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Aqueon Flat Heaters are a great way to heat smaller tanks

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For a small tank, everything sticks out like a sore thumb. Instead of using even a small tube heater, try the Aqueon Flat Heater that easily can be hidden out of the way, while providing heat to the system.

The Aqueon Aquatic Flat Heaters are available in 7.5W and 15W sizes that can handle raising the tank up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient room temperature. They are completely submersible to make them easy and flexible to use.

The 7.5W version retails for under $10 and the larger 15W version retails for around $15.

 

A meal and a show with Sera’s Snack Professional Stick-on Chips

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Sera’s Snack Professional Stick-on Chips are a great way to get a great view of your fish while you feed them. The unique formula lets you soak the chips in water and then “stick” them to your aquariums glass, giving you a front-and-center view of mealtime.

While this works for giving you a show, if they break free, they’ll sink to the bottom to give your bottom dwellers a nice treat too. There are three variations or formulas, including Krill Snack Professional, Daphnia Snack Professional and Bloodworm Snack Professional.

Each contains 60 percent freeze-dried small organisms. The chips are easily digestible and contain no artificial colorants or preservatives.

Who would ever want to be intentionally shocked by an electric eel?

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This guy does. A researcher set out to find out just what the shock from an electric eel feels like — and he did it all in the name of science. Kenneth Catania, a professor at Vanderbilt University, put his arm out in harms way just so he could better understand exactly what a zap from this creature would feel like and what it could do outside of the water.

Catania who experienced the jolt after the eel jumped from the water and gave him a shock similar to that of an electric fence. His report about the encounter was published today in the journal Current Biology.

Many have documented the underwater jolts, but there really isn’t much captured about observing shocks out of water. So Catania got an idea when he was dipping a net into a tank of eels and some dodged the net and hit the handle and ZAPPPP! The electrical current measuring device he had in the aquarium was hooked up to a speaker and he even could hear the electricity “shift from the quiet pop-pop-pops used to sense their surroundings, to much higher voltage, crackling volleys.”

This got him thinking that they may have a defense mechanism outside the water too, as a defense for land-based creatures. This led to more research and his eventual decision to volunteer to stick his arm near an eel to get shocked.

It turns out, the airborne shocks are more powerful than those in water since the electricity is delivered in a highly targeted way — at the point of contact. I have to commend him for being crazy enough to do it.

Add some flair with the aquamaniac3D Aquarium Sandfall 

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If you are an aquarium purist, stop reading right now. If you are into alternative decorations, then check out the aquamaniac3D Aquarium Sandfall.

This polyresin dynamic aquascape ornament has a pump sand to the top and then will slide down to the base. The aquamaniac3D Aquarium Sandfall measures 6 in. by 6 in. at the base and is just under 10 in. tall. A sand pump and a pack of snow-white sand are included with the sandfall.

Tetra GloFish Color-Changing Background

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The Tetra GloFish Color-Changing Background is a great addition to a GloFish tank if you’re looking for some more fun things around the aquarium. Granted, these are more about fun and funky rather than a realistic look. Think of it as regular bowling vs. cosmic bowling.

Coupled with Tetra’s color changing decorations the new background will show off one design under the normal GloFish lights and hidden images magically appear when you put the GloFish Cycle Light in midnight mode.

These background images are made for aquariums up to 25 gallons and retail around $15.

SunSun Aquarium Canister Filter with UV Sterilizer

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The SunSun Aquarium Canister Filter with UV Sterilizer combined mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration with the addition of a UV sterilizer to improve water quality and fish health.

The line of filters include various sizes to suit your needs depending on your bioload and system. All come with filter pads and four removable trays agents to give you some flexibility in filtering your aquarium water.

Most canister filters have similar features, but the addition of the UV sterilizer helps eliminate algae and harmful microorganisms. SunSun has designed it with a drip-free shut-off to make cleaning it easy and mess-free. Each filter comes with hoses, connectors, and filter media.

These particular filters retail from around $60 to $120 depending on the size. These are less than half the price of filters from HAGEN or Fluval. From reviews online, most are content with these filters and point out that besides being less than big-name filters, these work good, but tend to be a bit noisier.

If you are looking for an OK filter for a good price, SunSun can be a good choice. If you want high-quality filters that will last, it might be best to spend a little more.

5 colorful fish to add character to any aquarium

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There are so many options when it comes to fish that it can be a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re starting your dream aquarium or looking to add a bit more impact to your current tank, here are 5 colorful fish that will add character to any aquarium.

German Blue Ram


The German Blue Ram is one of the smaller Cichlid species available. Their small size and bright colors make them a great choice to light up your tank. They are typically a quieter fish and are quite shy, preferring to stay in groups (but be careful of having two males in one tank, they can fight to the death). Some recommend keeping them in a single species tank, but if you can’t make sure to round out the tank with small, peaceful fish like tetras.

Paradise Fish

The Blue Paradise Fish is a stunning member of the Labyrinth fish group. A bit larger and more aggressive than the German Blue Ram, the Paradise fish is a lovely specimen. The body has alternating turquoise blue and orange stripes that extend into the fins and tail. Its fins and tail have a feather-like appearance. The Blue Paradise is territorial and will defend its area in the tank, so it should only be kept with other large, semi-aggressive fish.

Endlers Livebearer

Thee Endler’s Livebearer is a small and colorful fish with bright, neon patterns that include green, yellow, blue, and even orange. The Endler’s Livebearers are peaceful and adaptable to many settings and are a great option for smaller desktop tanks, although they will appreciate a large aquarium as well. Endlers are hardy and are a great option in a planted tank.

Male Betta

The male Betta is one of the more brightly colored fish in shades of vibrant hues unparalleled among freshwater fish. Although they may seem delicate, the Betta requires simple care, making them a favorite of both beginning and advanced hobbyists.
Only one male Betta should be kept in an aquarium with peaceful fish that will not nip at the its long fins.

Boesemani rainbow

The Boesemani Rainbow is a wonderful fish that is colorful, yet peaceful, easy to care for and will be an excellent centerpiece for freshwater aquarium. The males are more colorful Males with a striking bluish purple head that fades into a gorgeous orange and yellow tail. Females may not be as colorful, but also make a unique addition. This fish thrives in planted aquariums, but will do well in other systems if they have plenty of room to swim. Like other rainbow fish, the Boesemani has similar characteristics like large eyes, a deep forked mouth, and dual dorsal fins.

Tetra GloFish Color-Changing Ornaments change color with the right light

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Tetra just put out a bunch of GloFish Color-Changing Ornaments for its GloFish aquariums. With a bunch of fun ornaments like a clam, octopus, dragon and coral, the vibrantly colored ornaments also chance colors in “midnight mode” on the GloFish Cycle Lights.

These ornaments are part of the brand’s GloFish color-changing program, which includes a complete line of lights and specially designed décor to add some “Wow!” to the tank.

GloFish weren’t around when I was a kid getting into the hobby and I’d have wanted to get them when I was a kid. They definitely are cool and unique. Although I personally prefer a more natural setting, my 3-year-old daughter just loves seeing these in the store (bonus points because she loves all the other fish too!).

It might be a hard battle between a traditional tank and GloFish as her first tank, and these types of decorations are making it more compelling for getting a GloFish tank.

 

Microbe-Lift Special Blend is a must-have additive

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There are so many miracles in a bottle in this hobby that its hard to believe all the hype. But Microbe-Lift Special Blend Salt & Fresh Water “Eco System in a Bottle” certainly is worth paying attention too.

Whether you’re just starting out or are dealing with excess nutrients and sludge in your aquarium, Microbe-Lift Special Blend will work to keep water clean and clear. Special Blend is a blend of beneficial nonpathogenic bacteria that lowers ammonia and nitrates, remove odors and cloudiness, break down protein foam and organic residue, and stimulate plant growth.

The nice thing is you can use is as a new tank starter to get the biological cycle going or to safely reduce ammonia buildup, or you can use it as a maintenance booster to keep water cleaner longer.

The company It’s 100% safe, non-toxic, and chemical-free so you can use it with all fish, plants, invertebrates, etc. The only downside is it does have a sulfur smell to it, that is just the natural sulfur (hydrogen sulfide) made by the good bacteria in the bottle.

We’ve used this before and it does really work on moving ammonia and nitrites along the biological cycle. With a solid cleaning and regular water changes, it really does help get rid of organic waste much faster than without.

AquaTop PFE-1 is a tiny hang-on filter

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The AquaTop PFE-1 Hang-on Filter is an simple and straightforward (and tiny) hang-on filter that gives you mechanical, chemical and biological filtration. The box itself measures in around 4.2 x 3.2 x 3.8 inches, so you know its not going to be huge, but should work for smaller setups.

The PFE-1 is designed to handle smaller tanks, up to 15 gallons, with a 45 GPH flow rate and a meager 2W of power consumption. Granted, it always seems like these filters are rated for higher volumes, so expect this to be a great option for smaller tanks, closer to 5 gallons than 15.

The AquaTop PFE-1 is built with a filtration chamber system that holds replaceable filter sponge cartridges and the company’s Activated Carbon and Biological Media Trays. They note they are designed to deliver the maximum surface-area for beneficial bacteria, giving them more room to colonize and help keep water clean.