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How do they do that? Inside the FritzZyme TurboStart manufacturing process


This video is a few years old, but its still an interesting look at how products are manufactured in the hobby. In this video, we get a look at how Fritz makes their FritzZyme TurboStart live nitrifying bacteria.

The use of a product like this eliminates toxic ammonia and nitrate, prevents new tank syndrome where ammonia spikes after introducing livestock and allows you to get a healthy biological filter up and running instantly.

FritzZyme TurboStart 700 contains the same proven freshwater strains of effective found in their FritzZyme 7, but at 15x concentration. They claim FritzZyme TurboStart completely cycles aquariums in five days or less, allowing for safe, immediate addition of livestock.

Don’t have a new tank? TurboStart may be added to established systems any time the biofilter needs fortification including after water changes, aggressive cleaning, adding new livestock, medicating, or changing filter media.

Tetra Betta Worm Shaped Bites


Tires of just feeding the traditional pellets or flakes, try the new Tetra Betta Worm Shaped Bites, a new worm-shaped food specifically designed to satisfy the nutritional needs of bettas and other labyrinth fish. Designed to imitate the size, shape and color of natural bloodworms, the food floats on the water’s surface to appeal to bettas by enticing their natural instinct to hunt, while providing a safe alternative to live food.

“Tetra® Betta Worm Shaped Bites promote even more enjoyable interactions between fishkeepers and their pets,” stated John Fox, Division Vice President, Aquatic Marketing, Spectrum Brands Inc. – Pet, Home, & Garden Division. “Innovative by design, this food is relevant and fun for fish owners of all ages to feed and is just the right size for Bettas.”

Besides the fun shape, the new Tetra Betta Worm Shaped Bites are made from a blend of shrimp proteins and other quality ingredients, formulated to be highly digestible, contributing to a healthier environment through less fish waste. They also contain multiple color-enhancing ingredients designed to promote the naturally vibrant, wild colors of Bettas.

Add more biological surface area with Maxspect Nano-Tech BioSpheres


Although bacteria will grown just about anywhere, getting a good base of beneficial bacteria means providing adequate surface area and this is a little bit easier with the new Maxspect’s Nano-Tech BioSpheres.

These small spheres have millions of nooks and crannies to provide a bunch of surface area media in a smaller area. According to the company, this unique ceramic media has a cross-cutting surface area that creates an ideal surface for a dense populations of beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrites from your aquariums water.

These are super flexible — just put these in a sump, a media reactor, trickle filters, wet/dry filters, hang on the back filters or directly in the tank.

They come in two sizes, a 1kg and 2kg box, that retail for $24.99 and $44.99 respectively. There are about 44 spheres per kg that provides 25,575 sq. ft. of surface area.

Protect your fish with Fluval Aquarium Water Conditioner


Fluval Aquarium Water Conditioner is another option for tapwater and aquarium water conditioners that helps protect tropical fish by neutralizing chlorine, chloramines and harmful metals to make tap water safe.

Besides making water safe for use, it included herbal extracts that help reduce stress and improve overall well-being of the fish. Stress can come from transportation, handling and acclimatization to a new environment and make your fish more susceptible to diseases and infections. It also helps with the fishes slime coats that protects scales and fins against scrapes and cuts.


Fluval Aquarium Water Conditioner comes in three sizes from 4 oz., to 8.4 oz to 16.9 oz. bottles that range price from $5.99 to $10.99.

Aqueon Preset Heaters keep heating simple


The Aqueon Preset Heater line helps keep heating simple by keeping your aquarium at just the right temperature, all the time. Coming from the factory preset at 78 degrees — a perfect temperature for most tropical aquariums — there is no need to adjust it or worry if your setting is too hot or too cold.

Plus the compact design makes these heaters a great choice for most aquariums and skill levels. They are fully submersible and are durable and shatter proof. A small red LED indicates when its actively heating. There is also an automatic safety shut-off to protect against overheating.

The Aqueon Preset Heater line comes in 50W, 100W, 150W and 200W sizes and have an MSRP anywhere from $15.99 to $30.99, but if you look around, you’ll probably be able to find it at a better price.

Aquatop Forza Series UV Canister Filters add UV sterilization to filtration


The Aquatop Forza Series UV Canister Filters add UV Sterilization to filtration to help keep water clean and clear. There are other canister fitlers that add a UV Sterilizer to it, in fact we covered the SunSun version last year.

The Aquatop Forza series comes in three sized and uses your standard three-stage filtration, a mechanical stage with a sponge to remove large particles, a chemical stage using carbon to absorb dissolved particles and pollutants and a biological stage using bio balls or another material to foster bacterial growth.

One selling point for these is their patented EZ Prime system that lets you prime the filter with one pump to get it working right away. Another additional features are an optional intake surface skimmer, a recessed handle for easy lifting, a protective cover for the UV switch, and a color-coded quick disconnect valve that makes it easy to tell inlet from outlet.

To keep things safer, the UV sterilizer shuts off automatically should the canister move 30° in any direction

The smallest filter is the Forza FZ7 that is designed for tanks from 60-90 gallons and uses a 20W pump delivering 295 GPH of circulation power. It also has a 7W UV sterilizer.

The Forza FZ9 delivers 450GPH from a 30W pump and is rated for 90-125 gallon systems. It features a 9W UV sterilizer.


The largest is the FZ13 driving 550GPH from a 45W pump and is designed for tanks ranging from 125-175 gallons. This one has a 13W UV sterilizer.

As we mentioned with the SunSun, these are about half the cost of systems from Fluval or Hagen, but may not be as quiet or perform as well. Reviews online are often mixed, but if you are on a budget, this is a good option. The Aquatop Forza ranges in price from $129.99 to $239.99.


Tetra Pro Cory Wafers are a great treat for your bottom feeders


You may find it hard to find one food to feed everything in your tank, especially if you have bottom feeders. Tetra Pro Cory Wafers make sure your cory catfish, loaches and other omnivore bottom dwellers have a nutritionally complete daily meal.

These 2-in-1 sinking wafers go right to the bottom to give a plant-based food that also features a shrimp-enriched core. Nearly 50% of the wafer contains crude protein and is loaded immune-boosting nutrients.

The only downside may be, they are big and maybe meant to be a community meal. Each wafer is around 16-19mm in diameter and about 4mm thick. Tetra also calls this a clear water formula, which helps it from dissolving too quickly. They do come in a resealable bag in 2.12 oz. and 5.29 oz. versions that retail for around $5.99 and $9.99 respectively.

Aquatop AC/DC-One Aquarium Air Pump is a battery operated backup


Having water movement and air exchange is key when the power goes out and having a DC-powered backup pump is a good investment. The Aquatop AC/DC-One Aquarium Air Pump is one of the many portable backup oxygen source for your fish tank during an AC power failure or if you’re moving or will have your fish out of your tank for an extended period.

There is an cord that plugs into an outlet, but it doesn’t power the pump. Instead it just detects when the power goes out. When it does, it kicks on the battery power to deliver air to the tank via tubing and an airstone.

The Aquatop AC/DC-One Air Pump comes with a 23 in. air line, air stone, and an AC power failure sensor that automatically switches to battery operation if the power goes out. It does run on a pair of D batteries that you will have to buy separately. MSRP is $21.99 but there can be found for $15 and under online.

Pisces USA Betta Aquarium Jewels are a fun way to add color


Pisces USA Betta Aquarium Jewels are a fun way to add some color to your aquarium. The Betta Aquarium Jewels are made from recycled glass, tumbled and polished like beach glass, that adds color to your aquarium.

Despite the name, they’re great for tanks besides Betta aquarium — a small aquarium, goldfish bowl or anywhere else you’re looking for a fun substrate. Since they are glass, they’re inert and won’t change the water chemistry.

These are available in six colors — emerald, ruby, ruby swirl, sapphire, winter frost and violet — to give you a few options to create a unique look. The Aquarium Jewels retail around $6.95 for a 17 oz. bag.

EcoBio-Block EcoBio-Stone Has Beneficial Bacteria Embedded in Volcanic Rock


The EcoBio-Block EcoBio-Stone with Beneficial Aquarium Bacteria combines beneficial bacteria and a great place for them to grow to deliver beneficial biological filtration.

These are made from highly porous Japanese volcanic that are also full of minerals that will provide plenty of surface area for bacteria to grow. But, it takes it a step further and is embedded with beneficial natural bacteria spores that only germinate when organic waste is present in the water.

The bacteria aids in breaking down waste to accelerate the nitrogen cycle. Calcium and trace minerals are also slowly leeched into the water from the stone to create a healthy environment that requires minimum maintenance.

They come in two sizes — small and medium — and retail for $13 for the small and $21 for the medium. A small stone treats 8 to 16 gallons and medium stone treats 15 to 40 gallons. You can easily add more as needed if you have a larger tank.

Just put these into the aquarium, or tuck away in a filtration chamber or sump.