Nova Extreme T5 Lights – Why you choose for your aquarium

Nova Extreme T5 Lights - Why you choose for your aquarium

Why you choose Nova Extreme T5 Lights for your aquarium ?

About 2 months ago I upgraded my lighting on the 55 gallon reef tank to the Nova Extreme T5 lights.  I got the 48 inch fixture that comes with 8 T5 bulbs, each rated at 54 watts for about $400.  This should give me a total of 432 watts over the tank.  This aquarium is about 24 inches deep with about a 2 inch sand bed.  I researched the T5 for many days before buying them and from what I was reading these lights should allow me to keep SPS (Small Polyped Stony) corals.

Nova Extreme T5 Lights - Why you choose for your aquarium

Layout of the lights, 4 bulbs are 10,000k and 4 bulbs are Slimpaq 460nm Actinic

I must say that I was very impressed when I pulled the fixture out of the box.  Its a nice looking black fixture that came with two mounting brackets.  The mounting brackets are placed in grooves and will slide to accomodate the size of your aquarium.   Installing the Nova Extreme T5 Lights was a breeze and I was amazed at the thinness of the bulbs!  They are super skinny and they feel very fragile, so handle with care.

This Nova extreme T5 light fixture also comes with an acrylic cover that protects the lights from salt splash / salt creep.  I was debating if I should run these lights with the cover on or off.  I decided to start with the light cover on and if I don’t get decent results with the acropora corals in my tank Ill remove it.It has two fans that remove the heat generated by the T5 lights and I’ve only noticed about a 1 degree increase in the tank temperature since installing these lights.

Nova Extreme T5 Lights - Why you choose for your aquarium

There are many discussions in the forums about how this fixture is not as good as some of the others that come with individual reflectors for each of the T5 bulbs.  Those individual reflectors can be fairly expensive and time will tell, but I certainly like the output from this fixture and apparently the corals in this tank do to. I’ve placed two of the acropora frags at about the mid-point in the tank and one lower in the tank, just to see what would happen.  One frag was very brown (full of zooxantellae) when I first got it, but now seems to be turning a purplish pink color.  Very cool.  Its interesting that the lower placed green acropora coral seems to be growing the fastest, shooting out several new branches.

I supplement with kalkwasser, slow dripped when the lights are off as well and try to keep my calcium levels in the 380-400 range, alkalinity is around 2.5 meq/L.  The pH fluctuates from around 8.5 daytime to 8.2 when the lights are off.  Nitrates are nil.

Nova Extreme T5 Lights - Why you choose for your aquarium

So far I’ve been very pleased with this lighting upgrade and the corals seem to be doing well.   If you’re running Nova Extreme T5 lights, let me know what you think about them.

Aquarium Algae Problems – How can you fixing in your aquarium

Aquarium Algae Problems - How can you fixing in your aquarium

How can fixing aquarium algae problems as your own

I think most aquarium keepers go through some sort of algae problems at least once when keeping a fish tank.  There are some things that you can do to fix these algae blooms and you can even prevent them from happening in the first place.

The first thing you should do is get aquarium test kits that will test your water for nitrates and phosphates.  Test not only your tank water, but your tap water too.  Many people have nitrates in their tap water and they don’t know it until they test for nitrates.  Phosphates can be a problem too and you can introduce phosphates from the foods that enter the aquarium and some activated carbon will leech phosphates.

Aquarium Algae Problems - How can you fixing in your aquarium

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Be a Responsible Fish Keeper for your home aquarium

Be a Responsible Fish Keeper For Your Home Aquarium

You are a Responsible Fish Keeper?

If you are a responsible fish keeper and spend any amount of time browsing the fish forums you will soon come to the realization that there are many pet fish keepers that are totally unprepared and not very responsible keeper when it comes to keeping aquariums. Its unfortunate that fish are not afforded the same level of care as other pets such as dogs or cats.

Be a Responsible Fish Keeper For Your Home Aquarium

Many people think less of fish for some reason. Maybe because fish is a part of our diet? I don’t understand why they don’t care more deeply for the animals they are keeping. So, what does it mean to be a responsible fish keeper?

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Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer – Why do you buy it ?

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Why do you buy it Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) for your aquarium?

Several months ago I bought a 15 watt Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer for my 110 gallon saltwater aquarium and I was hoping that it would help me in a couple of areas:

  • The Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon) was the  fish that I wanted to keep but after reading about how difficult it could be to care for them I stayed away from them.  It can be very difficult to get them eating aquarium foods and they are prone to ich (cryptocaryon) like most tangs.  I was hoping that the Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer would give me a leg up and finally I would attempt to keep one of these Powder Blue Tangs.
  • I was getting a minor cyanobacteria outbreak in the back corners of this fowls saltwater tank.  I increased water flow in those particular areas, performed regular water changes with Reverse Osmosis water and slow dose with Kalkwasser to help keep alkalinity and calcium levels at the right levels.  Perhaps the Ultraviolet Sterilizer would be the straw that broke this slime alga’s back.

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Using plant

The Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer is about the middle of the road as far as price goes.  After comparing several models of sterilizers and reading several reviews on them I decided to go with this one since its my first sterilizer, I could hang it on the back of the tank and it wasn’t too expensive.  Replacement bulbs are about $40 dollar and they should be replaced about every 6 months or so if you use them constantly, which I planned on doing.

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Setting this Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer up was easy and I had to use an old maxi-jet 1200 power head that was not being used to supply water to the sterilizer from the tank.  This sterilizer was setup on a 30 gallon quarantine tank that the powder blue tang was going in.  After getting the tang into the qt tank, I monitored it for any signs of disease for about 5 weeks.

Work for diseases

At first, I was pleasantly surprised to see the tang swimming well and showing no signs of ich.  After several days of tempting it with the best foods I could get my hands on such as frozen herbivore cubes (thawed), brine shrimp and sea veggies, I started to get worried because it wasn’t eating anything!  I didn’t get discouraged though because I knew what I was getting into when I bought this fish.  For the first week it was a daily process of introducing foods only to watch this tang just look at it.  At about the second week though I guess it finally got hungry enough to sample the sea veggies (dried seaweed) that I had placed in a veggie clip on the tank glass.  Soon after, it was tagging the veggie clip as soon as it was placed in the tank.

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Good deal, the tang was finally eating, but were those white spots on the pectoral fins that I just noticed?  Aww Craaap!  Out comes the rid-ich medication!  I guess the flow was too fast for the UV sterilizer to get rid of these parasites or it doesn’t work.  Whatever the problem, it was time to treat this fish.  For about the next 2 weeks I treated it for ich and did small water changes, vacuuming the bottom of the bare bottom qt tank to siphon up any cysts that were on the bottom of the tank.  For 2 more weeks (after 2 weeks of treating this fish) I watched closely for any more signs of disease and the fish was eating and looking great.  Time to put the tang into the main tank.

Changing aquarium to aquarium

After slowly acclimating the powder blue tang to the main tanks water, I released it into the tank.  Its been doing great ever since.   I also removed the Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer from the quarantine tank and put it on the main tank, thinking that it could only help, right?

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Well, there was a minor amount of green algae growing on the back tank glass. And tank sides that I purposely let grow since I knew that the powder blue would be going in there. After several days of running the sterilizer, there was definitely a reduced amount of algae in the tank and the tank water seemed clearer.  I know, not exactly scientific and it could have been wishful thinking, but that was what I honestly thought.

Maintenance

I’ve kept the Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer running and I clean the quartz sleeve about every 2 weeks.  The algae seems to be kept in check but I cant say for sure if its because of the tang or the sterilizer or both.  The slime algae is diminished, still very small amounts in the very back corners, less than before, but still there.  I believe that it may be Phormidium slime algae.  Its more of a brown color than red though.  Nitrates are undetectable (used two different test kits) and phosphates are nil.  I keep specific gravity at about 1.024 and the tank runs at about 79 degrees F, pH ranges from 8.2 night time to 8.5 daytime.  Calcium is around 380 – 400 and alkalinity is around 2.5 meq/L.  Total tank turnover is about 18 times per hour – 6 power heads rated at 300 gph.  An upcoming project for this tank is a closed circulation loop with and external pump to get some of these power heads out of the tank and increase total water flow throughout the tank.

Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer - Why do you buy it ?

Conclusion

Its hard to say whether this Aquarium Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer was really worth getting.   The tang bounced back from the ich in the qt tank.  Maybe the ich outbreak would have been worse if I hadnt had one?  Or maybe not.   It does seem to be helping keep algae in check in the main tank. But the tank could also be doing most of the heavy lifting here.   I was hoping that I could be more conclusive regarding a recommendation on UV Sterilizers. And maybe make myself feel better for spending hard earned cash on this equipment.

Aquarium Fish Disease – Are you over medicating your fish?

Aquarium Fish Disease - Are you over medicating your fish?

Fish Disease – Aquarium fish disease are you over medicating your fish?

Fish disease idea behind this post comes after reading several boards on various fish and aquarium forums across the great wide web. I’m always coming across posts that start off like this: I recently set up a new tank and now I think all the fish have ich. Or, My fish has fin rot what can I do?. Then you see all the responses from the others on such and such medicine and such and such treatment. Why do we think medications will fix our shortcomings as aquarists?Let me start this off by stating that while I’m all in favor of using medicines and other treatments in the right situation, I really do feel that most of them are misused and they are used much too often to treat our aquarium fish.

Fin rot

Aquarium Fish Disease - Are you over medicating your fish?

Take fin rot for example. Fin rot can usually be cured by simply providing a good diet, clean, frequently changed aquarium water and any fin nipping tank mates. No medicines are necessary. Bada-bing, poof – fin rot gone.

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Aquarium Water Change – How you can ?

How you can? Your Aquarium water change

Question: What is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you will be successful keeping freshwater and saltwater fish in your aquarium?

Answer: The partial water change of course.  Performing regular partial water changes has numerous benefits and well review them here.

Why do Aquarium water changes?

 

The fish that we keep are living within an enclosed system and they continuously produe waste products as a result of various biological processes taking place within the fish tank such as:

  • Fish food that is eaten gets digested and waste products are generated, ammonia for instance.
  • Uneaten fish food that gets trapped in the substrate breaks down adding various elements to the water such as ammonia, nitrates and phosphates.
  • Fish are thought to be able to release pheromones and other biological products for mating and other purposes.
  • In saltwater aquariums, corals can engage in chemical warfare which is designed to harm competing corals.

Aquarium Water Change - How you can ?

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Yellow Tang-My Experiences

Yellow Tang - My Experiences

Yellow Tang Sharing My Experiences

Description

The Zebrasoma flavescens, or more commonly known as the Yellow Tang has been a favorite fish of mine (one of many) since the beginning of my saltwater hobby. The bold yellow color along with the white scalpel like blade on the caudal peduncle (base of the tail) that can be used as a weapon for defending itself or its territory is one of the many great aspects of keeping these tangs. They can be quite hardy once they get used to the environment and make a great pet fish. There are some things to keep in mind though if your interested in keeping one of these Yellow Tangs in your saltwater aquarium.

Yellow Tang - My Experiences

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