20

You should consider adding some natural pH reducing element. Adding drift woods, indian almond or oak leaves will slowly leach tannins, which in turn will reduce the pH. If you have a planted tank, you can start injecting CO2 which will also lower the pH. Another option is to filter the water through peat moss or commercially available peat granules.


14

The first thing you want to do to battle algae is to remove excessive light. The worst is when sunlight reaches the tank. Algae can grow in very little light, so given sunlight (or even a tank light that's on for more than 12 hours), algae will be able to grow even faster. It's different for each tank, some of mine I can keep lit for almost 12 hours, others ...


14

You're going in the right direction, with your efforts to make the couch unappealing, and provide scratchers as alternatives. You just need to experiment a bit more to discover the right combination of things to discourage it from the couch and encourage it to the scratchers. Since the blankets aren't working, try a different method to discourage the cat. ...


12

First, a little background on the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Fish produce ammonia, which is extremely toxic to the fish. Unlike in a natural body of water, in an aquarium there is nowhere for this toxin to go, so it builds up fast. Luckily, there is bacteria in your tank that converts ammonia into nitrite. However, nitrite is also extremely toxic to fish. ...


12

If the algae is brown in color (diatom), has already settled and is hard; magnetic cleaners or algae-eating species wont be of much help. You can wrap a small piece of cloth around your hand and simply rub it off. You can also use an old toothbrush. Once the algae is off the glass, you can then use a magnetic cleaner or introduce algae-eating species as a ...


12

I totally understand your frustration. Cats are very independent, complex creatures. I imagine your cat is very happy, you’re providing it everything I would suggest and then some. Seriously, give yourself some kudos for that. I have a few thoughts that may help: Firstly, cat ownership does require a certain level of “letting go”. When I got my cat, I was ...


11

Double-check all your rocks: many, like limestone, have enough calcium to keep your pH high. The usual "vinegar test" is to see whether the rock fizzes when it comes in contact with a drop of acid -- vinegar or ideally stronger. If so, it's definitely affecting your pH. That said, don't worry too much if you can't get it super low. Don't assume every fish ...


10

Silicone itself is harmless, as it is nontoxic, non-organic and pretty much unreactive. During the hardening process silicone sealant will produce acetic acid, this causes the stench that smells like vinegar. Depending on the amount of silicone, you should not need to worry about some of that acid contacting your water (if you spill something), the amount ...


10

Is there any actual benefit to this? Will using one have a noticeable impact on either the individual lifespan of the shrimp, or the long-term survival of the ecosystem? Short Answer It depends entirely on your current method of aerating your tank. If you aren't adding oxygen to the water (usually by bubbling air through it) then the answer to both ...


9

There are a few types of fish that feed on algae, and some are pretty cool looking. I've found this list of algae-eaters, which is a great list because it lets you know whether your existing fish will find them tasty. Some examples: Otocinclus sp. American flagfish Neritina sp. zebra snail Whiptail catfish.


9

One of the primary reasons for water changes is to remove harmful waste and chemical compounds from your tank that tend to build up over time. This is especially important in new aquariums where there aren't bacteria and an ecosystem in place to handle any of these compounds organically. There are two compounds in particular that most people target for ...


8

The easiest way I know is to "transplant" from a good, running aquarium, so that all those desired bacteria will begin to reproduce in your aquarium and make that cycle. In the internet some people also recommend using fish to do this job (so you´d put some cheap specimens on it, knowing they would die) or using liquid ammonia. For my last aquarium, since ...


8

One problem you might run into is that new silicone will not stick to cured silicone, so you won't get a perfect seal just by caulking over the old stuff. I would also be concerned about the strength of the rest of the seam that's not leaking yet. As for silicone, like Baarn says be careful about any with fungicides or other additives. Dow Corning 999A (...


8

You won't find anything that does this off the shelf at your local pet shop. It's possible to build it if you're an experienced plumber, but the short version is don't bother, just get a big canister filter instead. First, bear in mind that no amount of water changes will compensate for all the problems of overstocking: it won't increase the amount of ...


8

This answer assumes you have a deep sand bed (photos) in your aquarium. When you cycle your aquarium, it means all your micro-fauna are being built. The lower part of the sand bed should already have some anaerobic bacteria living in it. I'm not sure that it's already built up in 3 weeks, but surely it is on its way. When you move items to a new aquarium, ...


8

As far as I know, bathing a guinea pig too often is a bad idea. Keep in mind a guinea-pig is a very sensitive pet, if you do that, you'll probably be harming their natural skin protection, which will lead to illnesses. If you really have to, I'd recommend bathing them once at month at most. Even if you don't believe it, guinea pigs are very self cleaning and ...


8

We opted for the Million-Bubble air pump. Before we had it, we occasionally just used a dropper to blow some bubbles in the tank. The advantage that the Million-Bubble air pump has is that it is bigger than the dropper we were using (pushing more air into the water with each pump), and it has an aerator at the end which creates lots of tiny air bubbles ...


7

These lights/tubes produce UVA and UVB. The same type of tubes are used in sunbeds and marine tanks To produce UVA, mercury inside the tube reacts with the gas and electricity. This is why you should never shatter tubes because you can get mercury poisoning and they have to be disposed of properly. The mercury will slowly stop to react as expected - as a ...


7

Water changes are almost what they sound like, you're changing the water in the tank. But, with very few exceptions, you never want to change more than 50% of the water in the tank. Water changes that replace a substantial percentage of tank's volume can cause the fish stress, and should really only be done in emergencies. Even if there is a problem with the ...


7

The stuff in the gravel can be a source of anaerobic bacteria and ammonia/nitrogen if you let it build up too high, so it's definitely a good idea to get rid of. It'll break down somewhat on its own, but nearly all tanks with any animals will produce waste faster than they eliminate it. I would recommend using a gravel siphon rather than just randomly ...


7

There are a couple of ways to dampen or limit the ammonia smell. Baking soda: You can add this to the bedding and you do not need to use a lot of it. You can get this in bags from 1 kg to 1000 kg. It limits the smell of ammonia by increasing the pH so less urea is converted to ammonia. Lime: You can add this to the bedding, but you need to use a larger ...


6

Back when we had an aquarium we just took it slow. First you fill the aquarium with sand, rocks and all other non-living decorative stuff. It is advised to wash and clean the sand before putting it in the aquarium. This reduces dust and possible contaminants that might have aggregated in the packaging process. After some hours up to a few days, after the ...


6

You can use a magnetic fish tank cleaner (one example). It consists of two pieces that use magnets to attach through the glass. One piece is often shaped like a grip, the other piece has a surface used to clean off the algae. You have to be careful the cleaning surface is free of sand or other dirt, otherwise you might scratch the glass. There are ...


6

If all the debris that would fall over your pond during the fall season (hey, I just got that!) are removed in a frequent basis (daily or twice each day), you wouldn't need it. But, in general, no one can spend that time, every day, cleaning it. And so some problems might occur: your skimmer might get clogged, and any drain that you might have in your pond ...


6

If you currently have an algae problem, the main thing to do is identify the cause of the algae. Usually the cause is an imbalance in the tank, usually it's due to excess light or excess nutrients. This is something you'll need to balance so that you stop battling the algae. However, as this question is "how do I get rid of algae," I'll outline the steps - ...


6

Common super glue is actually harmless to use on an aquarium, but it might not yield the desired result. This article describes why super glue is safe: Super glue is safe for use in fish tanks because it becomes completely inert when moist or wet. The main active ingredient of the glue is Cyanoacrylate. When in contact with water it forms strong and stable ...


4

Per this Cat Centric article on removing feline urine, treating with enzymes is more effective than vinegar alone. Vinegar provides the perception of cleanliness; proper enzymatic cleaning provides the complete removal of waste. The intent of saturating with enzymes is to break down the uric acid salts into gases. It is these residual uric acid salts that ...


4

This post is a little late after your original question, but I could not help to finish this for anyone who sees this question! You should try putting the wood pellets (Or whatever soft animal bedding you are using) on top of the newspaper, that will make the cage easier to clean, and it will be more comfortable to your cavy. :) Cleaning the cage really ...


4

I use Seachem Flourish Excel at 1.5X for a week and then at the recommended strength until it's gone. All up, about 2 weeks. I have had two outcomes from this method. 1. The algae disappears or is reduced to pin head sized dots on some of the plants. 2. The algae goes from black to blonde and then molts. I don't know what factors have influenced these quite ...


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