Value Aquatics

cages-animaux-aquariums

About Us


Welcome to ValueAquatics, Suppliers of Pond, Aquarium and Reptile equipment, Water Features and Garden Statuary.

We are a small family run business with over 50 years experience in aquatics. Our aim is to provide the hobbyist with true value for money products, and information and advice to allow novice and expert fish keepers alike enjoy the hobby to the full.

The company, established in January 2003 has continued to grow rapidly, and this I believe is as a result of how we treat our customers. You can be assured that you will always receive honest friendly advice, and I’m sure once you have ordered from us, you will come back to us again and again. Being a small company allows us to deal closely with the customer, providing what I believe is an unprecedented level of service. You should also find our products very competitively priced, please let us know if you find a product cheaper elsewhere and we will immediately review our prices.

This year as well as expanding the product range significantly we have added more information to our web-sites to help our customers decide on which product best suits their requirements. We hope you find this web-site simple and easy to navigate, that was our intention when we decided on the design of the web-site, please let us know how you find our service; we will add your comments to our feedback pages! I would also ask you to place a review on our site for the product(s) you purchase, as this really helps others in deciding which product(s) will suit their requirements!

If you require any information on aquariums & cages or advice please contact us and we will do our best to give you the information to allow you to make the right choice!

Reptile Care and Advice

Leopard
Gecko
Juvenile

Leopard
Gecko
Adult

Corn Snake

Garter Snake

Milk/King Snake

Royal Python

Bearded

Dragon

Water dragon

Chameleon

(Veiled or Yemen)

Vivarium
Size

24inch

VX24 Vivarium

24inch one

36inch two
lots of space not necessary

VX24/VX36
Vivarium

Ferplast Geo Lg. for hatchling.

Hatchlings stress out in large

Sub. adult/Adult

36” vivarium.

Ferplast Geo Lg/VX36 Vivarium

Most single snakes can be housed in a 10-gallon or 20-gallon tank with a secured screen top.

Adult’s 30” glass vivariums.

Ferplast Geo Lg.

PT2602

Ferplast Geo Lg hatchling.

Hatchlings stress out in large Vivariums.

Sub. adult/Adult

36” vivarium.

Ferplast Geo Lg/VX36 Vivarium

18” – 24” vivarium for juvenile.

36 inch min. for an adult.

VX24/VX36
Vivarium

30 inch for juvenile

and 48x24x24 inch for adult.

VX36

VX48 (min for one adult)

These need a lot of room a 6ftx2ftx4ft

High min for and adult.

Require access to a large water bowl
Require 6ft Vivarium

Not currently available from ValueAquatics

Flexarium or purpose built Vivarium 2ftx2ftx3ft or taller.

Lighting
Required

Viewing Only

Repti Glo 2 compact.

Triton reptile light.

Viewing Only

Repti Glo 2 compact.

Triton reptile 18W

Viewing Only Repti Glo 2 compact.

triton reptile light or arcadia reptile lamp UVB2 With controller.

Full light Repti Glo 2 compact.

triton reptile light or arcadia reptile lamp UVB2 With controller.

PT2100 (light and daytime temperature)

Viewing Repti Glo 2 compact.

triton reptile light or arcadia reptile lamp UVB2 With controller.

PT2100 (light and daytime temperature)

Viewing only use a spot bulb PT2132 for basking and heat.

Or ceramic PT2046 with Cobrastat thermostat cage for heat. Must be run on a thermostat

reptile lamp with control gear UVB2

Require full spectrum lighting with UV-B and UV-A, Reptisun 10 or similar. With controller.

PT2102 (light and daytime temperature) Repti Glo 10 compact.

Full spectrum Reptile light UV 5. With controller.

Repti Glo 5 compact.

Reptisun 5.0, Zoo Med’s Iguana Light 5.0. With controller.

Repti Glo 2 or 5 compact. Depends on species.

Heating
Required

Heat Matt

½ size of vivarium floor. . PT2131 with Cobrastat thermostat needed to give added heat during daylight hours.

Daytime high should be 82°F on one end of tank to 90°F under a spot light (choose wattage appropriate for providing the correct temperature. Night temperature should be 70° - 72° F via heat mat. Heat Mat 6”x11”

Heat Matt ½ size of vivarium floor. PT2131 with Cobrastat thermostat

Heat Matt

11”x17”

½ size of vivarium floor An Adult will require a 60W ceramic heat emitter PT2045 or PT2132

with Cobrastat thermostat

The cool end on the enclosure should be around 70° F with a basking spot of around 84° F. Heat mat covering half the floor or back wall area. Night drop of 10F.

Heatmat 6”x11”/11”x17”

PT2100 (light and daytime temperature)

Temperature ranging between 75º to 85º F. Use a heat mat that covers half the floor or rear wall area.

Heatmat 6”x11”/11”x17”

PT2100 (light and daytime temperature)

Daytime temperature of 80-85F dropping to 73-75F at night.

Heat mats should be placed on the back wall of the vivarium. It is bad for heavy bodied snakes to lay on a heatmat.

Main heating via ceramic bulb PT2045 or PT2132 or a basking spot bulb as detailed above. Both PT2134 with Cobrastat thermostat

Daytime temp. Basking spot with temperatures ranging from 90 to 105F.

Night 75-80F

A heat mat covering half the vivarium floor as background heat. A ceramic heater PT2047 or a spot bulb PT2134 on an appropriate thermostat Cobrastat thermostat.

Day time: 84-88 F with drop to 75-80 F at night. Must have a basking area going up to 90 F during day at one side of tank.

The basking area should be around 90ºF to 95ºF.Cool end 10º drop.

The basking spot light should be on for 12 hours a day and away from any branches or they will climb on it.

PT2134 on an appropriate thermostat one with a day/night setting.

Or use two heat sources Either an infra red bulb PT2130 or heat emitter PT2047 again on a thermostat

Substrate

Newspaper or kitchen paper for the first year.

Sub adult onwards Calci sand.

calci sand, Coir/playpen sand mixed 1:1.

Beech chippings, No 6 or 8 reptile bedding. Aspen newspaper or kitchen paper.

Aspen, Orchid Bark fine or coconut chippings.

Beech chippings,

Aspen newspaper or kitchen paper.

No 6 or 8 reptile bedding

Coconut chips or aspen.

Spray with water daily.

Orchid Bark fine

Paper for babies up to a year old, then calcisand or playpen sand peat mix 1:1.

Water dragons are semi-arboreal but also need enough water to submerge and swim comfortably in, as well as branches for climbing, and plenty of ground area for roosting and feeding.

Mixture of 2/3 peat soil + 1/3 clean sand with areas of bark

None or Newspaper kitchen roll or brown wrapping paper.

Lose substrate can cause impaction by picking up substrate on their tongue.

Décor

Various Rockwork made into small caves plastic plants, PT3030-3052.

A water bowl PT2801 must be included and filled with fresh water daily.

Various Rockwork made into small caves

Plastic plants, PT3030-3052.

A water bowl PT28PT5803-04 must be included and filled with fresh water daily.

Various selection including bendable vines PT3080-3082 and plastic plants PT3030-3052 , a water bowl PT2851-54

must be included and filled with fresh water daily

A good sized water bowl big enough for the snake to soak in. PT2853-54

Rocks, cave/hide PT2851-54

Branches PT3080-82, cork bark…

Rocks, Branches, cork bark. Cave/hide PT2851-54

Water bowl PT2853-54 large enough for the snake to soak in.

Rocks and branches.

A hide box or cave PT2851-54

is required.

Water bowl PT2853-54

large enough for the snake to soak in.

Rocks and logs with a cave for sleeping. Water bowl PT2853-54 should be added but they rarely use one. Spray the animal daily.

Lots of branches and access to a swimming area. The water will have to be changed daily as they defecate in it as well as swim.

A fountain they will not drink from a bowl or spray daily.

Lots of Branches. Live plants Pothos, hibiscus, Umbrella plants or Ficus benjamani, Ficus “Alii”, and Ficus natidia. They will eat the leaves of ficus so rotate live plants.

Feeding

Crickets, meal worms and locusts of appropriate size.

Supplement normal diet with Calcium Supplement, i.e. Tetra ReptoCal

Crickets, meal worms and locusts of appropriate size.

Supplement normal diet with Calcium Supplement, i.e. Tetra ReptoCal

Feed on Mice of appropriate size Pinkies to large mice once a week. Do not overfeed.

Feeds on earth worms and fish dip food in Tetra ReptoCal supplement every other feed. Feed. Feed food appropriate to the snake’s size.

Juvenile feed Weekly with defrost “pinky” mice. Adult feed weekly with full size mouse, it is important not to over feed.

Hatchlings fuzzy mice or pinkies to get started.

Adults

Feed them Thawed frozen small rats or mice of appropriate size weekly

Crickets, mealworms, Locusts and a variety of greens and vegetables.

Supplement calcium and Ca vitamins. Tetra ReptoCal

Hatchlings and Juveniles: 2-3 week old crickets. Also finely chopped vegetables and fruits.

Adults:
Small mice, 4 week old crickets, Locusts, Morio worms as well as plant matter. Also feed plant matter, such as greens and fruits.

Feed your chameleon(s) daily by placing live insects with the fresh thin sliced/chopped vegetables into a plastic container which is large enough to prevent the insects from escaping. (A 2 litre ice cream tub is perfect). Vitamin &/or mineral Tetra ReptoCal supplementation when required can then be sprinkled on the insects and vegetables. Shake the container to evenly coat the vegetables and insects

Care Sheets

We have a number of reptile care sheets available, please select from the list below:

Reptile Care and Advice

Name

Horsefields
Spur-ThighMarginatedHermans
Tortoise

Leopard tortoise
Geochelone pardalis

Spurred tortoise
Geochelone sulcata

Redfooted Tortoise

Geochelonia carbonaria

Indian Star Tortoises Geochelone elegans

Turtles

Sliders/Yellow Bellied

Vivarium
Size

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use tortoise table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Summers outdoors in rabbit runs etc. Not open topped ones.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table. Juveniles. Table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Large examples may be 60 cm (over 2 feet) long and weigh over 35 kg (about 80 lbs.).

So a shed with outside access is required.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table for babies. Juveniles. Table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

83 cm (over 2.5 feet) and a maximum recorded weight of 105 kg (about 240 lbs.). African Spurred tortoises like (and need) space - lots of it.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table A table for one minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft

A table enclosure 7x7x1ft will house a trio happily through the winter months,

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use tortoise table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Summers outdoors when warm in rabbit runs etc. Not open topped ones.

Ferplast Geo Lg for Hatchlings.

3ft x 2ft x 1ft min., for one adult.

Lighting
Required

Require full spectrum lighting ReptiGlo 10 compact and a basking spot bulb PT2134 or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp. All these should be used with a Porcelain Wire Clamp Holder PT2062

For more info see link bellow.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking area.

As for Horsefields Lighting
Required.

For more info see link bellow.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking spot bulb or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp

For more info see link bellow.

Use a 5% UVB strip bulb for young animals, moving to UV 10 tube and starter after 9-12 months of age.

These are forest tortoise so do not like it too bright.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking spot bulb or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp

For more info see link bellow.

Need full spectrum lighting UV 5 plus starter.

Heating
Required

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

Use an infra red or red spot bulb on an appropriate thermostat for the night temps See note* bellow).

A combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp as above in the Lighting section. Raise or lower to get the correct temps.

*No heating at night as long as the night temps do not go bellow 60f.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields.

For more info see link bellow.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields.

For more info see link bellow.

86-88f with a night time drop to around 77f.

Humidity is important, in the region of 70-80%.

heat via the ambient air temp more than through the use of strong lights since most Reds don’t take to prolonged basking, relying on the air temperature to maintain there body heat. Use a Basking spot bulb on a thermostat.

To raise the humidity indoors on a tortoise table place the water bowl PT2804 on a heat mat 4”x5” or 6”x11”.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields

For more info see link bellow.

Temperature of 80ºF

Use aquarium heater thermostat and heater cage

Substrate

Peat or Coir/playpen sand mixed 1:1.

Garden soil and sand.

Herbifloor which is a pellet of herbs and grasses so if ingested is said not cause impaction.

As for Horsefields.

As for Horsefields.

Topsoil is good and combined with forest bark makes a good floor medium also helping hold a humidity level far easier than just bark alone.

As for Horsefields.

Bare bottom tank is easiest to keep clean.

Décor

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily.PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Hides should be given in several areas, with bark arches always a firm favourite.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Turtle dock or rocks and bog wood to climb out on to sunbathe.

Feeding

NEVER USE DRY TORTOISE PELLET FOODS CAN CAUSE POOR SHELL DEVELOPMENT.

Garden weeds

Go to

http://www.

tortoisetrust.org

/articles/

plantfoods.html

Use Repton or Nutrobal and Ca substitute or similar T268.

NEVER USE DRY TORTOISE PELLET FOODS CAN CAUSE POOR SHELL DEVELOPMENT.

They come from mainly grassland so are grazers and need grasses mostly.

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/cpardalis.html

Use Repton or Nutrobal and Ca substitute or similar T268 .

Geochelone sulcata require daily access to a natural grazing area and will feed readily upon mixed grasses, hibiscus, clover and - a great favourite - prickly pear pads. Due to their prodigious rate of growth, their demand for calcium and mineral trace elements is high. A calcium-D3 supplement should be provided daily. T268

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/csulcata.html

good dietary management for Redfoots contains 70% greens, weeds being preferred as they have a good calcium/phosphorus content. Salad greens can be mixed in also including Watercress, Romaine lettuce, Lambs lettuce and some Water cress (Collard greens). 30% of the diet can contain a variety of chicken breast can be offered as well as snails Slugs, earth worms and other small invertebrates. Protein feeds should only be offered in small amounts weekly or fortnightly. Redfoots need an ample supply of water as they drink huge amounts daily and often enjoy sitting in a good sized water container. Remember also to use a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement such as Repton ,Nutrobal

or similar T268 .

It grazes extensively upon mixed grasses. It also favours the fruit and pads of the prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles. Star tortoises will graze happily on lawn grass if presented with the opportunity and this seems to prevent most such problems Their demand for calcium and mineral trace elements is high. Use of a supplement is critical - especially with juveniles and egg-laying females. T268

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/celegans.html

Feed dry turtle pellets earth worms lance fish pieces of raw fish. Use Ca and Ca mineral supplements. T268

Hibernate

Yes

No

No

No

No

N/A

Note for all Tortoise

The keeping of tortoise is very rewarding but not to be gone into lightly. Read up on them especially the one that you are interested in. Do not buy online as you do not know what you are buying. Check out petshops some are better than others and should take the time to talk to you about the tortoise ask some basic questions that you already know the answer to and if they give poor advice go elsewhere. Try to find a breeder if possible Remember they can live for 130 years.

Good information can be found through the Tortoise trust.

Aquarium Info

If your new to the hobby and you’re thinking of setting up an aquarium then the following pages should be of some use. Before you make your purchase you should have a good idea of what you want, and how much it will cost, If you feel we have missed anything out of this section please let us know via the contact us page and we will add the missing information.

Budget

You should have a rough idea of what its all going to cost, and how much you can afford to spend. If your budget is limited then think about buying second hand equipment. Your local pet shop will probably have some second hand equipment, and there will certainly be plenty of tanks for sale in your local newspaper. There is nothing wrong with buying second hand equipment as long as you inspect it closely before purchasing, and shop around a little , there are plenty of nearly new aquaria for sale, if you search hard enough. If you are buying second hand then take a friend who has some experience in the hobby, if purchasing a second hand tank, inspect the glass for scratches before purchasing.

Here is an example of how costs can mount up NEW VERSUS OLD:

Setting up a African Rift Lake Tank 400 litres (NEW SET UP)
Rio 400 Aquarium with accessories and stand £600
Fluval 4 External filter £100
Sand £30
Ocean Rock / Tuffa Rock £100
Selection of Malawi Cichlids £250
Total £1080

Setting up a African Rift Lake Tank 400 litres (SECOND HAND SET UP)
Second hand 18 month old Rio 400 tank and stand £200
Second hand Fluval 4 External filter £40
Sand £30
Ocean Rock / Tuffa Rock £100
Selection of Malawi Cichlids £250
Total £620

Fish Types

The type of fish you are going to keep, will basically dictate what type of equipment and aquarium you will need to purchase. It is worth looking through some books, magazines or checking out the internet to get an idea of what you fancy, and spending time at your local pet shop, or garden center. Most Aquatic outlets are owned by hobbyists and they should offer you plenty of advice and guidance. It may be worth asking them about there policy should you decide to return some fish, you may decide after keeping tetra’s and gourami’s for six months that you would like to keep something a little more challenging, and returning your fish will be your only option should you fancy a complete change.

Common Tropicals

There are a lot of common tropical fish which will thrive in a mixed community, you should choose young fish of similar sizes, and buy a pair, a trio or small group of fish. Think about were the fish will swim and how active they are, and pick a range of fish that will compliment one another.

Specialist Tropicals

Large cichlids, Angel fish and Discus should be avoided by the complete beginner, until they have grasped the basics of keeping a healthy community of fish, and have decided they would like more of a challenge. These fish are certainly more rewarding but require a lot more time and effort dedicated to their upkeep, to produce the right results. For example to sucessfully keep and grow young Discus to a good size, will require frequent feeding of high quality frozen foods, daily water changes, and close attention to water quality and ph.

African Rift Lake Cichlids

The cichlids of lake Malawi and Tanganikan are very active and colourfull fish and will always produce a stunning display, they require a water ph around 8-8.5, and are very teritorial and aggressive, Give Mbuna plenty of rocky caves to hide in and slightly over stock the tank, you should be looking to keep a community of 30-40 fish in a 4ft tank

Marine

Marine fish have fantastic colour, but you will need to have a large tank to keep a small community of fish, you will require additional equipment such as a protein skimmer. I would not recommend keeping Marine fish untill you at least 2-3 years experience in the hobby

Aquaria size / position

If you can’t decide between a 2 or 3 foot aquarium then buy the 3 foot. You will be able to keep more fish in a large aquaria, and you will have more scope if you decide to change and keep a different type of fish. When deciding were to position your aquarium, your first consideration should be sunlight, never place an aquarium in direct sunlight or in a conservatory, direct sunlight = Algae, a problem to avoid at all costs.

Consider electrical and water supply’s, you will need to provide power to run lights and filters etc, you will also need water to carry out frequent water changes, so consider how easily it will be to carry heavy buckets of water from your tap to your aquarium. You should also consider the aquarium’s weight, if your living room floor is concrete, then no problem, but if your placing a large aquarium, in an upstairs room, then you should try to spread the weight evenly, and consider the position of floor joists etc. Avoid placing the tank where it will be difficult to maintain the correct stable temperature, e.g. near radiators or draughts from windows and doors.

Finally fish can die through stress if they are repeatedly frightened or startled, you should consider this if placing your tank in a childrens playroom!

Where to Buy

If you have decided to buy new equipment then you will probably get the best deals buying on-line from a reputable aquatics website, your local aquatics shop, will sell you the same products and will be there to provide information and support, your choice, I would suggest combining both to get value for money, and help and advice when you need it. We can give you advice on this site, simply use the contact us page, giving us a full description of your problem/enquiry.

Equipment

The following subjects are extensive, we will provide only basic advice on these pages:
Aquaria
Your fish will react to the conditions you provide for them, Your fish will thrive and provide you with full colour and rapid growth, if you give them enough room and feed them a good varied but balanced diet. For this reason buy an aquarium that offers volume and a large surface area, if your buying a smaller aquarium then reduce your stocking levels and buy smaller species! I own a Juwel Rio 400, the Juwel range offer cleverly designed beautifull aquaria and stands, that would compliment any room. If your considering a Juwel aquarium use the link on our links page to visit the Juwel site.

Filtration

One of the most important parts of your set up will be your filter, the filter will contain media, offering a large surface area to allow a colony of bacteria to grow, by passing water through this media any harmfull ammonia and nitrite in your water will be removed, providing healthy clear water for your fish community. I would strongly recommend encorporating more than one filter system in your tank, I would definitely advise backing your internal filtration up with an external system, or running two internal systems alongside each other!

Internal systems

One of the best systems is the undergravel filter, water is drawn down through your aquarium substrate and up an uplift tube using a powerhead or an air pump, this system utilises the whole of your substrate as the filter media allowing a substantial bacteria colony to develop, it also has little impact on the interia of your aquarium, all you see is the uplift tube which can easily be hidden with some tank décor. Another benefit of this system is any small particles or debris in your aquarium will be drawn down onto the substrate surface which will improve the water clarity.

Internal cannister type filters are similar to undergravels, they contain their own media inside the body of the filter and propel water through it using an impellor, they are normally positioned onto the side or back glass, with their outlet an inch or so below the surface of the water, this is advantageous as it provides surface ripples, increasing surface area and allowing more O2 to enter the water. I would recommend a “fluval” internal if considering this option.

External systems

The main advantage of an external is that they do not reduce the space available to your fish inside your aquaria, and you can carry out cleaning / maintenance on them without disruption to your tank, you will however need to consider routes for piping in and out of your aquaria.
I run a large Fluval external on my tank and I have run the pipes through the wall, the filter is situated in a cupboard on the other side, everyones situation is different you will need to consider the best option for yourself.

Other Systems

As you advance and become more confident and knowledgeable, you may wish to consider a centralised system running a number of tanks, or a specialised sytem such as a trickle filter.

Heaters
Tropical fish require a temperature between approx. 20-30oC (68-86oF), with many species being kept at a ‘middle value’ of 24-25oC (75-77oF). Maintaining a stable temperature (and more importantly avoiding rapid changes) is vital to avoid stressing fish. The temperature of a tropical aquarium would normally be maintained using a combined heater/thermstat, placed inside the tank. These are available in a number of standard wattages between 25 watt and 300 watt. Some hobbyists will recommend, buying two heaters rather than one ie, instead of one 300 watt heater, use two 150 watt heaters, this is in case a heater sticks in the on position, it will have less of a heating effect on the tank. I would recommend buying one good quality heater such as a visitherm, these are extremely reliable and very rarely, do they give any problems, I would also recommend buying a thermometer to check water temperature, the ones that stick onto the outside glass are fine, check water temperature daily. Buy a heater with the smallest wattage rating for your size of tank, an increase in temperature has little impact on a fishes health, but a sudden fall in water temperature can cause harm. The table below gives examples of recommended heater wattages for various tank sizes. The modern combined heater-stats use very reliable thermocouples to maintain a stable temperature.

Aquaria Size
Imperial Gallons
Recommended Heater Size
18x12x12"
8
50-100
24x12x15"-30x12x18"
14-20
100-150
36x12x15"-48x12x15"
21-28
200
48x12x18"-48x15x18"
32-41
300
60x15x18"-60x18x18"
51-60
400W (2x200W)
72x18x18"-72x24x24"
72-128
(2x300W)

Lighting

The lighting used in an aquarium is governed to a large extent by whether the tank is to contain live plants. If the tank will not contain plants (or only plastic plants) then the light need only provide a means to view the fish. The choice of lighting is then only governed by choosing a light which enhances the colours of fish. There are many different types of light tube available with varying spectrums, some give a strong blue light some give more of a yellow light. A light with more blue in its spectrum will bring out the blue colours in your fish, a light with more yellow in its spectrum will bring out the yellow colours in your fish. Think about the dominent colours in your fish selection and pick a light tube which will make the most of your fishes colours.

Planted tanks need more light than fish only tanks, and the type of lighting becomes more important. The light requirement of different plant species varies somewhat, but generally the light will need to be at least double that recommended for a fish only tank. A number of manufacturers produce fluorescent tubes designed to provide maximum plant growth. These include Arcadia’s Freshwater tube, Interpet’s Triton tube and Hagen’s Floraglo and Powerglo.
For heavily planted tanks, some may opt for metal halide or mercury vapour lights, which are normally suspended above an open-top tank. These are able to punch light deeper than fluorescent tubing and are therefore useful for tanks 24" or more high. It should be remembered that when higher intensity lighting is employed to boost plant growth, it will be necessary to balance this with an adequate amount of nutrients and CO2.

Feeding

Feed your fish “Little and Often” if this is possible, if not feed your fish twice daily, the food you give them should be consumed within a matter on minutes. Give your fish as much variety as possible, combine frozen, dry and live foods, and feed your fish nothing one day a week. Check out the protein levels of dry foods, some may not be suitable for the fish in your aquarium.

Tank Care
If your keeping common tropicals I would recommend a water change twice a month, and giving your aquarium glass a wipe inside with a soft cloth / or pair of old tights, a couple of times a week. When you carry out your water change use a gravel cleaner and siphon out approximately a third of the aquarium water, whilst cleaning the substrate at the same time. If your running an undergravel filter place the siphon tube down the uplift tube, to remove the sludge from under the undergravel filter plates, remove any dead plant leaves and generally give the tank a good stir up. When refilling the tank the new water needs to be dechlorinated and a similar or slightly higher temperature to that in the tank.

Water quality is the most important factor in sucessfully keeping fish, the more water changes you carry out the better the quality on your tank water.
Any uneaten food and fish waste decomposes in your tank to produce ammonia, high levels of ammonia will kill your fish. Your mature filter will convert the ammonia into nitrite, but nitrite is also posionous to your fish and high levels will have the same consequence. Your mature filter will convert nitrite to nitrate, this is harmless to your fish, but if you do not carry out regular water changes eventually nitrate levels will grow and have an adverse effect on your fishes growth rate. This is called the “nitrogen cycle” and needs to be monitored when your setting up a new aquarium, you must allow your filters to mature and your filter colonies to grow before you introduce fish to a new aquarium, I would recommend allowing a newly set up aquarium at least 10 days before introducing any fish, then only introduce a few fish at a time, you can purchase kits or get your local pet shop to carry out a test on your water should you experience any problems. Some tropical fish are more hardy than others, introduce the more hardy species first.

Decor

What you place in your tank is your choice. But you should be aware, some rocks can leach unwanted chemicals into your tank and new bogwood will have a staining effect on your tank water. Place rocks in your tank in such a way to prevent them falling onto the glass sides, be carefull not to scratch the insides of your tank when placing or removing rocks in the tank, and use them to create caves and hiding places in your tank. Some rocks can effect ph and are used for this reason, ie “tuffa” rock is used in a “malawi” set up to buffer the water to create a ph around 8.5, this is obviously not suitable for use in a tropical aquarium were the desirable ph range will be 6.0 - 7.0.

If your thinking of using plants as part of the tank décor consider using plastic plants, they do not die and decompose, large fish won’t damage them and they look nearly as good as the real thing!

Reptile Care and Advice Reptile Care and Advice

Name

Horsefields
Spur-ThighMarginatedHermans
Tortoise

Leopard tortoise
Geochelone pardalis

Spurred tortoise
Geochelone sulcata

Redfooted Tortoise

Geochelonia carbonaria

Indian Star Tortoises Geochelone elegans

Turtles

Sliders/Yellow Bellied

Vivarium
Size

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use tortoise table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Summers outdoors in rabbit runs etc. Not open topped ones.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table. Juveniles. Table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Large examples may be 60 cm (over 2 feet) long and weigh over 35 kg (about 80 lbs.).

So a shed with outside access is required.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table for babies. Juveniles. Table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

83 cm (over 2.5 feet) and a maximum recorded weight of 105 kg (about 240 lbs.). African Spurred tortoises like (and need) space - lots of it.

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use a tortoise table A table for one minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft

A table enclosure 7x7x1ft will house a trio happily through the winter months,

Never use a vivarium or aquariums.

Use tortoise table minimum size 3ftx4ftx1ft deep sides.

Summers outdoors when warm in rabbit runs etc. Not open topped ones.

Ferplast Geo Lg for Hatchlings.

3ft x 2ft x 1ft min., for one adult.

Lighting
Required

Require full spectrum lighting ReptiGlo 10 compact and a basking spot bulb PT2134 or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp. All these should be used with a Porcelain Wire Clamp Holder PT2062

For more info see link bellow.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking area.

As for Horsefields Lighting
Required.

For more info see link bellow.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking spot bulb or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp

For more info see link bellow.

Use a 5% UVB strip bulb for young animals, moving to UV 10 tube and starter after 9-12 months of age.

These are forest tortoise so do not like it too bright.

Require full spectrum lighting and a basking spot bulb or a combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp

For more info see link bellow.

Need full spectrum lighting UV 5 plus starter.

Heating
Required

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

Use an infra red or red spot bulb on an appropriate thermostat for the night temps See note* bellow).

A combined heat spot bulb Mega ray or T-Rex UV heat spot lamp as above in the Lighting section. Raise or lower to get the correct temps.

*No heating at night as long as the night temps do not go bellow 60f.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields.

For more info see link bellow.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields.

For more info see link bellow.

86-88f with a night time drop to around 77f.

Humidity is important, in the region of 70-80%.

heat via the ambient air temp more than through the use of strong lights since most Reds don’t take to prolonged basking, relying on the air temperature to maintain there body heat. Use a Basking spot bulb on a thermostat.

To raise the humidity indoors on a tortoise table place the water bowl PT2804 on a heat mat 4”x5” or 6”x11”.

No heat mats they can cook the tortoise as they lay on them.

As for Horsefields

For more info see link bellow.

Temperature of 80ºF

Use aquarium heater thermostat and heater cage

Substrate

Peat or Coir/playpen sand mixed 1:1.

Garden soil and sand : robot tondeuse pelouse gazon.

Herbifloor which is a pellet of herbs and grasses so if ingested is said not cause impaction.

As for Horsefields.

As for Horsefields.

Topsoil is good and combined with forest bark makes a good floor medium also helping hold a humidity level far easier than just bark alone.

As for Horsefields.

Bare bottom tank is easiest to keep clean.

Décor

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily.PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Hides should be given in several areas, with bark arches always a firm favourite.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Rocks, a flat piece of stone to put under the heat lamp and feeding station.

A water bowl must be included and filled with fresh water daily. PT2804

Turtle dock or rocks and bog wood to climb out on to sunbathe.

Feeding

NEVER USE DRY TORTOISE PELLET FOODS CAN CAUSE POOR SHELL DEVELOPMENT.

Garden weeds

Go to

http://www.

tortoisetrust.org

/articles/

plantfoods.html

Use Repton or Nutrobal and Ca substitute or similar T268.

NEVER USE DRY TORTOISE PELLET FOODS CAN CAUSE POOR SHELL DEVELOPMENT.

They come from mainly grassland so are grazers and need grasses mostly.

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/cpardalis.html

Use Repton or Nutrobal and Ca substitute or similar T268 .

Geochelone sulcata require daily access to a natural grazing area and will feed readily upon mixed grasses, hibiscus, clover and - a great favourite - prickly pear pads. Due to their prodigious rate of growth, their demand for calcium and mineral trace elements is high. A calcium-D3 supplement should be provided daily. T268

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/csulcata.html

good dietary management for Redfoots contains 70% greens, weeds being preferred as they have a good calcium/phosphorus content. Salad greens can be mixed in also including Watercress, Romaine lettuce, Lambs lettuce and some Water cress (Collard greens). 30% of the diet can contain a variety of chicken breast can be offered as well as snails Slugs, earth worms and other small invertebrates. Protein feeds should only be offered in small amounts weekly or fortnightly. Redfoots need an ample supply of water as they drink huge amounts daily and often enjoy sitting in a good sized water container. Remember also to use a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement such as Repton ,Nutrobal

or similar T268 .

It grazes extensively upon mixed grasses. It also favours the fruit and pads of the prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles. Star tortoises will graze happily on lawn grass if presented with the opportunity and this seems to prevent most such problems Their demand for calcium and mineral trace elements is high. Use of a supplement is critical - especially with juveniles and egg-laying females. T268

For more information go to

http://www.tortoisetrust.

org/care/celegans.html

Feed dry turtle pellets earth worms lance fish pieces of raw fish. Use Ca and Ca mineral supplements. T268

Hibernate

Yes

No

No

No

No

N/A

Note for all Tortoise

The keeping of tortoise is very rewarding but not to be gone into lightly. Read up on them especially the one that you are interested in. Do not buy online as you do not know what you are buying. Check out petshops some are better than others and should take the time to talk to you about the tortoise ask some basic questions that you already know the answer to and if they give poor advice go elsewhere. Try to find a breeder if possible Remember they can live for 130 years.

Good information can be found through the Tortoise trust.

Pond Info Pond Info

You will have your own ideas about how you want your pond to look, which fish and plants you intend to keep, whether you want a waterfall or fountain etc. I am speaking from experience when I recommend you do as much planning and research as you can before making vital decisions, decide on pond position in your garden, pond size, volume and depth. Are you going to keep Koi, or standard goldfish, which plants if any would you like to keep. If you have young children you should cover or fence off the pond, this can be done without detracting from the asthetics of the pond. You will need to decide on which equipment your going to use, this will include pond liner, pond pump, pond filter, ultra violet clarifier, pond lighting, and how will this will be installed, Your pond pump etc, will need an electricity supply, this will need some thought, access to pond and filters for cleaning and maintenance will be required. The pages and guides I have put together should answer the vast majority of your questions, please read these and if you have any further questions use the contact us page, and I will answer your questions at my earliest opportunity. Happy reading!

Common Pond Problems
Greenwater
Unlike lakes and rivers, ornamental garden ponds are generally of small size with limited depth. Therefore they can warm up more quickly than natural bodies of water; they also have greater sunlight penetration and a higher concentration of nutrients. These conditions stimulate the growth of algae, which cause greenwater problems. These conditions can be reduced by maximising pond volume, minimising stocking levels, placement of pond away from direct sunlight, or blocking sunlight using canopies or pergolas, not overfeeding fish, and using correct food ie wheatgerm during cold periods. The best way of preventing greenwater after taking all these considerations into account will be to utilise the correctly rated pump, filter and UVC.
Pollution Caused by Fish Waste
Compared with natural ponds, garden ponds are usually heavily stocked with fish, which are fed more than they would normally find to eat in their natural habitat. Fish produce waste in proportion to the amount of food eaten. This waste is both solid and dissolved; this pollution is increased by the decomposition of plants and uneaten food. If these waste products are not removed they will eventually have a detrimental effect on your fish. Filtration is the key here, your filter should be large enough to cope with the demand placed upon it, if you wish to have large stocking levels, and you are intending to feed large amounts of high protein food in order to grow your fish to impressive sizes, then purchase a large efficient filter that can cope with these demands. Closely monitor your fishes behaviour, watch for anything unusual, this will be a sign that things are not as they should be, follow the pond feeding guidelines on this website, and remove any uneaten food or decomposing plant matter.

Herons
Herons are the number one enemy of fish ponds. Besides catching and eating healthy fish, they injure others which die later. They are most troublesome in spring when they have young to feed, not in winter. They are no longer fooled by fake “decoy” herons. Deter them by putting a trip-wire around the pond or using an electric heron alert, or cover the pond with a net. Herons are less of a problem in towns or where a pond is close to tall fences, a shed or a greenhouse, as they need a long, shallow flight path before landing.

Lack of Oxygen
Both green water and pollution can reduce the level of oxygen in pondwater. However, relatively high concentrations of oxygen are necessary to support healthy fish. The introduction of air into pondwater i.e. aeration, raises and stabilises the level of oxygen in the water. In addition the turbulence created by aeration will remove toxic gases. During the summer months when water temperatures rise lack of oxygen can become a problem, suspect this if you see your fish gasping at the surface.

Planning your pond
Choosing the right type of pond for your own needs is the important first step. If you have a patio, your pond could be the focal point or it could be the centre feature of your landscaped lawn. It could also brighten a gloomy or neglected corner of your garden.
If you are interested in natural water garden you could create an almost totally natural pond, rich in native plants and a haven for all types of aquatic life. But remember such a pond would have a natural appearance and typically is not suited for ornamental fish because of the lack of proper filtration and it’s vulnerability to predators such as herons.
Another area of importance will be to decide whether you wish to keep beautiful plants and common ornamental fish in your pond or whether you are considering the possibility of a beautiful Koi pond. Because the site and construction for both ponds are very different you will be much more successful with your pond if you commit to a type of pond before you begin excavation.
The shape of your pond takes on two different styles. An informal pond has no straight edges and no symmetrical shape and may be designed to blend in with the contours of your garden landscape. Alternatively, a formal pond does have a regular shape and can be raised above the ground using brickwork to draw the eye to its symmetry.
Both types of pond are ideal for keeping aquatic plants and pond fish. A waterfall and a fountain or other moving water feature would usually compliment such pools.

No matter what size you plan your pond to be, you will always wish you had made it larger. A pond 100 sq ft of surface area or larger provides an ideal amount of surface area for many varieties of aquatic plants and fish. This is not to say however that a smaller pond or a container garden cannot be enjoyable or interesting. The minimum depth should be 18 inches for ponds with plants and ornamental fish that are not Koi. However, if you are in a colder climate or are keeping only Koi your depths should be 3 ft or deeper. The proper depth will enable fish to survive the winter more easily and keep them cool in the summer months. A shelf of 12-18 inches wide and about 9-12 inches below the surface can be created for the placement of marginal plants and some other potted aquatic plants.
Once you have decided on the type of pond you would enjoy, it’s time to decide where to locate your pond. Locating a pond where there is too much sunlight should be avoided. Sunlight promotes the growth of algae and may cause the temperature of the water to rise dramatically during warmer weather, decreasing oxygen levels. To avoid this problem, position your pond where it will receive some shade, especially during the afternoon when the sun is the strongest. 5-6 hours of direct sunlight is ideal for most ponds with plants and ponds that are less than 18 inches in depth.
Beware of siting your pond beneath trees or near their roots to avoid leaves falling into the pond and potential root damage to the liner. As well as being unsightly, rotting vegetation in the water may adversely effect the quality of the water, which could cause harm to the fish. Another important consideration will be to site your pond close enough to an electricity source so you can incorporate a pump, filtration or lighting.

Pond Equipment
LINERS
This can be either a rigid pre-formed pond or a flexible sheet liner. Both are easy to install and extremely durable. A pre-formed pond has the advantage of ready made planting shelves and areas for placing submersible pumps though a flexible liner allows you more creativity and a more individual design. Pre-formed ponds tend to be limited in size, when choosing a liner purchase a good quality preferably butyl liner with a 20 year plus guarantee, protect the underside of the liner by removing sharp rocks, and placing a thick layer of soft sand beneath the liner.
PUMPS
A pump is essential for circulating water through filtration systems. Pumps are also used for creating moving water displays such as waterfalls or fountains which, as well as being attractive features, will help to maintain oxygen levels during warm weather. Your pump should be able to pump at least half of the pond’s water volume per hour. There are a wide range of pumps on the market, bear in mind the pump will be running 24 hrs a day, so check out the pumps wattage, low wattage=low running costs, If you choose a solids handling pump you,ll have less maintenance, and no prefilters to clean, they are also good at removing debris from the pond bottom, to the filter were it can be removed.
FILTERS
Your filter keeps your pond water clear and healthy, they will use both mechanical and biological filtration to achieve this. Biological filtration utilises bacteria on the pond filter media to break down fish waste and organic matter. Mechanical filtration captures particles in a physical filter for removal during filter cleaning. A good pond filter will achieve both. Your garden pond filter should filter half the pond volume every hour at a minimum. Garden ponds that are exposed to the sun for more than 6 hours a day, or have Koi, should have a slightly larger filter to cope with this extra demand.

UVC
An Ultra-Violet Clarifier is highly effective in keeping your pond free of water-borne algae which will make the pond water green, free-floating single celled algae cause green water in ponds. This algae is too small to catch even with an effective mechanical pond filter. UVCs expose the algae particles to enough UV light so that they clump together (flocculate). These larger particles can then be easily filtered out as they pass through the pond filter.
LIGHTING
Lighting can really add a creative dimension to your pond at night. Lighting can be inserted into the pond, behind a waterfall, in a fountain, above the water, and even placed around the perimeter of the pond. Being able to see your pond at night can add a warm, relaxed mood or feeling to your garden. Pond lights are simple to install and will enable you to create magical effects at night time.

Pond Plants

Although is may seem obvious, aquatic plants are different to land based plants, because they have evolved to live in wet even submerged conditions. There are three principle groups of aquatic plants, all with specific needs:

Marginal or Bog plants - These are essentially the plants that stick up above the surface of the water and provide height to the pond. They can be planted into waterlogged ground or more commonly into plastic planting baskets, which are then placed into the water.
Planting Depth: 6 - 8 inches
Care: Plant into planting baskets using aquatic compost, when the plant starts to die back in the autumn / fall, cut back the plant to ensure that the decaying plant material does not pollute the water. Feed once a season with an aquatic root fertiliser. Cultivation: Generally these plants can be cultivated by division in the spring, although because of the huge number of plants in this section it’s best to consult your nursery.

Hardy Examples: Water Iris, Pickeral Rush, Arrowhead,
Tender Examples: Papyrus, Umbrella plant, Water Cannas

Floating Plants - These floating plants have extensive root systems that dangle into the water from the surface, these root systems provide ideal spawning areas for fish like goldfish. They often reproduce by budding and as such can be very invasive.

Planting Depth: Allow to float unplanted on the surface

Care: They only care required is for tender variety if they are needed the following season. Take a strong plant in the early autumn and keep in pond water in a well lit frost free greenhouse. Periodically replace the water with fresh water. Stratiodes (the water soldier) sinks to the bottom of the pond in the winter and rises again in the spring.

Cultivation: Because these plants bud so easily, they can be cultivated by cutting the offspring away from the parent to produce a new plant.

Hardy examples: Water Soldier
Tender Examples: Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce
Oxygenators - These are plants that are not very visable, as they are present under the water. But they can fulfil a useful role in the pond. They absorb nutrients, and can help to reduce the growth of algae in the pond. Calling them oxygenators can be a misnomer as although they produce oxygen during the day, they absorb it again at night. Oxygenation is best achieved using a pond pump.
Planting Depth: up to 18"

Care: These plants are usually purchased in clumps unpotted, and they do best when they are potted into planting containers with aquatic compost and dressed with pea gravel. Depending on the size of the container you should get 3 - 6 bunches per pot. You should have one bunch for every 2sq feet of pond surface.

Cultivation: When the plant becomes too big, simply cut a length off and plant up into a fresh container.
Examples: Anacharis, hornwort, cabomba.

Deep Water Plants - These plants have leaves that float on the surface and roots that are firmly placed in containers on the bottom of the pond. Water lilies are generally the best known aquatic plant. They are available in an enormous assortment of varieties and colours. Other plants like lilies are available.
Planting Depth: Variable up to 3’

Care: These plants should be in water that is at a depth specific to the variety in question. They should be planted in a generously sized container rich in nutrients, the compost should be covered with Pea Gravel and larger stones. If this does not prevent your fish from digging up the compost in their quest for food, then try enclosing the whole container with an old pair of nylons. These plants need regular feeding if they are to flower prolifically throughout the whole season. Dead leaves and flowers should be removed or else they will rot and pollute the water.

Cultivation: The lilies can be propagated by cutting sections from the rhizome, and planting in fresh compost . This should be done when the plant is entering the growing phase, not at the end of the season.
Examples: Many varieties of hardy, tropical, and night blooming lily, also water hawthorn, water fringe, water snowflake, and water poppy.

Pond Fish
For many people keeping fish is the main reason for having a pond. There is something intangible yet amazing about seeing fish in a pond, it will give the pond a magnetic draw, and they will become a source of constant pleasure for many years.

Family Name: Cyprinidae (carps and minnows)
Length: Max 30.5cm (12")
Weight: up to 0.9kg (2lb)
Identification: (Asiatic form) greenish when young changing to golden red as an adult, body shape variable, head scaleless, no barbels.
Habitat: Densely weeded lowland rivers, lakes, and ponds.
Breeding: Eggs laid on water plants in June and July, they take 7 -9 days to hatch, the young fish stay attached to the plants.

Note: Goldfish are the most common pondfish. Goldfish are inexpensive and fast growing. They are available in a variety of patterns and body shapes. Goldfish need a pond that has a minimum depth of 18" but a pond closer to 2’6" is more acceptable. However the more unusual varieties are less hardy than the true goldfish

Koi Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Family Name: Cyprinidae (carps and minnows)
Length: Max 150cm (4’ 11")
Weight: up to 36kg (80lb) usually less
Identification: Scaleless head, body can be scaled or unscaled depending on the variety, as can colour , mouth toothless and has two barbels at each side.
Habitat: Large lakes and major rivers in slow flowing lowland areas
Breeding: Late spring in shallow sun warmed areas over dense vegetation. The eggs are attached to the plants.

Note: Koi are the most rewarding of pond fish. They are available in a bewildering selection of varieties. Don’t be put off by the Japanese names of the fish or by the high prices that they can fetch. If you see a fish you like in a pattern you like at a price you can afford - buy it. The most important thing is the health of the fish, a £2000 fish can die as easily as a £2 fish. That aside, Koi can grow to 3’ if conditions allow, they are fast growers and can consume a lot of food. They are avid rooters in pots and as a result can make the water dirty if an effective filter is not installed. The depth of the pond should be 3’ minimum

Winter Pond Management
One of the biggest problems in the Autumn and Winter is when leaves begin to fall from the trees above. If these leaves get in the pond and decay it will throw off the ecological balance of the pond. Remove by using a net to skim the leaves off the surface of the pond.
FISH

As the water temperature falls we should be feeding our fish less as their metabolism slows down. After the water temperature drops you should decrease the amount of food given and feed only once a day. Once the temperature drops below 10 degrees C you should stop feeding altogether. Cold-water fish such as Goldfish and Koi cannot digest food properly below these temperatures. They will happily munch on algae and other natural foods if the water does warm up occasionally.

Do not allow your pond to completely freeze over, make sure you have a small area free from ice, as organics decompose in the pond they can produce toxic gases that can become trapped in the pond if it is covered by ice for more than a few days. Do not break the ice as the shock waves created can damage or kill your fish. Defrost a small area using warm water.

PLANTS

As plants are starting to die back, any dead and dying leaves should be removed,
place plants deep enough in the pond to keep the roots from freezing.

PUMPS & FILTERS

It is advantageous to keep your pump and filter running through the winter. The bacteria in your biological filter will not be active at low temperatures but it will remain alive as long as you keep it supplied with oxygenated water. When spring arrives and the water temperatures begin to rise the bacteria can start to work immediately keeping the water quality healthy for your fish and helping to control the algae. Should you choose to run your filter through the winter it is a good idea to minimize the water circulation.

Pond Feeding Guide
Many, many people only buy one kind of fish food and feed that to their fish all year round. However, this is not necessarily the best option for the fish or your pocket. Pond fish extract different nutrients from their food at a different temperature. In the case of protein the uptake of this nutrient is limited during the cooler months and much higher during the hot summer temperatures. Foods have now been developed with this in mind and Wheatgerm foods which are low in protein but more easily digested, have been developed for Autumn, Winter and Spring feeding; whilst growth foods, which are high in protein are available for summer months. Below is a rough guide of what to feed and when.

You should only feed your fish enough food to allow them to feed for five minutes. Any more will be wasted and end up as waste in the pond. If a fish is fed until it is full, 30% of fish food will come straight out as waste. The five minute feed can be given four or five times a day, at regular times during the day in the summer months.

Pond Feeding Guide
food type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec min temp
Growth 10degC
Staple 8degC
Wheatgerm 5degC
Pond Stick 8degC
Flake 8degC
Sinking 10degC

Fish Health
ICH - White spot disease. Any parasitic infection is usually easy to cure if treated quickly with an effective dose of copper. If the dosage is too low, not all parasites are killed and re-infection results. If treatment is delayed, the parasites may become so numerous that they choke the gills and the fish suffocates or the fish becomes so weak it cannot recover. Treatment should continue for at least 4 days and a good rule of thumb is to treat the system every day until no sign of infection is visible, then treat one more day.
Signs of a parasite infestation are:

  1. Visible spots, usually white. 2. Rapid or heavy breathing. Some parasites will attack the gills before any can be seen on the fins or body, and the fish may die from suffocation. 3. Scratching. If a fish constantly rubs against objects in the system and looks like he is trying to dislodge something, he is probably trying to rub something off and it is probably parasitic.

OODINIUM: This is actually a form of algae parasitic on fishes.
ANCHOR WORMS: These are easily visible and look like little sticks about 1/4" long protruding from the body or fins. They are firmly attached and when pulled out may hold onto a piece of flesh.
FISH LICE: Are crustacean parasites with similar treatment as per anchor worms. They are about one quarter inch flattened discs with rasping mouth parts and hook-armored legs capable of damaging fins and skin.
LYMPHOCYSTIS: This is a virus that lives off of impurities in the water while attached to a fish. It does not live off the fish like ICH, but may kill indirectly by interfering with gill movement, swimming ability, or eating.
BACTERIA: Bacteria grow erratically and are often white or milky in appearance. A bacteria infection may be localized or may be evident on several areas of the fish. Bacteria infections are likely to be found in or around open sores or any area where the fish has lost it’s protective slime coating.
FUNGUS: Fungus spreads evenly, starting from a central point and growing in an outward pattern. Several areas may grow outward until they overlap and give the appearance of a bacteria infection. Fungus is white with a velvety or even hairy appearance. It is most likely to be found on the mouth, eyes, or tips of the fins.
POPEYE: This is a symptom, not a disease caused by a specific organsim. It is manifested by swelling behind the eye(s), or in the eye(s). The swelling may be caused by many factors but is most commonly caused by bacteria.
SWIM BLADDER DISEASE: The swim bladder is the organ which allows a fish to stay at any level in the water column without sinking or floating. The swim bladder may fail from damage by bacteria, parasites, genetic faults, or blows and/or bruises. When the swim bladder fails to function the fish loses it’s ability to swim normally and may swim sideways or even upside down.
DROPSY: Dropsy is a name given to any disease that causes a fish to swell so much that the scales no longer lay flat against the body of the fish. By looking down on a fish you can easily spot a case of dropsy.
SUFFOCATION: Rapid breathing or gulping near the top of the tank may mean a fish is not getting enough oxygen. This may be caused by:

  1. No air circulation. 2. Temperature is too high. 3. The water surface is covered. 4. Parasites. 5. Overmedication burning gills, rupturing blood cells, causing too much mucus production.
    BRAIN DAMAGE: Fish may show any unusual symptoms. This should be only offered as a diagnosis after all other possibilities have been ruled out. Erratic, jerky swimming or spinning are common signs of brain damage. Brain damage can be caused by parasites, bruising (concussion), high or low temperatures, or toxins.
    TOXINS: Symptoms look the same as brain damage, but all or most of the fish in the system are affected at once. Spinning is the most frequent sign of a toxin.

OPEN SORES: These can be caused by:

  1. PH that is too high or low. 2. Scraping on rocks or other objects. 3. Bites. 4. Parasites. 5. Internal infections reaching the outside. 6. Net damage during handling.

Koi Fish Anatomy
Eyes - The eyes are just forward of the gills. Koi can see in two directions at same time - to either side of the body as well as above or below on each side.
Nostrils - The nostrils are just forward and slightly above the eyes. The nostrils are used purely for scent.

Barbel - The barbels located are located on the upper lip of the koi and contain many sense receptors to help locate food.

Gills - Gills have a similar function to the lungs. The gills are served by a series of fine blood vessels. As the water passes over the gills, oxygen is absortbed through the blood vessels and then transported directly to the body. Carbon Dioxide is return to the water via the gills.

Fin (Pectorial) - The pectorial fins are paired and located on the lower sides of the koi. They can be used to rotate the koi almost on the same axis, this is done by one fin working in the other direction to the other. The also act as the main braking fins, they achived this by placing the fins out to provide a large surface area to the water. They also use them when looking for food to stir up the bottom.

Liver - The liver helps remove waste from the blood and controls the use of digested food. It also produces bile which is used in the digestion and absorption of fat.

Gall Bladder - Located just below the liver, the Gall Bladder stores bile and releases it to help with digestion.

Fin (Pelvic) - The pelvic or ventral fins are paired and located on the lower sides of the koi approx mid body. The pelvic fins enable the koi tp rise or descend as it swims, you could say they act as hydrofoils.

Spleen - The spleen produces lymph cells (a yellow fuild consisting mostly of blood plasma and white blood ceels) and stores red blood cells.

Repoductive organs - The internal sex organs of the male are the testes and the ovaries of the female. In both the male and female they are located below the swimbladder. Eggs and sperm exit the boby via the gonopores which is located just in front of the urinary opening. The gonopores are connect by the gonoduct.

Anal Pore - The anal pore is located just forward of the anal fin. The waste products of the koi’s digestive system are expelled via the anal pore. Water in the form of urine is also expelled via the anal pore.

Urinary Bladder - The urinary bladder plays an important part for the koi. As the salt content of the koi is higher then that of the water in which it lives the koi’s body is continually taking in water which tries to equalize the salt concentation, this is known as osmosis. As a result of this process the koi must release the excess water, otherwise it would blow up like a balloon.
Anal Fin - The anal fin located just forward of the tail and is primary for stabilisation.

Caudal or Tail - The caudal (tail) acts as the koi’s rudder and can be used to gain maximum speed/thrust.

Kidney

Swim Bladder - The swimbladder, located just below the backbone consists of 2 different size chambers. Fish adjust their position by inflating or deflating these chambers, this changes the density relative to the surrounding water. In conjunction with the auditory system it controls the fishes orientation, level at which they swim etc.

Dorsal Fin - The dorsal fin located on the top of the koi is the major stabilizing fin. It works in a similar fashion to a keel on a ship by keeping the koi upright. Koi can lower the dorsal fin to create a more streamlined effect when the koi needs to move at faster speeds.

Lateral Line - The lateral line runs roughly along the mid-body of the koi. The lateral line is a row of special pores that open into a channel which runs to the head and brain of the koi. The channel is filled with a viscous solution which is extremly sensitive to vibrations in the water.

Ears - Fish have internal ears that repsond to vibrations within the water. The auditory canal is connected to swin bladder and is used for balance.

Mouth - The mouth of Koi are located in an inferior position - not quite at the tip of the head but slightly below. This indicates that it has bottom feeding habits.

Colour - The colour variations in koi is determined by the amount of guanin cells (reflective tissue) in the skin below the scales (dermis). The guanin cells contain waste by-products of the bodies metabolism. The outlayer (epidermis) cells contain colour pigments, these are Erythrophores (contain red or orange pigment granules), Melanophores (contain the black pigment melanin), Xyanthophores (contain yellow pigment granules). Their placement in the skin will determine the colour of a koi. The more complete the guanin cell layer, the more metalic the apperance of the koi as and if this layer is partially or completly missing more colour are visable deeper.

Mucus Layer - The mucus layer covers the entire external area of the koi. The mucus layer provides protection for bacteria and fungus and gives the koi there slippery feel. It is therefore important that you hands are wet before handing koi, to ensure that the mucus layer is not damaged.
Digestive System - The digestive system of koi is more or less like that of any higher animals but differs from many as the koi doesn’t have a stomach as such. Food enters via the mouth and is crudly crushed by the pharyngeal teeth (bony projections from the gill supports). From there it passed into esophagus and then into the intestines. The anterior part of the in intestines are swollen and look a lot like a stomach. The intestines long and coiled, usually 4-5 times the length of the koi. The is due to the fact the the vegetable matter eaten by the koi require more time within the body to be broken down so that the goodness is released. The intestines exit the body at the anal pore.

Nervous System - The nervous system of a koi consists of optic and other sensory nerves that radiate from the head. Fine fibers at the nerve endings transmit and receive message to the koi’s brain, which is relatively simple. The koi’s spinal cord helps protect the central nervous system which extends to all parts of the boby.

Which liner type and underlay should I choose? Which liner type and underlay should I choose?

Choosing the liner material may well depend on your budget but we would recommend you buy the best quality liner you can afford and install it with an underlay, if your liner leaks they can be difficult to repair, and replacement will involve removing all the fish and wildlife from your pond and shutting down and removing all filter systems etc, so it is sensible to spend your money buying a good quality liner and underlay! The following options are available from ValueAquatics:

“Gordon Low” Butyl Liner (our most expensive option)
Our Butyl liners are manufactured by “Gordon Low” in our opinion these are the best quality butyl liners currently available, they are 0.75mm thick, and come with a lifetime guarantee, we strongly advise the use of a suitable underlay when installing this product. We can supply butyl liners as flat sheets or box welded to fit your pond excavation exactly. Butyl liners stretch so if you have an irregular shaped pond then this option will reduce the amount of folds and creases in the liner when installed!

“Gordon Low” EPDM Firestone Liner (less expensive than Butyl)
Our EPDM liners are manufactured by “Gordon Low” in our opinion these are the best quality EPDM liners currently available, they are 1.00mm thick, and come with a lifetime guarantee, we strongly advise the use of a suitable underlay when installing this product. EPDM liners stretch less than Butyl so they are a better option if your pond is a more formal regular shape!

“Gordon Low” PVC Liner (cheaper than the above options)
Our PVC liners are manufactured by “Gordon Low” in our opinion these are the best quality PVC liners currently available, they are 0.5mm thick, and come with a lifetime guarantee, we strongly advise the use of a suitable underlay when installing this product. A PVC liner is less flexible and “stretchy” than the above options!

Which liner best suits my pond?
For an irregular shaped pond:
If your pond is an irregular or complex shape then you should choose Butyl if your budget allows, butyl will stretch so that when your filling the pond to initially install the liner, the weight of water will stretch the liner more than EPDM or PVC, reducing the amount of creases and folds, allowing for a better neater installation!

If the Butyl option is too expensive then go for the PVC option, this liner is thinner than the Butyl and doesn’t stretch so you will end up with more, larger folds and creases, but you will get the same warranty “lifetime of the liner”.

For a regular shaped or formal pond:
Either Butyl, EPDM or PVC will be suitable, again your budget will determine your choice:

In Butyl we can supply box welded liners in any shape or size, a box welded liner is manufacturerd to fit your pond excavation exactly, with a 150cm (6inch) flange if required, around the edge to go under flag stones etc. The advantage of using a box welded liner is that the liner will fit perfectly into your excavation without a single crease. You should get the liner measured an inch smaller than the excavation the liner will then stretch into the excavation for the perfect fit.

The Firestone EPDM liner is a slightly thicker liner than the Butyl, and less “stretchy”, but in a regular shaped rectangular or square pond you will be able to fit this liner withour many folds or creases.

Finally again the PVC will provide the cheapest option, If the Butyl and EPDM option is too expensive then go for the PVC option, this liner is thinner than the others and doesn’t stretch so you will end up with more, larger folds and creases, but you will get the same warranty “lifetime of the liner”.

Choosing Underlay
You must use an underlay when installing your liner as this will protect the underside of the liner from roots and sharp rocks and stones. If you do not use a recognised underlay and your liner leaks then the warranty will be invalidated! An underlay will not bio-degrade and will provide protection for the lifetime of the liner. Because the underlay is supplied in 2 meter wide strips, when installing the liner these will be laid side by side with an overlap of at least 150mm (6in) along each strips edge. Because of this overlap you will need to purchase around 20% more underlay than liner, i.e if you require a 10m x 10m liner (100 square meters), you will require 120 square meters on underlay. We sell underlay per meter, and in bulk 50 square meter rolls, depending on your requirements it may be more economical to buy in bulk.

And Finally the cheapest liner option is:
Blagdon Pondalene Liner
These are a good option for a very small pond especially if you are on a very tight budget, they are available in pre-packs, and represent good value for money.

If you require more information on liner selection please contact us, or telephone 01642 898025 (information / order line)

BUY BUTYL LINER
BUY EPDM LINER
BUY PVC LINER
BUY PONDALENE LINER
BUY UNDERLAY

Water Features Installation Water Features Installation

Water Feature Installation
Installing a water feature may seem daunting at first, but hopefully this guide will clear up any concerns you may have, and give you a clear understanding of what is involved. If your thinking about a new patio or decked area in the garden then a water feature will add that finishing touch. If after reading this information you still require further guidance or you would like to speak to me personally, simply leave a message via the contact us page and I will contact you at a convenient time.

Positioning / Size
Check the dimensions of the water feature, and then think about were your going to position the feature, the water feature should complement the surrounding area, and not be too dominating.

Choosing the Pebble Pool / Reservoir
The Pebble Pool is buried in the ground below the water feature and acts as a reservoir to supply the water feature which stands on the pebble pool cover. The pump is placed in the base of the reservoir and connects to the water feature inlet through a short length of plastic tubing through the pebble pool cover, the Finia pools have an access hatch to allow pump maintenance. I would recommend choosing a finia pebble pool, these come in various sizes, the important diamensions are the surface (water catchment) area and the volume.

When you switch on the water feature, the feature will fill with water, before cascading back into the reservoir, this initial fill will take some water out of the reservoir, Also excessive splashing or high winds may cause water to escape. As your water level in the reservoir falls, the water flow will reduce until eventually your water feature stops working, if the water level drops below the pump suction then you could cause permanent damage to the pump. If your budget allows always go for a larger reservoir, if you cannot decide between a Finia 650 or a Finia 1000 go for the larger, it will mean the reservoir will require topping up far less frequently.

If your choosing a high water feature and your locating it in a windy area, then again think about going for a pebble pool with a large catchment area. If the water has a 1 meter fall, and it is subjected to gusts of wind the water will simply be blown away instead of falling into the reservoir.

Pebble Pool adaptor kit
This will stabilise your water feature, these are best used on the higher features such as the Eclipse Mirror and Rhine Flatbacked. The Pebble Pool adaptor kits will attach to almost all the Stowasis Features.

Water Noise
If your sitting close to the water feature, the noise of the running water may start to annoy you, I would always advise purchasing a Tap Flow Control Valve, position this in the pump discharge pipe before it enters the water feature, you will then be able to adjust the water flow to suit yourself, also if it gets very windy you will be able to turn the water feature down to reduce water loss.

Lighting / Finishing Touches
Your water feature will look great in the daylight, but how will it look in the evenings, A blue LED light will be stunning when used to light a stainless water feature, the red LED lights look fantastic when used to light the copper features. Choose an LED with a Heavy Duty HD transformer, We also supply a range of colour changing LED’s the choice is yours.

Stainless Reservoirs
Instead of utilising a pebble pool you may decide on standing the water feature inside a stainless reservoir, if you do this consider purchasing a mesh insert, these are basically a piece of plastic / stainless steel mesh with a piece cut out to suit the feature, the mesh sits on stainless steel legs which lift the mesh to approximately an inch below the top edge of the reservoir. You will then be able to cover the mash with pebbles to add that finishing touch.

Water Blades
The water blade will produce a solid wall of water, Ideally placed on an exterior wall, you can choose a rear entry or bottom entry version. If your building the wall then incorporate a 25mm hose inside the wall, and choose a rear entry blade. The Wider the blade the more compartments the blade will have, each compartment requires its own water supply. If you go for a very wide blade with 3 compartments then you would have to split the pump discharge 3 ways, one to supply each compartment, use a flow control valve in each to allow you to balance the flows perfectly. Once the blade is fastened to the wall and running the distance between the wall and the water will be approximately 2 inches. If the height of the blade above water level is greater than 1.5 meters then you will need to start to thinking about using a pump with a higher flow rating than our recommendation.

More Hints and Tips
Be carefull during installation not to scratch your water feature, Unpack the water feature only when your ready to install it, and place stones around the base carefully, to avoid scratching the stainless steel!

Make sure you run your water feature on a daily basis, to prevent the water becoming stagnant, stagnant water smells and isn,t nice!

Periodically clean your water feature with a soft cloth, to keep it looking great!

Make sure the electrical side of the installation is done by a competent qualified electrician!

Jacqui Harrison…………………

Cabinet Colours Cabinet Colours

The following images are here to help you select a cabinet with a finish most appropriate to your requirements.

Ellmau Beech

Tobacco Walnut