New Fish Livestock 11th August 2018

All new fish well settled and ready to go to new homes.

Indoor Cold Water Fish and Amphibians

  • 1″ Red Fantails
  • 1″ Red and White Fantails
  • 2″ Black Moors
  • 2″ Red and Black Fantails
  • 2″ Calico Fantails
  • Golden Zebra Danios
  • Zebra Danios
  • Leopard Danios
  • Weather Loach
  • Golden Clawed Frog (xenopus)
  • Large Wild-type Axolotls

Tropical Aquarium Fish

Livebearers

  • Green King Cobra Male Guppy
  • Lyretail Blue Male Guppy
  • Assorted Female Guppy
  • Snow White Male Guppy
  • Silver Molly
  • Golden Molly
  • Dalmation Molly
  • Assorted Colour Balloon Molly
  • Coral Blue Platy
  • Neon Red Platy
  • Red Wag Swordtails
  • Neon Green Swordtail
  • Blood Red Swordtail

Cichlids

  • 2″ Red Oscars
  • 2″ Red Tiger Oscars
  • Koi Angelfish
  • Storm Angelfish
  • Black Angelfish
  • Kribensis

Cyprinids

  • Medium Tiger Barbs
  • Medium Green Tiger BArbs
  • Medium Albino Tiger Barbs
  • Cherry Barbs

Tetras/Rasboras

  • Red Eye Tetra
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • X-Ray Tetra
  • Black Phantoms
  • Black Widow Tetra
  • Zebra Danios
  • Leopard Danios
  • Rummynose Tetra
  • Large Neons
  • Scissortail Rasboras
  • Cardinals
  • Silver tip tetra
  • Congo Tetra
  • Head and Tail Light Tetra

 

Introducing Your New Fish To The Aquarium

As Fishkeepers, we have a responsibility to provide the best possible care for our pets.

Moving home is a stressful event. It means a change in environment and unfamiliar surroundings. For fish, this change is even more of a shock. The chances are that the water in their new tank will have dozens of subtle differences from the previous one. These changes take time to adapt to and stress can make fish susceptible to illness.

Thankfully it is easy to reduce the stress of moving tank in just a few, easy steps!

 

Things to do before you add a new fish.

  1. The first thing to do is to check with your local fish store if the fish you have chosen is suitable. Also check if it has any unique requirements. For example: does it need live foods or is flake suitable?
  2. Always check what size the fish will grow to. It is all well and good deciding that you would like a cute baby red tailed catfish but can you house it as a 36″ adult? Aquatic stores are inundated with offers of large fish and seldom have room to accept them.
  3. Test your water. Ammonia and Nitrite (NO2) should both be zero ppm (parts per million). Nitrate (NO3) should be lower than 25 ppm ideally. Chlorine levels must be zero and your pH should closely match the fishes natural environment. For most community tanks a pH of 7 is ideal as this is neither acid or alkaline and so provides a balance for different species.
  4. Add decoration to your tank. It is important that new fish feel safe and have somewhere to hide. Adding new ornaments may also reduce territorial behaviours in fish that are already in the tank.
  5. If you already have fish in the tank, feed them before you set off to buy new inhabitants. Lets face it, who wants to quarrel on a full stomach? When you and your new pet return, the tank will most likely be in a peaceful state.

At the fish store

  • Always feel free to ask questions before you buy your fish. We want you to enjoy your new pets without worrying
  • Look closely at the tank the fish are kept in. There should be no uneaten food and any dead fish in the tank is not a good sign. How are the fish in the tank behaving? they should look bright and reactive not huddled in a corner looking stressed.
  • If you would like a particular fish from a tank, feel free to ask the assistant to catch it for you. So long as it isn’t a tetra from a shoal of a thousand, they should be happy to accommodate. Bare in mind that it is not always possible to sex fish reliably depending on species and size.
  • Ask what food the fish have been feeding on and the time they are used to being fed. This will help to maintain routine which will further reduce stress.
  • Purchase a stress reducing formula. These water additives are designed to relax fish and provide additional protection against illness.

Now that you have chosen your new pet, take it straight home. If you need to make any other stops, please do so before you go to the fish store. The less time your fish spends in the bag, the better.

 

What to do when you get home?

  • Turn off the lights in your aquarium. Fishes eyes take much longer to adjust to changing light levels than ours. Being removed from a dark bag only to be placed under a bright light is going to be a shock. Add the stress reducing formula.
  • Place the tied bag containing your fish so that it is floating on the surface of your aquarium water.
  • Allow the bag to float for fifteen to twenty minutes and the cut the knot off the bag and roll down to form a “collar” that will keep the bag afloat.

 

  • Take a cup of water from the aquarium and pour a little into the floating bag. Take care not to put too much in at once as this will cause the bag to sink.
  • Repeat this step every few minutes for the next quarter of an hour. This allows the water in the bag and your aquarium water to mix so that any changes to pH or other parameters happen gradually.
  • Tip the bag gently to allow your fish to swim out in their own time and explore their new surroundings.

  • Lastly, spend some time observing your new inhabitant. Keep an eye open for other fish bullying him or her. If this does occur, add a small amount of food as a distraction. and monitor.
  • Leave the lights off for a few hours to allow the new tank mates to adjust. Most fish are naturally more docile at night.

Relax and enjoy your new pet…

For the first few days, keep an extra close eye on the tank just to make sure everybody is getting along and getting a chance to feed. If you have followed the steps above, introducing a new fish shouldn’t be a stressful procedure for anyone.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us at sales@atlasaquatics.co.uk.

Thank you on behalf of us and your new fish for taking the time to read this article.

Introducing Your New Fish To The Aquarium PDF Download

 

How to set up a fish tank for the first time

How to set up a fish tank for the first time! This is not as difficult as you might think if you follow our simple guide. It is a well known fact that aquariums are relaxing. If you have never set a fish tank up before it can seem a little daunting but it really is easy. In just a few simple steps, you can become a fish keeper!

Preparation

The first step is to choose a tank. Things to consider are…

  • What type of fish you would like to keep?
  • Where is the tank going to go?
  • What is your budget?

Choose the right type of aquarium for the fish you intend to keep. Larger tanks are easier to maintain and have more stable water chemistry. Small tanks can look gorgeous if you choose fish or shrimps that are suitable. Choose an area for the tank that does not receive direct sunlight or draughts. Ideally pick a spot with a level floor and that is out of the way of the main traffic in the house. Most aerosols such as air fresheners are poisonous to aquatic life so be sure to bear that in mind.

Check list

Based on a tropical or coldwater set up here is a list of things you’ll need.

  1. Aquarium
  2. Lights
  3. Filter
  4. Heater (for tropical tanks)
  5. Air pump (if you want bubbles)
  6. Substrate (gravel or sand)
  7. Decor
  8. Water conditioner
  9. Filter starter bacteria
  10. Water test kits

Wash everything

It is always a good idea to rinse the inside of a new aquarium as well as ornaments. This is to remove any residues from the manufacturing process.

Your gravel or sand will normally require washing before it is added to the aquarium. The exception being specialist substrates for planted aquaria as this contains certain nutrients to help plant growth. The best way to wash your gravel is to add small amounts (I use around 2kg) at a time to a clean bucket. Stir the substrate by hand as you fill the bucket with tap water. Once the bucket is around 2/3 full, turn the tap off and allow the substrate to settle for a few seconds. Carefully pour off the water and repeat as many times as necessary. You should keep doing this until the water is clear. I know how tempting it is to rush this stage but keep going until the water is clean. Add the gravel or sand to the bottom of the tank and smooth it with your hand.

Half fill the tank

Place a saucer on the gravel and gently pour water onto it from a bucket or jug. This is to avoid disturbing the gravel too much and stirring it all up. Use water only from the cold tap as home hot water pipes use a different flux and can be toxic to fish. you can add a little boiled water to the bucket to take the chill off.

Add filter, heater and decor

Once the tank is half full it is time to position your filter. Be sure to read all instructions carefully and remove any inner packaging. This tank from Aqua One has a trickle filter built into the top that is fixed in place. If your tank has a separate internal power filter, the best place to position it is one of the back corners of the tank near the surface so that the flow creates gentle ripples. Most modern internal filters have a movable flow nozzle so that you can choose the direction of water to flow. It is best to position this towards the corner of the tank diagonally opposite the filter. This will ensure the most efficient circulation of water and avoid “dead spots” where there is no flow. If you are using an external filter it is best to position the inlet and outlet pipes at opposite ends of the tank.

The heater should be fitted at the back of the tank. It is best to position the heater diagonally and fully underwater. This allows the heat to rise and circulate more effectively. Ideally the filter outlet will gently pass water over the heater. This is so that the tank has no warm or cool spots and all of the water is the same temperature.

If you have an air pump now is the time to position the air stone and pipe where you would like them to go.

Now is a good time to add decoration. Think about the type of habitat you are trying to create – some fish species require specific decor such as caves or at least hiding places to feel secure. Make sure that any rocks or heavy ornaments are stable so that they can’t fall.

  • Do not plug the filter or heater in yet, this is the last thing to do.

Fill the tank

Now you may add the remaining water to the tank. Most tanks have a marker on the inside to show the maximum and minimum water levels. Add the dechlorinator (also known as tap water conditioner) using the manufacturers instructions for your volume of aquarium.

Once the tank is full you may plug in the filter and heater. Even though they are built to rigorous safety standards it is a good idea to keep your hands out of the tank whenever they are switched on. They should also be switched off before performing any maintenance.

When plugging in the filter and heater, always leave a “drip loop”. This means that the wires should droop down lower than the plug socket so that if any water gets onto the wire, it drips off. This way water cannot get into the plug and create a hazard.

Now for the hardest part…

Now is the step that fish keepers dread!

Waiting…

Your new aquarium is a life support system. If you have a tropical tank, it takes a little time for the heater to bring water to the correct temperature. The water isn’t yet chemically stable and this takes a while. You should, at this time, add live filter bacteria so that the filter begins to mature and will be ready for adding livestock.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no benefit to leaving the tank for a month without adding fish. Most tanks will be ready to add the first few fish after three days to one week.

You should begin testing the pH of the water as well as Ammonia and Nitrite. For most commonly kept fish a pH of 7-7.5 is ideal but this does vary from species to species so be sure to check. The Ammonia and Nitrite must be 0 ppm (parts per million).

The fun begins!

Once your water is at the correct temperature and the conditions are testing correctly you can think about adding some fish!

Patience is always key in this hobby so rather than fill your tank with fish straight away, build your stock gradually. Choose the types of fish you would like to keep together and check compatibility. Add a few hardy fish to the tank and build your stocking levels weekly.

It is best to test your water daily after the first fish have been added. This is because organic waste is now being produced and conditions can change quickly. Feed a suitable food once a day and only as much as the fish can consume in a minute or two. Once your tank is mature and stable, you can test your water weekly.

99% of problems can be avoided by simply taking your time and not overfeeding the fish. Fish are cold blooded so they don’t need as much food as you think.

And… Relax

As fish keepers, we know how much joy this hobby can bring to everybody. Fish like stability and consistency and this means that there is very little to do now other than sit back and enjoy your aquarium.

If you have any other questions or need any help or support, we’re here to help. Feel free to e-mail us at  sales@atlasaquatics.co.uk

Download this guide as a PDF here How to set up a fish tank for the first time

Outdoor Pond

Pond pumps, filtration and lighting made easy

Everybody loves the sound of moving water in their garden but with so many pumps and filters to choose from, where do you start? It can seem hard when you are faced with such a huge selection but it can be easy to choose when you understand what each one does. Pumps move water. Filters clarifiy water that is supplied to them by a filter pump. UV filters (these should properly be named UV clarifiers) help to prevent water turning green.

Pond pumps

The pump is the beating heart of your water feature. There are two main types of pond pump. The first is a fountain pump and these are made to pump already clean water through a decorative fountain attachment. The motor itself is not designed to move dirty water or sediment so the inlets to the pump are relatively small. Some may also have a small sponge inside. Fountain pumps are cheaper than filter/ waterfall pumps because they are built to do less strenuous work. If a fountain pump is used to power a filter, it will tire quickly and eventually break.

 

Fountain pumps are great for

  • Running a fountain in a clean pond
  • powering small pond side ornaments
  • oxgenating small ponds by creating surface movement

The second type is a filter pump or waterfall pump. These are usually larger than fountain pumps and are designed to push water through a pipe to either a filter or a watercourse. They have more, larger inlet holes than those found on fountain pumps because their job is to accept dirty water and send it to the filter to be cleaned. Most filter pumps can pass through solids of up to 8mm without struggling. They have strong internal parts and can handle the pressure of pumping water from the pond to a filter or waterfall above the ground. Some can pump up to a height of many meters. They are more expensive than a fountain pump with a similar flow rate because they are designed to do a different job and cope with more stress.

Filter / waterfall pumps are great for

  • Sending dirty water to a filter to be cleaned
  • Pumping uphill to supply water to a waterfall
  • Very large fountain displays
  • Circulating large volumes of water

Flow rates

The next step is to work out what rate of water flow you will require. If you are using the pump to run a filter then the minimum flow rate should be twice your pond’s volume per hour. For example, if your pond is 3000 litres then you will need a minimum flow of 6000 litres per hour (LPH). A slightly over sized filter will work just fine and need cleaning out less often.

If you want to incorporate a waterfall into your pond then you will need a minimum of 100 litres per hour for every 1cm width of the waterfall. For example a waterfall ending with a 30cm wide shelf will need to be supplied by a pump with a minimum flow rate of 3000 litres per hour.

Always remember that the higher above ground you pump, the more the flow will reduce. The rate this happens varies between pumps so check what flow rate they will give at varying heights. Measure from the water level of the pond to the highest part of your waterfall and check the flow rate at this height rather than the maximum your pump is capable of.

 

Pond filters

Pond filters can be divided into two main categories. The first are box (gravity fed) filters. These filters must be situated above the ground as they are open topped boxes with a lid. The water enters the filter through a pipe connection and then flows via gravity through the filter media and back out of a hole near the bottom of the box. If the filter foams become blocked over time, the box may overflow. Gravity fed box filters are often relatively inexpensive as their construction is simple.

Box filters are popular for small ponds with few fish.

Box filters are…

  • not sealed units so can’t be dug into the ground
  • relatively cheap due to simpler design
  • maintenance heavy compared to pressure filters
  • great for small ponds with low stocking levels

 

The second type of filter is called a pressure filter. These get their name because they are sealed and can be positioned lower than ground level. Pressure filters are great for all kinds of pond and they can be partially buried and disguised more easily. They have fittings for three pipes. The first is an inlet for water coming from the pump. The second is the outlet where water is returned from the filter to the pond or waterfall. The third fitting is for waste water when cleaning the filter foams.

Most pressure filters have a ring of sponges inside which can be cleaned by turning a valve to divert water to the outlet and then pulling a handle to squeeze the foams out. The benefit to this system is that is does not require disassembling the filter and removing the foams. All the cleaning is done using pressure from your pump without even getting your hands wet!

 

Pressure filters are…

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Able to be dug into the ground and disguised
  • Built to be positioned as far from the pond as you need (e.g in a garage or shed)
  • Great for ponds of all sizes
  • The most popular pond filter for all of the above reasons

Filters are recommended for a certain pond size. You can easily work out your pond volume using the guide in the article 5 steps to building a flexible liner pond.

UV or not UV?

That is the question! A UV (ultraviolet clarifier) is a special type of light that many filters include or may be added separately. They use very little power and are designed to control green water algae. They do this by passing water in close proximity to a light of a particular wavelength. This causes single celled algae in the water to clump together to be removed by the filter. It is more cost effective to buy a filter with a built in UV than to add one on separately. When you buy the correctly sized pump, filter and UV for your pond and stocking levels, you are guaranteed to have clear water all year round.

 

Pond lights

Pond lights can be positioned underwater inside the pond or around the edge. They use LEDs or halogen bulbs to give your pond a completely different look after dark. Pond lights can be purchased singly or in sets of three or more. They use a transformer to provide mains electrical power. The transformer must usually be positioned out of the water but each light unit has a considerable length of cable so that you are not limited with design.

Some pond lights come with different coloured lenses so that you match your pond with other colour schemes in the garden. Most lights are best fitted towards the surface of the pond pointing slightly downwards to avoid startling the fish. You may wish to illuminate the whole pond but always leave at least one third in partial darkness. This is so that your fish can hide if they need to and will help keep them stress free and safe from predators.

Other things to consider

Now that you know what options are available and can easily decide which system is best for you. You may want to plan how to disguise the pump and filter if you want a natural looking pond. This can easily be done with a little careful planning and attention to detail. Pond pumps come with 10 metres of electrical cable as standard but UV clarifiers and lights may come with less so always check the individual product descriptions before you buy and always consult a qualified electrician before starting to build your pond.

Once you have finished, Its time to relax and enjoy your beautiful new pond. It will bring new life to your garden from pollinating insects to birds and mammals. A well designed and maintained pond is a focal point like no other and will bring joy to everyone that encounters it.

Download this guide as a PDF here Pond pumps filtration and lighting made easy

Flexible lined pond

5 steps to fitting a flexible pond liner

Every year thousands of people decide to add a water feature to their garden. Aside from creating a beautiful focal point, the sound of gently running water is always a beautiful thing. Even the smallest garden pond will provide refuge and drinking water to a huge variety of wildlife, from birds to amphibians and a whole host of other native fauna.

Although the prospect of building a pond using flexible sheet liner can seem daunting, it’s just five simple steps.

1. Location location location!

The first thing to decide is where the pond is going to go. An ideal location would be somewhere that receives shade for at least a few hours a day. If the area you have chosen will be in full sunlight all day, algae will grow more readily and you will need to account for this by over-sizing your pond filter. If the pond will be situated under the shade of a tree, falling leaves will need to be accounted for and you will need a cover net to help to keep them off the pond as well as a good surface skimming net and a pond pump that can cope with larger solids such as the excellent laguna max-flo range.

Other things to consider are…

  • Distance from the nearest electrical point as all pond pumps come with 10m (33 feet) of electrical cable but many filters come with less (please see individual product descriptions).
  • Will your hose pipe reach the area you have chosen to fill the pond and top up evaporation in the summer? Is your desired location somewhere that makes it possible to drain water from the pond when maintenance is being performed?
  • Do you use chemicals or fertilisers on your garden? If you do and your pond is in an area where these could be washed in when it rains, it will be impossible to create a healthy, stable environment for aquatic life.

Once you have found the perfect location for a garden pond, its time to have some fun!

2. Design, depth and digging

Now it’s time to decide on the shape of your pond. Would you prefer a formal or a more natural shape? What type of fish would you like to keep? Is encouraging wildlife to the pond your priority? The beauty with using a flexible liner is that your imagination is the limit. Flexible liners can fit any size or shape of pond. Just bear in mind that sharp angles will need to have folded edges and you will need a pond liner adhesive to stick these down so that fish dont get trapped under them. A shelf around the inside of the pond at a depth or 8 to 10 inches will enable you to plant a variety of marginal plants to provide colour to your garden and cover for your fish.

Considerations

Always check the likely locations of utility supply pipes before digging. legally, these must be no less than 60cm below ground level but many great pond builds have been halted in their tracks because this has not been the case. Safety is the most important factor when building a pond so if you aren’t 100 % certain about the location of pipes and wires, ask a professional to check.
If your pond is for wildlife, it is best to design it with at least one gently sloping edge. This is so that birds and animals can easily get in and out. A deeper area of at least 18 inches should be incorporated to allow plants like water lilies to grow and provide cover.

For Koi ponds you should aim to provide an area of at least 36 inches depth to allow the fish to swim naturally and develop their correct body shape. All other pond fish will benefit from this depth but it is less essential.

Once these considerations have been taken into account, mark out the area of the pond with string or a hosepipe and take a final few minutes to decide if the shape and location are right.

3. Choosing and fitting your new liner

There are several types of flexible pond liner and each has its own benefit. PVC liner is the cheapest and suitable for all ponds but is thinner than other types and less tear resistant than E.P.D.M or Butyl. It is still the liner of choice for many small to medium garden ponds.

Butyl rubber has been the favorite of professionals and hobbyists for years, due to its high tensile strength, tear resistance and flexibility. It is available in different thicknesses, is very hard wearing and can stretch better than PVC to acommodate edges.

E.P.D.M also know as Epalyn rubber, shares some properties with Butyl rubber. It has an even higher tear resistance, flexablity and a greater ability to stretch than Butyl. E.P.D.M liner costs more than PVC but much less than Butyl.

How to work out what size liner you need

Measure the longest, widest, and deepest areas to be covered.

LENGTH, PLUS 2 X DEPTH, = SIDE 1
WIDTH, PLUS 2 X DEPTH = SIDE 2
ADD A MINIMUM OR 12 INCHES (30CM) TO YOUR FINAL MEASUREMENTS TO ALLOW AN OVERLAP FOR EDGING.
So for a pond measuring 200cm long x 100cm wide x 60cm deep
200cm plus 60cm plus 60cm = 320cm
100cm plus 60cm plus 60cm =220cm
So when we add 30cm to each to allow for our overlap, the minimum liner size you require is 350cm x 250cm

Don’t forget to fit a quality underlay to protect your new liner for the duration of its life. Even if the ground seems smooth there will likely be small particles capable of puncturing it. All of the liners that we offer, come with a lifetime guarantee if they are installed properly and with the correct underlay.

4. Filling your pond and adding edging

Now is the time to fill your pond using a hose pipe and add a suitable pond dechlorinator to ensure that the water is safe for fish. As the pond is filling, gently pull the edges upwards and out to minimise any creases and folds. Once the pond is full, weigh down the edges and allow it to settle overnight. The next day you may trim any excess liner (leaving a 30cm overlap) using a sharp knife.

You can use a variety of paving slabs held down with mortar to edge your pond, be sure to check that they are inert first so that they won’t alter your ponds water chemistry. If you are unsure, add a few drops of white vinegar to a piece of the rock. If you notice any bubbles or fizzing, the rock is reacting to the acidity of the vinegar and should not be used. Rocks with green, blue or red streaks running through them most likely contain metals and should be avoided.

5. Adding a pump, filter and lights

When choosing your pump and filter, it is vital to know the approximate volume of your new pond. As most ponds aren’t exactly square or rectangular you should use average measurements. Using the following formula, take the average measurements of your pond in metres to work out its volume in litres.
LENGTH X WIDTH X DEPTH X 1000 = POND VOLUME IN LITRES
To convert this to gallons divide your answer by 4.5
So for a pond measuring 2m long x 1m wide x 0.6m deep
2 X 1 X 0.6 X 1000 = 120 litres
120 ÷ 4.5 = 26.7 gallons

Pumps

Pond pumps fall into two main categories:

  • Fountain pumps are designed for pumping already clean water through a fountain head attachment with little or no back pressure.
  • Filter pumps can pump water with particles up to 8mm to an external filter and can also be used for pumping water to a waterfall. These are both jobs that require stronger internal parts than standard fountain pumps have.

Filters

Filtration can either be gravity fed (the filter is outside of the pond and usually sat at least partially above ground) or Pressurised (The filter is outside the pond but below ground level). Gravity fed filters can vary from basic boxes which contain layers of filter media to self cleaning machines such as the OASE Proficlear Premium Compact.

Lighting can make even the most humble of ponds take on a magical hue at night and will allow you to benefit from your new ponds beauty 24 hours a day.

We will talk in more detail about these different options in our next article “Pond pumps, filtration and lighting made easy.”

For now, remember to enjoy designing and building your beautiful new garden pond and it will bring years of happiness and relaxation to the ones you love!

Download this guide as a PDF here 5 Steps to building a flexible liner pond

Juwel MultiLux LED

Juwel MultiLux LED

Juwel Bioflow

Juwel Bioflow Filtersystems