While what you will see here has been successful to us it may not be for you. We are not to be held responsible for any mishaps you may experience if they are not successful for you.
Applying The Background To Your Aquarium:
If the background you are going to be putting on the back of your tank has scenery there is something that you can do to make the colors on the scenery standout more vividly. This also alleviates the need to use that nasty tape. After trimming the background to the size of the tank, lay it out flat and with a papertowel, apply oil to the scenery side of the background. Once you have saturated the background with oil (not missing any spots) carefully hold the background to the back of the tank and press it on. You will have to use either a yardstick, ruler or a squeegee (sp?) to work the air bubbles out from between the background and the tank. It's important when doing this to make sure that both the background and the glass on the back of the tank are clean. I have used both Crisco cooking oil (any will do) and baby oil to do this. I am sure that mineral oil would work as well. It's also easiest to do this prior to hanging any filters or air tubes on the back of the tank. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference of the look of the scenery and if not bothered, the background will not come off til you want it to.
We use the floating kind of thermometers in all of our tanks. When purchasing them, we go through all the thermometers on the rack and choose only those that read the same temperature. When it becomes necessary to move fish from tank to tank or when you want to as closely as possible match the temperature you are adding to your tank, it's nice to know you have two thermometers that read the water the same way. Not all thermometers do.
Controlling The Flow:
Not all power filters have controls on them which enable you to control the flow. By pulling up on the intake tube you can reduce the suction and the force of the flow of the filter. This becomes important when you have small fry that you don't want getting sucked against the strainer.
By covering the strainer with a piece of a finely meshed net and securing it with a rubberband at the top you will prevent fry from being sucked into the strainer. Another way you can do this is by cutting off the toe end of a pair of pantyhose or knee highs. Just slip it over the strainer and secure it tightly with a rubberband. Make absolutely sure there is no laundry detergent residue on the stocking. (Thank you Will for reminding me!!!) :)
Plastic Specimen Containers:
We have found that due to the shape of the top of specimen containers, they just will not sit securely along the top of larger aquariums when you are using them to relocate fish. By taking a lighter and passing it along the inside top edge of the speciment container you can soften the plastic and then reshape it to fit the tanks. Once you have it to where you want it, run it under cold water and it will stiffen back up giving you a specimen container that is safer to use (for the fish) in the future.
The size... Most of the medications used for treating fish come with instructions on the prescribed dosage fitting a 10 gallon tank. Medication can be so expensive. Depending on the size of the fish involved use smaller tanks. By using a 5 gallon tank you are cutting your costs in half by only using 50% of the recommended dosage per treatment. We also do this using 2.5 gallon tanks for the small fish using only 25% of the dosage. Makes those meds go alot further.
We like using either Penguin Mini's or Eheim 100's on our hospital tanks. When finishing up with treating a fish and it has been moved back to it's normal tank I clean the filter and then put it on an existing tank to re-establish a biological filter on the media in anticipation for the next round of treatments. By doing this it is unnecessary to always battle keeping the hospital tank cycled and since I like using the water the fish came out of to initiate treatment it's not necessary to keep a hospital tank up and running when not in use.
Liquid Fry Food:
We have found that making our own liquid fry food is more beneficial than buying commercial brands. To do this you will need some baby formula, a boiled egg and distilled water. Put about 1/4 of the boiled egg yolk into a blender and puree it. Then, add a scoop of baby formula, I use Enfamil (Low Iron) Powder formula, the scoop is inside the container. Then add two ounces of the distilled water and mix it all up. Remember when feeding the fry this it doesn't take much so use it sparingly. Refrigerate the mixture and it will remain fresh for approximately 48 hours. It's rich in protein which is what the tiny fry need. Buying the commercial brands of liquid fry food is so expensive and there is no way of knowing how fresh and nutritious it is due to being packaged for extended periods of time.
When preparing to start up any subsequent tanks, a week prior to actually doing so stick the new filter on an existing tank so that you have a head start on establishing the bacteria colony. This is another advantage of using filtration systems with biowheels, you can swap them between tanks when need be.
Water Changes & Flowers:
After performing partial water changes, put the *used* water on your flowers!! The yuckier the better!! It makes the blooms pretty, pretty, pretty... *lol*