Tropical fish

Tropical Fish Food

Appropriate feeding is essential if you want to keep tropical fishes, since some types of food or an increased amount of fish feeds can cause abnormalities and certain diseases in some tropical fish species. If you are a beginning aqua culturist, it is better to research intensively on the food types depending on the kind of tropical fish you want to keep. You should look into a specific specie of tropical fish to find detailed data about the nutritional needs and ideal food diet. You can also find these data from a pet store or a veterinarian.

Some information have added guidelines and various choices about fish food, however some information on how to cultivate natural feeds include other feeds such as brine shrimp, vinegar eels, fruit flies etc. You can also create your own fish food for herbivore fish from your own kitchen. A good quality flake (fish food) is a good basis for most tropical fish species and can be supplemented with your domesticated treats to make sure a variety and properly-balanced diet. If you don’t want to cultivate your fish food, most pet stores sell frozen meat flakes that you can keep in your freezer.

Various tropical fish species need different kinds of food. Given that your tropical fish with a varied nutritional diet is always suggested, since a varied nutrition makes it easier for the tropical fish to get all needed nutrients. .You should remember that even a carnivore or omnivore tropical fish can eat algae or phytoplankton in their natural habitat, and therefore would gradually start to suffer from drastic dietary changes inside a fish tank without natural aquatic plants or that has been scrubbed off from algal deposits. Herbivore tropical fish that feed mainly on phytoplankton and aquatic plants will normally eat tiny organisms or some zooplanktons in their natural environment, something that will be intolerable inside a fish tank without animal feeds.

If you want to give your tropical fish prepared food, you should choose feeds that has been manufactured in order to meet with the needs of certain species or tropical fish species. If you would maintain some of the fish variants, you should therefore try to find their appropriate food. It is also probable to create a fish food that is suitable for all tropical fish, and “general” fish foods that have appropriate nutrients for all types of tropical fish. You can also change the diet of the fish as they mature. Smaller fish, called fry, breeding adults and elder fish all have their special needs and these can vary greatly.

Most problems encountered by hobbyists are the results of over-feeding. Never feed your tropical dish more food than they can eat within a few minutes. Left over flakes will begin to disintegrate and will add dirt to the fish tank. Over feeding can also cause diseases such as fish obesity, a health condition that will threaten the over-all well-being of your pets. A tropical fish that eats more food than necessary will also produce more wastes that will add pollution to the fish tank.

Also, try to purchase supplements such as vitamins and minerals, especially if your fish has special needs. However, you should check a veterinarian or an experienced aqua culturist before you involve any kind of chemical inside the fish tank.

Tropical Fish and Aquarium Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a collection of the frequently asked questions about tropical fish and aquarium set-up that most beginning fish hobbyists seem to have.

How many fish can I keep on a tank?

The rule of thumb for the ratio of fish is two to three gallon of water per inch size of fish. You should take note on the maximum size of the tropical fish you want to keep. Some hobbyists would do the one inch, one gallon of water, but experts found it silly. A 30-inch fish will not live healthy in a 30-gallon tank. Stay away from the indulgence of overpopulating your aquarium. If you add too much residents to the tank you need to perform tank keeping more often and you would also risk the well-being of your fish.

Can I add tropical fish instantly, after I set-up the tank?

Most hobbyists would add two or three kinds of fish, to biologically filter the water. However, it is considered inhumane since these starter fish will be exposed to the heavy metals present in the water. There are available products that can expedite the aquarium biological process. If you want to use the fish to cycle the aquarium, you can try some of the tough tropical fish such as the barbs and the zanios. To have enough knowledge with biological cycle, you should read more on nitrogen and oxygen cycle.

Why did my fish die when I added them to the water?

The most common cause of death during the start-up is intoxication from ammonia, nitrate, or heavy metals that are still present in the water which are harmful to fish health. More often than not, you may have these chemicals in the water and you need to eliminate them or neutralize before adding water to the aquarium.

How frequently should I replace the water?

Water replacement depends on how many tropical fish you are keeping and the quality of your water filter. In less polluted aquariums, you can change at least 10 per cent of the water weekly. You can possibly perform replacement by vacuuming the pebbles at least every two weeks based on the population of the aquarium.
Populated aquarium need to change at least a quarter of water every week and ground vacuuming.

How often do I need to give food to my fish?

It s advisable to give your fish two or three small amount of feeds everyday. You should only give a considerable amount of feeds that the fish can consume within 3 minutes. Avoid overfeeding as it can cause certain diseases such as obesity. Also, uneaten feeds will decompose and will pollute the aquarium.

What are some great tropical fish for starting hobbyists?

There are some species of tropical species that are difficult to breed and keep. So you should check with your pet stores whether a certain specie can be kept with less effort.

Is a quarantine tank a necessity?

If you want to keep your fish properly and you want to save extra bucks over a long period of time, then you should invest in a quarantine tank. This is to avoid spread of disease, and very effective when breeding fry.

Where are my fish?

If you can’t find your fish, you should look around the hiding places. If they are not around, check the outside of the tank. There are tropical fish that can resist captivity by jumping out of the aquarium.

Tropical Betta Fish

For many years, the Siamese Betta fish has been exclusively kept by hobbyists in Siam (now Thailand). Presently, the Betta Tropical Fish has grown in popularularity all over the world, although not for the sole purpose of fish fighting but as an aquarium pet. Through the years of delicate cultivation, pet stores took consideration on the various varieties from their original ancestors. Rather of just single colors, they can now be bought in a wide range of shades such as red, blue, black, dun, and yellow.

Also, the fins of the Betta tropical fish have significantly increased and are much complicated; amongst the various kinds of varieties available are the Delta Tail, Crown Tail, Half Moon etc. The male Betta fish have long prominent fins and do all the aggression. On the other hand, females have shorter fins and are not as prominent in color as the males. Fascinatingly, Bettas are air thrivers; they have a special organ, the lanyrinth, to transform water molecules into oxygen and they will surely die if they cannot reach the surface.

The natural habitat of Betta tropical fish is warm rice paddies in the Southeast Asia. Found mostly in leaves and branches of outgrowths, these predatory fish hunt for small creatures such as insect larvae and shrimp.
Even though the Bettas you can find in pet stores today have been bred in captivity, their aquarium should mimic their natural environment. Thus, the fish tank that have aquatic plant and that has slow water currents will be appropriate. A shade, with a few openings to provide air passage, must also be provided to avoid them from jumping out the tank.

Bettas thrive in warmer temperatures so the fish tank should be maintained between 75-86 degrees Fahrenheit with a bit of acidity (6.5 pH ) Their nutritional diet should composed chiefly of protein flakes and foods such as brine shrimps, worms etc. Bettas can expand to about 3 in. And could live up for three years if well-cared for. As far as the aquarium residents are concerned, Bettas can get along with most tropical fish. However, it is not advisable to keep them with aggressive species such as those tropical fish that are attracted to pick fioght with elaborate fins. Male bettas can be maintained in the same aquarium only if they are well-maintained, or else you can assume some injuries or even fatality.

Betta tropical fish procreate in a special and interesting way. The male will create numerous bubbles at the surface and create a floating love nest. Then, he would try to woo a female by showing his fins on display; the colors will be in their most vivid intensity and the impressive state also.

If the females are attracted and ready for a love romance, her coloration will also change and she will be covered with dark stripes. Her belly will also be prominently rounder and she would start releasing eggs.

This type of courtship can get difficult with much chasing and aggression that could lead to some minor injuries. When the couple is ready to mate, they will swim in the bubble nest and will entangle their bodies. The Betta male will squeeze the female to release the eggs that will be fertilized by the male.

Keeping Betta tropical fish is easy if you have the passion, determination and enthusiasm.

Starting an Aquarium for Tropical Fish

Anyone can start a home fish tank for tropical fish and aquatic plants.

Starting with tropical fish is very easy, if you have enough background on how to maintain tropical fishes. You could also ask guidance from a pet store, but you can get more information if you will understand the basics first by doing research from various sources.

Think through what your purpose is in setting up an aquarium for tropical fish, instead of rushing to the pet store immediately and filling your car trunk with different aquarium tools and a bag of tropical fish.

You should take note that not all tropical fishes can be kept together in a single aquarium. Some species are very aggressive, others have special water needs, but most kinds can get along.

Most of the smaller tropical fishes such as the guppies and the catfish that you would normally see active in the aquarium are called the community fish. An aquarium with these residents looks delightful, not so expensive and will give you enough options in the pet store, starting with community fishes is the best method for a new fish tank keeper to begin with.

Some freshwater tropical fish you might see in a pet store have special needs. Cichlids, discus and other varieties need particular water conditions or habitat. Piranhas are specialized fish because they are very aggressive.

Some fish are very formidable and sociable enough to anything they cannot start a fight with, but they expand large enough for a medium sized fish tank. Gouramis and certain kinds of catfish are in this category. These tropical fish are less readily sold than in the past that is great news, as they would outgrow the fish tank and pollute the water. These kinds of tropical fish are normally raised by experts and marine biologists.

Other creatures, such as invertebrates need more meticulous care and maintenance. You can find tropical fishes easy to deal with, but marine slugs and snails have special needs for them to live inside a mimicked habitat.

Aquatic plants such as Amazon Swords will develop in any kind of fish tank if administered with enough light and ground to root in. However, if you like to have a readily planted fish tank, you will need to plan from the start to give the plants the light, ground and water conditions that they need in order to live.

The size of the fish tank depends on the room space you can provide. A 50-gallon aquarium is heavy, so virtually anything other than the residents needs its own unique base, either purchased or home crafted. With available larger fish tanks, you may even need to check the floorboards.

You also need to ensure that it’s far away from direct sunlight and heat since extreme light conditions can trigger overheating of the fish tank. It is better to prevent hot spots. Electrical sockets near the aquarium are a necessity as you need to plug filters and other electrical equipment.

Once you have decided on your aquarium and the paraphernalia, you can start looking for other essentials you need such as:

1. Aquarium and base
2. A lighting system
3. Temperature-regulator
4. Fish net
5. Air pump
6. Pebbles
7. Decorations
8. Water filers
9. Test kits for nitrates and ammonia
10. Fish medicines

However, the type of these essentials should be based on the type of fish you want to keep.

Great First Freshwater Tropical Fish

So, you have set-up your aquarium, filtered it, neutralized it, and now you are ready for the tropical fish. You need a list of tropical fishes that can tolerate a wide range of water components such as temperature and water density. They are also extremely delightful, especially the goldfish and the gouramis.

You should take note that no matter what specie you decide to purchase, have a good background on that type of fish and look for certain information like the maturation, pH and temperature requirements and the behavior of the fish. Some fish are not sociable with other aquarium residents. Research them first and prepare yourself for some possible problems while enjoying the delights of aquarium keeping.

Some of the easy to look out for and easy to maintain tropical fishes for starting aqua culturists are:

Goldfish

The goldfish is a popular tropical fish. Most kids would love to have a nice goldfish in a bowl. They are normally very tough fishes and can thrive in temperatures ranging from 40 degree Fahrenheit to 90 degree Fahrenheit. You should remember that a Goldfish have a long lifespan if well-maintained, so getting one can be a long-term responsibility. Most varieties are available depending on the scale colorations, interesting varieties and shades include gold, orange, black and white.

Gold Barb

This is another hardy tropical fish that is great for starters. The Gold barb is tolerable to a wide range of water conditions, stays small in size, is fairly delightful and should play nicely with most aquarium residents. They have a total gold colored shade with small dark or black spots running laterally. They may not live well in a tank with aquatic plants because they would nip at the plants. If you have a heavily populated aquatic plant tank, you may bale to keep a few of these, but if your tank is lightly planted, they may eliminate the plants.

Blood fin Tetra

This variety is a core of the freshwater aqua culture for beneficial reasons. They have silvery scales with a tinge of green, based on the lighting system and incarnadine caudal and dorsal fins. A great freshwater beginner’s tropical fish, they are tolerable to wide range of water conditions. Some aqua culturists even maintain them in coldwater aquarium without proper heaters. They will live better on cold temperature than other kinds of tropical fish, but you can use a heater to maintain the temperature normal. Stay away from, high current and water temperatures that could stress your fish.

Dwarf Gourami

Originated from the Indian waters, the Dwarf Gourami is not only for decoration but they can be certainly tough as well. The male is vividly colored while the females are pale in shade. Normally, the female Dwarf Gourami has grayish scales. There are a couple of color varieties such as Ocean Blue and Flame Red.

Gouramis make a great feature to a fully biologically cycled community aquarium and are easy to keep. They should be given most fish food including fish flakes, drien and cultivated shrimps.

Chery Barns

Chery barbs are one of the great tropical fish for starting hobbyists since they can be tolerable to a wide range of water conditions. It is also a very calm and very sociable fish that will bring lots of playful jive to your tank, and are friendly to most tropical fish.

Tropical Goldfish

It is a misconception that a goldfish will mature only to the size relevant to the aquarium it lives in. If a goldfish is maintained in a small aquarium, give only a small amount of food every day, and change the water regularly, it will grow gradually and may live for some years, reaching the optimum size of at least 3 to 4 inches. It is a proven fact that the growth of a goldfish may be somehow diminutive in a small aquarium – a high composition of nitrates is known to hinder growth- but growth is slower, not supposed to cease abruptly.

On the other hand, if you would give the goldfish too much food, or if maintained in an aquarium that is not properly filtered biologically, the goldfish will simply mature to the point where the aquarium will not support the eliminated wastes and will surrender either to intoxication as a result of waste accumulation or to a disease caused by bad water maintenance.

If you want to keep goldfish healthy, do not keep them with other species of tropical fish for some reasons.

First, goldfish tend to flourish at the sub-tropics that means about 73 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not to mean that over this temperature level, it would kill the goldfish. It is just that they would thrive in lower temperatures. Cooler environment will have more oxygen supply that adult goldfish need for sustainable health.

Also, goldfish have the tendency to be more productive than other tropical fishes. As they mature, they can easily consume more food than the other residents of the aquarium. The other species may suffer from abnormal growth caused by malnutrition. At the same level, goldfish also eliminate more wastes than the other tropical fish. Some of the tropical fishes need a clean environment and goldfish will make this rather very hard to keep.

Goldfish are temperate creatures and they have the tendency to carry certain diseases and parasites and tend to resist to them as well. So, mixing the goldfish with other species can expose your pets to health problems they are not used to coping with.

The truth is, most species of fishes often seem to get along when they are still fries. As they grow old, however, trouble and aggression may begin. You might not observe problems at the start since aggressive behavior may occur at night time. For instance, certain species of tropical fish can become aggressive as they mature and would eventually pose a threat for your goldfish. A floating dead fish can be a clue to aggression.

Similar to basic aquarium keeping, do not give your goldfish more feeds than they can consume in a few minutes. Unconsumed foods disintegrate inside the aquarium and would eventually pollute the water. If food remains unconsumed, eliminate it.

A 30-gallon tank with pebbles and aquatic plants is recommended for goldfish. Never keep goldfish in a fishbowl or smaller container. It’s like living in a one-room house.

Goldfish are omnivores and they do not need special nutritional diet as other tropical fish. However, you should purchase food made especially for goldfish, since their diet needs are not similar to other species.

If you want to keep your goldfish a higher protein nutritional diet will also lead to a faster growth rate. Where goldfish are maintained in small or unfiltered fish tanks, it is not advised to administer high-protein food.

Breeding Guppy Tropical Fish

If you are thinking of breeding guppies, you should research on this variety of tropical fish first. You will find it easier if you have enough knowledge in breeding, feeding and taking care of guppies than to stumble on certain problems later, as a result of certain insufficiency of information. You can read many sources of information such as books, online websites and even experienced aqua culturists.

The Guppy is often difficult to breed. The male is very easy to determine from the female since the male normally has more vivid shadings with intense colorful and big caudal fins. The female is normally bigger, and has a thicker body mass, with pale colors and a smaller tail.

This kind of tropical fish is a live bearer, that is, the fry are swimming when they are hatched. At each hatching, the female Guppy can have about 10 to 60 fry. If maintained in a community fish tank, the guppy fry will be immediately eaten if not quarantined in breeding. Unfortunately, even the Guppy adults will feast on the guppy fry.

You should be responsible and have a plan if you want to raise the guppy fry. If you’re not interested in raising them, they could just stay inside the aquarium. You can also mix the sexes and have more fry. Larger aquariums have a feast on the fry guppies, then quarantine all male guppies and all females separately. At times, you can spot aggression among the males, but rarely can it cause to death.

You should also remember that female guppies can rear a fry when you purchase them from the pet store. Find the gravid portion by the anal opening or a bloated stomach.

Guppies can live on any fish food such as vitamin-enriched fish flakes, pellets, and cultivated foods. You can give them various types of foods for maximum well-being and coloration. Giving them live foods once in a while will do great for their level of activity and general health.

When you begin talking with a amateur aqua culturist about breeding guppies, the first thing you might hear, is “Man, that’s tough!” However, you can solve this difficulty if you would get a small tank and add water, and add guppies. Keep them inside for at least 3-4 days and have them breed. Well for the most part, this is a simple task.

A 5 to 10 gallon aquarium will work for a ratio of one male to two to three females, but if you like more, then increase the size of the tank. Ensure that the water is changed continuously to prevent nitrate accumulation. A tablespoon of aquarium salt should be added for every ten-gallons of water. Guppies can thrive more in water that has some salt added. Floating fake ornamental plants are used fairly often; however other thing you might like to user is a heavy spawning mop composed of a dark green colored yam. These mops are great help for the fry, so that the other mature fish will not eat them before you have the opportunity to transfer the mature guppies into a quarantine tank. You should quarantine the mature guppies. It is very easy to catch up a handful of mature fish that are at least an inch long or larger, than it is to capture numerous very small guppies.

Breeding Buttikoferi Tropical Fish

A big aquarium of at least 60-70 gallons is needed to maintain a couple of Buttikoferi Tropical fish. These types of tropical fish should be kept in a special aquarium. That is, never try keeping them with other tropical fish, if you do not want bloodshed in the fish tank.

Most Buttikoferi should be given food of both protein and vegetarian flakes. You can also give them live and stored brine shrimp along with pellet peas.

Both sexes are very aggressive towards other residents of the aquarium especially during the mating season. To lessen the stress on the female Buttikoferi, it is advised to get at least 4 females for each male.

Buttikoferis are mouth brooders. That is, the female will hold the eggs in her mouth for a time, about several weeks, based on the temperature of the water, and then would release the fries into the fish tank. During this brooding period, the female will normally refuse to eat.

To nourish the Buttikoferi fry, feed them with hatched brine shrimp and finely chopped flakes. Change the aquarium water constantly to increase the well-beings of the fry.

Unless you have a large aquarium, you can only keep a handful number of fry to mature. The fry can be developed in less tolerable situation as they mature, and the aggression among the fry will cause great reduction in the number of the fish by the time the fry have reached at least six months old.

Another variety, related to the Buttikoferi is the Venustus; It has remarkable patterns in the body, similar to giraffe spots, which make them prominent and attractive. However, this coloring can change as they grow old for breeding. They can expand up to 10 inches, so you need to have larger aquarium. Although this variety will not normally spawn aggression with most tropical fish, they can also be aggressive with their own specie. When they are first added in the aquarium, mature Venustus can be very protective of its “territory,” chasing other residents, so you should provide enough pebble and hidden spaces. This specie is very intelligent and they often will come upfront of the fish tank as if they are very sociable beings.

The Venustus is very sensitive to extreme levels of nitrates in the water, even though they are easily maintained it is essential to regulate the water intensity at least to medium ph. Maintain the water’s pH level to neutral or slightly alkaline, a substrate of aragonite components can help to maintain the water in this level.

If you would like to breed Buttikoferi and Venustus, it is very easy.

The males will normally fertilize the eggs when the female has accumulated them in her mouth opening. Prior to this mating, the female spawns non-fertilized eggs, normally on an even surface that she carefully maintains previously.

Basically, a male around 7-8 inches is already sexually capable. Females are mouth brooders and they will carry their eggs in the mouth for a few weeks, before they can release the fry.

You can give the newly hatched fry with brine shrimp or finely grounded food flakes.

The Venustus and the Buttikoferi requires high-protein diet that you can satisfy through brine shrimps, worms, small fish, as well as processed flakes and pellets containing meat particles.

Alternative Foods For Tropical Fish

Feed flakes, dried foods and pellets are all conventional feeds used by many aqua culturists, however, some of them are venturing into alternative fish food for tropical fish. There could be many reasons; however, it could be either to slash cost or to vary the nutritional diet of the fish.

You can look for alternative food for tropical fish in the grocery department and it is also cheaper than the traditional fish foods you can purchase from pet stores as well as more nutritious for your tropical fish. However, you should remember that flake foods and other forms of manufactured food for tropical fish have been formulated to contain all the nutritional requirement of your fish. Thus, it is okay to venture into alternative foods, but do not feed your tropical fish with this kind of foods entirely. You should go for variety instead. Food purchased in the grocery, on the other hand, might not suit your fish needs.

The kind of food suitable for your tropical fish is based on what specie you are maintaining. What is appropriate for a carnivorous tropical fish might not be appropriate for an herbivore. You can tell the difference with these tropical fish but you have to consider which of these foods are appropriate for the tropical fish you keep.

You can find a long list of alternative foods in the vegetable section of the grocery. These items are mostly suitable for omnivores and herbivores but can also be a variety for some carnivorous fish.

Lettuce is a preferred food for most tropical fish species. You can prepare lettuce easier to consume for the tropical fish by boiling. Most catfish varieties prefer this food. However, some may find it hard to submerge the lettuce bits to the bottom of the aquarium where it can be consumed by the catfish. You can solve this problem by putting a small rock on a broad part of the lettuce to keep it submerged. Never leave the lettuce under the water for too long as it can also pollute the fish tank.

Peas are also given to tropical fish. Most hobbyists would freeze the peas, however before they give them to the fish, defrost them first.

Brussels sprouts are also great for some varieties of catfish. They are submerged to the bottom of the fish tank, which makes it easier for the fish to consume them and can be left in the water longer, even overnight.

Rice is also great for tropical slugs and snails, which also like boiled pasta.

For carnivorous tropical fish, you can look for some food items in the grocery and one of the best foods for predatory fish are shrimps.

Frozen shrimps can be an excellent alternative to flakes and very preferred by most tropical fish varieties. You should defrost the shrimp before you give them and it is also suggested that you chop the shrimps into considerable chunks, especially if your fish are too small to consume the big shrimps. A common inquiry is whether to use shrimps with the natural shell. Shrimp shells can often cause digestive problems, so if you have time you can take out the shell. However, it is not fatal, and if you have chopped the shrimps into smaller parts, it will be digested by the tropical fish anyway. Larger carnivorous fish are more suited to digest shrimp shells than a small herbivore fish. It is better to feed herbivore fish shrimps to add variety since they normally get this as a part of their diet while feeding on plant foods.

Acclimating Tropical Fish to Your Fish Tank

There are three common methods in acclimating your tropical fish in a newly set-up aquarium. These methods are:

1. The Floating Bag Method
2. The Bucket Method
3. The Drip Method

The Floating Bag Method

The Floating Bag Method is probably the most popular acclimation technique that works well. You just need to be very meticulous when suspending the bag full of unknown water in your aquarium. Ideally, you’re suspending the bag in a prior set-up quarantine tank but, unfortunately, most starting hobbyist do not use a quarantine tank. After you‘ve been in the hobby for some time and experience any kind of fish problems you’ll soon have enough experience and realize the essence of a simple quarantine aquarium.

After you leave the pet store you would want to go straight home to prevent accumulation of ammonia in the plastic bag or container, when the fish eliminate wastes in such limited amount of water. When you are already home, open the container and remove about a quarter of the water from the bag. Change this water with the same amount of water from your aquarium. Float the container in the aquarium and put through the shade opening on the open end of the container to help it to be secure. After 10 minutes, add about 1 cup of your aquarium water to the bag. Repeat this method for about 1 to 2 hours. After this, use a small fish net to get them out of the container and slowly place the fish into the aquarium.

The Bucket Method

The Bucket Method is virtually similar to the floating bag method, however rather than floating the bag in the aquarium, you’re putting the bag inside a clean bucket. This method is better than the floating method since you don’t need to be anxious about any of the bag water adding to the aquarium. Open the bag and remove about a quarter of the water. Change this water with the same amount of water from your aquarium. Virtually the same with the floating bag method.

The Drip Method

This method is advised for most saltwater tropical fish and invertebrates since they can be intolerable to extreme level of pH level, certain density and other waste chemical changes.

To perform this method, get a bucket, vegetable clippers with a suction cup to secure the tube in the aquarium and sturdy air pump tubing that is adequately long to pull out from your aquarium to the bucket. Place one end of the tubing into the vegetable clipper and then situate the vegetable clipper into the aquarium. Get the suction cup and place the other end of the tube into the bag in the bucket. You should do this with slow drip going. Try for drips every once in a while. If you’re having some difficulty using the knot to control the drip rate, any kind of strong clippers can do the job. Vise-grips or c-clamps are also great.

The length of the drip technique should be based on your acclimation. If you are doing this technique for most freshwater tropical fish, you should be great doing it for at least an hour or so before adding the fish to your aquarium. If you are doing this method on saltwater tropical fish, you should take two to three hours for the acclimation procedure to be done.