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Environmental Gear and Gadgets for Freshwater Fish Environments

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Environmental Gear and Gadgets for Freshwater Fish Environments

Examples include heaters, hides, lighting, and anything else I’ve found useful in the environment of freshwater fish.

This page will get bigger and bigger as I think of things that have impacted (favorably) my medication and management of fish.

I really like the heaters and heating gear on this page. The sponge filters and chemicals on this page are also in use at my home and fish room all the time.

Handling Gear and Quarantine

Where to Put The Koi 
These show tanks are soft sided for the fish noses, and round so the swimming is AROUND in a circle, and not BACK AND FORTH. They're durable because the vinyl they're made of has like, a woven cloth in it (scrimmed). They can be patched. They can break down and get stored in a small space. They're chemical resistant. CONS: They can also roll over unless they're pretty wide so if you choose the one at right on price (I recommend it) simply stake it up or put something around it to keep it from rolling. Don't overfill either. There is a $99 Q-tank like the one at right but the reviews suggest it might be flimsy. The one at right, for $300 is not flimsy. USE A NET COVER!

This is the $99 offering and I think you pay for what you get. Meaning, you're not paying for a "Pearls of Paradise" scrimmed vinyl tank at this $99 price but it is probably JUST OKAY for holding some fish for a week. 

You can use a rubbermaid or other hard plastic tank. They're "good" but they can be hard on snubbing noses and if they're not round, the fish dart back and forth instead of around, and it can hurt them. 

You need a net cover to keep the fish from jumping out. In winter it might even be good to put a blanket over the top to keep some heat in? When I use netting like the stuff at left, I use the plastic wood clamps they sell at home depot. 

Filtration
In quarantine the filtration I like best is SOFT, won't suck up fry or eggs, cycles SUPER fast, clarifies hazes with Accu-Clear and is cheap - and DOUBLES as an aerator. Easy to clean also makes the list of advantages. The sponge filter at left is for 220 gallon tanks. I use two of them in my 180 gallon. Can't ever have too much filtration and I have to clean them half as often. 

Keeping track of the PH and the nitrogen levels is crucial especially among fish that have been recently stressed and in a small facility that may not have much support for pH. 

Dechlorinate the Q-Tank Water
At right, is a "middle of the road" dechlorinator at a ridiculous. It's concentrated for ponds making it a 'lifetime supply' for the guy with the ten gallon, and since one bottle treats 2,400 gallons you can protect the fish in a 200 gallon show tank TWELVE TIMES for eight bucks. 

These air pumps are a bit loud. You can run their lines from outside the house or under some furniture but the output for the money is excessive. They will push a lot of air. For under $40. They last longer than Vivosun, and EcoAir. 
I actually cut and pasted this from my Amazon account: 
Purchased 4 times.
You last purchased this item on October 1, 2017.
Size: 6 Outlet | Style: Active Aqua Commercial Air Pump |
Best part? All 4 of this brand, (Hydrofarm, beige 6 outlet) are STILL RUNNING in 2020

Air Tubing Matters
I am a huge fan of soft, pliable SILICONE airline tubing because it has no 'memory' so it drapes, and doesn't try to coil up again. I wish Penn Plax made it in satin black. But it's only green. At right you see 20 feet of the best silicone tubing. 
But you can buy TWO HUNDRED FEET for only twice as much by clicking HERE

I've heated Q-tanks and hospitals two ways. I've used paint bucket warmers on a thermostat - which works VERY well but may electrocute you if it falls into the tank. So I do that, you shouldn't. Paint bucket warmers should be made of stainless steel and they won't corrode. The one at left is the only one I buy and all of mine are still running up to six years later. From my Amazon Account: 
"Purchased 3 times.
You last purchased this item on November 18, 2018."

Here's the thermostat I use. I just plug the paint bucket warmer into this and it turns the warmer on whenever the temperature drops below a certain point. 
From my Amazon Account: 
"Purchased 5 times.
You last purchased this item on January 23, 2020."

Safer Heat
Comes from these groundbreaking-priced titanium heaters with IN CORD thermostats. So you don't have to pull the unit out of the tank to change the setting, or even see if it's working. I still use these on a thermostat for redundant protection against overheat. I set the heater on 85 and the thermostat on 78. If the thermostat breaks, the heater just goes to 85. They'd BOTH have to fail to boil my fish. And no electrocution.  From my Amazon.com account: 
"Purchased 4 times.
You last purchased this item on January 23, 2020."

Catching the fish is via a 'bowl net' (pan). They maneuver quickly through the water and they're pretty safe for fish. Plus, you're never tempted to carry fish in the net, which is a BIG bad thing. Never carry a fish in a net. Unless it's a Koi Sock.
You'll spend as little as $65 on a crummy bowl / pan net -  or if you add $15 and pay $79 at right, you get a net anyone would be proud to own, will last a long time, and won't bang up the fish with a sharp knuckle at the base of the net. 

This at right, is a Koi Sock which is a sheer, smooth, soft "tube" of "net" that a fish can be carried in. They're basically reclining and their back isn't kinked. Avoid the temptation to carry a lot of fish in any net, the concussive force of the net-mates can bak backs. The Koi back isn't made for bearing their "out of water" weight.