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

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Earthquakes off the Oregon Coast

Possible Volcanic Earthquakes off the Oregon Coast, the week of April 12, 2008

From this article:
Unusual earthquakes measured off Oregon coast
By Jeff Barnard, Associated Press Writer.

I know this is not really an Aquarium or Pond related story, however since it involves the local ocean waters of Oregon and I find this interesting, I thought I would post this.

Juan de Fuca Plate, Earthquakes, April 12, 2008GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption — except there are no volcanoes in the area.

Scientists don't know exactly what the earthquakes mean, but they could be the result of molten rock rumbling away from the recognized earthquake faults off Oregon, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University.

There have been more than 600 quakes over the past 10 days in a basin 150 miles southwest of Newport. The biggest was magnitude 5.4, and two others were more than magnitude 5.0, OSU reported.

On the hydrophones, the quakes sound like low thunder and are unlike anything scientists have heard in 17 years of listening, Dziak said. Some of the quakes have also been detected by earthquake instruments on land.

The hydrophones are left over from a network the Navy used to listen for submarines during the Cold War. They routinely detect passing ships, earthquakes on the ocean bottom and whales calling to one another.

Scientists hope to send out an OSU research ship to take water samples, looking for evidence that sediment has been stirred up and chemicals that would indicate magma is moving up through the Juan de Fuca Plate, Dziak said.

The quakes have not followed the typical pattern of a major shock followed by a series of diminishing aftershocks, and few have been strong enough to be felt on shore.

The Earth's crust is made up of plates that rest on molten rock, which are rubbing together. When the molten rock, or magma, erupts through the crust, it creates volcanoes.

That can happen in the middle of a plate. When the plates lurch against each other, they create earthquakes along the edges.

In this case, the Juan de Fuca Plate is a small piece of crust being crushed between the Pacific Plate and North America, Dziak said.”

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fish Virus of Oregon Coast

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia ; Deadly fish virus lurks off Oregon Coast

Updated 6/28/09

Initial Article From : Henry Miller; Statesman Journal (edited)

“Officials in the Pacific Northwest are worried that a fish virus that causes fish kills in the Great Lakes could get here.
Aerial view of Coos Bay Oregon In a sense, it's already here and has been for quite a while. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, better known as VHS, has been found in ocean fish (mostly salmonids) from Coos Bay north to the Gulf of Alaska.

The seagoing strain of the virus, which does not affect humans, has devastated herring schools in Puget Sound near Seattle and Prince William Sound. And an apparently new mutated freshwater strain has done the same in the Great Lakes, killing fish from minnows to muskies.
"What seems to be the case is these marine strains don't seem to come ashore very readily. And they've had plenty of opportunity with migrating salmon," said Jim Winton, the chief of the Fish Health Section of the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle."We occasionally find the marine strain of VHS in a spawning salmon, mostly coho," he added. "But it doesn't seem to have spread to freshwater species."
The species that VHS infects that are shared by the Great Lakes and the Pacific Northwest include yellow perch, small mouth bass, walleye, bluegill, crappie, lake trout, steelhead and Chinook salmon.

viral septicemia It takes a week to 15 days of incubation in infected fish. Symptoms can range from no outward appearance to pale gills, bulging eyes, bleeding around the eyes, fins and sides of the head and behavioral changes such as swimming in a spiral.
Internally, the liver, spleen and intestines can be clotted with bleeding sores, the signs of which can include a bloated-looking, fluid-filled abdomen. It kills in days. And fish that survive become viral carriers for the rest of their lives. Stress is one factor that can trigger outbreaks, which is why hatchery, net-pen and fish-transport crowding can accelerate the spread.


Fish (most commonly salmonids such as Salmon & Trout) that become infected will often be anorexic and show hemorrhaging of their internal organs, skin, and muscle; however they may be no external symptoms, while other fish show signs of infection that include bulging eyes, bloated abdomens, bruised-looking reddish tints to the eyes, skin, gills and fins. External signs may include dark coloration, “pop eye” (exophthalmia), pale or red-dotted gills, sunken eyes, and bleeding around the eye sockets and at base of fins

While still alive, fish with Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) may appear listless or limp, hang just beneath the surface, or swim very abnormally, such as constant flashing circling due to the growth or turning movement (tropism) of the virus in the brain.


Septicemia is a symptom of different pathogens with basically the same result: a poisoning of the blood. It is common in aquariums where the usual cause is the very common anaerobic gram negative bacteria, Aeromonas. In aquariums and pond Septicemia is more common when conditions are poor with overabundance of decomposition and decay along with poor circulation, low oxygen levels and low GH/electrolyte levels

* Viral hemorrhagic septicemia; pdf

Other Resources:
*Freshwater Aquarium Care, Information
*Aquarium Medications; How they Work

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oregon Aquarium, Rogue Beer

Rogue Beer has created a special series of bottles for The Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Three Arch Rock, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife refuge. A portion of the proceeds goes to the programs.

Rogue Beer, Oregon Coast Aquarium Roy W. Lowe, project leader for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Oregon Coast NWR Complex, Brett Joyce, president of Rogue, and Dale Schmidt, president and CEO of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, toast recent donations from the Rogue Foundation to the respective agencies. (Photo by Elizabeth Chapman)

Here is an excerpt from the story:
Cheers to that: Rogue beer benefits causes
By Elizabeth Chapman of the News-Times

The Rogue Foundation donated $5,000 to Oregon Coast Aquarium and $1,500 to Three Arch Rock, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife refuge, on Monday, Dec. 10 at the Brewer's on the Bay in South Beach. Rogue created a special series of bottles for both organizations and a portion of the proceeds goes to the programs.

The aquarium series includes: Sea Otter beer, spiny lump sucker T-shirts, Wolf Eel Ale, and Shark Tooth Ale. Three Arch Refuge has a specialty beer, the Puffin Pale Ale, which also provides the history of the refuge that was established during Theodore Roosevelt's presidency due to encouragement from conservationists William L. Finley and Herman Bohlman.

Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Oregon Coast NWR Complex, said, "We're very appreciative that this gets the message out on the refuge," and he added the grant monies will help fund education programs for the refuge.

Dale Schmidt, president and CEO of Oregon Coast Aquarium, said through their partnership with Rogue over the years, the aquarium has received $17,000 which helps fund the new, changing exhibits.

Brett Joyce, president of Rogue, stated the products will be sold at various retail stores across Oregon.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Winter Pond Care

As winter approaches it is important to prepare you pond for this seasonal change in conditions (depending on your climate zone). In the warmer western areas of Oregon ice is not an issue as much as in the higher elevations of Eastern Oregon.

Pond Autumn Leaves, fall However leaves that have accumulated from the many deciduous trees that grow in many of the western valleys are a problem.
Leaves that fall to the bottom of the pond decompose adding to ammonia, lowering ph and KH to dangerous levels and sometimes releasing toxic Hydrogen Sulfide. The pond keeper needs to either cover the pond with netting or remove leaves before winter sets in.
Also as temperatures fall below 60 F (15 C) in the pond I feed every other day or less, depending on fish feeding habits. Below 50 F (10 C), I do not generally feed as fish become much less active as their metabolism slows down.
It should also be noted that the protein content of the food should decrease as well while wheat and wheat germ content increase.

Here is a recent news article from Salem Oregon about preparing for winter:
Owners of koi prepare the hardy, colorful fish and their ponds for winter

In regions where icing will occur it is important in winter to keep at least a small section of your pond open for proper exchange of gasses (O2, CO2), if water can still flow into the pond through a water or aeration device, that will work. A minimum depth of 24” will provide enough water space under the ice for fish to hibernate.
An aeration device or pump placed about midway from the surface/bottom that circulates upward generally will keep an area of the pond surface free of ice and allow proper gas exchange. In deep ponds over 5-6 feet (1.75 -2 meters), thermal layering, called thermoclines, may exist. This acts as sort of an “inversion layer” similar to how smog gets trapped in the air in Los Angeles. This traps CO2 and Hydrogen Sulfide near the bottom which is dangerous to fish and in this case you need to add water pumps or aeration devices at the bottom.

For more pond information including Winter Care as well as more resource links as well, please visit this site:

A Clear Pond; Pond Information