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 [...]

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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 [...]

Water Changes & Fish

Water Changes & Fish

Most fish kept as pets are maintained in artificial systems; tanks and ponds meant to replicate their "wild" environment. In a "wild" environment, water flushes into and out of a system through streams, rivers, brooks, rain or the ocean. In an artificial tank or pond, water will come in and out at the owner's discretion, [...]

Troubleshooting Fish Systems

Troubleshooting Fish Systems

Many of the fish issues we see at Aquatic Veterinary Service condense down to one thing: ineffective husbandry. Most of the time, it is not the owners fault and they receive false information from many conflicting sources. Well, we're here to set the record straight and make it easy to take care of your fish. [...]