More than one way to skin a cat…
But what does that have to do with aquariums?
Well, aquarium keeping is not an exact science, and there is no one single correct way of keeping fish. Through our many years of experience, we’ve found methods and products that work well, and we’ll always recommend them, but certainly, they are not the only option. We believe they may be the best option, the best value, best performance, easiest, most reliable, or whatever, but that’s not to say that other products simply will not work. Be very wary of anyone who tells you how you HAVE to do it, or what you HAVE to have, they may be more concerned with their hip pocket than what really is best for your fish.
- 1 Aqua One Canisters
- 2 The Aquarium Gardener Video
- 3 Compact fluorescent lighting
- 4 HBH Rainbow Colour Flake Food
- 5 Cycle biological supplement
- 6 AZOO colour-enhance pellet food
- 7 Geoliquid for water plants
- 8 AZOO floating magnet cleaners
- 9 Red Sea Prizm Pro Skimmer
- 10 AZOO Algae away resin and sponge
- 11 AZOO flexible bubble walls
- 12 Rio Hyperflow pumps
Aqua One Canisters
Our most popular range of canister filters offers great performance and features at a very affordable price. It was not too long ago that there were no canisters to be found for less than $500, now there are quite a few, but we believe the Aqua One canisters (formerly badged Via Aquas) represent the best value of all of the lower priced canisters. In fact, they may even offer better value for money than some of the more expensive canisters. They are reliable, exceptionally quiet, easy to use, and offer all the major features of units costing twice as much. Plus, unlike some cheaper filters, all spare parts are readily available and inexpensive. All units come ready to go, with media, hoses and fittings included.
The Aquarium Gardener Video
This amazing video features some of the most beautiful aquariums ever created! On the most practical level it is a comprehensive book in visual form, covering all you need to know in order to set up and maintain a luxurious planted aquarium. It is full of useful tips and straightforward instructions. Even an aquarium novice could understand the concepts, yet, even as an experienced aquarist, I still found there was much I could learn from it. Even after watching a number of times, some new tidbit of information would catch my attention. The author and narrator, Peter Craig, is highly experienced particularly regarding growing aquarium plants and aquascaping and shares his knowledge freely. Structured in a step-by-step format, it guides you through an in-depth exploration of the set up of some fascinating aquariums. However, it’s not only a great instructional video, it’s relaxing simply to watch and admire the aquascapes and fish that are featured. A worthwhile investment for both beginners and serious aquarist alike.
Compact fluorescent lighting
In the past, the only alternative to standard fluorescent lighting was to mortgage one’s home and invest in metal halide lighting, and this was viewed as the only option for serious planted tanks and reef aquaria. While metal halide is still the absolute optimum for providing lighting intensity, there is now a very affordable lighting system that offers greater light intensity than standard fluorescent tubes, but with the same advantages of low running cost and low heat production. Compact fluorescent tubes offer around twice the light intensity per watt when compared with standard fluorescents, so they are extremely efficient. When it is taken into consideration that the tubes also last around twice as long for around the same cost as standard tubes, it can easily be seen that a compact fluorescent unit will cost even less in the long term than standard fluoros. The initial cost of a compact fluorescent light unit is usually around double that of a similarly sized standard unit, but for that price, you get three to four times as much lighting – and still at a fraction of the cost of metal halides.
HBH Rainbow Colour Flake Food
HBH makes a range of premium quality fish foods for goldfish, tropicals, and marines, including our favorite flake food (well, ok, our fish’s favorite) Rainbow Color. Rainbow Color has the highest level of natural color enhancers (carotenoids) of any available flake food, but it is also highly nutritious. HBH flake foods don’t just contain a single type of flake dyed different colors, the different color flakes making up the mix contain different ingredients so you can vary your fish’s diet using a single can! The foods combine flakes with a high protein, a meaty component with vegetable flakes, and all are enriched with ChromaColor for natural color enhancement. What’s more, not only are carotenoids great natural color enhancers, they are also antioxidants that promote fish health. Rainbow Color is suitable for all cold water and tropical fish and is accepted even by finicky feeders. Why not see what your fish think of it?
Cycle biological supplement
One of the few difficult aspects of aquarium keeping is the start-up period for a new aquarium. A brand new tank and filter are a sterile system, without any of the good bacterias that break down toxic wastes from fish. With patience and care fish losses can usually be avoided, but it is better and easier to simply add those good bacteria from day one! Cycle adds these good bacteria to speed up the cycling process in new tanks or to boost the numbers of good bacteria in any system. You can add it weekly – it’s impossible to overdose! Or add when its needed, such as after medicating, or when the filter media has been cleaned or replaced.
AZOO colour-enhance pellet food
A recent independent survey of fish foods in Singapore rated AZOO foods an A-grade for nutrition with a score of 97%, much higher than that of some other well-known foods (eg Hikari was rated only a C-grade). We’ve been using the AZOO foods in our showroom for a while now and have been very impressed, why not try some on your fish? Azoo colour enhance pellet is a floating pellet with a very high level of natural colour enhancing ingredients including spirulina, carotenoids and PSB. Also with Glucan for boosted fish health and immunity. Ideal for enhancing the colours of all sorts of tropical fish, especially cichlids. Two pellet sizes: small and medium. Available in 60g, 145g, 430g, 1.05kg
Geoliquid for water plants
Reading the included information in the geoliquid package may make you think it is nothing short of magical and no doubt you’ll be quite skeptical – can it really do all THAT? Well, the language used may be a little prone to hyperbolae, but in our opinion Geoliquid really is magical! It not only removes a huge range of toxins (chlorine, chloramine, organic impurities, metals, and pesticides to name a few) but also clears the water, adds beneficial minerals, and helps biological filtration to work more effectively. To sum it up, it is the most complete water conditioner available, and it really can do miracles in tanks that have been contaminated. Geoliquid is available in a range of formulations containing different mineral balances to suit the needs of different groups of fish. Geoliquid for water plants is designed for planted aquariums and their inhabitants and contains minerals beneficial to plants. However, there is one misconception and that is that Geoliquid for water plants takes the place of fertilization. Although it is beneficial for plants it is not specifically a fertilizer, so you may need separate plant food. The main benefit of geoliquid is that it dramatically improves water quality, and that can only be good for the fish AND plants!
AZOO floating magnet cleaners
Magnet cleaners have always been popular – they are a simple way to remove algae without getting your hands wet. Also great for cleaning in hard-to-reach places, they are gentle on the glass and very easy to use. But now they’re even better – you can get magnet cleaners that float! That’s right – these incredibly lightweight, but extremely powerful, magnet cleaners will float if you break the magnetism. The AZOO floating magnet cleaners have an ergonomic grip and very powerful magnetism for their size. They are also completely sealed and so can be left packed in a corner of the aquarium ready to go whenever they’re needed. Keeping your tank spotless has never been easier!
Red Sea Prizm Pro Skimmer
The next generation of professional protein skimmers is finally here and they are more compact, quieter and easier to use than their predecessors! To be honest, we really didn’t believe all the hype about these when they were first mentioned. Seeing them at the tradeshow in October erased much of our doubts, but even then we didn’t realise just how good these really were. Sure, they were exceptionally quiet and featured a new and very radical design, but it wasn’t until we could get them running on our tanks that we found out what an incredible job they did. Forget free-standing or in sump skimmers! On our reef tank, the Prizm-pro is so efficent our other skimmer can’t even produce foam! What else do we like about these? Firstly, they are so easy to use and to adjust. There is minimal assembly required (and good instructions!) and tuning them is so simple. Then there’s the size – at only 9cm wide and 51cm they can be hung on the tank or on a sump/trickle filter without the need for costly modified or extra high cabinets. The patented design firstly creates an optimal air-water mix, then encourages a long contact time with both con- and counter-current contact between the fine bubbles and water flow, producing an amazing amount of foam. (We also like the very large collection cup with drain to optionally collect foam in an even larger receptacle). Finally, the design incorporates a bubble-trap so that no bubbles are returned to the tank, and there is room for chemical or other filter media in the return chamber. We should also mention that there is a smaller version for aquariums up to 400 litres – the standard Prizm which is even more compact – a mere 5cm wide!
AZOO Algae away resin and sponge
AZOO Algae-away resin is an amazing filter media that can absorb large amounts of toxic ammonia and nitrite, plus the less-toxic but undesirable wastes that promote algae growth: nitrate and phosphate. Its ability to absorb these compounds far exceeds that of activated carbons. This product is available in two forms: the resin in a mesh bag for use in canister filters and algae-away sponge: filter matting impregnated with this resin for use in just about ANY filter system, including overflow filters and internal powerlifters.
AZOO flexible bubble walls
Although most modern filter systems now run under the power of a magnetic impellor, air pumps are no longer essential aquarium equipment. But that doesn’t mean they’ve become redundant. Although not strictly essential, an air pump is good to have on hand, even if it is not run continuously, to provide extra oxygenation if needed. Air bubbles can also be used to create some stunning visual effects and really set off features in the aquarium. Traditional airstones made of compacted sand are used to disperse air from an air pump into tiny bubbles. These airstones are cheap, but have a limited lifespan, being fragile and subject to clogging. But like other aquarium equipment, even air dispersers have come a long way! The most popular kind now is the flexible bubble wall. Made of special rubber, these are inert and very long-lasting, able to be regenerated if they do become clogged, and flexible so you can make whatever shape or pattern you desire! And best of all, they cost only fractionally more than the old-fashioned sandstone-type air dispersers.
Rio Hyperflow pumps
Rio Hyperlow pumps are the ultimate high-power pump/powerhead. They use a unique vortex impellor design that utilizes a rare earth magnet in conjunction with a titanium shaft and ceramic bushings. This design allows the Rio Hyperflows to offer phenomenal pumping performance in a very compact unit with low power consumption and the longest possible impellor and shaft life. Titanium shafts are not only corrosion-resistant even in saltwater, they are strong and unlikely ceramic shafts, almost impossible to break. All models come with a pre-filter sponge and a range of fittings. Rio Hyperflow pumps come with a 2-year warranty.
What are the best Christmas gifts for someone who likes aquariums?
If you are reading this blog to prepare last-minute Christmas gift ideas for an aquarium hobbyist, here are some extra ideas base on your budget.
Starting from under $5 with a wide range of gifts under $50. There are plenty of handy gadgets that make great gifts for any aquarist including floating magnet cleaners, battery-powered gravel vacuum cleaners, electronic thermometers, budget-priced carbon dioxide systems, automatic fish feeders, aquarium supplements, and a huge range of ornaments and decoration.
Or, for a $15 to $50 budget range, think starter kits from $19.95 and a great value package with Azoo’s razzle-dazzle aquarium plus everything you need to get started for just $39.95.
For those considering larger gifts, note custom aquariums and all aquarium furniture shopping usually cannot be done until too last minute. You usually still have a range of standard-sized aquariums to choose from but they still sell fast around holiday time!