• Marine Live Rock!

    | Oct 10, 2017

    Marine Live Rock!

    Live rock not only can add spectacular beauty to your aquarium but can be very beneficial for your fish and other marine animals, too!  The term "live rock" comes from the fact that many micro and macroscopic organisms inhabit both the inside and outside of the rock.  It is literally living aquatic decoration that is both teeming with and covered by aquatic life!
    live rock 1
    Each piece of live rock is gently harvested and begins as aragonite remains of long-deceased and ancient-era corals.
    The live rock may be introduced into your aquarium after about 3 - 5 weeks of curing.  Curing is the process which facilitates the removal of any remaining superfluous plant or marine life on the rock (that would die off upon being integrated into the tank anyway) by letting them naturally expire.  Not doing so before including it in your tank could produce an ammonia level hike from the old, decaying material - which would be toxic to most existing fish, corals, or any other marine animals.  This process also allows the nitrifying bacteria and some micro fauna in the rock to survive and later be beneficial (both aesthetically and functionally) to the aquatic ecosystem.

    As it begins to thrive and a variety of organisms - microscopic to larger organisms - populate the rock it can become not only very bio-diverse but also naturally, ruggedly beautiful.

    live rock 2In addition to its pleasing looks, here are some of the benefits of utilizing live rock:
    *     It is a natural food source for certain species
    *     Helps break down and filter out waste
    *     Creates a solid base for living coral or other plants and decor
    *     Can reduce the time it takes to cycle your newly established aquarium
    What's more, live rock may help marine fish learn to adapt to their new settings more quickly by appearing more similar to their natural environment. 
    It assists in providing adequate hiding areas as well as establishing and balancing territories between species:  protecting some species from potential bullying; making certain species feel more at home and safe; bringing out species' natural behaviors; and minimizing overall stress.

    Live rock also helps stabilize your aquatic chemistry by slowly releasing some of its calcium into the water, which aids in maintaining a healthy water pH level.

    Some hobbyists go as far to say that live rock is a viable and possibly even the superior mode of filtration, especially since it is a type of biological filtration that hosts large quantities of both aerobic and anaerobic nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria.
    live rock 3
    While setting up and maintaining live rock until it flourishes can require some effort and patience, if you are interested in providing a more natural and beneficial setting for your marine aquatic life it can be well worth the time - and a very rewarding experience.

    Right now until November 13th, you can get any saltwater live rock on sale at 10% Off at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!




  • The Sparkling Gourami!

    | Sep 13, 2017

    Sparkling Gourami's!

    This species, Trichopsis pumila, can also be called the Pygmy Gourami or the Dwarf Croaking Gourami.  It may reach up to 1 1/2 inches in length, and is the smallest species in the labyrinth family.  

    sparkling-gourami

    The Sparkling Gourami can have many variations of sparkling iridescent reds, blues, and greens which reflect a rainbow of colors when it moves, and its eyes can appear bright blue in certain lighting.  Sometimes its colors and stripe can change or even disappear and reappear depending on its condition and mood!

    Native to the rice patties of Thailand, it can be naturally found in slow-moving waters such as rivers, swamps, and small ponds with a dense cover of plants.  It thrives rather well in environments with diminished oxygen due to its labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe air directly from the surface of the water. The Sparkling Gourami is a tiny diamond-in-the-rough of the fish world so to speak!

    sparkling-gourami-2The reason some call it the "Dwarf Croaking Gourami" is because it can actually create "croaking" sounds that you can hear with the human ear, utilizing its specialized pectoral mechanism.  The unique family in which this species is classified uses their pectoral-fin tendons, muscles, and anterior fin rays to create these noises in a similar fashion as plucking strings on a guitar!

    These fish are hardy and tolerant of less than ideal conditions as long as there are no strong currents, aggressive tank-mates, and as long as there are plenty of hiding places for this docile species.  It prefers heavily planted aquariums with room enough above the plants to sip some air from the surface of the water.
    sparkling-gouramis
    This petite, peaceful species can be kept in pairs or small groups of similar fish, but preferably not with any large or aggressive fish that may try to bully them.  For the best coloration and condition try using dark substrates/gravel or special lighting, and be sure to include both plant-based and meat-based foods in its diet.  Keep a lid on your tank with these little guys, too, as they can be fantastic jumpers!

    Right now until October 9th, you can get your very own Sparkling Gourami's for only $1.99 each at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!




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Aqueon
Aqueon
Developed by true aquatic hobbyists, Aqueon is the first single brand to provide a broad array of aquarium solutions. From their inception, Aqueon products have one goal in mind, "What is best for the health and well-being of fish and aquatic life."
Cobalt
Cobalt Aquatics
Starting with a staff of the 3 owners and a line of probiotic enhanced flake foods made in the USA and a handful of equipment items made at a world renowned aquatics factory in Italy, Cobalt Aquatics’ aim was to bring the highest quality products to market.  From humble beginnings in 2011, Cobalt Aquatics now features a product mix of hundreds of items from flake food to frozen mysis shrimp, to the original MJ pumps, to award winning heaters and the innovative Egg Rockers.
Marineland
Marineland
The spirit of innovation is alive and well at Marineland. You can find it in products as diverse as the Magnum® canister filter and the revolutionary Advanced LED Lighting Systems. So whatever your passion — fresh or saltwater, big or small — count on Marineland to bring you the most reliable, the most technically advanced, the highest quality aquariums and accessories on the market.
Tetra
Tetra
Tetra is the only brand name that's become synonymous with ornamental fish keeping, thanks to Dr. Ulrich Baensch. He founded Tetra Werke (Company) in Melle, Germany 50 years ago, and pioneered the development of flake fish foods.  Tetra now manufactures hundreds of products and publishes books for aquarium fish keeping, reptile and amphibian keeping, and water gardening.