That’s My Pet: Saltwater Fish

 

We have already talked about freshwater fish here on DealDashBlog before, but I think it’s time we progressed on to the next challenge: saltwater fish!

In this DealDash Blog series we have been highlighting different pets, given some basic facts about pet ownership, and hopefully helped you make informed decisions about your new furry, feathered, or finned family member. Having a saltwater or marine aquarium is a significantly harder challenge than a freshwater tank, and some would argue much harder and more time-consuming than a cat or dog.

As a person who had worked at a pet store as well as having my own freshwater aquariums for years at some point I decided that I was ready for a saltwater tank. To be honest…I wasn’t! I jumped in feet-first and tried to make everything beautiful as fast as possible. It had always worked with freshwater aquariums before, and I was very surprised when all of my tank inhabitants died. I was very upset, and went back to freshwater for a while. I got the marine bug again about a year ago, and I am doing things correctly this time. Hopefully I can share some of my helpful tips so you don’t make the same mistakes that I made.

 

Hawkeye 2 Gallon 360 Starter Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting

There are a huge variety of different aquariums that you can get for your first set-up, most people find that the easiest thing to do is to get a kit that is already pre-assembled. DealDash has a few adorable nano tanks that some some equipment to get you started. Check them out in the Home, Garden, and Tools sections. However, if you would prefer to pick up the pieces yourself, here are the very basics that are recommended for a saltwater fish aquarium:

  • Fish tank or aquarium
  • Light source (LEDs or other strong lighting if you plan on doing corals)
  • External Filter, Protein skimmer
  • Water additives depending on if you keep corals or not
  • Power head for water movement
  • Thermometer
  • Fish food
  • Heater
  • Live rock
  • pre-made saltwater or RO water, bucket, and salt mix
  • Hydrometer (to measure how salty the water is)
  • Water testing kits (ph, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite at a bare minimum)
  • Sand (optional, some people prefer “bare bottom”)
  • UV light (optional, kills bacteria)
  • Magnet scraper (optional, to clean algae and salt deposits on glass without getting wet)

 

The size and type of aquarium that you purchase can determine the type and quantity of fish that you choose to put in your new aquarium. When doing saltwater fish, space is KEY. If you want a very small nano tank (10 gallons or less) then you probably just want to go with one small fish such as a clownfish (Nemo), or clown goby. Clown gobies aren’t quite as well known as clownfish, but they are amazingly cute and come in many different colors like yellow, blue, green, etc. Along with your one small fish and live rock you could also put in a small shrimp such as a peppermint shrimp. You can also add a few marine hermit crabs and snails. If you have good lighting you can also add some beginner corals such as kenya trees, pulsing xenia, mushrooms, or zoas.

If you are interested in having more than 1 or 2 small fish in your tank then you will need to go much bigger, I would say 40 gallons is the smallest tank that you should go with, but with saltwater, bigger is always better, because the water quality is more stable the bigger you go. I currently have a 90 gallon tank, and it’s definitely been the most successful (and biggest) tank that I have ever had.

Setting up your aquarium for saltwater is a simple process, but the key is patience. With freshwater you can basically go from no tank to a tank full of healthy happy fish in the span of a week. No so with saltwater.

  • Put your aquarium on whatever surface that you will be keeping it on long term, be it an actual aquarium stand, a dresser, table, desk, etc. If you’re looking for a nice sturdy piece of furniture to put a smaller tank on, check out DealDash.
  • Get your pre-made or mixed saltwater and add it to the aquarium, leaving a few inches unfilled at the top
  • Put in your sand if you will be using it
  • Install your heater, filter/protein skimmer, and thermometer
  • Add your live rock and arrange it how you would like
  • Finish filling the saltwater to the top
  • Plug in heater and filter/protein skimmer
  • Wait
  • And wait
  • And wait some more
  • Add fresh RO (reverse osmosis) water every day to make up for the evaporated water. Make sure you don’t add saltwater! As the saltwater evaporates every day the water leaves, but the salt stays in the tank. If you top off with saltwater every day then your water will be much too salty after a few days.
  • After a few weeks add a few snails and hermit crabs
  • If your snails and crabs seem to be doing well then use your water testing kit and test the water after your tank has been set up for 6 weeks or so
  • If your water tests well 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 or less nitrate then you just might be ready to add one fish. Please pick and small and inexpensive fish such as a damsel fish, don’t go for an expensive tang right away.
  • Try not to add more than one fish at a time, and wait a few in between adding fish. Before you add any more fish do a water test in between to make sure that your water parameters are safe.
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new pets!

I hope that this article has helped you understand a little bit about setting up a saltwater fish aquarium. If you are in the market for an aquarium, pet store gift card, or any other pet-related items head on over to DealDash and see what they have up for bid today. I have gotten so many pet store gift cards from DealDash. And the best thing is, if I don’t win the auction then I can just buy the gift card for face value, they ship it to me for free, and give me all my bids back to try again. It’s really win-win! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

That’s My Pet: Freshwater Fish

Image result for freshwater aquarium fish

“Mom, Dad, can I have a pet?” Is this a familiar question in your house? It certainly is in mine, and we are in good company. It’s estimated that over 60% of American households have at least one pet.

In this new DealDash Blog series we will highlight different pets, give some basic facts about pet ownership, and hopefully help you make informed decisions about your new furry, feathered, or finned family member. Let’s get started!

Today’s pet is the Freshwater Fish. As a person who spent a few years working at a pet store, and also as a pet owner I would say one of the best pets to start a younger child out with is a freshwater fish aquarium. You can spend less than $40 to get a basic freshwater fish aquarium going with everything you need, or you can go as big and as fancy as you would like for more money.

Hawkeye 2 Gallon 360 Starter Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting

There are a huge variety of different aquariums that you can get for your first set-up, most people find that the easiest thing to do is to get a kit that is already pre-assembled. However, if you would prefer to pick up the pieces yourself, here are the very basics that are recommended for a freshwater fish aquarium:

  • Fish tank or aquarium
  • Gravel
  • Light source
  • Filter
  • Water conditioner
  • Air pump with airstone
  • Thermometer
  • Fish food
  • Heater (perhaps not needed if you are getting goldfish)
  •  Plants, rocks, decorations (optional)

Other than those items everything else such as a background, live plant, or pirate chest decoration is completely and totally optional and can be added at a later time if you so choose.

The size and type of aquarium that you purchase can determine the type and quantity of fish that you choose to put in your new aquarium. When people first start out with keeping freshwater fish they usually go 1 of 3 ways – Betta fish in a tiny aquarium, community fish in a medium-sized aquarium, or goldfish in a medium to large aquarium. Of course, there are many many many more types of freshwater fish to choose from, but these are the most popular options for beginners.

My personal favorite of these 3 options is the community tank. Most people use a 10-29 gallon aquarium for their community tank, and stock it with fish such as Mollies, Guppies, Platys, Tetras, and algae eaters. There are SO many more community fish to choose from, but those are some of the most popular options that should be easy to find in your local pet store.

Setting up your aquarium can be a easy or complicated as you would like to make it, depending on what look you are trying to achieve. Here are the basic steps:

  • Put your aquarium on whatever surface that you will be keeping it on long term, be it an actual aquarium stand, a dresser, table, desk, etc.
  • Rinse your gravel and put it in the aquarium sloping it a little bit up towards the back
  • Treat your tap water with a water conditioner and add it to the aquarium, leaving a few inches unfilled at the top
  • Install your heater, filter, and thermometer
  • Add any decorations that you would like
  • Finish filling the water to the top
  • Plug in heater and filter
  • Wait 24-48 hours before adding any fish

Mollies                                                                Guppies

As a general rule you can add about 1″ of (Full Grown fish length) per gallon of water. For instance if you have a 10 gallon aquarium you can add 10 fish that will be 1″ long when they are full grown. Don’t be fooled by the size the fish are when you buy them, make sure that you do your research to see how big your fish will be when they are full grown.

I hope that this article has helped you understand a little bit about setting up a freshwater fish aquarium. If you are in the market for an aquarium, pet store gift card, or any other pet-related items head on over to DealDash‘s “Other” section and see what they have up for bid today. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Petco -Where the Pets Go

What do most DealDashers have in common? Pets!!

At least, reading people’s little bios and looking at so many different pet avatars it would seem like most DealDashers have at least one pet, if not more. I’ve seen bios referring to cats, dogs, birds, and even some more exotic pets like lizards and goats! I don’t personally have any exotic pets like that, but I do have two tanks of saltwater fish. And I don’t know about you, but the very first place I think of when it comes to getting pet supplies is Petco!

Petco has just about every item that I have ever needed or wanted, and even more items that I didn’t even know existed until I saw them in the store. They have pet supplies for just about every pet including your average cat, dog, and fish but also ferrets, rats, turtles, hermit crabs, and more!

When you think of a national chain pet store you might think that their offices are only thinking about the “bottom line”, but Petco is actually has a “Think Adoption First” philosophy, which means they always recommend that anyone who is looking to add a new pet to their family to first consider adopting a companion animal in need of a new home, rather than purchasing one – even from a Petco store. Petco and the Petco Foundation work with more than 8,000 local animal-welfare partners to find homes for more than 250,000 animals every year through in-store adoption events. Petco has never sold dogs or cats. They do however have ferrets, hamsters, bunnies, and more available to purchase.

In case this is the first time that you have heard about the Petco Foundation, They are an independent nonprofit organization, and they have raised more than $125 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. Petco and the Petco Foundation work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country to host in-store adoption events and help find homes for adoptable dogs, cats, and other companion animals. That’s what I call “Thinking Adoption First.”

My favorite thing about Petco versus the other major pet retailer in my area is that Petco actually has saltwater fish and corals. I can get the exact same type of Clownfish (Ocellaris) for $10 at Petco that I could also get at my local fish store, except they charge almost double the price! I will go with the $10 Petco Clownfish every time. Also, Petco has consistently lower prices on dry goods such as salt mix, fish food, and fish medications. I foolishly bought a coral medication at my local fish store over the weekend for $24.99, and when I compared the price at Petco today I realized that I could have gotten it $5 cheaper. Lesson learned – check the Petco price before buying anything at a local shop.

$10 PETCO Gift Cards

Luckily for us pet-loving DealDashers DealDash now has Petco gift cards available! They come in $10 and $25 denominations, and you can spend the gift cards in store as well as online. They are really convenient, and since I know that I am always going to have an occasion to spend $10 or $25 in Petco I always bid them up to the limit. Give it a try, you never know when you might get lucky!

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