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Tetra My Aquarium App handy tool for your aquariums

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Keeping an aquarium can be a bit hard, but technology is making it a bit easier with things like the Tetra My Aquarium App. There are many other apps on the market, some complex and some simple, and the Tetra My Aquarium app is a nice place to start.

The free app, available for iOS, Android or Amazon Kindle, was designed with Tetra’s huge product line in mind, but is still helpful no matter what test kits, additives and food you use. It helps take the guesswork out of maintaining and aquarium and is a handy place to track changes over time.

My Aquarium App allows you to keep track of your tanks and all the maintenance aspects of keeping an aquarium, even if you have more than one. It does basic things like keep track of your aquariums, gives you maintenance reminders, provides handy dosing calculators and helps you manage your water care product, food and equipment inventory.

It is a great place to start for people just starting out keeping an aquarium or someone that just wants a simple, straightforward app to help keep track of things. Here are a few other key features:

  • Water Quality — The app helps you determines when to do a water change, how much water to change, identifies which of the products in your inventory will be needed for dosing, and calculates how much of that product is needed for treatment.
  • Product Inventory — Keeps track of your Tetra products and recommends what products can be used for dosing or treatment. If none of your products can be recommended, the app will recommend ideal products to remedy each situation.
  • Sets Reminders — Its hard to keep track of when you did your maintenance or testing. The app also allows you to create reminders for various aquarium tasks such as water changes and filter changes, and then sends you notifications when tasks are due.

Although the product recommendations are great if you’re a fan of Tetra’s products, it might be limiting if you have other preferences. One nice aspect of this app is you can easily get routed to Tetra’s live help and problem-solving resources.

The app is free to download and more information can be found on the Tetra website.

Seachem Tidal Power Filter

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The Seachem Tidal Power Filter is the first ever filter by Seachem. The Seachem Tital filter is available in three sizes with a full set of modern features that makes this one of the first real power filters designed from the ground up in this decade.

Seachem is well-known and respected in the industry. For over 30 years, the company has brought us a variety of quality products, but these are primarily focused on water quality, management and pharmaceutical side of the hobby. We see the the Seachem Tidal filter a natural evolution of the company’s quest to make aquarium water cleaner.

 

The three sizes of the Seachem Tidal filter range from the Tidal 55, Tidal 75 and Tidal 110, each of which is rated to filter freshwater aquarium with a volume of 55, 75 and 100 gallons respectively.

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The Seachem Tidal 55 has a flowrate of 250 gallons per hour at 6W, the Tidal 75 is sitting at 350 gallons per hour at 8W, while the Tidal 100 maxes out the line at 450 gallons per hour while using just 12W. The new filters feature Sicce pumps are are whisper quiet.

What is unique is each power filter is designed from the ground up with ultra modern features including dual water intake with surface skimmer, adjustable flow, maintenance monitor, self-cleaning impeller, and a filter basket that holds any kind of filtration media. But more importantly, the feed pump is already in the intake of the Seachem Tidal filter, so there is no priming required.

The Sechem Tidal 55 retails for around $54, the Tital 75 for $68 and the Tidal 110 for around $82.

 

New Year, New Aquarium Resolutions

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The new year brings along a lot of hope and a flurry of new resolutions that most likely won’t make it past March. While we may chose resolutions to eat healthier, do more exercise, or spend more time with friends or family, we should also think about what we could do more around our favorite hobby.

For many of us, we may find our time and attention pulled in other areas and things we used to love get neglected — reading, exercising, aquariums, etc. — and we could use some motivation to not let that happen again. On the other hand, maybe there is something new or different we wanted to try, but are afraid to change what is working or the fear of something new. To help out, here are three aquarium resolutions to get you started in 2017:

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  • Better Organization — Are you the kind of person that can’t remember the last water change? Have all your fish gear just thrown in a tote in the garage? Always looking for your net or siphon or test kits? Then maybe you need better organization. Try by gathering all your gear in one place and throw out what is broken or what you don’t use. Organize the necessities in smaller containers (e.g. test kits, spare parts, food). Keep a log to track your aquarium. Some people prefer paper and there are plenty of great looking journals and logs you can use at places like Amazon. There are also many great aquarium apps that allow you to track water changes, aquarium stocking, water parameters and more. Tip: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with a good cleaning day and commit to a regular water change and testing schedule.

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  • Try Something New — Maybe you are looking for a new challenge or not happy with your current aquariums setup. Whatever the reason is, try something new! Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Grab a notebook and some alone time — maybe heading to a local coffee shop or even better yet a public aquarium, to contemplate. Ask yourself what you want to do. Take those ideas and start doing research. Spend enough time on it that you feel confident enough to succeed and then go for it! Some potential ideas are going with a biotope-themed tank (Thailand river, Central American, African Lake cichlids, etc.), going larger, starting a planted aquarium, or even just trying a more challenging type of fish. Tip: Research is key, you want to make sure you are comfortable with the challenge in order to succeed.

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  • Get More Social — Sure its great going to the fish store and chatting about what your aquarium, but every day it seems harder to find quality local fish stores with the knowledgeable staff and passionate customers like it was 10 or 20 years ago. But there are aquarium clubs that are a great resource. They typically meet once a month, have nominal dues and give you the opportunity to meet fellow hobbyists and make great friends. Clubs are known to bring in guest speakers, organize field trips like visits to public aquariums or tank tours of hobbyists in the area, hold raffles for cool prizes and more. There are broad-focused clubs and niche clubs (discus, planted tanks, reefs, etc.) to fit your interest. If you can’t find one in your area, look for an active message board, its a great way to learn and share while making new friends. Tip: If you don’t know where to start, check out organizing bodies like the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS), Aquatic Gardeners Association (AGA) or the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA), they can help steer you in the right direction to a local club.

Whatever your plans are around your aquarium in 2017, make sure you put yourself in a better position to succeed this year. Think about little ways you can improve your experience and set up reminders to make sure you follow through! This is an incredibly rewarding hobby, but it can also be quite frustrating too. But the good news is with proper planning and regular maintenance, we can eliminate 80-90% of the headaches in advance. Happy New Year and good luck in 2017!

Triple your fun with Aqueon Betta Falls

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The Aqueon Betta Falls is an interesting aquarium setup to house three bettas, that features a sweeping cascade of three chambers and an integrated filter and pump hidden in the base to continually move filtered water through each chamber.

People who collect male bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting fish due to the fact their extremely aggressive behavior toward each other (they will actually fight to the death to protect their domains), are typically kept in separate containers. The Betta Falls gives you a fun way to display your bettas that includes a water pump, integrated filter, and a sump to hold a thermometer.

The Aqueon Betta Falls is a nice size — big enough to house three bettas in an eye-catching display, but small enough to easily fit anywhere in your house (or even your office). The aquarium will hold about two gallons of water that is filtered with an Aqueon QuietFlow power filtration unit tucked away in the sump area.

There is also an adjustable internal pump that allows you to dial it down to a low trickle for the bettas or if you want to keep freshwater shrimp or other tropical fish, you can dial it up accordingly.

Since bettas are known to even get aggressive with each other when the see another betta in a separate tank or chamber, Aqueon used frosted panels between each chamber to prevent them from seeing one another.

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The kit also includes betta care items like food and water care samples, to get you started. You’ll also probably want to consider a small thermometer and decoration for the bettas. The unit is sleek enough that adding some live plants and maybe some gravel will really make an impact. The Aqueon Betta Falls comes in black or white options and retails for around $50.

Although betta can survive in as little as 1 liter of water, this is still a bit on the small side. One thing to consider, betta are beautiful fish that make a great addition for a low-flow community tank or larger aquarium.

New Innovative Marine Fusion Peninsula aquariums puts filtration on the side

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The new Innovative Marine Fusion Peninsula all-in-one aquariums give you an off-the-shelf option for a unique looking aquarium with the filtration area built into the side.

As you notice, most “glass box” aquariums typically give you viewing on one long front side and two shorter sides with the filtration tucked behind the aquarium, but anyone that’s wanted to use an aquarium in a more intriguing way. like a room divider or just getting two long viewing sides, is left DIYing or getting a custom build.

But Innovative Marine made it more approachable with these new peninsula AIO aquariums. Although the two models are a bit on the smaller side, a 14 and a 20 gallon version, these are great options for beginners or for experienced hobbyists just looking for a simple, turn key option.

Each of the Innovative Marine Peninsula aquariums feature low-iron glass to give you a really clear view of your finned friends. The 14 gallon measures 12 x 20 x 13 in. with 6mm glass. The 20 gallon measures 12 x 30 x 13 in. and has thicker 8mm glass.

What’s nice about these tanks is they don’t require a special stand due to their smaller size. Still in the “desktop” category, the Innovative Marine Peninsula AIOs will look great on your counter, your desk or any other suitable piece of furniture.

This is what you get in the aquarium package:

  • Acrylic filter wall with overflow
  • Pre-molded filter sock for mechanical filtration
  • Adjustable return flare nozzle
  • 211 GPH return pump
  • Space for skimmer/reactor
  • Rubber leveling mat

The 14 gallon version retails around $199.99 and the 20 gallon will set you back around $249.99.

Aquatic Life Reno LED fixtures

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The new Aquatic Life Reno LED fixtures are adjustable LED light bars to add some LED lights to your freshwater aquarium. The budget-minded fixture features adjustable width frame mounts that hold fixture securely above aquarium.

Each fixture features blue, white and red LEDs for freshwater plants and fish along with a 6 ft. power cord and durable on/off rocker switch.

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They are available in five sizes to fit most aquariums:

  • 20 in. model fits aquariums between 19.5 and 23.5 in.
  • 24 in. model fits aquariums between 23.5 and 27.5 in.
  • 36 in. model fits aquariums between 35.0 and 39.0 in.
  • 48 in. model fits aquariums between 43.5 and 48.0 in.
  • Plus 7 in and 9 in. Clamp Light sizes for aquariums under 10 gallons

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Prices start around $20 for the 7 in. light and go up to around $65 for the 48 in. model.

Aqueon JukeBox 5 is a novel musical aqurium

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Aqueon has a new novelty aquarium dubbed the Jukebox 5 aquarium that turns your tank into a disco inferno. The five-gallon aquarium comes with speakers that feature multi-colored dancing fluids and will play music from any 3.5mm auxiliary port compatible device. The JukeBox 5 aquarium has three USB ports, LED lighting and QuietFlow filtration.

But these aren’t just any speakers in the JukeBox5 Aquarium, but a pair of dancing water speakers with multicolored LED lights to create a visualization of whatever music you pump into it.

The five gallon glass tank of the JukeBox 5 Aquarium has a contoured hood concealing the QuietFlow filtration and housing the built-in LED lighting. The hood also has three USB ports for powering the dancing speakers, with recessed cord management and a soft device cradle for placing your MP3 player or SmartPhone.

What’s the difference between Seachem Pristine and Seachem Stability?

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If you’re in a fish store or browsing online, you are bound to come across quite a few different bacterial additives to help get rid of new tank syndrome or to help clear up a dirty aquarium. There are many different products to chose from and some that work better than others.

Seachem is one of the product’s we’ve turned to with great success over the years and even looking at their catalog, you’ll come across a few bacterial supplements, including Seachem Pristine and Seachem Stability. Any you’re probably wondering, what is the difference between Pristine and Stability?

Not all forms of bacteria are created equal. The beneficial bacteria that we want in an aquarium are essential to helping with breaking down organic waste via the nitrogen cycle where nitrifying bacteria turn ammonia to nitrites and then denitrifying bacteria turn nitrites into nitrates and eventually allow them to be absorbed into plants or released as nitrogen.

Seachem Stability helps establish this basic beneficial bacterial in your aquarium to help safely establish your biofilter and prevent new tank syndrome. This is where the fish waste can’t be broken down resulting in a toxic increase in ammonia. According to the product description, “…Stability is formulated specifically for the aquarium and contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria which facilitate the breakdown of waste organics, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.”

Now if you quickly glance at the label for Seachem Pristine, you might think this does the same thing. This is what the label says, “…Pristine uses bio-augmentation, a non-chemical and natural method, to improve water quality. It provides bacteria that break down excess food, waste and detritus in freshwater and marine systems. It will also reduce excess nutrients (e.g. ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites) that may fuel the growth of nuisance and disease-causing organisms.”

Sounds pretty similar? Maybe Pristine sounds a little hardier, right? Pretty much so. The bacterial strains are vastly different and Pristine is designed to help get rid of a wide range of organic compounds, including things like fats that can cause those oil slick looking films you tend to get on the surface of the aquarium.

Plus, Pristine differs from traditional nitrifying bacteria in that it can do its job in pretty harsh conditions where there is so much junk in the water where there is a low amount of oxygen. It can actually thrive and multiply in these conditions to improve water conditions and clarity.

So we should just beat the nasties to the punch and grab a bottle of Pristine, right? Probably not. Working with both on a regular basis will help provide a bacterial one-two punch. Even the best in the hobby can suffer instances where these can come in handy.

Starting with Stability is a great way to establish a stable biofilter for your aquarium, but good husbandry (not over feeding, not overstocking or quickly stocking with fish, doing regular water changes, cleaning, etc.) will go a long way. Plus the bacteria in Seachem Stability are best suited for consuming dissolved organic matter — the stuff you can’t see with your eyes.

But even the best of us can find times where uneaten food, excessive fish waste and other issues pop up causing solid organic matter to build up like bio-film, detritus, and sludge. The bacteria in Seachem Pristine can help break this down and Stability can help, to form a pretty formidable team to keep your tank clean.

Even if you have a pretty clean aquarium and are on it, you can help stay ahead of issues by regularly dosing both Seachem Stability and Seachem Pristine without harming your aquarium inhabitants.

Via Aqua Titanium heater gets upgrades

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Via Aqua has upgraded its Titanium Heater that brings along some incremental upgrades, most notably on the thermostat.

The overall design of the thermostat isn’t too much different from previous models that includes a bright, easy-to-read LCD temperature readout and a remote temperature sensor. But the biggest change is to the internal programming of the heater thermostat.

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One area of improvement is in temperature recall after a power surge or outage. In previous models, you may have lost your temperature setting, but in the new Via Aqua Titanium heater the programmed temperature is recalled after suffering a power outage.

The new and improved Via Aqua Titanium heater looks like a good heater option featuring five models to choose from.

My Aquarium Box brings aquatic goodness to your mailbox

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Have you ever seen discovery subscription box services like Birchbox for makeup or Bark Box for dogs, but wondered if there was ever going to be one for fish? Well My Aquarium Box is hoping to satiate your curiosity by providing a monthly service where they will deliver you a box of saltwater or freshwater products for you to try every month.

Each box is curated by the My Aquarium Box team to deliver useful products and gadgets. As they note on their website, they contain approximately five aquarium related products that include an aquarium gadget or tool, a natural aquarium decoration, a new type of fish food, and a medication or aquarium supplement, along with other supplies.

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Its a pretty simple process. First you select if you want a saltwater or freshwater box. Each one will contain products specific to each environment, so you’re not getting saltwater fish food if you have a freshwater tank and visa versa. The My Aquarium Box team is working to find cool and useful things they hope every fish keeper will appreciate and then ship them to you around the middle of the month.

Many of us are always looking for something new and cool to try and this service looks like it can help by keeping a steady stream of things to try coming to you each month. One of the big things many struggle with is keeping long-term interest once we have a tank set up. This service could be a cool way for you to maintain interest and try out some new things.

The services costs $24.99 per month for the freshwater box and $29.99 per month for the saltwater box. You an subscribe ongoing or just order a box from time-to-time.