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For anyone new to fishkeeping, you are facing a minefield of potential problems when buying your first fish...  But don't worry help is at hand, and the fact that you're reading this forum means that you've taken an important step to becoming an enlightened and responsible owner... well done you!

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01 Nov 2011 - Selecting healthy fish

Most of us especially new hobbyists don't use a quarantine tank for our new fish, this makes it especially important to make sure that only good healthy fish are purchased in the first place. Even though at a glance it may seem that all fish look the same there are ways to spot good fish and ones that should be avoided.

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20 Jan 2012 - Articles on TFF UK

A Beginners guide to buying your first fish          
A Treatise on DIY Co2          
Algae Control          
Ammonia Calculator          
Aquatic Invertebrates
         
Cleaning an External Filter          
Corydoras Breeding Basics          
Disease Database          
Dry and rainy season periods in the tank          
Easy Planted Aquarium          
Geophagus tapajos          
Local Fish Store Search          
Matt's DIY C02          
Matt's Planted Tank          


Paratharaps Synspilum - Quetzal Cichlid          
Planted Tank Check List          
Planting & pruning your plants          
Red Line Torpedo "Puntius denisonii"          
Selecting healthy fish          
Setting up a cO2 injection system          
So you want to Start a Marine Tank??          
The Fishless Cycle Explained          
The Nitrogen Cycle          
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Setting up your new aquarium

New Tank Syndrome is the number 1 cause of fish death. If you take the time to read this and follow the steps, you will not have to deal with new tank syndrome, and you will create a healthy environment for your fish.

This article won’t deal with tank specifics- which tank to buy and what equipment to get etc. This will be covered elsewhere. These steps are for once you have everything you need- a tank, stand, filter, lights and heater (although the procedure is the same for coldwater tanks as well). Got all that? Fantastic!

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This article will attempt to cover all aspects of DIY CO2 systems used on freshwater-planted aquaria. Insights intothe needs of aquatic plants in relation to CO2, and how this relates to CO2 injection methods, will be described.It will examine mechanical designs,and the biology of yeast relating to its ability andconditions by which it producescarbon dioxide. Formulas foryeast mixtures and somedetails on construction projects will also beprovided.

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14 Feb 2011 - Algae Control

So you have got the dreaded weed in your tank?
Let me start by saying DON’T PANIC. All is not lost.

Algae is the most problematic in all aquariums from the simplest of set ups to the most advanced, every tank either has or will experience algae at some stage of the tanks life, and apart from the fish and plants you have, it is the most natural of things in it. I personally don’t mind some algae in my tanks and have learnt how to control it as the pictures above show, others don’t like any form of algae and go to great lengths to make sure it stays away. Trying to control algae is not as bad as it sounds.

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16 Nov 2009 - Ammonia Calculator

Ammonia Calculator to aid your fishless cycle.

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28 Oct 2009 - Aquatic Inverterbrates

Shrimp are decapods or 10 limbed crustaceans along with crayfish, cherax crabs and others.
Historically only crayfish were kept, in the last 10-15 years shrimp and other crustaceans have become increasingly popular in home aquaria.

This article will try to give an overview on owning, keeping healthy and breeding of the dwarf freshwater shrimp, fan handed shrimp and long armed shrimp as well as the dwarf crayfish(*). Although not precise the term shrimp will be primarily used to cover all of these. Because of the wide number of decapods being covered generalisations will occur and more specific details should be sought once a choice of inhabitant has been chosen.

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This is an Eheim 2326 Thermofilter that supplements the internal on a Juwel Rio400 tank and it has been running for ten years (still the same impeller and blue sponge).  The thermostat failed about four years ago and spares were unobtainable, so I’ve made other arrangements for controlling its heater.

It has been nearly a year since I last opened the filter, and have done it now more out of guilt than necessity : there was still a good flow through it. Although it’s an Eheim, the principles are the same for any external and I hope that someone who hasn’t yet cleaned one will gain some comfort (and maybe even some tips) from reading this account!

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Of all the catfish in the world, the Cory must rate as one of the most popular aquarium kept catfish. The common species are usually easy to obtain and are relatively inexpensive. Belonging to the Family Callichythyidae, there are currently 155 described Species and many more to come. Even more exciting, new species are being discovered every day.

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28 Oct 2009 - Disease Database

All in all the better your maintenance regime, the better your chances of having happy healthy fish.
Keep all equipment clean.

Do not over clean filters.
Feed sparingly.
Perform good quality water changes regularly.

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Many fish from tropical areas have seasons when they spawn due to changes in their natural environment. Most often they spawn when the rainy season begins, because it brings increased food supply and increased possibility for the fry to find food and shelter. To try to re-create as many of the changes as possible that occur during the rainy season's beginning might be one way to spawn species that otherwise are very difficult to spawn. Many species are so easy to spawn you need not use these, in many cases cumbersome methods that are described below, but certain species and groups of species might need it. Begin with the general rules for breeding a certain species or group of species. If you don't succeed, try with the suggestions below.

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28 Oct 2009 - Easy Planted Aquarium

A quick guide to the easiest plants for the home aquarium.

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18 Feb 2008 - Geophagus tapajos

Geophagus means earth eater, these cichlids spend a lot of their time sifting through fine substrate foraging for food, their specially designed gills give them the ability to sort organic from inorganic matter. They are a very colourful species, both male and female will exhibit very vivid colours unlike many other species. Although they will predate on small fish such as small tetras, they are generally a very peaceful fish that can add something special to a community tank containing larger fish.

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28 Oct 2009 - Local Fish Store Search

To use the LFS Search click on "Tools" then enter County or Country in Search.
A handy too to find your Local Fish Store in the UK.

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20 Feb 2011 - Matt's DIY C02

A Pictorial Guide To DIY Co2
This is for a 2-litre bottle.

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20 Feb 2004 - Matt's Planted Tank

I started this tank last November (2001) sometime. Most of the surviving plants from my 29 Gallon during a move were added.
The setup was as follows,
-Hot magnum and Magnum 350 (outputs upside down for less surface agitation)
-75 pounds of Fluorite, aquascaped with rocks to make the rear depth about 6 inches (for swords) 4 inches at the front.
-2- 2l bottles of DIY Co2
-Flourish and leafzone, plus root tabs, plus iron added bi-monthly for fertilization.
160 watts of light (2 twin shop lights, 4 -40 watt bulbs)
Initial fish were 5 SAE, 5 ottos, 8 cherry barbs, 12 Bronze Cory’s (Corydoras aeneus)
-Plants were/are; Amazon sword (2) Bronze wendtii(2),micro swords(2),Bacopa, Ambulia, Hygrophylia polysperma, Hygrophylia corymbosa, Java moss, Crypt balansae.

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The Quetzal Cichlid:
Widely and incorrectly referred to as vieja synspilum, this colourful fish is the most commonly available of the vieja species to the hobby. Although not as aggressive as some of its family, it is still a fish to treat carefully.

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20 Feb 2011 - Planted Tank Check List

In the general planted tank situation the substrate serves certain vital roles, these include:

  • A mechanical matrix for plants to root and anchor themselves in. For this reason it should not compact too easily otherwise root growth can be impeded. Actual physical particle size is probably of less concern as particles in an aquarium situation are not likely to be physically obstructive and more generally chosen for aesthetic reasons
  • A chemical store of plant nutrients , achieved either by:  
  1. Active exchange of cations (positively charged particles) in the water column and binding of these within the substrate for the roots to utilise. Many nutrients plant use, like Mg, Fe, B, Zn etc. are water soluble (further discussion of these under the fertiliser heading).
  2. Or alternatively by choosing a substrate that is high in the needed nutrients in the first instance

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With planted tanks starting to come into their own right along side fish tanks there is an untold amount of information on how to set up and keep them alive, but very little on how to look after the plants in respect of planting and pruning them. Here I hope to be able to give you at least the basics of planting & pruning your under water plants.

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