Saltwater Aquarium Basics

- Basic to advanced information about marine fish & reef aquariums. A growing resource with set up, aquarium lighting, chemistry, filter information too.

Freshwater Aquarium Basics

- A growing resource with information from filtration to smelly water problems with links to more specific top notch information such as the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Read this FIRST before treating any aquarium/pond fish for disease:
Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish

A Clear Pond: Information

- Proper pond filtration, cleaning, care, chemistry, & basics for maintaining a beautiful garden pond

Aquarium UV Sterilization

- Use of TRUE level one or higher UV Sterilizers in an aquarium or pond

Friday, December 22, 2006

Correction to Grants Pass Courier article about poisonous pet fish.

The Grants Pass Courier ran a story about poisonous marine fish on December 16, 2006.

Unfortunately they did not do their home work (not that it would have been hard to get the correct answer, I personally have ran an ad with the front page for over a year without one response, the writers easily could have had the courtesy to ask an advertiser such as myself who has been in the aquarium trade profession since 1978 with one of the largest maintenance companies in LA).

Foxface and Lionfish produce different neurotoxins that attacks the nervous system, so does the Stone Fish, Puffer Fish, and the Blue Ring Octopus (as well as the Black Widow Spider).
Each of these fish/animals puts in different amounts or use different neurotoxins that are more or less deadly/toxic. This is important to note as a second or third sting/bite with neurotoxin can be life threatening (which a Blue Ring is very much so due to the highly toxic nature of the Tetrodotoxin used by these cephalopods and only one bite is needed to kill a human).

Foxface which use a more mild "Enterotoxin" which primarily breaks down proteins in the intestines are not generally a danger though to the hobbyist. The best treatment is a hot compress of 50 C with baking soda. At this temperature tests have shown the poison to be denatured.
Lionfish use a more dangerous Neurotoxin that while usually not fatal, is more dangerous than that of the Foxface, but not as dangerous as a Blue Ring Octopus or Puffer fish which utilize a Tetrodotoxin.
The Black Widow Spider uses a latrotoxin which is another form of neurotoxin.

The story implied a tissue toxin, which is very different with different treatment.
The Courier should realize there are some people who may know something and get their stories strait. Admittedly not all internet sources are correct here either, that is why the best sources are usually human medical articles as describing the wrong venom in a medical article could draw a lawsuit.

Here is one recent source:

More REPUTABLE Aquarium Information and Product Resources

Volitan Lionfish, information, about
Aquarium Saltwater-Marine Basics For more information about poisonous marine animals.

Aquarium Information

-A great source for current aquarium information that is updated regularly as new research becomes available.

For the VERY BEST in Aquarium Light Information:

Aquarium Lighting

UV Bulbs

Friday, December 15, 2006

Drs. Foster and Smith Saddles Up New Horse Supplies Category

Drs. Foster & Smith Saddles Up New Horse Supplies Category
-Not really Grants Pass related, but since many who read this are online shoppers I thought I would comment.

Unfortunately my comment is not good. I do not know how this company did business in the beginning, but based on my customer feedback (And I am mostly referring to my previous Pet Store customers mostly), they gave poor customer service with lack of true knowledge (which became a reason for many aquarium maintenance service calls) and support for products sold such as the Aquarium Cleaning Machine or Submariner UV Sterilizer.
This place also often sold poor quality or out of date merchandise according to my customers.
Currently customers have stated that they carry the less than desirable, aquarium pumps, filters, LED Aquarium Lights, and along with some good UVs cheap poorly made UV Sterilizers (Aqua Medic) that will give UVs a bad name.

Admittedly this is based on "here-say", but reliable "here-say", and I can vouch for the poor quality of Marineland, and Hagen power heads and especially the really poor quality of Aqua Medic. I can also state that in my opinion it is dishonest when a web site does not have a clear shipping price and policy link and the only way to find this is to go through the checkout process (which most customers when then purchase, even if they think the shipping is too high). And does not have an easy link to such.

For me this in my opinion is once again frustrating to watch companies such as this grow while honest companies that often operate on razor thin margins by selling quality products and by quality staffing are ignored by the buying public. Partly due to the general apathy that has swept over our Great Country.

12/30/06 Here is an addition to this post;
I was visiting Yahoo Answers (this is a really poor forum for good advice, but I visit regularly to help where I can), I found a post inquiring as to where Spirulina Flake may be found, and Dr. Fosters and Smith was listed as a place to get this product. I followed the link and all Dr. Fosters and Smith had was a very poor quality Tetra Spirulina flake that has spirulina way down on it's list of ingredients, as compared to the Spirulina 20 which I recommend which has this ingredient as #1.
This is typical, people are basically lazy and will go to web sites or store based on image rather than knowledge or quality.
What a sad point this is.

*Aquarium Lighting

*Aquarium Filtration, Filters Information

Carl Strohmeyer

Friday, November 10, 2006

COUGARS: Complaints trigger system to kill cougars

COUGARS: Complaints trigger system to kill cougars -I know this isn't really aquarium or pond related, but I thought it was an interesting story from a city in our state.
"Northeastern Baker County, including the Halfway and Richland areas, is one of 14 regions in Oregon where state wildlife officials might kill cougars to try to reduce conflicts between the big cats and people or livestock, or to protect elk and other big game that cougars like to eat."
For more click on the article

Carl Strohmeyer

Friday, October 20, 2006

Backyard battle

Backyard battle -ASHLAND- Ponds are lovely to look at and enhance the beauty of your home, but they also attract unwanted guests

Fish as Pets

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Aquarium Information and Products in Grants Pass, OR



We strive to sell products and provide information in this manner:

  1. Unique Website with Unique Content:
    The following points will expand on this... however, we have NO intention of being like every other cookie cutter aquarium/pond/fish website. We are unique in our set-up, information, and mostly professionally used products.

    Our articles are unique with content, which is regularly updated. With both research and professional experience behind much of the information. This also includes our sister website- "Aquarium & Pond Answers".

    Our mission has been and will be to push our information first and any products recommendations second. Even then, the majority of the products we recommend are based on our researched articles and experience.

    For those who ask us to sponsor their forums, clubs, etc. If we elect to do so, please understand our mission statement of information first will also be carried over to any sponsorship. Please do not ask us to sponsor and then ask that we not follow our Mission Statement as one forum has.

  2. Quality products based on our often unique information and experience:
    At a great value that we or our aquarium maintenance partners would use.

    If you explore our website from products to information, you will find a unique mix of products and information not found anywhere else. We don't carry just what sells. We sell products that are often only marketed to aquarium professionals, where cool gimmicky features are not often the priority.

    An example would be many of TMC products, such as their LED controllers, which doesn't have a lot of "flash", but more makes up for it in science based electronics. As another example, we do not sell UV sterilizers with baffles (twists), wipers, or other features, which our research has found to be simply gimmicks, which can leads to short life span of a product.
    Longevity of products (including lights that will last more than a year or two in an aquarium environment) is also very important to what we promote, as this was important with our 1000s of contract aquarium clients in that products that did not last at the very least incurred free house/business calls to correct the problem (which is simply not a a good business model)

    This means, you will likely not find this website to sell everything you need for your aquarium or pond, as our mission is not to be everything to every aquarium or pond keeper.
    As well we do not mean to ever imply that we too are not continuing to learn from others, and ongoing experience and that our products fit every application, as they most certainly do not! We also do not want to ever imply that we are the end all of aquarium research & information (we certainly are not), but we do revise our article on a daily ongoing basis, which you will not find with most Internet articles or social media based information

    Our goal is NOT to be a one stop store for all aquatic needs. Our hope is support of local aquarium/pet stores. However, we also do hope we are one place for aquatic information and do hope there's support for this information by purchasing at least a few of our helpful or unique products, if the information is found to be helpful.

    This includes products, which are easy to find elsewhere such as API (Mars Fish Care) Filstar, Smart & SuperClean Filters, or Furan 2 where we provide information about their use not found elsewhere.

    This is especially true of late, since Mars Fish Care has essentially thrown aquarium professionals "under the bus" that helped promote their brand in favor of discounters, by selling to these discounters at lower prices than what a professional can purchase. Even in large quantities and then not answering letters professionals and others send asking for similar deals.

    We often do not sell some products from companies where we find the majority of their products excellent. We do this, because we or our professional maintenance partners have not found these particular products satisfactory. A good example would be the Via Aqua 4900 and stainless steel heater. The vast majority of Via Aqua heaters and especially pumps are of good quality and value, but not these.

    Other companies such as API, we do not sell all their products, or recommend their use for all applications the manufacturer (or others) may, so please read our extensive library of Aquatic Information (such as Aquarium Medications) if there is questions prior to use.

    • An example of a product we thought was an excellent idea, but failed in testing was the JBJ Internal UV Sterilizer (which is also sold under alternative names).

    • Another example are the Hydro Sponge PRO filters in small sizes, such as the #2. While the #5 PRO is an excellent filter for the environment and flow rates for they were designed, we have found the Hydro Sponge #2 PRO to not work as well in both flow rates and bacterial loads for the smaller tanks a #2 are designed for, thus in the end the #2 Standard out performed the #2 PRO!

    • Most products we sell have a background in our decades of experience. This often includes, science based testing and ALWAYS includes only selling products that have known ingredients, which agree with the known science of aquarium keeping.

  3. Testing:
    Even in selling many of the best quality products at competitive prices, we also realize that nothing is perfect and with many of our products such as the UV-C bulbs, aquarium light fixtures, UV sterilizers, and many, many more we open and test before shipping to help our customers avoid the hassles of receiving defective merchandise.

    This is a time consuming process, which few of our competitors take the time to perform! The bottom line is, if the product package is open and the product looks "fired" as in the case of a UV bulb or other light fixture, this is because it was opened and tested, by us to ensure a non-defective product. Not because we sell used products!

    Since we test many of the products we sell, we also may make improvements based on our experience. This is to insure our customers, that even with an item, which can be purchased elsewhere, our customers may be getting a better product. As an example, the SunSun Canister Filter where we include a Return Elbow, which we strengthen and retrofit with an outer layer of 5/8" vinyl tubing to provide the best possible product for our customer.

    In fact, per the SunSun Canister Filter, we open all filters and check the parts, PLUS add FREE filter material not included by the manufacturer(including high efficiency Volcanic Rock for improved Bio Filtration)!

  4. Unique FREE:
    Articles & Information
    as noted earlier, about many aspects of aquarium and pond care, which are based on decades of experience, which also include our aquarium/pond maintenance partners. As well as 1000s of hours of in depth research, often outside the anecdotal aquarium community.

    If you have been helped with the many articles we provide here and at Aquarium Answers, please help us by providing a link in a personal blog or website to one of your favorite articles or products here and giving a "shout out".

  5. Feedback:
    Our policy is to provide the BEST and most ACCURATE information possible, which our decades of hands on experience and research testifies to.

    Because of this knowledge base, we do NOT allow the popular type feedback as we have found this to be highly inaccurate with good reviews for products, which over normal use fail or bad reviews for excellent products, which were not properly used or even sold incorrectly.

    As an example we have seen pumps, filters, etc. given bad reviews (such as the Rena Smart Filter) based on incorrect set-up.

    As well, we have seen a popular internal UV Sterilizer (Killing Machine) given some good reviews, while in reality, these units have mostly failed in only months of testing. More importantly, these UVs cannot even perform level 1 sterilization, yet many purchase these sterilizer and later realize a problem and blame all UV Sterilizers.

    How is this accurate?
    Our apologies to those who disagree with our Feedback policy. We care more about the truth so as keep our readers fish happy and healthy. We are more than happy to get feedback, including constructive and accurate criticism.

    Please see our Contact Form to leave any feedback.

    We add this to our email Feedback Page as time allows. If it's preferred to leave more direct feedback, the forum we sponsor now has a public location to do this as well.

    See: AAP Feedback: Products, Customer Service, Information

  6. The lowest possible price:
    This means, many products we sell often are close to cost with profit margins as low $2 on some filters & pumps (even large aquarium or pond filters have small profits).

    To keep prices as low as possible, while not repeating mistakes prior to 2009 (resulting in business losses), we utilize multiple shipping methods and perform many tasks "In House" such as:

    • Much of the internet SEO & advertising in house.
      This includes using a website platform, which uses PayPal website Pro instead of platforms such 'Magento' shopping carts, which are NO MORE secure and would require $1000s in extra webmaster fees. There's also LACK OF ABILITY for constant updates of information to our website without even more additional costs! These constant updates and information is something we take pride in and both feedback and stat counter statistics prove most of our customers/readers appreciate.

    • When time allows, we build as many of our boxes from scratch or recycle boxes and packing material. This also allows us to pay our staff more or simply not lay off staff during slow periods.

    • In house webmasters and art work.

    • Long trips (1600 miles) with our own trucks to pick up products (& returns). This results in better communication and product knowledge due to time spent in face to face transactions and discussion of products (including problems).

    • An extensive, constantly growing, and updated information library for helping both customer and non customer alike.

    • Also see our Feedback Page as to how we attempt to provide the best possible customer service, along with aquarium/pond keeping information, which is second to none!

    • Because we spend 75% of our staff hours in research, customer help pictures, diagrams, and customer service (including sponsored forums), this is a cost NO other online retailer bears. So, we cannot always sell as cheaply or subsidize shipping costs as do mass merchandiser retailers, which also spend little or no time in research as their anecdotal articles show.

      So, please understand why in some cases we might be a little higher in cost as the copious amounts of information provided here and in our blog websites such as Aquarium/Pond Answers simply requires a lot of employee time and good staff do not work for free!!!

  7. Shopping Cart:
    We utilize a PayPal hosted shopping cart, which accepts Credit Cards without requiring a PayPal account.

    We do this for the proven safety of their encrypted shopping carts. Also, this integration allows for a template where by we can provide the copious amounts of information/content unique to our website, which other "Checkout Button" templates do not allow. This requires a drop down menu type shopping cart, which may not be as simple as a single shopping cart for each item. This drop down menu cart is still one of the most popular carts for internet hosting and allows for information, which the popular "separate button" cart website templates do not allow.

    It's also noteworthy that these drop down menu shopping cart buttons are the EXACT SAME ONES EMPLOYED BY eBay when multiple selections of items are needed, so this cart is not unique to AAP!

    As well, we added quick "Jump to Cart" buttons to skip past information to our drop down menu carts. These are unique to our website and are not found on most others. Despite the few people these seem to confuse, feedback from our many forums, clients, customers has been 97% positive for these "Jump to Cart" buttons.

    More importantly, with stat software we have installed, we show our shopping cart abandonment rate is under 30% when the average web site is 68%, this is an EXCELLENT number (the lower the better) and proves our checkout system is not a problem!!