Clean Your Aquariums Thoroughly

Very recently I took down my 55 gallon freshwater aquarium to change the substrate a bit. So I took the fish out and put them in a 10 gallon tank. This 10 gallon tank had previously held some blue rams which had ick. So I put a dissolving tablet to kill the ick. However the next day all the rams were dead. So before I put my fish from my 55 in there, I rinsed it out with tap water. I’m not sure this was enough as I killed 5 of the healthiest fish I own by leaving them in this tank for 2 days.

So in summary avoid chemical treatments when dealing with ick or other parasites. Seeing as they probably managed to kill in total 7 of my fish. Also make sure you clean your aquariums well before using them. Because for me taking out the old water and rinsing it was not enough.


Keeping Bettas in Planted Aquariums

Betta fish are often kept in small bowls. Often times pet store will say that they will do fine in these small confined spaces. The truth is that bettas can survive in a small bowl but they will not thrive in them. Betta fish come from Thailand and live in small pools and rice paddies. Betta fish prefer to live in densely planted aquariums which is most like what they live in the wild. They can survive in small bowls because they have the capability to survive in them. In the wild there is a wet and dry season. during the dry season they get trapped in an environment much like a bowl. In the wild they will normally jump from puddle to puddle to find a better place to live. Which is why they commonly will jump out of bowls.

So in order to keep bettas healthy you should provide a lot of live plants and tunnels and places for them to explore. If you do this for your fish you will get more enjoyment out of your fish.

check out my betta aquarium here

Dirted Aquariums Introduction

The use of dirt in aquariums is not a common thing. However it can be a very effective method for growing plants. Dirt is the most natural plant growing substrate you can use. However if you do something wrong there can be frustrating results. There are some simple tips that can keep this from happening.

1. Use organic potting soil. Make sure it has very few additives, the more there are, the harder it is to cycle the tank successfully.

2. Only use about an inch of dirt in the bottom of your tank.

3. Make sure you put the same amount of a cap substrate on top of the dirt.

4. Use a small substrate for a cap, but not too small. bigger than play sand, but small enough so the plants can move it out the way to grow. (Pool filter sand is very good at this.)

5. Do weekly water changes until the dirt stops leeching a tea color in the water.

6. Wait about a month before adding fish. The fish will make cycling the tank much harder.

7. Add a lot of plants initially, this will help reduce the amount of nutrients for algae to use.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your dirted planted tank is a success. WP_20150107_08_13_48_ProThis is a picture of one of my newest dirted aquariums. Notice all the plants in the tank, this will help reduce algae. You can also see the pool filter sand on the right of the tank with the dirt beneath the sand.

Saltwater Aquarium Introduction

Recent History

Very recently I had an ick outbreak in the tank which killed all but 2 fish. Since then I have experienced an algae bloom. basically the tank is in a state of recovery, which could take a few weeks to come back up to par.

Watch this video to see my tank before this outbreak:

Current Status

The filtration on the tank has stayed very similar, although I have organized it a bit more. Some of the corals have also started to not look so good. While others that were not doing as good are surprisingly doing better. I will post more updates in the future about how things improve as well as things that go wrong.

WP_20150201_16_23_00_ProThis is a current picture of the tank.

Check out my Youtube channel for more videos.

Also leave a comment of things you would like me to cover

Breeding Freshwater Shrimp * Shrimp Update*

Since I got my shipment of fancy shrimp about 3 weeks ago. One of my SSS red crystal shrimp is pregnant. She is still currently holding the eggs. This is not my first time breeding shrimp however. I have breed some red rili shrimp and some cherry shrimp. Freshwater shrimp are very easy to breed and will take care of them selves. So there is no need to separate the older shrimp and babies.

I will post more updates about the status of the new shrimp as thing occur.

WP_20150127_19_19_08_ProThe shrimp that has eggs is right in the middle. (look for like grey dots near its abdomen)

Check out my youtube channel for more content, and videos about all my fish tanks.

Benefits of a Freshwater Shrimp Aquarium

My personal 5 gallon shrimp aquarium is a very calm and relaxing desk ornament. There are many pros to owning one of these types of aquariums



  • Easy to maintain

I do very little in the way of maintenance on my aquarium. The plants manage to consume most of the nitrates and ammonia the shrimp produce. The shrimp will help the plants by eating algae and other organisms that grow on the plants or in the tank. The Fluval shrimp substrate promotes a healthy substrate for the shrimp and also provides nutrients for the plants. So the aquarium it self is almost self sustaining. The only thing I do is top off with freshwater ( which I also add some shrimp mineral solution too). Also I occasionally throw some shrimp food in, just in case the eat everything else.

  • Small

These aquariums are usually very small. My personal aquarium is only five gallons and fits on my desk next to my computer. I have seen these aquariums in sizes around 2.5 gallons.

  • Always looks good

Because I have good equipment and the tank is so self sustaining the plants always look green and healthy without any added fertilizers. So if you want to set up your own, I would advise looking for a shrimp aquarium kit which is what I used.

  • Relaxing

The shrimp are very interesting to watch as they crawl along the surface of plants searching for food. Combine this with their cool personality, color, and small size and you have a very unique compact ecosystem.



Make sure to check out my youtube channel for more videos of my aquariums –

let me introduce myself

WP_20140305_16_02_36_Pro My name is Drew Young and I am an “enthusiastic marine biologist to be”.  I have spent the last 5+ years immersing myself into this fascinating world.  I have been to the ocean many times and there got a taste of the experience but it has been my hobbies at home that has engulfed me.  In this blog I hope to express my passion and also provide some insight into the care, feeding, and establishment of various aquatic ecosystems.  I will be posting articles, video demonstrations, and updates of the various environments I have created. 

I hope you will find this information of educational value but in a fun way and also share with me in this passion for aquatic life.

I look forward to making this journey with you!