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With age, you will notice that we don’t exactly need as much space as we thought. Although there is a need for storing belonging, there simply aren’t as many belongings to keep anymore. Instead, watching the children grow up and interact with other children brings great joy to the soul. Recently, planting and raising fish at home has become more prevalent amongst the elderly. Possibly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must find something to entertain ourselves at home.

However, animals and plants are living things, and every life needs to be cared for. By fully understanding their characteristics and providing them with an ideal living environment, you can allow your little living hobbies to lead healthy and happy lives.

Fishkeeping is a widespread interest, which is of great benefit to the body and mind. Studies have pointed out that flowing water has a calming effect on our mood. Ornamental fish tanks alone have helped relieve pain, increase heart rate, and reduce high blood pressure. Just like owning any pet, watching them in their habitat can stabilize emotions and increase positive energy.

Therefore, having fish tanks in places where the elderly are, such as homes, elderly centers, etc., will bring numerous conversation topics and fun to the elderly. And retirees who have some experience and interest in fish farming can serve as volunteers for institutions with this plan to bring happiness to more people. However, raising fish is not an easy task, especially since you will become responsible for their life. Nonetheless, don't let this stop you; it will be all the more rewarding when you can care for your fishes anyway! This page will introduce the "instructions of fish farming for novices", which can also be used as a refresher for those who already have considerable experience. We welcome readers to contribute and share their expertise and insights with each other. If you are interested, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to hear from you!
 
Tips for starting off
 
Feeding your fish is quite simple, yet care is still needed, or your fishes can die! If done successfully, your fishes will grow up healthily but also if these conditions are met::
 
Suitable surrounding environment
  • Fish farming space: Ensure the water source and drainage system is convenient for you. In addition, there should be a power supply with at least 3 sockets for the fish tank. There should also be enough ventilation in the surrounding area as well as having enough space for a suitable fish tank and the fish farming equipment needed around the tank.
  • Fish farming equipment: Ensure you have a suitable sized fish tank, filters, lights, air pumps, temperature regulatory equipment, bottom sand, aquatic plants and other landscaping devices.
Suitable water
  • Water quality: Ensure that the concentration of nitrite in the water is regulated as it tends to increase due to the accumulation of excrement and feed.  In addition, removing the chlorine content in tap water is essential.
 
Appropriate management


Different types of fish have different requirements for the water quality and temperature of the fish tank. Therefore, these two factors must be rigorously monitored to establish an appropriate environment. Changing the water and cleaning the fish tank regularly is needed to ensure that the filter is working properly and there is enough dissolved oxygen in the fish tank. Of course, it is necessary to feed your fish regularly and appropriately, monitor the health of the fish, and make adjustments if needed. You are going to have to use a bit of intuition with the last requirement!


Choosing your fish
 
Many beginners generally like to raise goldfish and tropical fish because of their rich variety, bright colors and elegant swimming. This page introduces some species of goldfish as well as tropical fish suitable for beginners.
 
Goldfish



Common Goldfish
Dragon Eye Goldfish
Lion head Goldfish
Butterfly-tailed Goldfish
Pearlscale Goldfish
Redcap Oranda Goldfish
 
Tropical Fish



Guppy
Kissing Gourami
Siamese Fighting fish
Tiger Barb Fish
Traffic Light fish
Zebra fish
 
Fish Tank
 
When choosing a fish tank, you must first measure its size and size of the placement. Ensure to have the location where you are planning to place the fish tank stable enough to withstand its weight. If not, you may need to buy a wooden frame for support. And depending on the type of rearing, such as freshwater tanks, sea water tanks, aquatic tanks, etc., they would have different shapes and sizes.  More......


Glass Fish Tank
 

  1. Bay type "pointed" and "rounded" glass tanks: The sides of the fish tank are composed of a whole piece of glass, which is bent into a bay shape using high temperature bending processing technology, which presents a wider and different visual effect when viewing fish.
  2.  Square Glass Tank: It is made of five pieces of glass bonded together, and the bonding area are at the right angles.
  3. Ultra-White Glass Tank: Breaking through the traditional glass products, the cut surface will appear turquoise. Using ultra-white high-transparent glass, the cut surface is transparent, which increases the brightness of the fish tank, presents the most realistic biological and aquatic body color, and improves the overall aesthetic of the tank.
Acrylic fish tank
 
These tanks are composed of acrylic boards. The material is lighter than glass in terms of weight, the transparency allows for excellent viewing, and shapes can be more diversified. In addition, the material is less conducive for algae production and has a longer lifespan.
 
Decorative cylinder
 
Decorative cylindrical tanks generally have more decorations and variation in materials so that the tank looks more exquisite and texture. It can be used as a part of the interior decoration, and for novices who don’t want to spend too much time on installation, a set of cylinders will be one of the first choices. Each manufacturer has different supporting equipment. Usually, the cylinder set products include filters, lighting fixtures, protein defoamers, and other accessories.

Filters and Filter Materials

Filters

The main function of the filter is to purify the water and increase the oxygen content in the water. When used, the water is sent to the filter material in the filter to filter out harmful substances, and then use the filter material to propagate bacteria to achieve the effect of purifying the water quality cycle.More......


Upper filter: It is commonly used by general fish farmers. It is mainly placed on the top of the fish tank. It is easy to remove when cleaning. The filter material is pumped and filtered by the upper motor and sent directly to the filter box. It is suitable for cultivating aerobic nitrifying bacteria.
 
Trickle filter: Installed on the top of the fish tank, it is easy to remove when cleaning. The upper motor pumps water to the filter material for filtering. Multiple drip boxes can be placed, which can be placed on biochemical cotton, activated carbon, ceramic ring, quartz ball, etc.
 
External barrel filter: A relatively high-performance filter, usually placed on the ground or in a wooden frame. Normally, there are two pipes for the water to go in and out through the filter barrel. The filter material is installed in the barrel and carbon dioxide in the water is less likely to be emitted. It also does not occupy the space in the fish tank. It has a more elegant look in addition to its quietness.
 
External filter: This is a favorite for small tanks and beginners. It is mainly hung on the outside of the fish tank and uses a submersible motor to pump water into the filter. The filter material is easy to replace and does not take up space in the tank.
 
Cylinder bed filter: Generally installed at the bottom of the fish tank. The corrugated board is covered with bottom sand. The water flow is driven by a motor or a pump and when the dirty water passes through the bottom sand on the corrugated board, the bottom sand can be filtered to achieve the purifying water effect.
 
Biochemical cotton filter: It is placed in the inner corner of the fish tank. It is small in size and suitable for small tanks. The filter connects to a motor or air pump that transports water to it. Filtration is very simple and can increase dissolved oxygen in the water.
 
Submerged filter: Usually attached on the inside of the fish tank with a suction cup, it is small size and the motor is placed inside to bring water into the filter material to achieve a filtering effect.

 


Filter Material
 
The filtration process generally includes three layers of filtration: physical, chemical, and biological and with each type, different materials can be used to achieve the filtration effect. These include but are not limited to: coarse cotton or white cotton, wool fleece, coral sand, activated carbon, peat soil, bio-sand, bio-chemical cotton, ceramic ring, bio-chemical ball, etc.

Click here for details.


Lighting

The light is an indispensable equipment for the appearance of the body color of aquarium fish and the growth of aquatic plants, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the fish tank. More......


White light: Allowing water plants to photosynthesize, this wavelength of light will affect the anthocyanins, chlorophylls, and xanthophylls of the water plants.
 
Red light: This type of light can cause the fish in the water to appear brighter and more beautiful as well as promoting the color development and reproduction of the plants in the water.
 
Blue and white light: This light can make the water look clearer, and the body color of the fish will be more colorful. It can also provide soft symbiotic algae development and photosynthesis for plant life.
 
The light duration can be controlled by a timer, switching the light on and off at a fixed time to provide effective lighting.


Feed
 
There are various types of feed for your fish pets.More......
 

Artificial feed:

Artificial feed is a feed formulated with various foods that tropical fish like as the main ingredients, plus vitamins and other nutrients. It comes in pellets, flakes and tablets.
 
The advantages of artificial feed are convenient feeding, balanced nutrition and a low cost. However, there are certain species of fish that do not eat this type of feed. In this situation, you might as well try to find the next feed instead.
 
Live feed:
Among tropical fish, especially the large ones, it is difficult to accept artificial feed. They tend to "react only to moving things", hence their diet consists of living things like breadworms, crickets, goldfish, loach and other live feed. As for the newly hatched small fish, they are not accustomed to artificial feed. At this time, brine shrimp (i.e., sea monkeys) with high nutritional value can be selected as feed. Since it is in the state of eggs at the time of purchase, it only hatches when necessary, so it is a very fresh and nutritious feed.
 
On the other hand, red worms, earthworms and bloodworms which have been used as live feeds, are also popular. However, because there are concerns about bringing bacteria into the sink, it is recommended to buy them from trusted producers.
 
Frozen feed:
The frozen feed processed by freezing live feed not only maintains the original nutritional value but is also deeply loved by small and medium tropical fish. And different from live feed, vitamins are added, and most of them go through the process of sterilization. The main ingredients range from red worms, earthworms, brine shrimp, to plankton such as daphnia, copepods, and rotifers. It is recommended to use this feed for young fish, or small fish that do not eat artificial feed.
 

Water
 

Fish farming requires water, which would give rise to bacteria. Luckily, some of these bacteria are mainly to balance the water quality, since the feed are usually unconsumed fully and as a result, they may dirty the water and create and diseases for the fish. Hence, there certain types of bacteria that breaks down these bad things so that the fish can grow healthily. In other words, the water cultivates digestive bacteria and nitrifying bacteria, also known as good bacteria, but how do we cultivate and these types of bacteria? More......

Specific steps:

  1. Lay bottom sand or subsoil.
  2. Place a porous filter material in the filter equipment to increase the attachment area of ​​nitrifying bacteria, such as a ceramic ring, biochemical cotton, or a biochemical ring.
  3. Aeration must be carried out before changing the water. In addition, chlorine in the tap water will destroy the nitrifying bacteria. Therefore, aeration and de-chlorination must be carried out before changing the water.

 
The filtering process is as follows:
 
Physical filtration: The first layer of filtration which usually filters out larger impurities directly through filter materials such as white cotton and wool. The filter materials should be replaced relatively often to effectively reduce most of the impurities.
 
Chemical filtration: Those that absorb ammonia chloride, adjust the acidity of the water, or other chemical effects are all classified here. This layer is not necessarily required, but you need to pay attention to it when using it, you need to know what kind of attribute the grass or fish in the fish tank is, otherwise it will affect them.
 
Biological filtration: Cultivating nitrifying bacteria is a method of biological filtration, so culture materials such as ceramic rings and biochemical balls are usually placed at the bottom of the filter.
 


Increase dissolved oxygen
 
To know if your fish tank is hypoxic, you can tell by observing the behavior of the fish. More......

  •  Activity
    When the oxygen content is insufficient, fishes will reduce its swimming speed, or try not to swim as much as possible. This gap can be seen more obviously with ornamental fish who are generally quite active.
  • Condition of gills
    Just like human beings, after strenuous exercise, the body needs more oxygen, and the breathing becomes rapid. The same goes for fish. Due to the lack of oxygen, respiration is seen to increase and if you look closely at the gills, you will find that the frequency of gill movements will be much higher than usual. As the oxygen content in the water continues to decrease, fishes will also tend to swim up to the surface where oxygen levels are highest.
If the aquarium is hypoxic, the following methods can help to increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water:
  1. Biological oxygenation:
The oxygen released by photosynthesis of aquatic plants and phytoplankton plays an important role in the dissolved oxygen in the water. Under normal circumstances, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the tank during the day is higher than that in a bare tank.
 
  1. Mechanical oxygenation:
Forced oxygenation by means of air pumps, submersible pumps, etc., to increase oxygen by water flow. The forced oxygenation of the air pump is the main oxygen supply method for most.
 
  1. Chemical oxygenation:
Adding chemicals to increase oxygen is mainly used as a first aid method for severe hypoxia. The chemical oxygenators currently in use mainly include calcium peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonium peroxydisulfate.
 
  1. Changing the water:
Regularly changing about one-third of the water volume every week can also increase the dissolved oxygen content of the fish tank. In the process of changing the water, dissolved oxygen content naturally increases.
  1. Direct dissolution of oxygen in the air:
In order to create a water flow, the air is dissolved into the water. When atmospheric pressure is high, oxygen dissolves into the water faster, and the amount of dissolved oxygen in flowing water is generally higher than that of still water. Therefore, a small waterfall pump is used to increase oxygen levels. Although the gas exchange rate is far less than pumping air, this is also a way to maintain stable water quality. 
 
Heating and cooling equipment
 
Warming equipment


Warming apparatus can help regulate water temperature which if too cold can cause the fish to get sick. Remember, if the temperature is unsuitable, it can easily cause white spot disease. Moreover, overheating will cause insufficient oxygen in the water, hence constant water temperature is essential to maintain good vitality and appetite of the fish.
 
Fixed temperature heater: The temperature is fixed, simple and convenient to operate, suitable for novices. The disadvantage is that the heating temperature cannot be adjusted hence the applicable fish species are limited.
 
Adjustable Heater: These heaters can be adjusted slowly according to the temperature that the fish can adapt to, hence it can be applied to a variety of fish species.
 
Thermostat: This type of heating needs to be used with quartz tubes and with it being connected to 2 - 3 sets of quartz heating tube which can be heated with appropriate wattage according to the size of the fish tank, the temperature can be controlled accordingly.
 
Quartz tube heater: These tubes need to be used in conjunction with a thermostat to regulate temperature.
 


Cooling equipment


When the water temperature of the fish tank is too high, it is easy for the fish to become hypoxic. Regulating the water temperature allows a good living environment for your fish to grow healthily.


Bottom sand

Whether you choose to lay bottom sand in the fish tank or not, both have their advantages and disadvantages, so you should understand them before you make a decision.More......

  Laying bottom sand Bare tank
Advantages
  • It can be landscaped and has more ornamental value
  • Creates a natural environment for fish
  • The nitrification system is relatively stable
  • Stabilizes water quality
  • Fishes are not easily injured by the bottom sand
  • Easy to clean, can save a lot of expenses and time
  • Convenient for feeding and water quality management
Disadvantages
  • The fish tank is inconvenient to manage, and the cost of setting up the tank is high
  • The remaining feed will not be easy to clean up
  • Fishes can get easily injured
  • No landscaping, giving a monotonous looking fish tank
  • The water quality changes rapidly and the
  • nitrification system is relatively unstable


Before buying bottom sand, you must first understand what kind of fish, shrimp or aquatic plants you want to keep in your aquarium, because some fish are suited for more acidic water, and some for alkaline water. Therefore, you must first understand the characteristics of bottom sand.

Click here to learn about commonly used bottom sand types
 
Bottom sand is recommended to be laid with a thickness of 5 cm, but it should also be determined according to the aquatic landscaping. Generally speaking, the front of tank should be lower than the back, so that the depth of field and presentation of the landscaping is better.
 
After some time, the bottom sand needs to be cleaned. You can divide the bottom sand of the fish tank into multiple blocks and clean it. Do not clean it all at once, because this will also take away the bacteria cultured in the bottom sand. Also, if it is cleaned too much, it will affect the water quality. However, failure to clean at all will also cause dirt and bacteria to grow in the bottom sand which will result in diseases.

Aquatic plants and landscaping
 
Some people like to decorate their aquariums with water plants and landscaping stones and watching the harmony between the water plants and fish swaying in the water always provides a nice aesthetic that people enjoy. 
 
Click here to learn about commonly used aquatic plants and landscaping stone.


Three major considerations for fish tank landscaping:
 
1. Spread of bottom sand
First, lay the bottom of the fish tank with sand of your choice. The layer should be no less than 5 cm. Remember, the front should be shallower than the back. At the same time, it can also be combined with different aquatic plants. Generally, the larger the fish tank, the deeper the subsoil.
 
2. Stone View Design
Generally, stones are not placed in the middle of the fish tank. When you first look at the fish tank, you will notice the stones, and then your attention will be lost to the sides of the fish tank, making the fish tank less attractive.
 
Instead, place the landscaping stones on both sides of the fish tank. The stone sizes do not have to be the same, so your landscaping can appear dynamic and varied. In addition, by placing the stones on the side, the fish tank will appear larger. Alternatively, if you want your fish tank to look smaller, you can choose to place the landscaping stone in the center of the fish tank.
 
 
3. Grass design
 
Aquatic plants are generally divided into the foreground, the middle, and background, arranged by growth height, with the shortest in the foreground.
 
1. The foreground grass should generally be short and small, so that the field of view is relatively open, allowing the middle and background scenes to be seen.
2. The middle is the focus of viewing. You can choose grass species with high ornamental value. The middle scene should have plants taller than the foreground but shorter than the background.
3. The background scene is where the plants should be the tallest.
 
However, although the general grass sections are divided into front, middle and back, it does not mean that this must be done. It's okay if you want the whole grass design to be short and small, everything is ultimately up to your liking!
 
 

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