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Fish are endotherms/ectotherms?
Ecotherms - their body temperature changes with the ambient temperature
What are some different uses of fish?
- Farm fishing - for food or recreational fishing
- Public aquaria
- Ornamental fish
What are some of the most common type of freshwater fish kept?
- Koi carp
What are some of the most common types of marine fish kept?
- Marine angelfish
Why are marine fish more challenging to keep?
Their husbandry is very species specific, water quality and life support are more complex and they are prone to infectious diseases.
What are the basic components needed for aquaria?
- Tank: glass or plastic
- Substrate: various types of gravels
- Filters: several types, to circulate water and to remove waste products
- Aerators: increase water circulation and oxygenation
- Live plants: for oxygen, remove waste products, provide hiding places
- Disinfection units: remove pathogens from water
- Decorations, heaters and thermostat
What are some basic components needed for ponds?
- Fertilisation: to stimulate growth of algae
- Aerators: increase oxygenation
- Liming: maintain proper pH
- Low fish density
Briefly describe the nitrogen cycle
- Ammonia is excreted from fish
- Nitrosomonas bacteria convert Ammonia to nitrite
- Nitrobacter bacteria convert Nitrite to Nitrate
- Plants use nitrate as fertiliser
Why must ammonia be removed from a fish tank?
Ammonia is toxic and an irritant to fish. When converted to nitrites they are even more toxic.
What is new tank syndrome and how can this be avoided?
New tank syndrome is due to ammonia toxicity within the tank. When new fish are introduced the levels of ammonia and nitrate will rapidly increase. Fish must be added gradually to a new tank to allow time for bacterial flora to grow. Eventually there will be a balance between bacteria and fish.
What factors can increase ammonia toxicity?
High temperature, high pH, immature or damage biological filter, high fish density
What are normal water parameters for a) ammonia b) nitrite c) nitrate d) pH ?
- a) 0 mg/l
- b) 0 mg/l
- c) < 100 mg/l
- d) Fresh water can be above 6.5 / Sea water can be 7-8
How much water in the fish tank should be filtered within an hour?
The entire quantity of water
What are the three classes of filters?
- Mechanical: do not interfere with water quality
- Biological: provides housing for beneficial bacteria
- Chemical: help to maintain water quality due to unwanted particulates
Describe an a) canister b) undergravel c) foam d) baffle e) algae filter. And state whether they are mechanical, biological and/or chemical.
- a) Water is drawn through a canister filled with different filter materials by an electrical pump. They can be located inside or outside the aquarium. This is a mechanical, biological and chemical filter.
- b) Perforated plates are placed beneath a deep layer of gravel. Water is drawn through the gravel by a pump. This is a mechanical and biological filter.
- c) Water is drawn through a sponge or foam by an electrical pump. They can be located inside or outside the aquarium. This is a mechanical and biological filter.
- d) Water is drawn through a series of baffles by a pump. Generally placed below the aquaria,. The baffle can be filled with different materials.
- e) Water is filtered using natural filtration in the form of algae. Light is used to grow the algae.
How often should water parameters be monitored in established tanks?
Every 2-3 weeks
How often should partial water exchange happen? And how much of the water should be exchanged?
Every two weeks - 20-30%
Why should filters not be cleaned with washing up liquid?
The filters are active and house healthy bacteria so if you wash them with soap or disinfectant you will kill the bacteria, and most likely the fish,
Fish need a high/low protein diet?
High - 30-36%
What vitamins are essential for a fish diet?
A, D, E and K
How often should food be offered to fish, and what quantity?
Food should be offered once/twice daily and the amount of should be only enough so that it is eaten within 3-5 minutes
What type of food should you feed a) freshwater b) pond c) marine fish?
- a) good brand flake or pelletted food
- b) natural food in the pond
- c) highly specialised food
Describe how to safely handle fish
Handling should be done as efficiently as possible as fish are very susceptible to stress. Nets of fine materials should be used. The bowling technique, where you scoop the fish from one tank to another, can also be used. Unpowdered gloves should be used for manual restraint as our hands contain oils that will irritate the skin of the fish.
What are the most common sources of stress in fish?
- Poor water quality
Describe how to safely add a new fish to the tank
When you add a fish to the tank you need to gradually let them get used to the tank. Grab the bag and leave it inside the tank. The water temperature inside the bag and within the tank will differ, but eventually the two types of water will become the same temperature. The fish can then be released into the tank.