Articles about Fish & Ponds

Product Review: Aquatop PFUV Elite Series Hang-on Filter

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Aquatop PFUV Elite Series Hang-on Filter from Pet WorldIt’s been proven that watching fish in an aquarium increases relaxation and decreases blood pressure. Unfortunately, an algae bloom or parasitic invasion in your aquarium can have the opposite effect.

Aquatop’s PFUV Elite Series of Power Filter restores health and happiness to your tank (or better yet, prevents problems in the first place). The experts at Pet World believe it’s one of the most complete filters you can buy for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

The PFUV includes multiple filtration media:

Ceramic Rings
Perhaps the most important media in this filter, ceramic rings provide space for beneficial bacteria that break down ammonia and nitrate poisons from decaying food and waste. Each filter also comes with a replaceable pad and activated carbon.

Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilization
An internal UV bulb helps control free-floating parasites, including ich (ick); bacteria; and floating algae. The bulb has a separate power cord that can be connected to a timer to extend bulb life.

Surface Skimmer
A self-adjusting skimmer cleans the surface of the water and helps maintain optimal oxygen levels.

This filter also is extremely quiet.

We have found the capacity for this series is a little undersized compared to the listing on the box. For example, the PFUV-40 isn’t quite effective enough for a 40-gallon tank. We suggest using it for a tank up to 29 gallons.

Also note that the PFUV-15 and PFUV-25 will not fit aquarium rims with a thickness exceeding .75 in.

Do your fish—and yourself—a favor: purchase the Aquatop PFUV for your aquarium and relax, knowing you’re providing healthy, crystal clear environment for everyone in your tank.

Choose the Aquatop PFUV that’s right for you:
Up to 15 gal.
Up to 25 gal.
Up to 29 gal.

Why are goldfish orange? The surprising story!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Orange goldfish swimming in front of rockGoldfish were one of the first domesticated fish; their domestication began over 1000 years ago in China. It was the decisions of these early breeders and enthusiasts that created the pet we see today!

Goldfish come from a member of the carp family, and were bred in small ponds. As more generations came, a color mutation became apparent. The fish were seen in new colors of yellow (sometimes called gold). Although harder to produce a dominant gene, other colors like red and orange soon appeared.

During the Song Dynasty (around 960–1279), the government banned ordinary citizens from owning and breeding the yellow variety of goldfish. In China, the imperial color is yellow, so only the imperial family could keep it! The commoners still loved their goldfish, and continued to breed the colors they had. Orange became the most popular color of goldfish coloration.

Does Your Goldfish Have What It Takes To Be The Next “World Goldfish Queen”?

Friday, September 28th, 2012


red orange goldfish on blue backgroundBeauty pageants usually bring certain imagery to mind: sparkling smiles, glittering evening gowns, runway walks, and talent competitions. This September, the flowing of gowns was replaced with a fluttering of fins and playing the piano swapped with the grace of a contestant’s breaststroke. This isn’t your ordinary pageant, it’s the inaugural International Goldfish Championship.

Owners, breeders and goldfish enthusiasts packed their bags and tanks and headed for southern China, to the city of Fuzhou. Over 3000 entrants battled for the proverbial sashes and crowns, and competed in twelve categories looking for fine examples of the finned variety. There is no interview score, so preparation involved other variables. Owners worked tirelessly on their champion’s diet, water quality, temperature and PH level to make sure they were at the top of their game.

As with any pageant, great care was taken by the judge panel. Rows upon rows of white bowls hold our finned competitors so no color influenced the judge’s eyes. Their keen eyes would not be wooed by a wink or a fin wave, as Ye Qichang, one of the judges, explained. “We judge goldfish mainly by five criteria, breed, body shape, swimming gesture, color, which is very important, and overall impression.”

Judges were mum on who were the front swimmers for an award. Though a particular ryukin was turning heads, colored with brilliant orange and red, and also weighing an amazing 3.3 pounds.


The Last Kid on the Block—
You have chosen. . . wisely

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The Knudsens celebrate their choice of pet.

Honestly? I like when I’m right. Not in a prove-other-people-wrong kind of way, but rather a plan-has-come-to-fruition kind of way.

About this time last year, we were entertaining our son’s request for a pet fish. Much hemming and hawing ensued, and in December we welcomed four tropical fish into our home.

We’d lose three fish before our tank completely cycled, and introduce our son to loss in a way he hadn’t experienced before—for better or for worse. We would go on to add 10 more fish with great success, save for one sickly tetra, and find our groove as pet owners.

I’ll admit we thought we were ready to take on a bigger tank this past summer, but then that whirlwind called “the school year” began again, and our family became engrossed in all of its associated activities. Even our son hasn’t asked about a larger tank in weeks.

For now, I think our 10-gallon community is perfect for us: the kids appreciate the fish, and love to watch their antics at feeding time. My husband and I enjoy them, and strive to keep them happy and healthy (both the kids and the fish!). As an added bonus, I manage to make time for the minutes of maintenance each week, with help from my son.

A happy status quo is where being right comes in—we’ve actually managed to make decent (but hardly perfect) decisions. It’s a good place to be. I feel for friends—and their pets—who are less than happy with their choices. And I like to think we did something right, in addition to being lucky.

This is where we end our initial journey to become pet owners, and if we haven’t already, shift to the journey of pet ownership. I’m not sure whether we’ll pick up more fish along the way, nor am I sure how long we’ll keep pets. But I’m certainly better for having had the experience, and I know my family is, too.

“The Last Kid on the Block” has been a series following the Knudsen family’s progress selecting and caring for their first pets. Andrea Knudsen lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two children.

The Last Kid on the Block—
Food safety for the entire family

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Feeding your pets has become a little safer with the adoption of the PETNet system.

Feeding my family is a big deal. We eat a vegetarian diet and make natural, organic food a priority. But for all my effort, I still worry about the safety of our food. Vegetables are susceptible to E. coli, too!

While there have long been national resources to protect humans, a 2007 melamine contamination of cat and dog foods was a tragic example of how powerless pet owners were. Within a month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received several thousand reports of cat and dog deaths from renal failure after eating contaminated food.

Companies began to voluntarily recall their products, but in a self-regulated industry, there was no way for owners to ensure their pets’ food was safe.

We didn’t have pets at the time, but we watched helplessly as friends lost their beloved cat. The media reported they weren’t alone, but deaths continued. It felt like a crime.

Four years have passed, and earlier this month, the U.S. government’s Partnership for Food Protection and FDA announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network, or PETNet (clever, eh?).

The network will allow the FDA and Federal and State agencies to exchange information about pet-food related incidents. The result is a real-time means of sharing critical information about pet-food contamination or other defects. The hope is that many fewer pets will die before a problem is identified.

While PETNet is working in your favor, you can be proactive as a pet owner. The Humane Society posts a listing of recent recalls. If you find your pet has consumed a recalled product, call your vet—even if your pet isn’t exhibiting symptoms.

You also can protect your pets by cleaning their food dishes between meals, and water dishes every day or two.

We have fish, who we feed tropical fish flakes. Unfortunately, if the flakes were contaminated, I doubt their little bodies could survive poisoning. But it’s good to know that if a problem arises, a system is in place to help before it becomes a national or global problem.

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If you’ve been following our adoption of 11 fish, I don’t have much news to report. All are healthy and happy, but our new tank acquisition has stalled. Hopefully we’ll get our act together and I’ll have something exciting to share soon!

“The Last Kid on the Block” is a continuing series following the Knudsen family’s progress selecting and caring for their first pets. Andrea Knudsen lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two children.