Acrylic or Glass – Acrylic

Back again to give you some tips on choosing your perfect aquarium material – glass or acrylic?

Earlier we chatted briefly about glass. Now, we will throw some acrylic details into the mix.

What do you need to know? Let’s jump right in.

Acrylic is a great material as well when choosing for your aquarium.

This stuff is strong. Probably a good bit stronger than it’s glass counterpart. But don’t let this fool you. I wouldn’t be taking any swings with a baseball bat or anything. This stuff can absolutely shatter and result in total loss of all of your expensive fish.

And we haven’t even covered the scratch issue with acrylic.

This may be one of the greatest downfalls in our opinion. Acrylic can be very easily scratched. Even gentle cleaning of the walls, if not down properly and with much care, can result in scratches. On the other side of this, there are polishing kits available in which the acrylic can actually be polished to remove the scratches. But even certain inhabitants of your aquarium can damage the walls with scratches.

It’s not a no-go from us, but it is certainly something to be aware of.

Now, note that acrylic, while prone to the afore mentioned scratch issue, is quite strong. BUT, the aquarium must be well supported. If not, this could lead to separation of the pieces, again resulting in complete aquarium failure. (Before you think that maybe it will be easier to just have a really good interior and exterior painter to come out and just throw some pretty ocean mural on your wall or house, fear not. All aquariums do great when properly cared for!)

Refraction? If you are wanting a truer viewing experience, then acrylic is the way to go. The position, size, and colors within the aquarium will be much more precise and true when compared to the glass.

Alright, so last on the list of coverage is going to be cost. Cost can be somewhat more expensive that glass, but should not be considerably more so or a deal breaker.

Ok, so there you have it. Now go out and make your decision and give your favorite fish a home they deserve!

Acrylic or Glass – Glass

Hi everyone!

Today we will have a little chat about the old acrylic versus glass debate. I have decided to break this post up into two to cover both materials with a little depth and not completely put you to sleep.

On the chopping block is our case for glass. What are the pros and cons?

Glass is a beautiful material in which to house your swimming critters. It is difficult to scratch and therefore holds up very well to (some) abuse and therefore provides incredible clarity for viewing.

On the other side of the clarity is the obvious change in the refraction of light, which will result in an altered viewing experience. One may notice that the exact positions of items or fish within the tank may not be in the true location. You may also note that some of the colors may not be exactly true and the sizes of the inhabitants of the tank can be somewhat distorted.

Glass is a very sturdy material and therefore can be supported with less of a stand, or one that allow the glass to support some of it’s own weight. This is different from other materials which can result in separation of the walls if the weight of the aquarium is not supported well enough.

If you are doing a glass style aquarium, your shape possibilities are going to be pretty limited. While there is some ability to provide curvature, you run the risk of creating increased distortion for your viewing as this further changes the refraction, as does any increase in the thickness of your glass.

We mentioned above that glass is quite sturdy, but it is important to also protect your aquarium from really good hits, especially from very sharp objects. A good solid hit risks not only cracking the glass, but also complete failure of the wall through shattering. You do NOT want this, unless you enjoy a brief waterfall wherever your aquarium happens to be located and seeing all of the inhabitants you have been nurturing suddenly on the floor sucking wind.

This is bad. REAL BAD.

The good news is that glass really isn’t a more expensive option than other materials. It is typically easier to care for as well, which places another notch in the belt of glass over other materials.

Now, go out and pick your poison. Will you vote for glass?

Hello Flowerhorn

Flowerhorn

Say hello to my little Flowerhorn!

This fish is a force to be reckoned with. Deserving a boxers entry, no doubt. So, in my very best Michael Buffer voice:

AND NOW, FIGHTING OUT OF THE BLUE DEPTHS.

COMING IN AT 14 INCHES LONG AND HAILING FROM THE WATERS OF MALAYSIA.

HE SHOULD ONLY BE IN A TANK BY HIMSELF OR CLOSELY MONITORED WITH OTHERS.

THE ONE. THE ONLY.

THE FLOOOOWERHOORRRNN!

Ok, so maybe that isn’t exactly the best impersonation. And I know what you are thinking.

The Flowerhorn? Really? What kind of name is that?!

But seriously, this little thing packs a bunch.

It may be easy on the eyes, but not on the flesh. Read: Carnivore.

Interesting note…you aren’t going to find the Flowerhorn in a wild environment by their own design. Nope, this thing is man-made. A killer by design if you will.

Frankenstein, baby!

So enough shenanigans. Let’s talk about this thing. (BTW, all of the above is true!)

The Flowerhorn is hybrid Cichlid species, carnivorous in nature, and can be quite aggressive. Plan for rocks and some natural border items to help keep this guy in a space that he feels safe and where he can rule the roost, away from other cousins that may not be into the fighting seen as much.

Interestingly enough, the fish is also fertile and not as prone to problems as similar species, somewhat unheard of in a hybrid species.

They also reach a good size, ranging in the 12-16 inch mark. Remarkable and beautiful color patterns can be found within this fish, from red to orange to yellow to blue. Do note, however, that the colors can change from a juvenile up to adult, so be wary of this when making your decision as you may be surprised to see him “chameleon” into something different as the fish gets a little age on it.

Dinner time? Careful that it isn’t it fellow tank mates! The Flowerhorn eats flakes to fresh foods, and has been known to munch on live plants. Don’t plan on an impressive and high dollar garden in the tank with this guy. He will have it gone faster than Peter Rabbit in a row full of carrots.

Ok, so what’s the setback? How deep in the wallet are we really talking?

This Cichlid variety also comes with a price. No cheap dates around here.

A quick look around the net looks to bring in anywhere from $40 all the way to north of $300.

You may have to skip a few meals or save your lunch money for a few weeks to bring this favorite Malaysian boxer home.

Alright, so get your gloves and get to steppin’, will ya?

Let’s Get Fresh

Hey everyone!

In today’s post, we decided to have a little introduction into one of the two main types of water systems. Today, we are talking about getting fresh.

Well, freshwater that is.

Let’s jump right in to some of the differences that makes a freshwater system a good option.

One of the biggest, and perhaps the most important for some people when choosing which aquarium to start with, is the cost of getting started. Traditionally, freshwater systems are cheaper to start up and maintain.

With most costs considered and looking to start a small-medium sized in-home aquarium (think around the 30 gallon mark), one should probably budget around $250-$300. Before fish, of course.

Hey, no one said that aquariums were a CHEAP hobby. But if you think that is costly, wait until we start jumping into the higher end salt variety. Now THAT, will shorten the lifespan of your savings account.

Getting back to costs. What all will the $300ish cover?

That should get your decent quality tank, again thinking around the 30 gallon variety.

Additional items will include your lighting for the tank, the gravel you use, water testing kits (important so you keep your little swimmers from going belly up!), a good filter for keeping the water nice and home-like, nets and scrapers, food for the little guys, a quarantine tank (more on this later), and perhaps a few decorative items (this can eat the budget quickly so we are only including a couple of small items).

Not too bad, right?

Moving on.

The costs of fish are generally quite cheaper than the saltwater species. And are a little more resilient when you either get a little over zealous or just plain lazy when keeping your water just right (i.e. they can tolerate you screwing up better!). The freshwater guys may not always be as colorful as their salty cousins, but given the right touch, these fish can be an impressive addition to any home!

Note also that food can be cheaper for your freshwater family. Occasionally the saltwater fish can be very picky and have expensive, advanced diets that are crucial to their survival. The freshwater guys may be farmed from a generational fish farm and be much easier to feed as their diet consists of the flakes/pellets that most people are accustomed to.

So what else makes freshwater appealing?

Maintenance. It has to be done. Period. The question then becomes how often.

And with freshwater, this may stretched to a 3-4 week time period as opposed to a weekly or biweekly option for the saltwater systems.

Periodically, you will have to be doing some water changes/partial water changes. With a freshwater system, this is much easier and can be done with tap water as long as it is dechlorinated. This isn’t so with a saltwater system as the water and salt content must be mixed in advance to any changes (think in terms of days, not minutes).

So there you have it. A little introduction to freshwater systems. Remember that each system has their own pros and cons and diligent research should be conducted prior to jumping in!

Until next time!

Choice Fish – The Royal Blue Discus

FISH HIGHLIGHT!

Blue discus fish

You are planning out your sweet new aquarium. And you need some ideas…here is your start!

Meet the Royal Blue Discus, a.k.a. Symphysodon aequifasciata if you are super scientific and want to impress your buddies. Or win a round of Jeopardy. Either way.

Back to topic. This is little guy is a solid addition to any aquarium if you are looking to catch some eyes. Many colors exist from this South American species, but the blue is our absolute fav.

This dude isn’t exactly your local goldfish thought (not that there is anything wrong with goldfish). He can be a little needy so be prepared for a few quirks.

The need to know: shoot for a minimum of a 50 gallon tank. Also, the Royal Blue has some high standards (as do we, just another reason we love this fish!). He likes that water to be warm and a little acidic so check yo’self regularly to make sure you keep him happy.

The Royal Blue also likes the shade as that is his usual domain when rocking it wild style. Make his new home match and he will be a happy camper.

He can be a little on the territorial side during the breeding time (aren’t we all?!), so just be aware. Also, don’t take the little ones away if you are breeding as those new blues feed off of their parent’s mucous (mildly disgusting).

After our own heart, this fish is on the carnivorous side (i.e. he likes his healthy portions of meat) and prefers bloodworm or some other frozen meat, but will still be satisfied with occasional top shelf pellet food.

Price? A mid-level player we would place this one. Not a high class 10, but definitely not garden variety special. Prices range from $25 to upwards of $65 depending the size and where you pick him up from.

Enjoy!

Hello from Perfecto Aquariums!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Perfecto Aquariums!

This site was created in search of the PERFECT aquarium (it’s much harder than you think!)

Aquariums are not hard to find themselves. It’s the nice ones that are hard to find. And let’s be honest, if you are planning a beautiful display in your home or storefront, you certainly don’t want the thing looking like that algae-infested plastic box sitting on your grandma’s counter, right?!

Which is exactly where we decided to intervene. We are on the lookout for that banging fish bowl. The one that makes everyone that lays eyes on right with fish-envy!

So, with that being said, we plan on posting photos of top-notch bowls we feel worthy of a Perfecto spot. Additionally, we will sprinkle in some reviews of fish, fish culture and food, decor, and maybe even some equipment should you decide to build your own.

Stay tuned for some cool new information from “unda-da-sea”.

Later!