In love with Dory and Nemo? Try these beginner fish


Finding Dory and Finding Nemo were both incredible movies that brought lovable saltwater fish to the masses, and it also brought many people looking to get into the hobby hoping to bring a “Nemo” home to keep their little ones happy. Sadly, many underestimated the investment and skills needed to run a saltwater tank.

To help prevent some of this letdown and frustration, the team at LiveAquaria has offered a couple of better options to bring a colorful fish into your home and set themselves up for long-term success in the hobby.

So many love the original orange and white clownfish Nemo. And while these are definitely some of the easier saltwater fish to keep, there is still a lot of investment in time and equipment you’ll need to keep the little guy happy. Try the Koi Swordtail, a more sought after color morph of the popular swordtails. The Contrasting deep reddish orange marks and a brilliant white wrap make this a good stand in for Nemo. Also they recommend a 30 gallon aquarium with a lid to house this potential jumper.


Although you can get a teeny-tiny, cutsie-wootsie Blue Tang (aka Dory), they can get really big and like a lot of space — like over 180 gallons of space! So what is LiveAquaria proposing? A better suited option for a beginner and a smaller aquarium with an easy care level, try the Boesemani rainbow (Melanotaenia boesemani). These fish are recommended for a 30 gallon aquarium that is a nice size for children and beginning hobbyists to enjoy.


Cobalt Easy-Therm a great balance of affordability, performance and sleek looks


The Easy-Therm is Cobalt Aquatics’s third line of heaters which has the slim form of the award-winning NeoTherm heater making it one of the most unobtrusive heaters on the market. There is no mistaking the flat design of Cobalt’s heaters and the Easy-Therm line is a great balance of affordability, performance and sleek looks.

One of the major flaws of heaters, is fusing of the electrical contacts that leave the heater in the on position and basically cooking all the fish in your tank. Without a temperature alarm, usually the discovery comes too late.

To fight this, the Easy-Therm is designed to turn on and off at a lower voltage. Plus the heater on a magnetic switch to ensure a strong connection (and release) of the thermostat switch. The Easy-Therm is also accurate, within two degrees Fahrenheit of the setting.

Encased in a black thermal plastic outer casing, the Easy-Therm is both heat, shock and shatter resistant. The Easy-Therm comes in six sizes from 25w to 200w and has a three year warranty.



Marineland Magnum is a great filter to polish water or for day-to-day use


The Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter is a handy filter that can easily be used to polish your water or as a day-to-day internal canister filter. The flexibility of the simple filter allows three-stage filtration for daily use or high-efficiency polishing as needed.

As a polisher, the internally mounted Marineland Magnum is a great way to give your system an extra boost to clear up your water after a good cleaning or if you start noticing haziness due to organic compounds in the water column. Simply use the micron filter to pull out the finest particles your daily filter might miss.

But it is also a handy filter for daily use, particularly if your aquarium setup doesn’t allow for an external canister filter or you want more power than the simple internal filters provide. The Marineland Magnum uses a pair of refillable chambers to house carbon or customizable filter media like GFO (granular ferric oxide) to reduce phosphates.

The filter is powered by a sealed motor so its fully submersible and delivers quick and easy start up without priming the pump. The Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter filters 290 gallons per hour and is ideal for aquariums up to 97 gallons. The Magun filter lists for around $49.99 and is available at most major online retailers and possibly your local fish store.

Dennerle Scaper’s Tank is a unique all-in-one system


Why go for the same boring black-rimmed starter aquarium when you can go for a unique setup like the Dennerle Scaper’s Tank Complete 35L LED aquarium. This beautiful looking rimless glass aquarium will capture your attention and will just beg to be aquascaped in the future.

Although this is designed for aquascaping, it really has all you need for a stylish aquarium that will take you from your first community setup all the way into creating your own planted aquascape. The kit starts with the 35 liter tank (just under 10 US gallons ) constructed out of 5mm glass that measures in at 40 x 32 x 28 cm.

For lighting there is a Nano Power LED 5.0 perfectly suited for the planted aquarium and most freshwater setups. The 5W LED light has a 6500K color temperature to mimic natural sunlight with a 500 lumen output. In plain terms, this is enough light to foster growth for a tank full of plants. The kit also contains a nano-sized corner filter that turns over 150 liters per hour to give you enough flow and filtration.

Whether you’re looking to get started with a planted tank or just looking for a stylish aquarium, you might want to explore the Dennerle Scaper’s Tank Complete 35L LED aquarium. These systems retail for around $150 USD which is still pretty affordable for a stylish aquarium, light and filter.

SFBB Freshwater Frenzy is a nice all-in-one food option


Flake and dry foods are convenient, but the nutritional aspects of live foods are hard to pass by. Keeping live food can be messy but thanks to pre-portioned frozen foods like San Francisco Bay Brands Freshwater Frenzy, you can easily feed your fish a nutritional and tasty food right from the freezer.

Freshwater Frenzy is a perfect blend for most community fish tanks. It contains a blend of brine shrimp, bloodworms, cyclops, daphnia, watercress and more designed to cover the diet and feeding needs of fish at all levels in the water column. From surface feeding livebearers, midlevel Tetras to bottom dwelling Cory Cats, Freshwater Frenzy has you covered.

Most community tanks have a blend of fish that makes it easier to offer a well-rounded mix like this that make it a great option for daily feeding or the occasional treat.

In the past, frozen foods many aquarists rinsed frozen food as it was linked to higher phosphate levels due to the binders used to hold the food together to allow for time release. But most food manufacturers have addressed this concern allowing you to simple drop in the portion and let the water movement take care of the food disbursement. You can still rinse the food if you want, but feeding smaller portions and doing frequent water changes will ensure your parameters stay in check.

San Francisco Bay Brands is a pretty common food available at most pet and fish stores and the Freshwater Frenzy retails for under $3 for a 3.5 oz. package.


Seachem Flourish Advance stimulates plant growth


Seachem Flourish Advance is the latest product in the company’s Seachem’s Flourish line, a been a go-to option for many planted aquarium hobbyists over the years. Flourish Advanced is a described as an all-natural, biologic growth enhancer for aquatic plants.

So what exactly does it do? Seachem Flourish Advance works to stimulate root growth beneath the surface to improve growth and overall plant health. The secret behind Flourish Advance is the use of phytohormones. The naturally occurring compounds play crucial roles in regulating plant growth in a wide range of developmental processes.

It also contains minerals, and nutrients to work with the phytohormones to kick start the growth of both roots and shoots in aquatic plants. Seachem also recommends regular use as it helps to improve mineral absorption and disease resistance. Like most additives for the planted tanks, it is non-toxic and completely safe for all plant varieties as well as for fish and aquatic organisms.

If you are on the fence, it does come in 50ml or 100ml bottles making it easy to try out. Flourish Advance is also available in 250ml and 500ml bottles and 2L and 4L jugs. You can pick up a 250ml bottle for under $8 at most retailers.

Want to know what kind of food to feed?


When you get your first fish, you’d figure they all eat the same. You put in food, they eat, done. But it’s not as simple as that and to help out, Tetra put together this handy and basic infographic to better understand different types of fish and the foods they need.

You see, certain fish live and feed at different levels in the water column. For surface feeders, it is important to have food that stays at the top, For mid-water feeders you want the food to sink and stay in the middle part of the water column for as long as possible. And for bottom feeders, they need food to sink and reach them at this level.

So how are you to know which fish is which? After awhile, you’ll start to learn more about the fish’s biology and habitat and some visual cues can help out. For top feeders, you’ll notice the mouth is typically upturned to help them feed on food floating on the water’s surface. If the mouth is more forward facing, they probably eat food that within the water column and if the mouth is down, you guessed it, probably a bottom feeder.

Thank to Tetra for putting together this handy resource for beginners.

[via Tetra]




Add wide flow with Eheim StreamON pumps


Powerheads have been a staple of the aquarium hobby for many years and thanks to advancements in technology, there are now a variety of options to add more flow to your aquarium including the Eheim StreamON pumps.

One of the main issues with powerheads was the tight stream of water they produced, but newer wide flow pumps have created a wide, gentler and more natural flow for your aquarium. The Eheim StreamON pumps are no exception.


The Eheim StreamON pumps are small, efficient and flexible allowing you to position them vertically or horizontally and turn them up to 180° to dial in the flow you need.

There are actually two versions. The StreamON uses suction cups to mount to your aquarium and the StreamON+ uses magnets to attach to the glass.  With options from 1,800 liters per hour all the way up to 5,000lph, the StreamON will cover a wide range of aquarium needs.

Cobalt Aquatics PHANTOM air pump is one tiny and powerful pump


The Cobalt Aquatics PHANTOM air pump is one tiny and powerful air pump that is perfect for smaller aquariums and desktop aquariums without much room to hide equipment.

When we say tiny, we mean it. The minuscule air pump is only a bit over 2 in. wide, 1.15 in. thick and 3.6 in. long and can produce 8 gph of air up to 31.5 in. deep. Plus its pretty quiet (35dB) and efficicient (1.5W).

The PHANTOM air pump is a complete package allowing you to use it right out of the box that includes suction cup mount, 5 ft. of airline tubing, and an airstone.

The Cobalt Aquatics PHANTOM air pump retails for under $25.

Captain Gill’s Look In Sea is a novel way to get kids excited about aquariums


Captain Gill’s Look In Sea a novel way to get kids excited about aquariums. This aquarium magnifier is shaped like a ships steering wheel and attaches the the tank with a suction cup.

Although, aquarium magnifiers aren’t anything new and we’ve seen more robust looking setups like the IVS Portal magnifying viewer that looks nice, is magnetic and will actually clean your glass, the simplicity of the Look In Sea appeals perfectly for kids.

The one main difference in having an aquarium vs. other pets is what to do with our hands. Unlike our furry pets, fish are pretty much a hands off and appreciate not always having human hands in the aquarium so this allows us to tinker a bit with the aquarium by exploring things from a magnified perspective.

The simple viewer runs under $20 and gives you 3x magnification, it is a nice and relatively inexpensive way to get kids more into what is going on in the aquarium.