Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   SCience Project Draft... (

St6_Devgru 01-05-2007 11:54 AM

SCience Project Draft...
is this a good placelol or ami asking the wrong crowd?
its not finished, but what i have typed so far. also i included this site as number 1 on my biblio


Having an aquarium is a common worldwide hobby. Some people have this hobby and not know that they are enjoying a very rewarding and self satisfying hobby. Fish keeping has its origin all around the world but more in greater concentrations in Asia. Japan kept fish such as goldfish and koi originally for food and viewing pleasure. Then they started to breed them to experiment with genetics. Since then, they have created numerous colorful strains of various fish species and from there on, fish keeping has grown considerably.


People who enjoy this hobby are commonly referred to Aquarists of Fish-Keepers. Novices and people who are not experienced in keeping fish are reffered to as Fish-Keepers. People who are experienced and understand the basic and special needs of having healthy and vibrant fish are called Aquarists. It is some what a formal name for experienced fish-keepers.
Since centuries ago, from fish ponds to glass bowls to our intricate aquarium systems, this hobby has grown and spread around the world to people of all ages. This report will talk about Freshwater Aquarium Systems.

Water Chemistry
One of the most important things in successful fish keeping is water chemistry. In the real world, the fishes' natural environment in the water is very different than our tap water. Many things in their natural habitat change the water's properties. These fish have evolved in a span of millions of years to adapt to their environment. In the hobby of fish-keeping, making the water in their environment is crucial to the fishes' well being. The most important basics of the measurements of water quality are PH, KH, and dH. PH is the power of hydrogen, KH is carbonite hardness, and dH is the degree hardness of the water. Fish are built to withstand an environment close or near to their specefied requirments. Unfortunately, too far off the scale and the fish will not be able to survive.
The next most important basic measurements are Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrates. To much of these subsatances in the water are fatal to the fish living in them. These are all connected to each other and are often explained as the Nitrogen Cycle as they all have Nitrogen in them. Ammonia is converted to Nitrite by nitrosomonas bacteria and is less toxic in concentrations than Ammonia. Nitrite is then converted into Nitrate by nitrobacter bacteria and is very safe in considerably larger amounts per parts of water than nitrites and ammonia combined. Nonetheless, they are all toxic and fatal in exessive concentrations. The final proccess of the nitrogen cycle is considered to be diluting the nitrates are generally harmless with frequent waterchanges.

PH, KH, and GH suppossedly make up the "bermuda triangle" of water quality because they go together.
PH is the measurement of the power of hydrogen. A ph of 7 is neutral; neither alkaline nor acidic. A ph higher than 7 is considered to be alkaline or basic. A ph less than 7 is considered acidic. The scale on which ph is measured is 0-14. Zero is very acidic while 14 is very alkaline. The scale is logarithmic so a ph of 0 is 14 times more acidic than a ph of 14. Marine Fish generally like alkaline water around 8.0-8.5 ph.
KH or carbonite hardness (carbonite) measures how well the water is able to maintain its ph level.
DH or degree of hardness, measures the amount of dissolved salts in the water. They are measured usually in parts per million (ppm). A dh reading of 0-80 ppm is considered soft water. A dh of 300 ppm will be considered as hard water.

Aqurium Care
Now that you know the basics of water chemistry, how will you maintain a very efficient and successful aquarium system? For starters, start with a 10-20 gallon wide aquarium. Find an area in your home where it is not directly hit with sunlight for it may cause exessive algae growth. Otherwise, if you have algae eating fish by all means put it by sunlight for their food. Make sure you secure the tank by putting the tank on a sturdy table or counter that is able to withstand extreme density and weight. A single U.S. gallon weighs around 8 pounds so do the math.
It is best if the surface is also completely level and flat on the whole area that the tank will be sitting upon.if possible, have some space underneath the tank such as a cabinet for storage or any aquarium supplies and add-ons. Maybe drill a good sized hole near the tank so you will be able to route tubes, hoses, wires, etc.make sure to seperate electrical wires and water/air carrying tubes with some sort of wrap.
After the site has been discovered and inspected, you must first get these things; a glass aquarium of 10-20 us gallons (wide; if you have space, you can put a 55 gallon which is excellent),a filter designed to operate 10-20+ more gallons than tank you have (prefferably a canister filter), sandy substrate, decorations and ornaments, aquarium hood and light, and an aquarium heater.
Install all these correctly in your tank startung by rinsing the sand or gravel in coldwater thoughrouly. Then add the sand to the bottom of the tank while landscaping to taste. Fill up your tank up to your filter(s)' intake and prime your filter following the manufacturers indtructions. Then add your live or fake plants into your substrate. Then you can add your ornaments and decorations. Turn on all fixtures andthen test your water's ph,kh,and dh. Let the tank run empty of fish for about a week before introducing or stocking your tank with fish. so as the nitrogen cycle can begin, also called cycling. Turn the light on and off as usual. After waiting at least a week, test again to ensure stability and modify as needed.
After another test has been done, now is the time for thinking about what kind of fish you plan on stocking your tank with. Make a list of fish that you like and then do research on them. If your tank does not meet the fishes' requirements, cross it out from the list. If you really want a type of fish you may buy products from the store that changes your water ph accordingly. Here we will talk about 3 fish that aqaurists commonly use.
After choosing the proper fish for your tank, or vise versa, go to your local pet store to buy them. Buying from street vendors may leave you with weak neglected fish as the vendors' environment is poor. A "rule of thumb" is an inch per gallon rule. This applies to smaller fish. Bigger, more fatter fish have a bigger girth and therefore need more living space. Also at the fish store, buy a dechlorinator with stress coat, fish food, ph/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate test kits, aquarium salt, and about 10 ghost shrimps and 2 snails. The last two items will enusre a clean and well kept aquarium environment. The dechlorinator with strss coat neutralizes the chlorine and chloramine in the water to make it safe for fish as fish are sensitive to heavy metals in their water. the stress coat will promote natural stress coat growth on fish.The natural stress coat refers to the slimy film on a fishes' body that makes it streamlined in the water. The most important use of the stress coat is to prevent diseases. As the level of stress rises within a fish, it will dissipate the stress coat and will make it vulnerable to diseases and parasites, that is why you should get a stress coat with your dechlorinator. You may also buy them seperate. The aquarium salt will retard and prevent bacterial/fungal/parasitic growth in your tank.
In the event of a disease breakout, you must test the ph/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings in your tank. This will help find out the cause of the disease.

The most common diseases in fish that people see are ich and Columnaris. Ich refers to a parasitic organism that lives life in 3 stages. In the first stage, they are born free swimming and they attach onto a fish that it vulnerable. In the 2nd stage, they form an endospore on the fish that results in a white "spot". this spot looks like tiny grains of salt that is stuck on the fish. These spots are very obvious in some fishes.
Columnaris is a fungus that infects the fish. It may shut the mouth our gill areas close and results in death. In most cases, these will be a easily prevented through the use of aquarium salt that was mentioned earlier. In order to cure it, use mild-strong tank meds that are specified to combat the disease. Make note of fish that are sensitive to tank meds such as clown loaches(botia macracanthas) as theywill react to them in a bad way. AFter the application of the medications, raise the temperature of the water upto 85 degrees. This will increase the lifecycle of ich and therefore, hit them when it hurtsas there endospore reders them almost untreatable.

Almost all fish have seven fins. The 2 pectoral, 2 pelvic, 2 anal, and 1dorsal fin. Most fish have scales that are thin bones that they grow throughout their lives. Some fish have scutes that are large thick scales that protect a fish. All fish have their body shaped to adapt to their environments. Since water is about 50 times thicker than atmospheric air, their bodies are sreamlined to slip throught the water with minimal resistance. Male livebearing fish species have a modified anal fin that serves the function of a penis.

Types Of Fresh Water Fish
In all the fish of the world, the freshwater type fish are one of the smallest groups. Due to limited living space and conditions not found in vast open oceans, freshwater fish species are limited in numbers. In the freshwater fish species, there are 2 types of birthing techniques. Livebearing fish have eggs that develop in their wombs and are fertilized by the male's gonopdium, which is a modified anal fin. The mother fish then carries the fertilized eggs in her body until they hatch. When the first fertilized egg hatches, it then goes into labor as it delivers the rest of her brood. Baby fish are reffered to as fry.
The next spawning method of fish are egg layers. These fish lay eggs, or scatter them in the water and the male fish releases his sperm to fertilize them. Some fish either tend to their eggs, keep them in their mouths (mouthbearers), leave them alone, and/or sometimes eats them. Most fish are highly prolific. they will mate with their own family members and also mate with multiple partners. Some fish breed with one mate for a lifetime, such as Zebra Danios.

Freshwater Livebearing Fish
I have met and understood these basic requirements of properfish keeping, now what should i stock my aquarium with?. One of the most commonly kept and bred freshwater fish species are of the Poecilia family. These include the Fancy Guppy, Molly, Swordfins, and Platies.

Fancy Guppies
The fancy guppy is one of the most prettiest and supposedly "the easiest begginer fish to raise". they are very small around 1-2 inches at the biggest. They sometimes reach 2 1/2 inches including their fins. Guppies are sometimes reffered to as the millions fish for they are very numerous in the aqaurium industry. They are supposedly very easy to keep but due to my experience, they are one of the hardest. i have had very numerous guppy fatalities due to poor water quality and other variables. I suspect as it just takes the proper measures to keep these fish alive. These measures, are the measeures that I have somehow overlooked causing the fatalities.

Fancy guppies prefer a neutral ph of 6.5-7.5. This ph isconsidered tolerable of most guppy species and strains. They prefer a dh of 3-8 which is considered to be soft.

Lupin 01-05-2007 07:24 PM

:shock2: Well done, Charles.:welldone: :thumbsup:
Even I could not have done it to myself.:sarcastic:

There is a correction though. When stating the scientific name of a fish, it should be done in a proper manner. The first word should have a capital letter whereas the second one has none.
Botia macracantha-Correct form.

Botia Macracantha
botia macracantha

HTH :wave:

Tracy 01-06-2007 12:05 PM

I loved reading your report, good job!

tophat665 01-06-2007 03:35 PM

Brace yourself - I am about to be brutally honest with you in the interest of getting you the best grade possible:

It's great that you are writing a paper on aquaria, but please go through it with a fine toothed comb three or forty times. There are a profusion of spelling and grammar mistakes, and a lot of things that you could say much better if you approched this a craftsmanship rather than homework.

I really don't want to bring you down, but I don't think it will be any help to you to not let you know this.

One that you really need to fix - it's carbonate, not carbonite. Carbonite is what Darth Vader had Han Solo frozen in. ;)

Look for prepositions at the end of sentances. (Some work, others don't)

Ask yourself if the medieval Japanese knew about genetics, or if they were just breeding their best fish together.

There are more than a few places where you have two words right next to each other that mean exactly the same thing (near and close to).

If you are going to make the point that fish evolved to be adapted to their environment (a good point), do not later say that "fish are built to survive in [it]" (implying intelligent design, which is not).

Cycling and stocking: Read up on this a little more and explain it a little better. The sense of the paper is that, after you've run the tank empty for a few weeks and tested it a couple of times, it's ready for the entire stock to be added. That's not correct.

A logarithmic scale means that a change of one point of scale means a change by a factor of 10, so pH 1 is 10 times as alkaline as pH 0, pH 2 is 100 times as alkaline as pH 0, and ph 14 is 1,000,000,000,000,000 times more alkaline than 0. Also, while pH may stand for power of hydrogen (I think the "p" stands for something else), it measures the ratio of hydrogen to hydroxyl (OH) ions - acidity and alkalinity respecitvely.

Consistency - I believe it's pH and dH, but KH (K being the chemical symbol for potassium). Make sure that they are always capitalized that way.

I realize that you may have to write some specified number of words, but you should really try to use the fewest possible to get your point across (conciseness or concission is a virtue teachers will really appreciate). Try to never have the same word twice in the same sentance (except articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and forms of to be). My 8th grade grammar teacher would start every class by saying "Clear, Concise, and Variety!" - the three things he looked for in our writing.

OK, I've beaten you about the head and shoulders enough. This is an excellent start you have made, but there's a lot of work for you yet to do in correcting and revising.

tophat665 01-06-2007 04:02 PM

Look, I just reread my post, and I tore up your paper pretty bad. I want to emphasize that you have made a great start, though, and, if you like, I'll PM you my email and help you out with any questions you have.

jd254 01-09-2007 06:20 AM

ok your post were a bit long so I read the top part... but I'm jsut gunna throw in my 2 cents. What's the thesis statement? My science teacher in charge of the science project always ask for our question that we are experimenting to find the answer...

St6_Devgru 01-09-2007 11:37 PM

wow thanx you guys rock hard! yes i have made bBIG changes to my report since i started. yes most of the stuff you told me to fix i have done so thank you guys =) so helpful =) i dont mind the feedback because im just learning you know and any help is good=) and thanx for the constructive critisism. im not able to go on for as frequently but i will try to go on as much as possible. well i really have to go now but ill try to get back with you guys thanx alot seriously =) :redyay: :thankyou: :yourock:

St6_Devgru 01-10-2007 10:14 PM

and yes i would like your email for more information and questions. and no this is not thesis baseed project its more a informative thing. my draft has evolved from a 7 page to a 12 page report now. and when i turn 14 this 18th i get to apply for work at petland =). i am hoping my final draft would be around 15 pages. and thank you guys for all the help =).j ih ave made many mistakes due to a hurried manner. i did not take time with my draft i just sort of layed out the skeleton somewhat. now i have time i will go over my draft thouroughly. :yourock:

Lupin 01-10-2007 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by St6_Devgru
and yes i would like your email for more information and questions. and no this is not thesis baseed project its more a informative thing. my draft has evolved from a 7 page to a 12 page report now. and when i turn 14 this 18th i get to apply for work at petland =). i am hoping my final draft would be around 15 pages. and thank you guys for all the help =).j ih ave made many mistakes due to a hurried manner. i did not take time with my draft i just sort of layed out the skeleton somewhat. now i have time i will go over my draft thouroughly. :yourock:

So you mean that draft is part of your application for lfs work?:) Good luck.:thumbsup:

musho3210 01-10-2007 10:19 PM

i turn 14 on the 25th, i hope i can find a job at my local fish store...

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