How Not To Kill Your First Fish

How Not To Kill Your First Fish

It all starts out the same. Kid X begs for a puppy. Kid Y wants a kitty. You barter a fish to "see how it goes." Tank gets set up, fish gets plunked in, and everything goes swimmingly... for about 2 weeks. Then all hell breaks loose and your fish dies. The tank is tossed [...]

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Salt in Fish Systems

Salt is a normal component of many fish systems. Saltwater and brackish systems require salt on a continual basis. But what about freshwater systems? Some internet pages recommend keeping salt in koi/goldfish ponds/tanks at all times. Others say don't bother. What are the effects of salt on an all-freshwater species? In a freshwater environment, a [...]

New Pond/Tank Syndrome

New Pond/Tank Syndrome

When you set up a new fish tank for the first time, there are a few things you can expect to happen. With a brand new filter, your nitrogen cycle has not been established. It will take 4-6 weeks MINIMUM to start cycling your new tank. There are countless products who claim they can instantly [...]

Fish Immune Function

Fish Immune Function

When you live in a toilet, like fish do, it's critical to have a well-functioning immune system. Being ectotherms, fish rely on the temperature of their surrounding environment to dictate their metabolism and immune function. Cold water = limited activity. Warm water = more activity. Hot water = poached. All things considered, a fish's immune [...]

How to Clean a Fish Tank

Sounds simple? Do it right and keep your stress minimal! Wash your hands and arms to your elbows. Unplug filter and lights. If you have any UV lights, unplug those too. Close any valves if you have a sump so it doesn't overflow. Remove any synthetic decor and scrub it with hot water and a [...]

Rotting Eggs & Fish Don’t Mix

Rotting Eggs & Fish Don’t Mix

Have you ever been cleaning your pond, maybe pulling out dead plants, and smelled rotting eggs? This unfortunate smell is hydrogen sulfide, the product of anaerobic bacteria buried deep in the mud. Hydrogen sulfide is highly toxic to fish and can can death very quickly. Fish who are exposed suffer an increase in secondary infections [...]

Stop Replacing Your Filters!!

Dear Fish Tank Owners, Please stop replacing your filter media every month. I know it says to do so on the box! But, guess what? They do that in order to SELL MORE!! When you take out your old filter media and toss it in the trash, you are discarding all of your good bacteria. [...]

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle

As you may well know, water quality is a significant aspect of pet fish health. Like the air we breathe, the water a fish swims in is directly linked to their overall health. As a fish veterinarian, we routinely test the water our patients swim in for various parameters. We discussed pH and kH previous, [...]

pH and kH

It's time for everyone's favorite topic: water quality! Many of our clients purchase "master" test kits which include: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, low and high pH. This is a great collection of parameters to start with, but what about kH? For those of you unfamiliar with kH, kH measures the buffering capacity of your water. Buffers [...]

Fish Bowls = Bad Idea

Fish Bowls = Bad Idea

Unfortunately, fish bowls are antiquated technology still for sale on your pet store shelf today. It's an idealized image handed down from Disney movies in our childhoods. Who doesn't like the cozy image of a happy fish swimming around its bowl? Sorry to tell you that fish bowls are awful for fish. Fish kept as [...]