good

Dalmatian Molly : good

Platy : Good

Damsel: good but aggressive

Pink Skunk Clown: Okay but not real hardy


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End Of Quiz! partial water change?

Platy: male

Bonus:

Can you tell the difference between male or female on these pictures?

Swordtail: Male

Platy: female

Boy George: ?


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Remember: partial water change?

  • We will do our best to help solve your fish questions or problems

  • Remember to float your new fish for about 20 minutes

  • A few times a day take time to really really enjoy your aquarium. You have your own living community there.


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The End partial water change?

Thanks go out to all the hard working researchers

on staff at PPI.


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