Welcome to our TIPS ON LIFE Page.

This page is simply to serve those with minor problems in keeping their fishes alive and those with doubt about some things that they were told. If you have a problem that is not covered here or you like to share the problem with me, please email me and if suitable, will place it here or at the FAQ. The tips are questions that we were most often asked. Some questions needed more comprehensive answers and will be in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Section. Some misconceptions are also answered here. All tips are from my own personal experiences and in no way do I claim that my solutions are the one and only way to solve your problems. Everyone, and even individual aquarium shops and fish farms will have their own solutions. Some solutions are ancient but still workable while others may be completely without any scientific basis whatsoever. Wherever possible, I try to give whatever scientific explanation so that you can understand better.
1. Do not keep Big fish with small fish. Big fish will eat small fish - no matter what species of fish. (Rule of nature.) 
Salt does not evaporate, only water. Remember the school experiment where you dissolve some salt in the beaker of water, boil the water until dry and then get the residue (salt) back ?? 
Not all fishes appreciates salt in the water. Hardwater and brackish water fishes will be most grateful for a little salt in their tank but not softwater fishes - although they can tolerate some salt content. Examples of Hardwater or Brackish water fishes are : Scats, Monos, Mollies, Guppies, most South African Cichlids, a great deal of mouth breeders, etc. Use 1 teaspoon of salt to 10 US gallons of water (about 8 UK Gallons or 35 litres of water). Goldfish may not be happy in "salt" water for more than one week - they don't like the difference in Osmatic pressure.
Too much salt will KILL ALL fishes. Follow the above guide and do not apply too much salt. More is not better. Do you take panadol when you do not have a headache ?
Activated Carbon should be placed where there is a strong flow of water through it - like in a filter media. Throwing it into the tank alone will not be effective. This is the same case for zeolite. The activated carbon must be taken out and washed, and if possible, leave to dry completely before re-use. Replace after about 2 months. 
Zeolite have a strong affinity for salt and will adsorb salt from the water it comes in contact with. Therefore, do not use it in marine or in the presence of fishes which require salt content.
Overfeeding kills. Most fishes know when to stop eating. The excess food in the tank can change the pH, ammonia, nitrate levels, etc.. This in turn will kill your fishes if not checked. Feed what the fish can consume in 5-10 minutes. If food is floating in the tank, you have overfed them. Remove the excess food.
Overnight water refers to water without chlorine content and is referred to because the water is left overnight before use. If you fill your pail with water at 2 in the morning, does it mean that it is chlorine-free at 6 am ??? Chlorine-free water should be left for 24 hours and preferably aerated. Only then can you call it overnight water or chlorine-free. Use RID-ALL Anti-Chlorine and save yourselves about trouble as it removes chlorine instantly and even removes heavy metal present in the water. And also because it is produced by us !!
Hardwater does not refer to water you can walk on. It refers to water with a great deal of minerals. The pH is normally above 7 and seawater have a pH of between 8-8.5. Softwater have lesser minerals and have a pH of less than 7. For most softwater fishes, a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 is suitable.
Excretion floating along the water surface is a sign of constipation of your fish. This is clearly seen in bigger fishes like goldfish and kois as air bubbles can be seen within the sag. Use RID-ALL General Aid to clear this.
Marine sand, crushed corals, and white sand (marble chips) should NOT be used in a freshwater tank. Overtime, the sand will dissolve in the freshwater and your pH and hardness will be affected. Yellow residue at the water surface is a symptom that your water is getting "harder". Test all gravel and sand by placing a sample quantity in a glass container and pour vinegar or bleach, like Clorox and see the reaction. Strong Effervescence or reaction - DO NOT USE.   
Slight or minimal Effervescence - Okay to use. Always wash before using.
Use a heater to keep the temperature CONSTANT at between 28 and 30 degrees and not above that. Unless your fish have a special requirement for higher temperature.
Try not to mix hardwater fishes with softwater fishes as the water chemistry is different and will be quite difficult to keep both species alive together. It is not impossible, just difficult. One species may do better than the other.
Terrapins require sunlight for their shell to grow properly (harden). Even fishes exposed to natural sunlight have better colours.
Avoid using antibiotics unless you know what you are doing. Avoid all chemicals that destroy the 'good' bacteria if you are using biological filtration.
16. If your fishes are very slimy, chances are that you have used too much salt, or something wrong with the pH of your water- usually the water has become too acidic or too alkinline for your fish.
17. If you have a community tank, have an algae eater, some freshwater shrimps or even freshwater crabs (small ones) to help keep the tank clean. Died or dying fishes can and will be consumed by the scavangers.
Decide on the fish you intent to keep before you decide on the tank size or the decorations.
Get a good reference Book.  So you can check the basic water, temperature and special requirements for your fishes and plants.
20. SUPPORT this free service : ALWAYS USE AQUARIUM REMEDIES. Please visit our home page at or click the logo below.
If anyone disagrees with my solutions, please email me, I will be most grateful for the feedback and (new) input. All readers and surfers hereby agree to and accept that Hong Tai Aquarium Products Pte Ltd will not be held responsible for any mishaps that might happen, especially since many factors like the pH, temperature or water quality, etc of your fish tank is beyond our control !! If in doubt always ask, or email me.

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