• Plecostomus Benefits!

    | Nov 14, 2017

    Benefits of the Plecostomus!

    The common plecostomus is a part of the catfish family and is also called hypostomus plecostomus, but plecos come in many different varieties and colors!  They are nocturnal and do require at least 1 or a few hiding spaces just for them:  driftwood, for example, particularly works well.  Sometimes called the "janitor fish" or "sucker fish" these helpful species can help keep tanks clean as they are natural scavengers.  They are bottom-feeders and will eat uneaten food or other leftover matter that would otherwise cause harmful nitrates in the water.  Not all are algae-eaters, though.  Some are good cleaners, but others are simply neat to look at or can even be carnivorous!


    If a plecostomus is indeed the algae-eating type, it can reduce and maintain algae growth in your tank, making it a great species for aiding in the removal of algae build-up.  Here are a few other benefits for keeping a pleco in your fish community:

    *Hardy & adaptable to many different tank environments & conditions
    *Great for beginner aquarium hobbyists
    *Fairly versatile when considering tank mates
    *Friendly & good-natured, will only become territorial with similar species in the same tank or if pushed to defend their favorite hiding spaces
    What's more, a plecostomus will stir up the substrate in your tank:  loosening up and consuming the food that falls and gets lost in the substrate, which would rot and potentially release toxic materials or gas if left alone.  Another benefit of the pleco stirring up the gravel or sand is that it mixes oxygen back into the substrate, which then fuels the beneficial bacteria within.  This oxygenation of the substrate in turn promotes aerobic bacteria growth that helps stabilize the nitrogen cycle.

    As some species of plecostomus get older, they may eat less algae than when they were young and may eventually produce more waste than some other fish species.  However, since food or other matter that is consumed by the pleco gets slowly released as the pleco's waste, the amount of negative impact that the waste has is actually less than if the uneaten food and other leftover matter was not eaten by the pleco or removed by hand first.
    Be sure to be careful in selecting the right species of plecostomus for your aquarium, too, as they can grow anywhere between only 4 inches to up to 2-3 feet in length.  They can also live from 10 to 15 years with proper care.  Now until January 8th you can get a common plecostomus for only $3.49 at Uncle Bill's Pet Centers!

  • 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!

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aqueon aquatics
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 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.
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 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.